Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Oh Carol




I’ve never composed an obituary for anyone before now; nor did I ever expect that I would sit here today in the face of my computer with the dexterous ambition of trying to write something admirable, sincere, open and genuine; about the death of a dear acquaintance. It had been my intention at first to write the briefest of necrologies about the passing of a friend known to me and many simply as Carol, who for five years was one of my neighbours’ on the Clays Lane Housing Co-operative, before it was forced to close to make way for the Olympics with all 550 residents being re-housed far and wide.
I have written much about the Lane on this blog during the last two years, about a very unique and diverse community unlike any other. But this piece is not solely about the Lane it’s about Carol who like many thousands over the years came to live on the Lane because they needed for one reason or the other to find 'shelter and put a roof' over their own heads. Therefore it would be candid and forthright to say that the Lane became a refuse for many of us who found not only a home, but through friendship a breathing space from personal if not many of life’s difficulties.
Carol was one such person and even after all the years that I knew her, only now dose it really become oblivious that Carol travelled along the rocky road of potholes, falling unintentionally and possibly more often than not into ditches of stagnation, unevenly misunderstood, by those that misunderstand, she was hurt and damaged by her own life’s journey or excursions to try to find peace and happiness and a place in the world; which in the end led her to the Lane and into the lives of many of us who became her friends and enjoyed in return her friendship during that last decade of her life, and I say, enjoyed her friendship not with a light or heavy hart, but with a hart of sincerity and now I hope with true clarity.

Carol came from that great city of Liverpool the birthplace of many great people who have made massive contributions to music, comedy and entertainment, the Scouser sense of hummer is legendary and Carol was never in sort supply of that, it was her humour and outward going personality that drew us all like iron filings to a magnet, she was always welcoming with an ability to make you feel well about yourself. Some of the most memorable times in my life was in the company of Carol and others.

While Carol was on the Lane living amongst her new friends in the East End of London, I think she was at her happiest, even though many hundreds of many miles away from her native Liverpool always she had family and friends who cared and loved her a great deal, but for reasons only really known to Carol she lost contact with that part of her life and speculation should play no part in these words about her; but I think she was the sort of person who really did not intend to burden others with her own problems and that pride had something to do with it along with a misplaced sense of failure.

Carol was a drinker, and I have to say, not the worst drinker in the world; I’ve been amongst the many in my time, so I have a very good understanding of what this addiction is capable of doing to any one of us, if its allowed to spiral out of control and get a hold. It had a hold of Carol in her latter years, because it was her way of trying to blackout emotional pain and hurt – trying to forget what we always remember.
The drink caused us her friends many problems when Carol had her fill, sometimes we fell out with her, did not speak for weeks, but it was always Carol who made the first moves of reconciliation, because deep down she had that big Liverpool hart, and that she was really one of life’s nicer people, but I think at the same time, she somehow refused to see that and instead accepted, that everything was her fault and deliberately looked for more pain and hurt. Because of this, she got involved for many years with a violent partner who I will only say, hospitalised Carol on many accessions and despite the many times we tried to dissuade her from taking him back, it always met with the negative, but towards the end of her life she did met someone else, and I am glad to say she found, albeit small and short-lived happier times. Yesterday I was able to attended her funeral which had been organised by her sister and her husband who have gone out of their way to be there for Carol; a couple of years ago they successfully traced and found Carol, which has meant that Carol was able to go back to Liverpool and see family and friends occasionally, but more impotently they were at Carol's side when after a brief six month fight against cancer was over; and she sadly died in a hospice - but not on her own!

In conclusion although Carol died at the young age of 49 she was a strong individual and scratch the surface there was always a kind person who really did not mean any harm, and I felt that it was right for my part to tell her three young daughters’ that mum always loved them; and never stopped loving them - that became very apparent to me and others!

Carol always 'remembering' you love - Jim


Oh, Carol, I am but a fool Darling,
I love you tho' you treat me cruel
You hurt me and you made me cry
But if you leave me I will surely die
Darling,there will never be another'Cause I love you so
Don't ever leave meSay you'll never go
I will always want you for my sweetheart
No matter what you do
Oh, Carol, I'm so in love with you
Oh, Carol, I am but a fool
Darling I love you tho' you treat me cruel
You hurt me and you made me cry
But if you leave me I will surely die
Darling, there will never be another
'Cause I love you so
Don't ever leave me
Say you'll never goI will always want you for my sweetheart
No matter what you do
Oh, Carol, I'm so in love with you




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