Saturday, December 24, 2011

24th December

Well that went well, though it’s been a long day. Yes all my kids and their families met for lunch today in Loughborough. And we even took Jane’s mum along making it a nice round 13, so it was a real houseful and a nice party to start the Christmas celebrations. My Loughborough daughter has certainly thrown the gauntlet down with the food – nicely spicy - she spread before us and we still have two days to party. My eldest brought along home baked cakes, that were quite wonderful, and I believe it’s a role reversal tomorrow as we meet for a more traditional Christmas meal at her house in Derby. My son-in-law did really well as host after the challenge of yesterday’s hospital visit, though he did disappear for an hour to have a rest part way through the afternoon. I know how he felt for sure as right now I feel quite worn out. My home video seemed to be well appreciated and today’s fun has given me a good start on filming for next year’s offering.

The past few days have, at different times, been really upsetting and I’ve not been at all sure how I would cope with Christmas ‘fun’ without Jane. My daughter’s kitchen come dining room is directly connected through an open door to her lounge, so we all sort of moved around yet were still very much together. But for most of the time it seemed that there was always at least one empty seat… and all could see was Jane who would have been sitting in it. This was her absolutely number one favourite activity. No, not sitting down! The family party. She must have hosted several hundred over the past 35 years since our eldest was born. Numerous birthday parties every year, Christmas and Easter of course and then, someone’s passed an exam/driving test/degree or whatever… let’s party! She knew the secret of building a close knit family for sure. It’s all in the parties isn’t it? But whatever she’s doing in heaven today you can absolutely guarantee she’s not forgotten us and knows that her inheritance will always be a major part of our family life.

And we can never forget Jane. Tears for all of us are at best only just under the surface, despite the wonderful exuberance of my four grandchildren. They are really so very special to me and I don’t know how I would cope without my very special family. I miss my darling wife so very, very much…

Revelation 21:4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.’ (NLT)

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