Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Just Stop There

Taken just a month ago.

Some years ago I was standing on the footpath outside church talking to Ernie (as a child I called him Uncle Ern, not a blood relation but family all the same) and a man came storming down the steps from the church and started tearing strips off me. The man was so angry and aggressive that he was not only not very articulate, he was barely even comprehensible. I had no idea what he was angry about and he wasn't really enlightening me but the rage was palpable and threatening. In my shock and fear I waited for the outburst to end, desperately wanting to jump in the car and get away from the scene as quickly as possible.
Ernie not only challenged my attacker but he stopped me from fleeing. With a hand on my arm and a firm "Stop There" he asked me to stand my ground in a very literal way. Still fretful a minute or two later, I was making noises about leaving and again he stopped me "You did nothing wrong. Stop here with me for a bit longer"

On the shortest day of the year, when the weather was wet and cold, Ern unexpectedly left us, although he had told Ettie he was "on his way".

Out of the many, many stories I could tell of him, I chose this one because it so perfectly illustrates the way that he always, always had my back.

So long, my friend. I'll see you again.

27 comments:

  1. What a lovely way to remember him, and a beautiful tribute.

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  2. What a very nice thing for him to do. What do you mean "tearing strips off me"?

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    1. Tearing strips off someone just means a critical attack. The expression is good at naming the way an attack like that makes one feel.

      If I had seen such an attack I would have been too shocked to be able to think but he handled it. There was no shouting or anything, just a firm voice and direct eye

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    2. Okay, I thought your skin was being ripped off! I was frightened for you. But, a verbal attack can be hurtful and so unnerving.

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  3. A great tribute to a grand man. RIP.

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    1. He really was. he also issued a lot of instructions which sometimes got people offended but they didnt realise it was always with care

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  4. I wish I'd had an Uncle Ern in my life. I'm sorry for your loss, though the memory of him will be with you always.
    Sx

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    1. I really was lucky, especially because my own grandfathers didn't live to see me reach adulthood

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  5. Hi Kylie, just to let you know that i’ve subscribed to your blog. This way I should get all your posts delivered to me. I won’t miss one from now on.

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  6. I'm sorry you have lost a friend and support, kylie. He sounds like what I grew up thinking of as a real gentleman - a person who respects and protects others, especially when they are vulnerable. And he taught you to stand up for yourself, a valuable tool in life.

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    1. If it had been left to me, I would have drifted away way back when I was a young adult but he insisted on a birthday lunch every year and I couldn't refuse that. Eventually I wised up and started to try living up to his image of me. I'm glad I was given enough time to figure that out

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  7. Wonderful story. May his memory last forever in your heart.

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    1. He knew me for about half his life but I knew him for all of mine so he should be burned well into my memory!

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  8. I'm sorry for the loss of your friend who changed your life forever.

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    1. Thanks Red. I'm very pleased that he was healthy and happy right up to his last couple of days and I spoke to him only a couple of weeks ago.
      A woman had been conning elderly people at the local shops and had stolen $30K in total. He had actually been a potential victim but got irritated with her and told her to go away so he was quite chuffed that he managed to keep his money!

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  9. What a wonderful story. He had quite a nerve to stand up to such an angry and aggressive man so you didn't have to leave after all. I would probably have done the same as you and just tried to get away.

    I'm sorry you've lost such a good friend.

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    1. He did welding on ships in Sydney harbour during WW2 and was one of the few who would work at height so yes, he could hold his nerve!

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  10. Thanks for bringing Ern into Blogland to say goodbye... I remain puzzled about the angry man. What was his beef? Good on Ern for standing his ground.

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    1. Ern was the Australian with Yorkshire roots I told you about. That is probably no surprise though!
      The angry man? I guess something annoyed him and I seemed a good whipping post....

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  11. He sounds like a lovely protective man. I'm really sorry for your loss, but isn't wonderful to know that you'll see him again one day?

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    1. yes, it is! it's also pretty good to know that he is reunited with his daughter who died 48 years ago.

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    2. I should add that she was on holiday in London at the time and they couldn't afford to bring her home so there was pain on top of pain with that situation

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  12. I'm very sorry for your loss, Kylie.

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  13. I'm very sorry for your loss, Kylie.

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