Entrance Music – The Black Sheep's Song
Words of Welcome
Good-afternoon, may I on behalf of Jacqui's family, thank you all for being with us today, and may I extend a welcome to this place. For the next half an hour or so our aim is to remember and celebrate Jacqui's life.
You will be aware that Jacqui passed away quickly and peacefully on the 10th of December, she was just 50, a much loved fiancé to Colin, devoted mother to Kye Alice and Basil. and beloved daughter to Frank.
Although I did not have the privilege or opportunity to meet Jacqui myself, she was described to me by her family as being an incredibly determined person, loving as well as being emotionally and intellectually educated. A lady who lived her life to the full, and cared passionately for the wider world which reflected in the care that she offered to the people that she met in her day to day life.
I would like to share with you a reading, adapted by Colin, a letter from Gaia.
To my dearest family, some things I'd like to say.
But first of all, to let you know, that I arrived okay.
I'm sending this from spirit, where I dwell with stars above.
Here there are no tears of sadness; Here is just eternal love.
Please do not be unhappy just because I'm out of sight.
Remember that I am with you every morning, noon and night.
That day I had to leave you when my life on earth was through.
Mother Nature came and hugged me and she said, "I welcome you.
It's good to have you back again, I missed you while you were gone.
As for your dearest family, They'll be here later on.
She gave me a list of things, that she wished for me to do.
And foremost on the list, was to watch and care for you.
And when you lie in bed at night the day's chores put to flight.
Remember I am close to you....I'll hold you through the night.
When you think of my life on earth, and all those loving years.
Because you are only human, they are bound to bring you tears.
But do not be afraid to cry: it does relieve the pain.
Remember that there are no flowers, unless there is some rain.
I wish that I could tell you all of Mother Natures' plans.
But if I were to tell you, then you wouldn't understand.
One thing is now for certain, though my life on earth is done.
I'm closer to you now, than I've ever really come.
There are many roads ahead of you and many hills to climb;
But together we can do it, taking one day at a time.
It was always my philosophy and I'd like it for you too;
That as you give unto the world, the world will give to you.
If you can help somebody who's in sorrow or in pain;
Then you can say with pride at night......"My day was not in vain."
And now I am contented....that my life was all worthwhile.
Knowing as I passed along the way, I made somebody smile.
So if you meet somebody who is sad and feeling low;
Just lend a hand to pick them up, as on your way you go.
When you're walking down the street and you've got Me on your mind;
I'm walking in your footsteps, only half a step behind.
And when it's time for you to go....from that body to be free.
Remember, you're not going.....you'll be coming home to Me.
Tribute to Jacqui
Jacqui would arrive into this world in Westhill Hospital, Dartford , Kent on the 30th of March 1965, and as was Christened in “The New Church” in Northfleet, Kent. It was natural for her to attend the local Instead Rise infants and Junior Schools, being a bright young lady she would pass her eleven plus and be accepted for Gravesend Grammar School for Girls. Frank tells me that even as a young lady Jacqui was an avid book reader, and possessed an incredibly inquisitive mind, by all accounts her creativity shone through at an early age and her hands were seldom still.
At the age of 18 she would go to Technical College and gained an “A Level” in Fine Art & The History of Art. Her father recalls with pride how he would accompany his daughter to Italy, were they spent their holiday journeying around many of the major art galleries of Florence. According to Frank, it soon became apparent that Jacqui (even in her teens) was proving to be something of an expert on the paintings and sculptors of the renaissance. Everywhere they went Jacqui would take the opportunity to tell her father all about the History of the artwork that they saw, without doubt an amazing and memorable holiday for them both.
Jacqui could be thought as, as a free spirit She would gain her first Motor Bike at the age of 16, (and had three over the years). but her pride and joy and was her VW Camper T3, brown and cream, but more of her adventures in a moment. She would complete her formal education by reading English Language and English Literature at Liverpool University, where she gained a Degree, First Class, with Honours! I have to say that when I met with her father, Colin and Jacqui's children, Kye, Alice and Basil what what stood out for me was a sense of Jacqui's uniqueness, her life was coloured by her sense of adventure, she certainly had her own style.
