Wendy's life

This blog has been created as a celebration of the life of Wendy Margaret Cronin (born 16 October 1944 and died 10 October 2007). The blog owner (me) is Steve McRobb (aka Macro) - I was Wendy's partner and then husband for almost 30 years. To add comments or a post, you must be an invited friend or family member - email me if you knew Wendy and would like to join.

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Wendy's tree by Rutland Water

Last Friday at 2:00 we planted Wendy’s tree. Or rather, we planted Wendy’s ashes and two men from Greetham Garden Centre planted the tree. It’s a 14’ oak and it stands by the shore of Rutland Water, next to the path that loops round the Hambleton Peninsula. It was a lovely, sunny but windy afternoon, and it’s a beautiful spot. This google earth link shows you where it is (if you have Google Earth installed – you will need to download and run the attached file).

Most of Wendy’s ashes are around the roots of her tree, just as she wanted. We covered them with compost, and I placed to rest with her the silver Om pendant that she bought in Kerala in 1997. She hadn’t worn it much lately, preferring her trademark Charles Rennie Mackintosh pendant, and her cowrie (‘for valour’) that I now wear constantly. But I thought if there was ever a time to be held in the sacred breath of Brahman, this was it. Jane Flude also placed a few sprigs of rosemary from her garden there (‘rosemary for remembrance’). A little more of Wendy’s ashes we took to Harby cemetery, while the men did the hard tree-planting work. These we dug into the ground of her Mum and Dad’s grave, also just as she wanted.

In a week or so, Wendy’s bench will join her tree. She wanted people to be able to sit on her bench beneath her tree. When you do this, you will look across to Hambleton Old Hall and, over on the far side of the lake, the RSPB reserve at Edith Weston where the ospreys nest. To your right, you should see a dark green patch of mistletoe growing from the bushes above the fence. This is where I saw a robin, on another cold but perfect sunny day back in January when I cycled round the peninsula looking for the perfect spot. The robin chose the place for me.

The tree’s plaque wasn’t ready in time. So in case you visit before it's installed, this is what it will say:


Her bench will have a plaque with different words. I won’t tell you what they are now. You can read them when you sit on her bench to think about what she has left to us. However, it will be a while before you can fulfil her complete wish and sit beneath her tree. Oaks are long-lived but slow growing, and I think it will be a few decades before it will be big enough for that.

The very next morning, I looked out of my kitchen window to see the first little yellow daffodil flowering in the pot on the patio – Wendy’s cheerfulness had come to smile on me. You’re right, Heather, 'sunshine and oranges,' that’s what she’d say. But sometimes it’s the happy memories that make you cry. And that’s OK too.


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