RIP John Prestwich MBE 24-11-1938 - 27-02-2006

Breeze Cottage

In hospital for 16 years, the first 7 in an iron lung, then in 1971 John married Maggie and for the next 35 years and until he passed away in 2006, his home was Breeze Cottage.

 

 
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Maggie's Tribute

MAGGIE’S TRIBUTE AT JOHN’S THANKSGIVING SERVICE

16.3.2006

I’d like to thank you all so very much for coming today to this service of Thanksgiving. Even though we are all here to bid a final farewell to my darling John, I want it to be a time of celebration and thanksgiving for his inspirational life.

Since he left us, I’ve been overwhelmed by the amount of cards, emails, telephone calls and letters I have received. Throughout them all that word ‘inspirational’ came up time and time again. John truly was an inspiration and I’m sure will continue to be for many years to come. As well as thanking you all for your love, care, support and prayers over the last few weeks, I’d also like to add – and I know that John would endorse my sentiments wholeheartedly – a huge thank you for your friendship and for all the help you have given us both in so many different ways over the years. The list would be far too long to mention everyone by name or profession - in any case – I’d be bound to leave someone out!

I feel very privileged to have shared John’s life for over 45 years and to have had such a close, happy and loving marriage. If the clock could be turned back I’d do it all again. For all those years he was the most important person in my life and I loved him more than words can express and I always will. During our marriage we were rarely apart for more than 12 hours a week so although there is now this enormous void in my life, for John’s sake I’m going to try to make every effort to be strong. I know that he would be very annoyed with me if I went to pieces! (At this stage I can’t decide whether to take up knitting or crochet!)

John’s strength of character, courage and determination to live his life as fully as possible was amazing and was - I have to admit - totally exhausting for me at times! But you all know John – he had this way with him so that before you knew it you were doing his bidding – well – nearly always! I certainly put MY foot down once or twice!

Inspite of having such an extensive disability for 50 years, he always had time for the needs of others and many of you have told me how he was of such help to you in so many ways with the advice he gave. He treated life as a challenge and overcame the many obstacles and frustrations which he encountered along the way. He bounced back every time, even from the major surgery and periods of hospitalisation he’d had over the years. This was undoubtedly due to his determination, strong will and (if I’m permitted to use the expression in a church!) sheer bloodymindedness! Sadly, this time it was all too much for him – his body had had enough. Over the last few weeks he did indeed experience tremendous pain and suffering. This was exacerbated beyond belief that during the major emergency surgery he underwent on February 7th, they’d needed to give him a tracheostomy to keep him ventilated. This meant that he was totally unable to communicate by voice. For almost 3 weeks this, understandably, caused him a tremendous amount of stress and utter frustration. Thankfully however, during the all too brief 15 minutes I was able to spend with him before he was taken to theatre for further surgery on the 27th, he was in good spirits. He was very relaxed and was really looking forward to the fact that he’d been told that the following day they were going to fix things so that he could speak. In the end it wasn’t to be and all too sadly it was to be the last time that we were together. All I can say is that I’m just so thankful that when the time came for him to ‘let go’ he was totally unconscious and therefore free from pain.

He is now undoubtedly at peace, free from his physical limitations and is in the presence of God and the angels, and more than likely is probably using those twinkling blue eyes to full effect and still taking charge as he always did!

I’d just like to ask you all to be constantly thankful as indeed I am, to have had the privilege of knowing and sharing the life of that most remarkable of men – John Prestwich.


 

 

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