Friday, 19 December 2014

A special friendship with the Lewin family

Dec 2009: Ali with
Ben (then 13), Marie (11), Malachy (7), Samuel (10) and Patrick (5).
with Amanda and Mark Lewin behind
When they heard about Ali's anniversary Requiem Mass, Ben, Samuel, Malachy and Patrick Lewin immediately expressed their desire to serve at it.

Ali had seen the boys grow up, and also Mark and Amanda Lewin's eldest daughter, Marie. Their youngest daughter, Grace, had only just had her third birthday when Ali died, but Ali was pleased to have been able to attend her baptism at the Oxford Oratory when she was a few weeks old. Ali was not well even then, and it was the last time she was able to travel to Oxford.

Nov 2010: after Grace's baptism
Her close friendship with Amanda and Mark meant a lot to Ali, and she had the love of a godmother for each of their children. It was a joy for Ali to be a part of their childhood, and she was delighted to let them borrow her wheelchair to ride in - or just  to sit in to play the violin, as Marie is doing in one of the pictures below.  Ali also had the joy of seeing the older ones mature into fine young adults.

Ali would have appreciated all the boys serving the recent anniversary Requiem Mass. The two older boys, Ben and Samuel, said it was an honour to be among those carrying Ali's coffin at her funeral last year, into and out of the Church and even to the burial.

Three weeks before Ali died, Marie came for a few days to help care for her.  Her presence lifted Ali's spirits and it was beautiful to see Marie's loving concern for Ali as well as the joy her presence gave Ali.

At the risk of embarrassing them with photos taken when they were younger, here are several photos taken over the years of Ali with members of the Lewin family who were so very dear to her.

Dec 1998: With Ben (then 2) and Marie (nearly 1)
Dec 1998: Ali with Amanda and Marie.
Aug 1999: At Weymouth beach -  with 2 month old Samuel too
May 2004: With Marie and Amanda's parents, Sheila and David
July 2004 - Patrick at a month old
July 2004: Samuel, Ben, Marie, Malachy - angelic!
May 2005: Marie's First Holy Communion
Nov 2006: the day of Samuel's First Holy Communion
Nov 2006: with Marie
Nov 2006: A 'moment' between Ali and Malachy
June 2007: Amanda with Ali
Nov 2007: With Ben and Marie after their Confirmation

Dec 2007: Marie in Ali's wheelchair with Malachy (left) and
would-be rocker, Patrick. Ali's feet got in too!
Dec 2009: With 10 year old Samuel.
2014 - the Lewin family today

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