Memories of Neil

Catharine writes:
It was an incredible priviliege to share nearly 40 years of marriage with Neil. In the end, no matter what he could always make me laugh. I remember one particular December evening there in our beloved Farmhouse home in the heart of Victoria village.
On dark nights like this one I always made sure to place candles of all sizes on an ancient dining room table (we had bought this one for $35 from neighbours who were moving out as we were moving in).
On this winter evening I had set a scrumptious Shepherd’s Pie in front of Neil so he could serve us both. As he reached across the table to hand me my plateful, the fuzzy sleeve of his bright red dressing gown caught fire.
To my horror, the flames began to run up his arm. Neil calmly stood up, stepped our from the table and moved steadily towards the kitchen, saying calmly to me “Catharine, don’t panic!”
I followed him out to the kitchen, picked up a big green canister of flour from the counter and threw the contents over him. The fire went out. Neil returned to our meal as though nothing had happened.
Sitting there in his black-tinged dressing gown while I dissolved in near-hysterical laughter.
Many times since, in moments of crisis, those words “Catharine, don’t panic!” have returned to stand me in good stead.

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