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Charlotte Juarez's Going Home
Saturday, March 15

And Here She Would Rest
March 15, 2003
Dunlaw House

God Made Grandmothers Ö
To listen and care,
And hear a childís simple prayer;
To read stories and take time
For nonsense and rhyme.
He made grandmothers Ö
To laugh and chase sad times away,
To mend dreams that are broken,
And to brighten the day;
God made grandmothers special Ö
Like angels above;
To guide us and help us,
But mostly, to love!

(A card of my mothers, By Rebecca Barlow Jordan)

After breakfast, Nan and I began the day by planning a trip to town to get flowers for Grannyís graveside service. Our bed and breakfast host, Barbara, offered us a lift and we gratefully accepted.

My mother was proud to claim her Welsh heritage and, in honour of her Welsh father, a submarine pioneer who entered into "boy service" in the Royal Navy when he was about twelve years old rather than go down to work in Llanelliís mines, and who was killed ten days before the Great Warís armistice, Mother took me annually to Remembrance Sunday Services held every year on the Cressy. For her and her father, I had the florist put together a bouquet of daffodils and anemones, her favourite flowers. In full bloom, those bright red flowers resembled poppies for her father. The florist also had some nice cultured thistles, and I had her add some gypsum, too, because it reminded me of the gorse of the Sidlaws from our many walks there. Along with some carnations in memory of trips to the "gardens" at the foot of the Law to buy flowers and vegetables, these little remembrances made a nice tribute for her Dundee life and the love she gave me. We added a few mixed flower bouquets for those already lying at rest in the plot. I felt we had done well.

Nan must really like her exercise because she took me on a tour up to the West Port (prompting me to tell her the story of Bonnie Dundee, both the man and the song, along with a sampling of Covenanter/Jacobite history, 1689 Rebellion, Killiecrankie and Bonnie Dundeeís death there). She showed me where she and Stephanie got themselves lost last night. I told her that in my day, I would have avoided the West Port at night, even though I had from the time I was 15 till I was 17 worked during the Christmas holidays in a haberdasher and toy shop right at the foot of the Hawkie, or Hawkhill.

Once I explained to her what a haberdasher was, Nan said they did fine except when it came to trying to cross the street at the "roundabout." I had read on the web about the joys of driving round these traffic delights, and therefore had chosen that my family and I would be walkers instead of drivers. Well, apparently, so much for another of my great ideas.

We got back to Dunlaw House, after another nice walk up the Conshie, in plenty of time for Steve Mackie, from Rowan Executive Travel, to pick up us up to get on over to the Church at Bingham Terrace.

Steve picked us up in plenty of time. When we teased him about being early, he told us he came early because his last funeral was two or three weeks ago for his mother in law. Seems he went to the wrong place, and thought he was early at the right place since he was the only person there. He thought that was unusual, but was, to use my motherís word, "chuffed" that he was there to greet folks. But, in reality, by the time he figured out nobody was showing up because he was in the wrong location, and made a mad dash to where the services were, he arrived last and almost missed the funeral.

He tells me his wife at last saw the humour in the situation and has forgiven him Ė but I told him it were me Iím sure I could milk this sort of thing for a very long time!

I didnít realize our church building was almost touching the walled grounds of the Eastern Cemetery, once a fairly exclusive cemetery for the well to do, which we certainly werenít. I now understand how much emphasis my family must have had on showing respect for the dead when they bought two side by side cemetery plots there. We passed headstones of jute managers, town councilmen, and a high commissioner for Ceylon on the way to our plot.

Part of me wants to say my mother and family are resting in good company; part of me wants to just recognize that death is the final leveler of humanity.

I recognized our plot by the granite vase holder there that I used to help my mother fill with flowers for Uncle Eric. I was glad we had a nice selection of flowers for all our family members there.

Our service was simple.

My mother loved the McCrimmon version of the Lordís My Shepherd and the two dozen or so of us who were there, family and friends, not to mourn but to honor my mother (and Iím not accidentally on purpose quoting Shakespeare Ė it just seems the right way to put things) sang it beautifully without music.

Ina Clancy, a woman my motherís age who had known my mother many years of her life, as well as me and my Granny from when her husband, Dennis, had sung in the variety shows at the Palace Theater when my Granny then worked in the box office, offered the opening prayer, expressing love for my mother and appreciation for knowing her. She acknowledged my motherís love of Scotland and said in her prayer how wonderful it was that she had come home "where she belonged" to a final rest with family and friends.

I represented my motherís family, and said a few words about my motherís sacrifices for me and her love for her grandchildren and their children. I noted she was "Dundee all her life" and never stopped saying "eh" for "I" and that she felt everybody in America had an accent except her. I recounted that it wasnít unusual for her to get frustrated that Scottish English and American English were so different, and I saw my children smile. My mum would get so mad when people would make comments to her about how well she spoke English! Depending on her mood, sheíd either give these folks a right telling off, or just lead them on about the hours and the efforts she had to put in to understanding Americans.

Bishop Campbell, just a lad when my mother and I were in Scotland and I was a young thing, too, gave a lovely talk about families, and the resurrection, and the miracle of life and death from our first breath at birth to our last moment on this earth.