Many of you will be aware that Jacqui would travel widely, at one point packing up her life, buying a caravan and driving through Europe with her children with a cat and a dog for good measure. If your thoughts are filled of hot balmy days having picnics near vineyards then this is only half of the story.
With Jacqui it was about crossing the Pyrenees in the Winter-time, it perhaps wasn't surprising that she would break down near the summit of a mountain. Jacqui was not at all phased by this and decided to call her own personal “RAC”, in the shape of Frank who was at home in England. Frank recalled the conversation clearly, that went something like “Dad, I'm on this mountain and I need a new engine”. Later when the engine did not materialise she improvised instructions for her Dad to enable her to purchase a 52 seat Mercedes school bus, over the next three months with the children she would strip out the seats, and make a new home - making it comfortable by furnishing it with a wood burner, a gas stove and for good measure a rabbit. If any of you are tempted to complain about the weather here in Torbay then in comparison the winter conditions in the Pyrenees can make them seem less than significant. The children told me stories of Jacqui, bring in the gas bottle in the morning and hugging it, in order to thaw out the frozen fuel inside, so that they could have a hot drink.
Her time abroad was not the easiest of her life, at one point she literally found herself at the airport in Spain with little more than the clothes on her back. Once again she would telephone her father, who arranged for her passage home, and once back with her father , Jacqui started again from scratch and built up her life again.
There was one particularly important meeting in 2009, however I am not equipped to speak about this, so instead I would like to offer Colin to share with us some of his memories.
Tribute by Colin
When Jax returned to her father after her life in Spain, she was separated from everything she had striven to be in her life. She was incredibly focused and determined to start life anew. She set about making goals and working hard to get them, taking any work she could and earning her way into a new life.
One of her goals was to get a motorcycle so that she could make her way around the country selling her wares and her talents at music festivals. It was thanks to this motorcycle, and indeed her father for helping her buy it, that we met. It had an issue that I fixed on the spot, and when she left, we just had the urge to hug each other. The next day, I was driving and she was getting on her bike at the side of the road as I drove past, and my heart nearly left the car to be with her. I knew I had to get in touch with her and called her that evening.
She agreed to come and have lunch with me at my home. A quiet date to get to know each other and to be honest, she never really left. I spent many hours and drove several hundred miles that summer, following her around the festivals, helping out or just being there with her. She told me her stories and I told her mine. It became very obvious to us both that we would be happy together and we wasted no time in being together.
At the time I worked in a shop that had seen its' best days pass, and we spoke a lot about opening our own place together. Not long afterwards, the shop I was at was obviously being run down and circumstance led us to find our first workshop. Being so together, Jacqui and Colin gave birth to Jaccol Motorcycles, something that gave us both ALMOST as much pride as our own children.
Without question, or even the need to ask, Jacqui accepted my children into her life as her own, as they did her. I am sure Siobhan and Zachary will miss her as much as any child who loses a parent and it is with Jacquis' children that I can honestly say I was humbly proud to help. Her son Kye was living in Kent, having left Jacqui in Spain to return to school in England and now in his early twenties, I was proud to be able to start to re-unite them, driving her across the country at the drop of a hat to see him. Her daughter Alice stayed in Spain and although they kept in touch regularly, the need to see each other was clear to me, and I wanted to make sure they would be together for Christmas so, with pride and love, I drove her all the way to Altea, near Benidorm, just to make sure they were.
As time went on, and Spain became less affordable, Alice asked to come home. Not an easy ask as she had a long standing boyfriend, 2 dogs and seven years of belongings. Jacqui and I never questioned each other, or even needed to discuss it. We just knew that we were both happy to help, and with a little planning, we bought a van, and made the journey a second time. 2300 miles round trip in an LDV minibus at 55 mph, and they were home.
