Wednesday, May 30, 2012
On the left is my Uncle Michael, then my Aunty Joyce, Aunty Judith and finally on the right my Dad. Four siblings together. I took the picture.
Joyce was the first to go. Michael died two years ago now. Today my Dad called me to say Judith has passed away.
Life is sweet and fragile and glorious and precious. We have this gift and share it with one another, and bless and damage each other in roughly equal measure, hoping the blessings win out in the end. So often we fail to tell those close to us that the blessings triumph, and that we are grateful. So often, they know, and are more blessed by us than we realise. They forgot to say so too.
That my cousin Howard, whose Dad died the best part of twenty years ago, has now lost his mother, and that my Dad now has no brother or sisters leaves me beyond words. I've spoken to both and can't remember a thing we said. I hope they know how much I love them both.
I'm the one with the public faith around our family. That doesn't give me answers. It gives me someone to wipe my tears, listen to my sorrow, and show me that hope has not gone though those we love are here no more. I believe in a God who loves people. Loves me, loves my family on days like these, and sits with us as we don't know what to say or do. Hope traces rainbows through the rain, because when we hold his hand, we somehow understand we hold the hand that also carries those who have gone before to a life that we cannot imagine. We simply cannot imagine.
But we can hope, even if the hope remains, for now, beyond words.