Sunday, August 06, 2006

The Godfather

My Godfather died just over a week ago. It was unexpected. He was in hospital for 2 weeks having all sorts of tests, and biopsies. Jaundice had turned his skin yellow, and his muscles were wasting away. He was a big man, not as big as Marlon Brando, but powerful. It was shocking to see someone I know go downhill so fast. He was diagnosed with stomach cancer on the Friday, and he died two days later, early on Sunday morning.

He was known as 'Dickie' and is survived by his wife, five children and five grandchildren.

All my family are originally from the Isle of Barra, so the funeral was held up there after a funeral service was held in Paisley for those that couldn't make it to the Western Isles of Scotland.

The crossing from Oban to Barra on the Calmac ferry took 5 hours, and there was a short service in the church as soon as we landed in Castlebay. The church is at the top of the Pier Rd so the hearse did not have far to travel.

I last saw him on Thursday 27th July, and one week later he was buried in Eoligarry graveyard, near the remains of a medieval church. The single track road around Barra had a procession of over 60 cars to the cemetery. It's strange to think of him as gone, and never to see him again, but he was a good man and will be fondly remembered by all.

I have sixteen first cousins, two brothers and a sister, and all but one of us, could make it up to Barra. The last time I remember so many family together was in 1984 at my grandparents 50th Golden wedding anniversary, a huge party held at Dickie's house in Paisley.

Iain Mackinnon
Rest in peace.