I was going to stand here today and read one of the many poems which are traditional on these occasions; you know the sort of thing, 'Do not stand at my grave and weep.......' but weeping is exactly what I would have done before I'd reached the end of the first verse.
Instead, I'd like to start by thanking you so much for coming here today. We really appreciate it and I know dad does too. Dad loved his golf! It was one of the main reasons my parents retired here to beautiful Ayr, away from the stresses and strains associated with city life in Birmingham. Dad never took anything here for granted. He would never tire of looking out of the living room window enjoying the emerging spring flowers or the squirrels and birds in the trees. Of course, he would rant at the television - he had strong views on many things - or he'd wave my umbrella at the seagulls getting a little too close for comfort, but he loved his life and saw the best in everything and everyone. It's a pity it's taken his passing for me to fully realise that.
If there is one lesson I have learned over the past few days, it's to stop being so negative! So, I'm telling you!
Appreciate everything and don't ruin the present worrying about the future or regretting the past. These are things you cannot change. There is nothing wrong with making plans, but please don't spend too much time looking forward (or back).
Above all, don't forget to tell people you love them. Life is a gift. Make the most of it. Let's try to be glad for my dad's wonderful life as he tees off on that great golf course in the sky.