Teresa Henderson 27th September 1953—8th May 2024.

Recently, I said to Teresa that I had to keep correcting myself. It was no longer Jimmy and Teresa—Jimmy had died at the end of June 2023—it was just Teresa.

A flicker of a smile, but she was quick to correct me. ‘It’ll always be Jimmy and Teresa,’ she said. ‘Always.’

I guess it is again. She’s buoyed herself up during his long illness. In and out of the chemists. Up and down Singers Road carrying messages. She’d carried him to the end. With nothing to carry, she dropped.

Teresa was taken into the hospital nine days ago. A variety of ailments. The official diagnosis cannot say she bled sadness. It can list pneumonia as one of the contributory factors to her death. A good death, I’d guess.

His life was her life. Teresa was born into the Elizabethan era in Rottenrow. Millions across the Commonwealth listened to the Coronation Ceremony of Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster on the radio hoping she wouldn’t drop the crown. Some even nipped out to watch on the new-fangled telly in showrooms where a technician could show you how to turn the set on and off and where to insert a shilling for a rental fee.

Teresa married Jimmy in a Glasgow registry office. There were souvenir pull-outs. Fireworks, the Household Calvary, and a twenty-one gun salute. But neither Jimmy nor Teresa were Royalists. Teresa was a peace-loving Libra. Likeable and charming, she wouldn’t be one to hold a grudge about the Jubilee Celebrations trying to upstage them. When they went on a camping holiday, got lost and spent all their cash, she could find common ground and new friends. They could bundle up and sleep anywhere.

He went to a Proddy school in Drumchapel. She went to a Catholic school in Knightswood, which is a grammar school in comparison. She worked part time at a pub. Neutral ground. Jimmy had been a sailor. Port to port. Around the world. He’d even been in Woodstock and The Summer of Love. But that was America in the sixties for you. He’d the long hair and the good jacket and the patter. There wasn’t any free love in Glasgow in the early seventies. Teresa wiped him out with a smile. If there was going to be any loving, he’d have to work harder for it than a sighting of Nessie.

After they married, they moved to a tenement in Partick. That was as close to Woodstock as Teresa got. There was a pub on every corner. There didn’t even have to be a corner. She was working secretarial. Jimmy had plenty of jobs. And a flat cost less than five grand. It might not have had a bath or shower, but they could wash in the sink like everybody else. Pubs shut at 11ish. Jimmy and Teresa’s door was always open. Jimmy even owned a guitar and sang too much to their neighbours’ liking.  

Jimmy talked about selling their bungalow. Cashing it in and going back to the good-old days. Over thirty-five years before becoming shackled by property. Teresa went up and down the road. Sometime I picked her up and dropped her at the station. She worked a few days, office work, in Drumchapel until she too, officially retired.   

 I’d here the latest gossip. Jimmy told us a story year ago, when we drunk in The Drop Inn. He had panicked one morning, when he was sure Teresa left him. She’d run away with Jaz Cunningham. He was the hardest man in Dalmuir. He’d been back to their house the night before after the pub with a few others. Jaz was away. Teresa was away. Jimmy would need to get her back. In a fair fight, Jaz would win. In an unfair fight, Jaz would also win. Jimmy would need a leveller. He’d need a gun. But the only person he knew he’d get a gun off was Jaz. So he did the only thing a man could do. He went back to sleep. She came back from the shops.  

Teresa never left him. In sickness and in health. Forsaking all others. Forsaking herself. She comforted and honoured him with her presence. When he was gone, as always, the better part of her followed. Unto death do they depart. Teresa believed in Jimmy. Jimmy believed in Teresa. A handful of ash separates them now. A holy estate complete. RIP.      

Comments

That is a wonderful tribute celticman - I'm sure her family and friends will love it (the dream part made me laugh)

 

both heartwarming and heartbreaking.

 

thanks for reading insert and ice. Jimmy and Teresa didn't have children. So their family is...?