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They broke the mold

April 17, 2012

Hope went to a funeral 2 weeks ago … We drove down to the beautiful Surrey village the night before and she spent a night in her pink travel basket beside me in a slightly smokey smelling room above a pub. We woke up to a glorious sun shiny kind of a day looking out over a very pretty view up to a lovely church in Lingfield.

We had breakfast, Hope had lots and lots and lots of breakfast so she was drowsy and contented by the time we went to the church, and we met some friends before hand and walked over to take part in quite the most beautiful, and one of the most heartbreaking services I’ve ever attended.

Crispin Moor was a chap who loved life, who utterly adored his family and how worked with great integrity with a belief in doing what he could to make the world (or his part of it at least) as good a place as it could be. He led by example, he laughed, he was mischievous, and he thought hard about all he did. He wasn’t dull though. Always good company, always there to listen and to inspire, and he will be horribly sadly missed by not just his lovely wife and beautiful young daughters but all his family, colleagues and friends. He never met Hope, but I know he was thrilled by her birth, and she has some pretty big footsteps to follow in but will be walking in a world that was made lighter and brighter due to Crispin’s influence.

He will be someone in the background of conversations she has with me over years to come and with her Godfather Justin and Auntie Jude.

So tragic to lose someone so young (he passed away a few days before his 50th birthday having lost a battle with an insidious brain tumour), but such an honour to be a part of a wonderful tribute. We heard from family, friends and work colleagues of a man who engendered trust, a young man who pushed the boundaries and a child who was a cheeky chatterbox and a father who loved his daughters and a husband who thought the world of his wife. We were read a little of a letter he had written to his wife not long before he was to “exit stage left” (his words) in which she / we were urged to “grieve, and grieve well” … heartfelt and touching words which showed the courage of the man who also knew that to grieve well would help everyone to continue their lives keeping him in mind.

I shall miss him and I’m so sad Hope won’t get to know him in person. I helped his wife and other friends to put together a book of recollections, tributes and memories of Crispin for his children to read in the future so they could get to know a little of the man their father was other than being their Dad. It got me thinking, as I do often, of the importance of friends and family and also of taking care of those you love … and has had me holding Hope that little bit closer ever since. When Daddy died 3 years ago I found out so much then that I’ll never be able to ask him about and I know how much that book will come to mean to them.

Hope was a model child throughout the funeral, not a peep from her (although as soon as it ended she did manage 4 changes of nappy and 2 new outfits within 15 minutes – but thankfully the church had excellent baby changing facilities). I wondered if it would bother people having her there (although I had of course checked with Crispin’s family before taking her), but quite the opposite. A couple of people actually thanked me for bringing a baby, “a sign of Hope for the future” they said, and when they asked her name … well … that’s when tears and smiles came again. She brings light wherever she goes bless her.

After the service, we all drank and ate and chatted in the aisle of the church, the sun filtering through the glass and stories of a wonderful man being shared while the children ran around and somehow it all felt very calm and somehow happy amongst the heartbreak. We were drinking his brother’s apple juice which was lovely … and then we went to the pub (also fitting) and although there were no pies to be had we did have a pint in his honour.

Hope slept all the way home, and has had to listen to stories of how a good man listened to her Mummy deciding if she had the courage to go forward with the IVF process. Crispin encouraged me to go ahead with it and his love for his family and stories of the girls was one of the lights I followed during the long journey leading to Hope’s arrival.

Crispin was a Christian, that made his funeral less sad and more special somehow, knowing that he was able to look forward to a life with Christ and knew he would be seeing his friends and family again ‘Further up the Road’… odd that this was the song that was played on the CD player in the operating theatre when Hope was born, and it was the song we played in the car on the way back to Cambridge which she fell asleep listening to.

It is another Springsteen song which I’m thinking about right now though and sums up Crispin … Terry’s Song … a very moving tribute to his friend Terry Macgovern when he died… and this lyric seems fitting:

“love is a power greater than death, just like the songs and stories told
… when she built you, brother, she broke the mold”

Rest in Peace my friend, I (and Hope) will be seeing you “Further on up the Road” and in the meantime I’ll be making sure Hope is fully rural proofed, and in due course introduced to pies and pints. x

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