Dad of Mrs Woog Guest Posts

Two significant things happened yesterday.

Firstly, I heard of the death of one of my former school teachers, Brian Couch, a man who exhibited all the good qualities one could wish for.

Secondly, my grandson Harry phoned me to tell me that his mate Wilson the cat had died.

I was saddened by this, probably Harry’s first exposure to genuine grief. The Woog household is quiet today.

I have always had a cat. Fred lived to 19, Oscar to 16.

They were my friends. They were part of my life experience. I wept when they died.

Harry and I chatted for a while, and I was taken by his sudden maturity – he is about to have his seventh birthday.

He is growing up.

I thought overnight about what hurdles, emotions and experiences lie ahead for one so young.

As I said in my maiden post, I am in awe of nature and mankind, and how it all evolves so logically – nowhere better proven than in families.

So, in the one day, one little boy, Harry, through the death of his mate Wilson, continues the long journey of growing up with an experience of grief, one of many emotions which he will encounter. On the same day, my old teacher, Brian Couch, reached the end of a life and left the world a better place.

Go Harry!

The following poem by Rudyard Kipling completes my soliloquy.

Dad of Mrs Woog

IF you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
‘ Or walk with Kings – nor lose the common touch,
if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son