We lost my Father-in-law on 2nd September very suddenly and it was a great shock to us all. These few weeks have been hectic but now we are starting to reflect on what a great Dad, Father-in-law and Grandad he was and my sister-in-law found the speech he gave at her wedding in 1986 and it is incredibly clever. It probably won't mean the same to anyone else but I want to share his words with the world as a tribute to him. I wish we had all taken the time to tell him how wonderful he was when he was still here.
"When making a speech you must first plan.
This made me think how words beginning with “P” had affected my life.
I thought of the past, I thought of Pennie and I thought of my life’s path.
I was born in Putney and my name was Pearce. My Dad died when I was 7 so we were poor. My Mother had to work as a char to supplement her widows pension to bring up 3 boys. When I think of her, I am very proud.
Leaving school at 14 to work for the family finances. In those days eleven shillings and sixpence didn’t go far and when I got a raise at 15 it was riches.
After the war, things started to improve as living conditions got better.
In 1954 I met Pam and from a person became one of a pair, and in 1955 we became partners. (That’s I to we and if you say it twice, that’s we we, so you could stretch that to a “P”).
In 1959 we bought our house which was just property but it soon became a home as we became parents.
This bought problems and pressures but also pleasure and pride.
The children came as planned (that’s my story anyway). They grew with patience, pain and at times panic to a peak in 1985 and now we are parting one by one.
Pennie and Gordon…….. You have served your probation, now starts the path through life.
I believe some advice is called for at this time, the best I can do is this…
Strive to be perfect but remember you are not.
Pardon others who are also not.
Be proud of your life as we are.
Be proud of your children as we are.
Find a time for play and also privacy. (There will be times you can’t stand one another… it’s normal, just separate for a while…. Another room will do).
Remember, “least said, soonest mended” and “count to ten” (God the times my Mum’s advice saved me from doing murder).
Most important, (and I always feel that I didn’t do as well as I might have at this), the most precious gift you can give is your time, particularly with children. Some of my happiest memories are of Pam with the children investing time in happiness.
I wish you all peace and plenty and thank you all for coming to make Pennie and Gordon’s day.
Enjoy the party.
The toast is Pennie & Gordon …. Mr & Mrs Hayes. "
Copyright R E Pearce 14th June 1986.