RIP My Dear Friend


1 July 1942 – 27 April 2015

How can my playmate be old enough,
Sick enough,
To have to die?
We are still children in my mind
Still the young ones, laughing, joking, teasing, running around
Playing games …
How can it be
That the body
Housing this youthful spirit
Has suddenly aged,
Grown too weak and snapped
The thread of life cut off …
How can you, my friend and playmate,
Be all at once
No longer there?

“I Don’t Want To Play In Your Yard” written in 1894, lyrics by Philip Wingate, music by Henry W Petrie

See, see my playmate
Come out and play with me.
And bring your dollies three,
We’ll climb my apple tree.
Holler down my rain barrel,
Slide down my cellar door
And we’ll be jolly friends
Forever more.

I had the good fortune to be situated agewise in the middle between my dear friend Tiggy and her brother David. “Playmate” was Tiggy’s song, but it actually appealed and applied to the three of us.

I have no recollection of David playing with “dollies three” – this was in the years before Action Man had been conceived – and if we played in or around rain barrels (water butts in England) it wasn’t to holler down them but to splash one another. Sliding down cellar doors would have been fun, too, but we only knew vertical ones, not those placed on the diagonal (and wouldn’t such slides have involved getting splinters?). Climbing trees, however, was indeed on our agenda and I confess that apples were occasionally scrumped. David was like a brother to me, and somehow throughout the years and decades we retained that close, innocent, childlike friendship. I am so grateful for that.

Ill health crept up on him like an imperceptibly rising tide. Death came like a giant wave that knocks you off your feet. This time, he hasn’t stood up again. I can’t believe that my playmate has gone. But we’ll be jolly friends forever more.

RIP my dear friend.


5 thoughts on “RIP My Dear Friend

  1. Oh Cat I am crying for you here on the other side of the world. The loss of a playmate is indeed hard but you will have all those lovely memories to comfort you in the weeks, years ahead. Hugs from NZ 🙂

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