As some of you will know 'Bongy' died a few weeks ago and it has broken my heart in more ways than I can say. So I will say it by putting on here the speech I gave at his funeral a few weeks ago...
Bongy sounds like something out of a Harry Potter or Lord of the Ringsand I think thats apt as he was a magical being unlike any other. I amso lucky to have had a Bongy in my life, not many people have had thepleasure that I have for the last 25 years. Bongy was a one off, therewill never be another Bongy.
I have so many memories of him that it seems hard to put them down onpaper, or know where to begin. Bongy always had time for me, he wasalways there even during my truly terrible teens he could see thepotential in me and the best in me. He believed in me. Nathan put itwell the other day when he said 'Bongy was always interested in whatyou had to say no matter what'.
Bongy was a big influence in my childhood when I was in Newcastle hewould write me books about the good witch Esmerelda, her giant catMarmalade and the adventures that I had with them, most of whichreflected the times we shared together. Having looked at them recentlyI dont know how he illustrated, designed, wrote and even thought themup whilst doing everything else in his life, let alone have the timeto think them up. That was another thing all his children benefittedfrom as Miriam said 'he made up stories, lots and lots of stories.'
Another favourite memory of mine that I think shows Bong as he was,was my practical pet Rapunzel the duck. A pet that would keep meentertained and also provide food for the family (there were also ninehens but they were evil). What Bong didnt expect was a bird whothought it was human and should live in the house or the time I ranher over... she survived.
His grandchildren meant the world to him and keeping us all happy andbeing as Florence said 'daft as a brush' was one of his priorities.Making up characters he would play and chasing you round the housescreaming with glee, making up games like 'naughty nice or nonsense ornot at all' in bed - which he called 'the nest' and all his still having adventures only months ago when I came to visit and we climbed Matlock hill with my luggage in tow in 5 inch deep snow, it was all made into fun and a laugh, even though I was having a phenomenal sulk.
I dont think Bong ever thought he would have so many grandchildren he has ten including step grandchildren and what I think is so special is that he loved us all equally Emily said 'he made us feel so welcome we forgot we werent blood related, he was a truly magical man and put the magic into our childhood.' And shes right.
I will miss Bongy more than I can say, I am lucky as we all are to have had such a wonderful man in my life. From stories in bed to skiing in Bulgaria 9a holiday I didnt want to go on, but on it I went), from telling me 'there will always be a special part of my heart just for you' to rollercoasters in Florida which he was more excited about than me, he made my childhood the fun and special time that it was. So from me, Miriam, Seth, Florence, Beth, Alfie, Emma, Amy, Emily, Nathan and any grandchildren still to come, as we will never let Bongy be forgotten, I want to say thank you Bongy, thank you for being you, and helping make us who we are today.
Normal blogging will soon resume, I've just needed some time out!