He’d be working for a guy named Derek whom I hadn’t met, but Danny assured me I’d soon come to adore Derek and his wife Inks – and I did!
In fact soon after we’d settled into our Chelsea flat, Inks took me under her wing, and we realized that we shared a passion for art. And so Inks took me to museum and gallery exhibits all over London, and we enjoyed lovely lunches together in elegant members’ dining rooms. Inks, I learned, also collected art and sculpture – both British and African – much of it displayed in their house in St. John’s Wood and their wonderful country retreat in the Cotswolds.
And she and Derek took us to concerts and theater, memorably to Athol Fugard’s stirring Master Harold and the Boys, and Trooping the Colour in honor of the Queen’s birthday.
And years later when we were back in the States we drove down to Richmond, Virginia to join Inks and Derek in celebrating their eldest son’s wedding.
And we joined them on a wonderful trip to South Africa – Derek’s homeland – and met them at a business conference in Barcelona where we explored Gaudi’s amazing Sagrada Familia together.
Over the years we’d see each other whenever we were in London or they in New York, and I always found Derek to be larger than life – warm, bright, generous of spirit, and an outstanding athlete who played cricket well into his 70s with teammates half his age. And I was always touched by the way he ended emails and phone calls “with fondest love.”
Then four years ago we got the devastating news that Derek had been diagnosed with cancer. We kept in touch with Inks and their sons about his condition, and when Derek died we asked about his last days.
He was quite weak at the end, we were told, but he always asked for the latest cricket scores.
Thinking of Inks and remembering Derek – both with fondest love.
– Dana Susan Lehrman
This retired librarian loves big city bustle and cozy country weekends, friends and family, good books and theatre, movies and jazz, travel, tennis, Yankee baseball, and writing about life as she sees it on her blog World Thru Brown Eyes!