For this section of Jac’s story we will go back to her school days 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 from then on they were inseparable. They formed a long and happy relationship and, when their schooldays were over, lived together although never marrying.
He had been offered a place in Liverpool to study medicine and for this reason Jac chose to enrol there 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 their lives 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 soothe 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 it was likely that she was still able to hear, although she was by now no longer conscious — as the sense of hearing is often still present in times like these.
Shortly after this her daughter, whom Jac’s sister had finally managed to contact, arrived 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 the last precious moment.
Sadly, despite his speed, he could not reach her in time as she died not long before he reached the hospital but he was able to give a simple and meaningful Buddhist blessing at her bedside which we know was exactly right for Jac and what she would have wanted.
Our sister and he had loved each other so profoundly, and had been together for so many years, that it seemed only fitting that her children, in acknowledging this, should choose to introduce him in the order of service which they had prepared for her funeral as her ‘first love’.
Throughout her life she never ceased to love him.