Mrs. Onley’s Funeral
Mrs. Onley’s Funeral introduces the reader to Florence Onley, a woman of a formidable determination and strength of character. As often happens, a clear well-rounded sense of who a person is doesn’t become clear until after his or her death. In the aftermath of a tragi-comic occurrence at her funeral, memories of the deceased pour out and the mourners end up celebrating a life which was much richer and broader than they had imagined.
Here’s how the story begins: “It seemed to be taking Florence Onley forever to die. The old woman had kept people waiting all her life, and even though her family was exhausted from trying to look after her, she wasn’t about to change any time soon. Nor was she going to fade away quietly. Having enjoyed 87 years without spending a single night in a hospital, Florence, or “Mrs. Onley” as she preferred, deeply resented the broken hip that had felled her. Even more, she resented the ensuing pneumonia that had filled her lungs and was slowly draining the life out of her. But Mrs. Onley was no quitter. Not ever. Not now.”
Ron Hughes’ Bio
Ron Hughes has been involved in the media all of his professional life. As a radio producer, he had conversations with hundreds of people from all kinds of backgrounds. He and his wife lived in Ecuador for 10 years and in his role as president of FBH International (a media ministry), he has travelled to half a dozen other countries. He has been a keen observer of people, their predicaments and their responses to them.
Why Did I Write It?
I wrote the short story, “Mrs. Onley’s Funeral,” to explore two main themes: that our perceptions of others fall far short and that humour has a way of inserting itself in even them most solemn of occasions. The kernel of the story was suggested by a real-life experience of a pastor friend.