The Burial of Mike’s Ashes, Friday 31st May
23 Jun 2013
At 2:30 a small gathering of 25 family and friends made a loving, supportive semi-circle around the beautiful spot in Clayhidon churchyard where Mike’s ashes will rest.
The glorious sunshine enhanced the abundant spring flowers, rolling hills and birdsong that seemed to be just for us during the silent moments. Continuing the Baker tradition we punctuated the short ceremony with 2 uplifting songs - a Thunderbridge Boys song ‘Keep on Walking’ and an old family favourite for long holiday drives - ‘It Takes a Worried Man’ sung by Chris Barber, Van Morrison and Lonnie Donegan from their skiffle sessions recorded in 1998. We used to tease Mike that this was his song, and he loved singing along to it.
I chose to read ‘Death is Nothing At All’ by Henry Scott Holland, a poem that sang to my soul and just felt so right. I could hear Mike saying the words;
Speak to me in the easy way you always would,
Put no difference into your tone,
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow,
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.
We also shared a poem Louise had written for Mike’s birthday and the last few lines summed it up for the 3 of us :-
United we stand, and together we’ll be,
As a three,
But always really a four.
After the ceremony everyone came back to our house, the Parlour (it was the milking parlour of the farm!), for tea, cakes and croquet - all still in beautiful sunshine so we were very lucky. It was a very memorable day. The girls and I kept saying how Mike would have loved the garden party!
We are now planning a fund-raising bike ride on September 7th and 8th 2013. Called the ‘Parlour to Puttsborough’ ride we will ride 60 Miles up and down the beautiful Devon hills starting at the Parlour, passing Clayhidon churchyard and ending at a favourite beach in North Devon called Puttsborough. The plan is to set up a just giving site to raise money for the Mike Baker memorial fund at Villiers Park Educational Trust.
We feel we have set ourselves some mountains to climb - I tell you, some of those little Devon hills feel like mountains to me...! - but we are determined - if Mike could do it then so can we! Any tips most welcome.
More information to follow shortly so keep a look out.
Love from us all,
Chrissy, Louise and Rachel