As time went on, Alice managed to get in touch with Jacquis' last, lost son, Basil. Living with his Father in Liverpool and separated from Jacqui when she lived in Spain, there was no question in my mind of what I could do, and as soon as the arrangements were made, 600 more miles flew by and the joy in Jacquis' face when Basil arrived home will swell my heart for the rest of my days.
There are so many more stories of Love and determination I could tell about Jacqui, but alongside her literature, and most definitely knitting, the foremost was her love, pride and determination to make Jaccol Motorcycles the success that it is today. I may be the spanner behind the scenes, but she was definitely the public face, and the pride she had in our new shop in Preston was almost as high as the pride she had in all of our children.
Serving our customers and presenting them all with a shop they could not only trust, but feel a part of, made the shop seem somehow alive in its' own right and although she may no longer be there in body, she will always be a part of Jaccol Motorcycles.
Indeed she will always be a part of me too. In my life I have had partners, marriages and children, but I have never felt so alive, or so complete, as when Jacqui was at my side. She will always be in my heart, and in my soul, but there will always be a gap next to me that she will no longer fill. I have the greatest challenge ahead of me, and it is one that we all can be a part of. To live for her. To make this life everything that she wanted it to be, but to do so in her honour, instead of in her presence.
Continued Tribute to Jacqui
Colin has (probably) mentioned how much Jacqui was valued by the customers who came into the Bike Shop, here as a couple they would offer not only mechanical support but also emotional support and advice to those who brought their troubles to their counter. Jacqui proved to be incredibly kind, patient and wise. Although she did once say that she probably had more chance of seeing a unicorn than going through a day without having to deal with a fucktard.
She was incredibly dedicated to her business and it was partly down to her hard work, determination and good instincts, that it would grow from a small workshop in the backstreets of Torquay to what it is now.
However it was not all work, today is also about those special things that caused Jacqui to be happy, the sort of things that made her smile and the memories that she would want you to take from this place today.
Perhaps some of you will remember her for the colour of her hair, or of her love of music festivals such as Glastonbury which may find Jacqui selling jewellery, face painting, creating beautiful Henna tattoos or sitting down with a deck of Tarot cards.
Some of you will remember her Glass Painting and coloured window Lead Lining, Kye said that when he was spending time with his mother in her workshop the “Transformer Room” in Wallesey, he would naturally join in with her classes. Having inherited his mothers creativity, he managed to be able to produce stain glass windows by the time he was nine years old.
Creativity literally was part of who she was, from painting the signage above the shop, and getting sun stroke into the bargain, to producing beautiful and intricate water colour portraits of her grandmother.
We cannot let today go by without mentioning her love of Knitting which was her escape and probably her top favourite creative pass-time and she had just began an NVQ in Knitting.
Her most recent project was the redesigning of a traditional Norwegian Sweater Pattern, to be adapted and reworked for a more modern garment. This involved mapping out on paper, it was her ambition to create her own designs and make the patterns from scratch. Yet speaking of patterns, one thing that would frustrate her was that with commercially bought patterns invariably she would find a mistake which she would have to correct in order for the item to come up to her high standards.
Colin described her almost obsessive attention to detail, and every stitch had to be right.
Other members of the family would be roped into her interests for instance when visiting Malta, Frank was furnished with strict instructions to return with one of their traditional Idols. Likewise in Latvia he was able to bring back some traditional wool from likewise from Germany and Denmark, who apparently have another type of specialised wool.
It has to be said that she was very skilful being able to Knit anything and everything from stuffed Toys, to blankets,to tea cosies and even a pair of slippers for Colin which she knitted out of remnants of Carpet wool. In the last six years she managed to gain a lot of knitting paraphernalia, in fact according to Jacqui she was knitting her retirement fund.
