For this section of the story we will go back to Jac’s schooldays because it was while she was still at Kendal High School that she met her first love, a young man from Heversham Grammar School, and they were inseparable from then on, forming a long and happy relationship and, when their schooldays were over, living together, although never marrying.
He had been offered a place in Liverpool to study medicine and for this reason Jac chose to go there too for her teacher training course in order to be with him. He is now a much respected and successful doctor, acupuncture being one of his specialities.
His life however, was not all work – he was, from his youth, a very keen climber and in due course he was a member of the Lake District Mountain Rescue. He became a highly talented and well regarded mountaineer climbing with teams both K2 and Everest, and his determined work on behalf of the Sherpas is just one example of his caring spirit.
The relationship which he and our sister shared lasted, through many changes of direction, for the rest of her life and he has always been a much loved family friend.
He knew of her illness and had supported her throughout and when he was telephoned from the room in the Chester hospital where she lay dying he came down from the Lake District with wings on his heels. He spoke to Jac’s ‘Welsh’ sister on his mobile during this journey, suggesting the massage movements which she could best use to help her and she held her own mobile ‘phone to Jac’s ear so that he could speak gently to her. A nurse had told Jac’s sister that she could most probably still hear, although she was by now no longer conscious – as the sense of hearing is often still present.
Shortly after this her daughter, whom Jac’s sister had finally managed to contact, came in with her boyfriend and it was the most marvellous chance that she was able to talk to Jac, to stroke her hand and to be with her for this last precious moment.
Sadly, despite his speed, he did not reach her in time as she died not long before he arrived but he was able to give a simple and meaningful Buddhist blessing which we know was exactly right for Jac and what she would have wanted.
Our sister and he were so profoundly in love and inseparable for so many years that it seemed only fitting that her children acknowledging this, should choose to introduce him in the order of service which they had prepared for her funeral, as her “first love”.
She never ceased to love him.