Just thinking about some good friends this evening.
Alison and I are currently on holiday but before we set off we heard of a good friend Christine, who had passed away. As we couldn’t be at her funeral we went at the same time to Truro Cathedral, lit a candle and spent time in prayer for her, her husband Colin and all their family.
As we entered the Cathedral we got a phone call saying that another good friend had passed away this morning. We first met Denise at Maple Leaf House when her husband Laurie had dementia. We’ve kept in touch ever since.
This evening we’re both remembering an Inner Wheel friend, Wendy, who passed away last year as this would’ve been her birthday today. Remembering her husband John.
Christine was originally a Sunday-school teacher of mine, although not many years older. She met and married Colin who was to become my best man at my wedding. All in all I’ve known her for over 40 years, and her kindness, generosity and her cheerfulness have been much to admire. Constantly concerned about how other people are, before herself.
Denise bore Laurie’s illness and eventually her own cancer with great fortitude and determination, she made the most of her life with cruises and holidays.
Wendy was the sort of person whose smile and laughter was infectious. Constantly laughing she too bore her cancer bravely and on my last visit to her was simply wanting to know how I was feeling.
(As we lit candles we also lit one in memory of Alison’s Dad, Les, who died in 2007.)
Whats the connections between these three folk who never knew each other ?
Firstly they all bore the hideous and awful illness we call cancer with bravery and remarkable fortitude; Secondly they all showed concern for other people regardless of how much pain they must have been in. Thirdly, they remained for me outwardly cheerful to the end, although I don’t doubt that in private it must have been so hard for them.
Fourthly, and most importantly, they were people of faith. Christine was the only one who went to Church, Denise and Wendy didn’t but they did receive Communion from Alison at home. In so many ways their faith shone out of them, churchgoers or not, and I think that it was their faith that enabled them to pass with dignity, peacefully, and inspirationally.
I will miss them all in different ways, but also remember them with love, affection and for their faith.
My prayers are with each of their families and friends
Candles lit at Truro Cathedral today, including ours.