Wednesday, November 30, 2011

30th November

So there we were standing on the platform at Loughborough Railway Station. It was a few years ago when Jane and I decided to take our daughter on a day trip to London using a bargain rail deal. Normally I’d simply drive there, for convenience and also cost. But suddenly I had a new and for me unique experience. The warning that the next train would not be stopping, and that we should stand back from the platform edge, just didn’t prepare me for the intercity monster that seemed to explode upon us! Travelling, presumably in excess of 100mph and only a few inches from the platform it totally dominated, leaving me rather amazed that this was a normal event. But at least it disappeared as quickly as it arrived, which is not quite the same as the express event that arrived to unsettle my equilibrium today. It stayed awhile and though it’s gone now I still feel a little shaky.

This morning I managed a bit of a lie in again and that seems to be beneficial health wise. In due course I travelled to visit my daughter and both grandchildren in Loughborough… not the station this time. A nice benefit of the national strike was that my grand-daughter was at home and I had a really nice time for a couple of hours. Not so good about my uncollected dustbin though. So apart from the ‘normal’ M.E. headache thing I actually felt quite good about life, indeed almost happy. On the journeys, both there and back, I indulged in my number one favourite activity… thinking about life in heaven. It was triggered by a very simply little thought… I wondered what Jane was up to right now in heaven. How would she be spending the day, who would she be spending time with and what is it really like there? Obviously I have no sure idea, as I have no real knowledge of heaven other than in my daydreams, but I do have a lot of knowledge about Jane. I know how she thinks, I know what she likes to do and surely she’ll be more her true self in heaven than she ever was able to be on earth. She enjoyed colour, she loved animals and caring for people, she loved to pray and she loved Jesus. Oh yes, she loved me as well. And our family.

So when I got back home I still felt quite happy and found a single letter, with a handwritten address on it, waiting for me. I wondered who it might be from given the unusual lack of print but ignored it for a few minutes whilst I sorted the house out. When I opened it I found nothing but consideration and an opportunity to engage in a nice idea. But instantly and quite unexpectedly the high speed express exploded in my emotions and that was it for quite a while. Six hours later I still feel shaken up. Strange how grief takes hold isn’t it? Ok, so the letter was from the local funeral parlour and was quite simply an invitation to write a personal message on a ‘star’ to hang on the Christmas tree in their reception. They organised and presumably sponsored a memorial church service a few weeks ago and I can only applaud their work and kindness… but it was just too much for me to cope with today. This will be my first Christmas for 40 years without Jane. I don’t want to do it. I will, to be with my family. But it won’t be easy.

Isaiah 9:6 ‘For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.’ (NLT)

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