We left a clear sky with promise of a very hot day and flew into a thick cloud bank covering all the lower part of the North Island.
It was rather dramatic to witness and also made for a much cooler and windy day.
But what else do you expect from Wellington?We picked up our wee Holden Barina and zipped off into the city.
We were planning on going to the hospital first but as the rental agency didn’t have any maps we missed the turn off and ended up in the city.
We decided to drive around a bit to familiarize ourselves with the layout of the city centre and locate the cathedral for later.
We got caught in the one way street system which didn’t seem to have much rhyme nor reason to it.
We were so close to the cathedral but couldn’t quite get to it cuz the streets were all going the wrong way!!
We missed one turn and so made the next which led us out onto the motorway north.
Oh well, sight seeing time I guess
We headed up through the gorge and made the first turn off the motorway we could and then circled around and got back onto the southern motorway.Got back into the city and renegotiated the one way streets again.
Went round a time or two, located Starbucks and circled that block again, found a park and went and chilled out for half an hour over a coffee.
Just as well we had landed with plenty of time
Then it was time to go to the Wellington St Paul’s Cathedral for the 11am service.
I thought we would have problems finding a park but they had marked off several right outside just for family members, so we parked in one of those.
I have always thought Blenheim was expensive to street park but Wellington would have to take the cake.
$4 for an hour!!
Owen, Hanne and the girls were all at the entrance.
It was a very emotional time as we met and greeted each other.
Soon we were all directed up to the front.
The service was conducted by Fr Seph Pijfers the parish priest from St Teresa’s Catholic Parish in Karori where Olivia had chosen to attend in recent years.
And also Rev Sharon Ensor, the Minister of Wadestown Presbyterian Church where Olivia and her mother Biddy have attended for many years.
The flowers on the coffin were absolutely gorgeous.
The cathedral easily seats 840 with a capacity of 1000 if needed.
It was full!
And tributes from a friend, two teachers and her uncle.
All giving credence to a very bright, vivacious, friendly, highly motivated young girl.
Kate Marshall, her music teacher, was particularly moving as she was also a very close friend.
She included this quote by Anne Lamott in her homage.
“You will lose someone you can’t live without, and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved. But this is also the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. And you come through. It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly—that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp.”
She finished her tribute by calling a friend to sing on her behalf as she was unable to.
Rosa, a beautiful Maori woman, came, stood with her by the coffin, and sang very moving rendition of Amazing Grace.
At that point I don’t think there was a dry eye in the whole cathedral.
A poem Olivia wrote was also included in the service sheet which we all took a few quiet moments to reflect upon.
An Injured Bird
To My dear that I talk to,
To you and all,
Remember this is when you’re frightened
Of the talkers behind your wall.
A complex mind we can’t reach
Behind a wall of deep sympathy
We act like we know you
But you’re really a mystery.
Some hide you,
Other’s hide from what they know.
People try to hide from
What they loathe.
People cry at the sight
You are blessed!
Will all Gods Might!
The heavens sing
With huge liberty
For something that never grows
Out of naivety.
I say an injured bird.
A mind to soar
A body left to roar.
To my dear that I talk to,
To you and all,
Remember this when you’re frightened
Of the talkers behind your wall.
– by Olivia Rutherford
After the service we greeted and hugged friends and family.
We were thrilled to find Miriam and Tim had also come.
Once the hearse left Tamara rounded us all up and we disappeared off across the street to The BackBencher for a some private whanau time.
It was all too soon the time to leave and join the procession out to the Makara Cemetery for the private internment.
Miriam & Tim came in our car.
It is about half an hours drive out there so we were watching our clocks quite closely as we only had a short time to get back to the airport by 4pm.
But we really wanted to be there to support Owen as the family was allowing only blood relatives at the graveside.
It was cool and windy and quiet and very moving and final as we said our goodbyes.
It was very hard to leave but we had a deadline.
Tim directed us back to the city and this time we got to the hospital!
Miriam was battling her low cell phone battery while trying to get her children sorted at their respective schools and arrange to meet Terry and then her parents who were coming across the strait on the Interislander.
We found a free park right out front of the hospital’s main entrance and following Tamara’s directions we quickly found Anneke (Tahi & Tamara’s mother).
She had been hospitalised the previoius week with suspected strokes.
However, she was in fine fettle.
We had a very happy crazy 15 min visit with her as she regaled us with all the antics of her admission and following treatments and also her brother’s kidnapping her from the hospital for breakfast!!
She is indomitable!
The specialist is now saying he doesn’t think she has had strokes but has scheduled an MRI on her neck region for next week as there is definitely something not right.
He balance has been affected.
Her opinion is that she has been a potter for around 50 years so maybe she has damaged her neck by the way she has had it bent all those years.
We will wait and pray for the results.
Duncan & I had to race.
Time, nor planes, waits for no man!!
We had time to fuel up the car and quickly find something to eat at the airport.
We hadn’t eaten all day so were getting rather hungry.
But I don’t think the airport food should be called such as it is more like mass produced cardboard!
The flight back was okay.
A bit bumpy.
I was quite thankful it was only 20mins as I was beginning to feel a bit queasy.
We drove straight up to the hospice to visit Mum.
Ruth had taken her in after lunch for a week of respite care.
She was extremely tired and her eye was getting very sore and weepy.
We told her all about the day and the left her to rest.
Duncan dropped me back at Mum’s place to pick up my car.
I did a bit of housework and then headed off.
Discovered the Telecom XT network was down – again – 4th time in 2 months
So stopped off at my cousin Pam’s place to call home and let them know I was on my way.
It was 9pm by this time.
My Terrano has not got a very good radio so I opened up my computer and listened to a selection on iTunes to help keep me awake as I drove.
Got home just before midnight.
Thankfully there was no fog this time.
Did see about 12 live possums, many dead ones, a rabbit, a few weka and a large black pig on the road.
Also was surprised to pass 2 trucks and a 4WD bike so late in the night.
It was a long day but I was glad I had been able to go.