I reread your email this afternoon while listening to Radio 3. The
BBCSO were playing Tchaikowsky's Pathetique so as you can imagine
there wasn't a dry eye in the house.
As ever, your eloquence in writing conveyed very well to me your memories
of our service together. I'm afraid that many moves have meant I no
longer have my copy of the letter you refer to but I do remember its
content with pride.
That rendition of the bassoon song could have gone either way couldn't
it? I'm forever grateful to the first member of the audience to laugh,
they turned it into the farce it became instead of a quiet embarrassment!
So many memories of Scotland and the Yacht... and of Margaret and
There is an advantage in knowing I'm dying and in my friends knowing
as well. Nature has very kindly made it easier for me by instilling,
not resignation, but acceptance, perhaps of the situation which has
given me the chance to say things I've always meant to say to those
closest to me. To tell my son and daughter how proud I am of them
as well as the grandsons and granddaughters they've blessed my life
with. To tell friends how important they were in my life and I include
you and Margaret amongst those.
You entitled your email huge sadness here... Please don't be sad,
I'm not. I'm thankful for a long and fruitful life where I've travelled
the world and met and laughed with a great number of wonderful people.
I remain in good spirits in the bosom (and my love of bosoms is well
documented) of my exceptional family including my son who's only an
hour away and his wife and boys.
Talk about me at reunions with not just a smile, but raucous laughter.
I'll be listening!
Please pass on my love and thanks to all who knew me in that wonderful
Band Service, I love you all!!!
Mike "Zoonie" Howarth
Mike requested that this letter be published on our web site.