I’m fully aware that I haven’t posted anything since Nov 19th, when I posted about Dad. This is an attempt to catch up and reflect on the last 5 weeks.
Since Dads passing I have been reflecting and giving a huge amount of thanks for the privilege I’ve had of knowing him. Many in my Churches have spoken of his kindness, his smile, his generosity and that brings a lot of comfort.
His funeral service was a real mixed affair, for Dad would never have guess that in attendance would be 5 clergy, including a past President of Conference and a current District Chair who phoned to pass on his condolences. And many would be surprised to see this ‘august’ body sharing memories with the landlady of one of Dads local pubs, The Turf, alongside one of her barmaids. Dad had the ability to treat everyone as equals and never put on airs and graces for anyone. Alongside them we were touched that family had travelled from London and Crawley, messages from New Zealand and neighbours and friends who have supported him and us. Within the Methodist District I received cards and good wishes (texts, emails) from all over the District and beyond. Truly touched and humbled.
After the funeral Andrew and I have had to start thinking about sorting out Dads affairs, disposing of his possessions and eventually selling the house. The clearing of the house is hard and brings with it the mixture of laughter and tears. Anyone who has had to do this will be familiar with the phrases “do you remember when….” as photographs are sorted; “who shall we give this to……” as possessions are shared; and my favourites “why did he keep this ?” or “why on earth did he keep three toffee hammers, umpteen paperclips, bent nails, pieces of paper and Rebeccas spare leg ?”
Not an easy task but one conducted in the knowledge that he was a good Dad, and we’re doing our best to honour this.
Of course at the same time I had to prepare for Christmas, and that was a strange experience this year. Even though last year Dad was in the care home and I didn’t see him I was still able to talk to him through Andrew, but of course this year there was that empty void. It was hard and I won’t lie I shed tears and found it a struggle to even put the Christmas tree up. However I did it eventually, as it wouldn’t have been fair on Alison to have robbed her of the experience, so up it went, along with our nativity scene.
A difficult couple of days this week at Dads house as it will be over the next few weeks as Andrew and I grab a bit of time together.
Throughout this my right-hand woman in the shape of Caroline has spent time in hospital; Caroline acts as Circuit administrator and as my P.A. and she’s the one who protects my back, listens to my moaning, my wacky ideas and is generally there for me. However, because of her hospitalisation, her health has had to come first and there is much that I would have normally shared with her that I’ve deliberately kept quiet about. When she’s well enough we’ll have a good catch-up and I’ll no doubt get a right ear-bashing ! She’s a great help to me and I’ve missed her.
Finally, we stand on the edge of a New Year, 2020, with all of its surprises pleasant or otherwise, but if the Christmas season is to remind me of anything it is that of Christ incarnate. God understands our tough times, our family times, our laughter and our tears because in the Christchild lying in the manger he has been human. He knows human feelings, fears and fun. Because he has walked this earth as a human being he has understood the last few weeks when I’ve missed Dad with such an ache in my heart and he’ll be with me as I step into the new year.
And as I sit here and reflect all I can come up with is that I don’t understand why, but I know that “God is good, all the time” even at those moments I don’t realise it.