President Clancy, another bairn Ė younger than me Ė during our time and now a fine man with a wonderful ability to lead the Church in Dundee, with a beautiful family, dedicated the grave for my motherís final resting place for her and the others previously interred there, which was very comforting. He included a blessing upon us, my motherís family, that we would be safe and draw close to each other. Very, very comforting at this time and inspiring to me as I think of the grandmother and mother I want to be now that Iím the head of this clan.

We had a beautiful day with a little wind, a sky full of white fluffy clouds in bright sunshine and warmth and love among reunited friends.

The cemetery representative gently placed my motherís little casket in the earth and gave a respectful bow towards her remains. I shall remember this respect for a very long time. We sang God Be With You Till We Meet Again. And there were tears of love.

We came back to Dunlaw House Hotel for the cup of tea that wasnít Ė because no one in attendance is a tea or coffee drinker Ė and a nice lunch that my mother would have enjoyed, especially the shortie and strawberry tarts. We had lovely sandwiches and sausage rolls, and if I had remembered I would have asked for plenty of "biled ham raw" that my mother always said was funeral fare. And she would have had that missing cup of tea, Mormon or no!

I think I can best describe the get together that followed by quoting a few comments from the words written in my motherís remembrance book that her friends and mine signed for her today: "Iím glad your motherís back here among us," and "Iím sorry I didnít get to know Carol as well as Iíd like, but I could certainly keep you busy for a while telling tales about Charlotte." My mother would have liked that.

When our guests left, my older girls decided to go shopping and my little tour group of me and my two grandchildren remained. I thought Iíd take them to Camperdown Park to see the Wildlife Park there, but we were in late afternoon by then. Instead, after a walk Lochee way along by the Berrick Park, we found the Dundee Circular bus, which took us on an hour long tour around Dundee. I was able to revisit some of the places Joy had taken us and enjoyed listening to Xylia give Nathan "the tour" from the Hilltown to the Schemes then on to the Ferry (Broughty, the place without a ferry and she had fun confusing him this time) to Blackscroft and back down to the Wellgate. We got off the bus at Peter Street, behind Markieís pend only partly because Nathan, who has a tendency towards travel sickness, was starting to look just a wee bit green.

Our walk then wound our way along the by now familiar streets of "doon the toon" to Fisher and Donaldsonís in Crichton Street to have an afternoon tea together (a treat in my childhood.) Itís a small world, indeed, because our waitress there was one of the members of the Church who had not been able to attend the graveside services because she had to work. She said kind words to us that added another link added to the chain of support.

We started our walk home towards our beloved Conshie Brae, but passing the taxi stand I changed my mind, deciding that once a day up the brae is all the exercise I need.

Tomorrow is our first touring day. Steve has promised us a surprise for lunch. Grannyís gift of Scotland to her grandchildren will begin soon.

Proud to be a McIntosh

At Symers Street with my grandmother, me and my son, John, in 1969

In California in the 1980ís

My Motherís Attitude on Life

Whaís Like US?
Damn Few and Theyíre a Deid!

The average Englishman in the home he calls his castle, slips into
his national costume Ė a shabby raincoat Ė patented by chemist
Charles Macintosh from Glasgow, Scotland.

En route to his office he strides along the English lane, surfaced by
John Macadam, of Ayr, Scotland.

He drives an English car fitted with tyres invented by
John Boyd Dunlop,
Veterinary surgeon of Dreghorn, Scotland

At the office he receives the mail bearing adhesive stamps invented by
John Chalmers, Bookseller and Printer of Dundee, Scotland.

During the day he uses the telephone invented by
Alexander Graham Bell, born in Edinburgh, Scotland.

At home in the evening his daughter pedals her bicycle invented by
Kirkpatrick Macmillan, Blacksmith of Thornhill, Dumfriesshire, Scotland.

He watches the news on TV, an invention of
John Logie Baird of Helensburgh, Scotland,

and hears an item about the US Navy founded by
John Paul Jones of Kirkbean, Scotland.

Nowhere can an Englishman turn to escape the ingenuity of the Scots.

He has by now been reminded too much of Scotland and in desperation he picks up the Bible, only to find that the first man mentioned in the good book is a
Scottish King, James VI,
who authorized its translation.

He could take to drink but the Scots make the best in the world.

He could take a rifle and end it all but the breech loading rifle was invented by
Captain Patrick Ferguson of Pit fours, Scotland.

If he escaped death, he could find himself on an operating table injected with penicillin, discovered by
Sir Alexander Fleming of Darvel, Scotland,

and given chloroform, an anaesthetic discovered by
Sir James Young, Surgeon, Obstetrician and Gynecologist of Bathgate, Scotland.

Out of the anaesthetic he would find no comfort in learning that he was
safe as the Bank of England founded by
William Paterson of Dumfries, Scotland.

Perhaps his only remaining hope would be to get a transfusion of guid Scottish blood which would entitle him to ask Ė

"Whaís Like Us?"

Remembering my mother

St Salvadorís Church, built 1838

Eastern Cemetery from Lair MM1489

From a card I bought at Greyfriars Kirk, Edinburgh

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