There may be other things that will remind you of Jacqui, perhaps her love of food, and although once in this neck of the wood only one Chinese take-away was good enough for her, and there was invariably a debate with Colin as to the most efficient route to get there. When it came to her own culinary skills at home she was a prolific chef. It was commented on that as a family they probably never ever had the same Sunday Lunch twice. Jacqui was perhaps as adventurous in the kitchen as she proved to be in her travels.
Being as creative in producing her dishes as she was being able to make items out of wool. Jacqui could literally make a meal out of practically anything she would enjoy the cajun style meals and the pulled pork.
In her quieter moments Jacqui was A book worm, she gained her Masters degree in English and in her last years compiled a massive collection of both first editions and folio collections. Although not so heavy as some of her reading she was particularly fond of Anne Rice's and the Vampire Chronicles, C.S.Lewis, with each piece of literature, pattern and information all carefully catalogued, and in order.
Tribute by Kye
Death is nothing at all,
I have only slipped away into the next room,
I am I, and you are you,
Whatever we were to each other, that we are still,
Call me by my old familiar name,
Speak to me in the same easy way which you always did,
Put no difference into your tone;
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.
Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.
Let my name be the household word that it always was.
Let it be spoken without effect, without the shadow of a ghost on it.
Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same as it ever was; there is absolutely unbroken continuity,
Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?
I am just waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just around the corner.
All is well.
Continued Tribute to Jacqui
In all our lives we have sad times as well as happy ones, and shortly we will be coming to that time when you will have to say goodbye to Jacqui's physical presence amongst you.
Jacqui will be remembered as a lady with a beautiful spirit, who managed to touch the lives of many people, she was spiritual, intuitive and kind. She was a lady who managed to pack a great deal into her 50 years on this earth. She was described to me as being a daughter, partner, mother and friend who was second to none, someone with a ready smile, and carrying enough empathy to know when to stop, consider what was important to others and devote herself to their needs Frank wanted you all to know how she supported him through his illness, and the loss of his partner.
She would pass away peacefully on the 10th of December and I would like to share with you some words of poetry, perhaps a sentiment she would have shared with you herself.
When I come to the end of the road,
And the sun has set for me,
I want no rites in a gloom-filled room.
Why cry for a soul set free?
Miss me a little-- but not too long,
And not with your head bowed low.
Remember the love that we once shared;
Miss me-- but let me go.
For this is a journey we all must take,
And each must go alone.
It's all part of the Master plan--
A step on the road to home.
When you are lonely and sick of heart,
Go to the friends we know,
And bury your sorrows in doing good deeds.
Miss me-- but let me go.
Jacqui's life was in her own hands. She made her choices, ignited her dreams and desires in those choices and was always determined to do everything she wanted to do, and if life threw an obstacle in her way, she would always find a way to move past it. So I will leave you with a song that spoke to her heart, with a sentiment she followed through her life.
Music – Do lt
So we commend Jacqui to this place, earth to earth, ashes to ashes and dust to dust, in sure and certain hope that her memory will live on in the hearts and minds of those who love her.
We are glad that you lived, saw your face, knew your friendship and walk the way of life with you. we deeply cherish the memories of your deed and words and character. We leave you in peace, with respect we bid you farewell, with love we remember your companionship and your kindly ways and whilst thinking of you in this manner, our hope is to live in love, one with another
Jacqui we are glad that you lived, saw your face, knew your friendship and walk the way of life with you. we deeply cherish the memories of your deed and words and character. We leave you in peace, with respect we bid you farewell, with love we remember your companionship and your kindly ways and whilst thinking of you in this manner, our hope is to live in love, one with another
When last comes to last,
I have little power:
I am merely an urn.
I hold the bone-sap of myself,
and watch the marrow burn.
When last comes to last
I have little strength:
I am only a tool.
I work its work; and in it hands
I am the fool.
When last comes to last,
I have little life.
I am simply a deed:
an action done while courage holds:
(Extract from The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever)