I first met Wendy 20 years ago when we worked in a local District Hospital. Between us we provided training programs for staff caring for patients with diabetes. Wendy was a diabetic specialist nurse and I managed the training department.
My first and one of my many lasting impressions of Wendy was how dedicated, committed and determined she was to ensure patients received excellent care. Her drive and unceasing enthusiasm made a significant contribution to improving the standards and quality of care for people with diabetes.
I left the hospital in 2004 to take up a post elsewhere. Consequently I didn’t see Wendy again for a further 8 years. Through a mutual acquaintance Wendy heard I had moved into a house close to where she lived. Then on a sunny late summers day in 2012 she knocked on my door with gifts from her nearby allotment – vegetables and gladioli. I was met with a warm, friendly and gracious smile as she offered me her hand of friendship.
Over the next 10 years our friendship effortlessly deepened. So, what seemed like ordinary times together became extraordinary….time with Wendy would become life changing and life enhancing.
Wendy was a woman of many talents and gifts… I have chosen three which have influenced me for the better.
1. It is fair to say Wendy’s culinary skills were exemplary. Even her spontaneous invention tests without a recipe were utterly delicious. Only Wendy could present you with a bowl of porridge or afternoon tea which had the wow factor! Her delicately prepared cucumber sandwiches were sensational followed by what will always be her unforgettable divine tiramisu. Not previously a fan of this desert its now in my top 3 favourites! I then became inspired and motivated to improve my kitchen skills. I’m pleased to say I now have a few signature dishes thanks to dear Wendy although I doubt I will ever master tiramisu in the way she did.
2. I think it was December 2013 and Wendy was planning to stay with her family for Christmas. For several weeks in preparation for her festive visit I watched Wendy carefully and joyfully pattern, create and beautifully embellish several oversized exquisite Christmas stockings for her nephews and their families. Nothing was ever too much trouble for Wendy. Once again I became inspired and I taught myself to sew which now means my winter months are far more interesting and creative.
3. The human touch…Many were blessed by Wendy’s graceful smile, her infectious giggle and her genuine desire to befriend and love others all of which had a profound influence on who I am today. Here are just some of her many fine qualities I now strive to emulate…
And the greatest of all was her eagerness to love…
During my last conversation with Wendy when she was weak and frail, shortly before she died, I described the awakening of spring in my garden and I began to complain about some white daisies which were seeding in unwanted places. Her response was clear, gentle and powerful…..she said “learn to love them”.
So dear Wendy in the words of the poet…
“A friend is a loved one who awakens your life in order to free the wild possibilities within you.”
…which you certainly did with joyful abundance!!
May God bless you and keep you. May you rest peacefully with God and your angels.
In memory of my beloved friend Wendy
14 April 1948 – 28 May 2022