Eulogy for Rev Arthur Howard CROSS
I want to mention two people in Dad's life (among many others) who I think really shaped him.
Firstly, his father, Arthur James. He was a passionate, generous minded man who pioneered missionary work in what was Northern Rhodesia, where Dad grew up. Although Dad never talked a huge amount about him, when he did he always mentioned the hospitality that he and our Granny offered to passing missionaries - methodists, baptists, presbyterian and so on. His ecumenism rubbed off on Dad. It was a huge blow when, while in Karachi at the end of the war, his father became seriously ill while visiting his sisters in London. Because of military delays, Dad was too late to see his father before he died. Dad was very young and I think this had a huge impact upon him.
Secondly, his beloved Kitty, our mum. Mum and Dad remained in youthful love long past their courtship and romantic engagement in the snow outside an Edinburgh theatre. With Dad's passing we lost forever the key to the mysterious codes they sent to each other in birthday cards, complete with lots of x's and o's and hearts. Mum was a rock to him in the challenges of his ordained ministry, in his times of instability, and in bringing up five children. Although mum left us all six years ago, she remained with Dad in his heart. Dad coped amazingly in these years - although living without mum's practical sense was always a challenge, especially when he got lost in Paris at the age of 83, and went to the wrong Hebridean island on his holidays!
Dad loved all of us. A poignant moment only three weeks ago was when he sat cuddling the youngest member of his family, great grandchild Libby. Dad clung on to all his loved ones - quite literally - right to the end when he died peacefully and went to be with his Lord and with our mum. We will miss Dad deeply, yet we give thanks just as deeply for the way in which he and mum both, in their turn, have shaped us and made us who we are.
Thank you Dad, and goodbye.