Posted in Family, Personal life

The Circle of Hawkesbury Life

Stepping out with my daughter
Stepping out with my daughter

A post about volunteering to help at the village youth club

This article was written for the May 2014 edition of the Hawkesbury Parish News, our local community news magazine

This month I’ll be resuming my role as helper at the village youth group, a role I gave up 13 years ago, having helped found the club in the 1990s.

At that time, I was married to my late husband John Green. If you didn’t know him personally, his name will be familiar if you have ever sat on the red bench in the playpark, bought to commemorate him by the youth group after his premature death from leukaemia just after the turn of the millennium.

I never dreamed in those days that more than a decade later, I’d not only be returning to the youth group, but also taking with me my daughter from my second marriage, who this term hits the important 11th birthday that qualifies children to join.

I wasn’t sure when to tell Laura that I’d been married before, but I was spared the task when, at the age of 6, she came home from a trip to the playpark with her dad and announced contentedly: “I’ve just sat on your dead husband’s bench”.

Reading names on the war memorial and other historic sites around the village, and realising their descendants still flourish in the village, is a great reminder of the circle of life, and a comfort, whatever age you are. I’m looking forward to taking my place further down the line with the Evergreens*, but for now, I’m sticking with the youth group, and telling myself I’ll be forever Young.

*The village club for retired people

This post was originally written for the Hawkesbury Parish News, May 2014 issue


English author of warm, witty cosy mystery novels including the popular Sophie Sayers Village Mysteries and the Gemma Lamb/St Bride's School series. Novels published by Boldwood Books, all other books by Hawkesbury Press. Represented by Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agents. Founder and director of the Hawkesbury Upton Literature Festival. Course tutor for Jericho Writers. UK Ambassador for the Alliance of Independent Authors. Lives and writes in her Victorian cottage in the heart of the beautiful Cotswold countryside.

7 thoughts on “The Circle of Hawkesbury Life

  1. It’s lovely that there’s a bench in memory of your late husband Debbie and it’s good that you can get comfort from remembering him. Sometimes things just fall into place don’t they – I mean you were a bit concerned about telling your daughter about him, and yet she found out anyway and it was all OK.

    1. Isn’t it funny how things work out sometimes, Elaine? My late husband also had a useful saying for such occasions: “Nothing’s ever as bad as you think it’s going to be and nothing’s ever as good as you think it’s going to be”. I still find myself echoing his words 14 years after he died!

      1. It is amazing how things work out for the best sometimes. For me, I find my Christian faith helps me when I’m struggling. I’m sure your late husband is at peace.

      2. Thank you, Elaine. I’m sure he is too. We were very happy, and he’d be very happy about the path my life has taken since. He had a strong faith too.

  2. What a beautiful story Debbie. You are lucky enough to live in a wonderful community as I do and I wish you all the best as you return to helping out at the youth group which will no doubt stir up many memories.

  3. What a lovely feel-good post, Debbie, and the photo is the icing on the cake. For avoidance of doubt, I like cake! Wishing you and Laura many more happy years with the youth group.

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