In grief, it is hard to imagine that you will be able to write that Eulogy, and especially during a time when all you want is to be left alone. From experience, I can only say that it is small comfort at the time that you mange to find the words…some words…any words, but one day you will be glad that you or someone else will get to articulate at a service or gathering all that has been lost – and celebrate all that had gone before.
My dearest Bronnie
18th January 2010
You know me well enough to know that I will not be the one standing here today reading this letter to you. It also, Bronnie, cannot contain the life you and I have shared and how I feel about you and that life. For that I would need another lifetime to explain what you have meant to me. What our life has meant.
If everything goes to plan it will be our son, Robbie who reads my words today. It is sad that he has been thrust into this role as he is just starting out on his own exciting and challenging path through life – not dissimilar to your own start. It is a testament to you though, Bronnie, that he is able to stand here today – such a handsome and accomplished young man. Who better could we have had to stand in your place? He represents the steadfast Fargo foundation you have instilled in all our children. That sense of duty and responsibility you were handed down from your own parents – the most shining examples of which can be seen in your brother Matt and his family and, of course, that most outstanding of women, your mother Barbara Fargo.
So, Bronnie, how could our children not be amazing? A mix of Sealy and Fargo they have a toolbox of resources to rely on. When one tool in the Fargo box doesn’t fit, they can look to their Sealy heritage for the answer, vice versa or a mix of both. Even Robbie and Tess have that West Indian vibe in them which they ironically first got from you and your love of the sea and extensive travels throughout West Africa and beyond. We should therefore not be surprised that our children have stepped up. Morgan has turned into a ‘little Mel’ (that is comforting or frightening depending on your viewpoint) – but she is well on her way to one day ruling that small country somewhere. Tessie, ever the wit, will one day put her exceptional writing skills to good use – probably in her first book about her struggles as a black woman! Hart has designated himself ‘Deputy Man of the House’ and, Bronnie, he is definitely a little you – personable and engaging to all. In touch with both his male and feminine sides he is equally happy in a dress on stage doing what he loves – acting – or making you proud on the rugby pitch.
Left to me you know I would just give the children permission to go and collapse in a corner somewhere. But the children you helped raise would never allow that. That sense of you and how things should be done lives on. Nothing has changed. Except it has. Everything has changed. Everything I thought I knew has changed.
We were supposed to grow old together. I was supposed to be “a challenge” to you for a lot longer than I got. Our friends would often ask “How on earth do you put up with her?” You said, “because she puts up with me; she is the very best part of me and I am the man I am today because of her.” I loved you for saying that, Bronnie, and I am who I am today because of you.
I will do my very best to ensure your spirit in the children lives on. That they continue to grow and explore and meet and touch as many people in life as you did Bronnie. There was nowhere on the face of this earth we have been where someone has not known you. Even when we went to St. Lucia for the first time – a place you had never been – someone came out of the woodwork who knew you – and of course they got a standing invitation to our dinner table. I always said to you, “Bronnie just because these people are from the West Indies does not necessarily mean they are good people.” But to you everyone was good people until proven otherwise. We would not have the rich tapestry of friends and family we do today but for your far reaching influence and larger than life aura. I will ensure that aura is always present in our cold, rambling farmhouse – the house we built together and that you loved dearly.
I will not lie. I feel diminished without you Bronnie. With you, my love, I was able to be weak and scared and put down that fierce armour which I have carried all my life. Bronnie, I miss you and if I did not know I would be letting your memory down badly, I would just find some corner to crawl into. As it is, I hope your children and their lives will bear testament to the fact that I did not let you down. Unlucky for them I will now have to be both the ‘bad guy’ and the ‘bad guy’. A role you know I have always been more than happy with.
Bronnie, “Granny Cyn”, as always, holds you close in her prayers and your brothers and sisters on this side of your family are doing you proud. You always said you have never met such a substantial group of people and that is also how they feel about you. What did we always say of our respective families? If these people were not our family, they are people we would choose to be with.
Your nieces and nephews are devastated Bronnie and they too are holding you close. They love you deeply and your influence on them (children everywhere) will never be forgotten.
My love, I will ensure you are laid to rest with your brother Robbie and your Dad in America. You are my husband but you are also a mother’s son and I know you would want to be near your mum and the homeland you grew up in. I also know you would want to be near your best friends who have been family to you your whole life. Your ashes, my love, will be placed on the seas on both sides of the pond and I will ensure a memorial place for you here in England where I know your friends will want to visit you for their own private or celebratory moments.
As in life, my love, I will keep part of you for myself and place you in the garden at home I built for your 50th birthday. I will sit there and we will talk and laugh like old times, I will remember our special word “24” and I will continue to love you.
I have been proud to be your wife Bronnie and the life we built. In Jody, Robbie, Tess, Morgan and Hart I see that together we did make a difference; I see that you made a difference. I see ‘Team Fargo’ and in honour of your memory my love I will make sure that never dies.
Your friend, “Melinda”