When traveling life’s journey it’s good to have a sister’s hand to hold on to.

And so dear listener, can I thank all of those who, on Facebook last Sunday, sent what seemed like millions of likes (basically reactions if you don’t know Facebook) and a similar number of good wishes when I broke the bad news about my sister Sheila who had passed away just a few days previously?

Some folk had been keeping in real close touch with me and I’d already contacted them but there were others to whom I’d mentioned it in passing so I thought I’d use Facebook to tell them.

Wow!!!!!! I was overwhelmed. Thanks.

So, yes, my sister Sheila has passed on as people say on these occasions and her funeral is planned for a few days from now. There are reasons for that so it’s not a delay; there’s some folk away who I know would like to be there and some other stuff. I’ll maybe tell you more when it’s all over. In fact I will. It’s part of the sharing that has been a major part of the blog over the years and that will continue.

However, I have now lost one of my listeners. Sheila listened (you know what I mean). She had a wide range of mobile devices which I now have and the mobile phone, which had various alarms on it, had one for Saturday mornings at 11……’Read John’s Blog’……and it’s (ignore any errors in tenses) quite worrying knowing that my older sister has been reading what I get up to (or did).

But she guessed some of it……way back we were brought up in Peterhead and a few years ago she did ask whether I’d ever gone out on a fishing boat.

‘A couple of times.’

‘Did mum know?’

Of course not!!!!!

So there may be some memories and I may well tell you a wee bit more about her last few months and how we all watched the cancers take hold despite the brilliant efforts of the NHS Beatson nurses and how, at times, we were reminded of the last days of my mum which was when my social drinking became an alcoholic habit…….but that’s also for another time……

So it’s going to take me a wee while to settle down. Trips to the Beatson were almost on a daily basis altho’ I did try to take the odd day off or sleeping as lightly as I could, whilst waiting for the phone to ring and towards the end, the number of offers I was getting of lifts because sometimes it’s difficult to concentrate on the driving away, isn’t it?

In my own days of radiotherapy, as soon as my treatment was done for the day, I was into my car and up the road with very loud music the order of the day.

Mind you I kinda miss the daily walks around the pond. But I don’t miss the Pond (wee west end gag there for some of you)

I miss the nurses and other medical staff. I don’t think I gave my number out to as many nurses in the days of Clatty Pats as I’ve done recently. It was Jan who phoned me.

‘I’m not saying you should get down here now but…….’

My neighbour gave me a lift but I was late by a few minutes (as was my son) but we still spent some time with her – knocking each time we went in. It was a habit. And I won’t tell you what I said. That’s between me and my sister.

The Beatson folk were still brilliant at that moment and everyone took their time and explained what was happening. I/we owe them a lot.

For many, many reasons.

My sister was a great supporter of Celtic Connections and people like Phil Cunningham and Aly Bain and enjoyed music like this.

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