Mike had a south facing window in his bedroom. Several years ago it got to the stage where Mike was having difficulties on sleeping due to the light, especially in the summer. So I brought an expensive roller blind that blocked light. As always, I liked to get Mike involved in any practical work. A saying I picked up was “measure twice, cut once”. So Mike and I did exactly that. When I had finished cutting and went to the window guess what, I had cut it too short!!! Mike knew exactly what I had done and he laughed and laughed at his dad! Well he lived with Elephant Tape on that Blind for the rest of his time and enjoyed reminding me to “measure twice dad”!
A very painful decision had to be made which was forced on us, do we cremate Mike or have him buried. The implications of that were far-reaching. Kathy sat with the Undertaker and I in tears as she realised Mike would never return to Australia. I was not willing to have Mike’s ashes sit on a shelf waiting until some day when we may move to a permanent residence in Australia.
At that time in August, I was not engaged with the emotional consequences of our decision. I simply wanted Mike to be buried and recognise that in reality, Carlisle was his home and it made more sense to be his final resting place.
I now realize today, I will not be able to move from Carlisle! I mentioned to Kathy yesterday that emotionally, the thought of leaving Mike here is too painful. The thought that I cannot pop up to the cemetary and see him is not a situation I want to create.
We also have seen that God has given us much grace to handle every situation. We had a good Christmas with the girls and grandma. We did not miss Mike any more than any other time. We have his birthday coming up on the 19th January. We will find an appropriate way to celebrate that as a family.
“Dad Im freezing my nuts off down here, have you got a water bottle!” Well thats what I thought I heard him say when we went to visit on Christmas day!
What a joy to visit Mike. The cemetary was sooo busy. I find the cemetary a place of comfort and a great place to think and gain perspective.
Akila brought the family a beautiful present, a thinking man. It depicts very much where we are at as a family. We decided to step back for 6 months, not make any major plans or decisions. We review the new landscape, the altered DNA of our family unit, the role changes as dad, mum and sisters, losses too many to imagine, thankfulness for a very uncomplicated son……..
Mike read a poem when he was around 7-8 at the cathedral and for the life of us we cannot find it, but it was about a thinking bird. It so depicted Mike and made an impact on Kathy and I.
Laura shared that she had a dream last week and Mike was in it. The rest of us have not dreamed of Mike, I look forward to that.
I see we as a family are still thinking and pondering over many life and death questions, many we believe we have no answers to as we see dimly. Some times we are in the crowd but are alone with our thoughts.
The words I hear in this season, “Unto Us a Son is Given” seem to shout louder than others. Kathy and I, like Mary and Joseph, were entrusted with a Son. He was not ours to keep, he was on loan.
God The Son, came early, he could have waited until electricity was discovered, houses were warm, water came from taps etc. He chose to come at a time in history which only again demonstrates His love and mission. He came for my son, Mike. I sit here before every one else is up on this festive day and thank God for Mike and Jesus. Both have had a major impact on my life. So “Unto us a Son is given”, you parents out there, dont wait until “Unto us a Son is taken”, to appreciate what you have. Go give that son a cuddle right now, irrespective of age!
Wishing all of you a fresh revelation of God that turns you world inside out!
Seeing Mince Pie’s in the stores has not been easy for me. Mike did not like a lot of food but when it came to sweet things and especially Mince Pie’s at Christmas, he would devour them!
I could not bring myself to buy a pack, but Kathy did in the end. The other day I thought it was about time to face the emotion and although I do not really like savoury food, I had a pie and dedicated it to Mike!
What do I see? Art is an interesting topic. “Beauty lies in the eye of the beholder”. What is art to one person, is junk to another. What do I see and how do I feel when I look into the sky and see clouds? If you live in Cumbria, UK, it can be quite depressing if you know there are other places where there is an abundance of blue skies.
There is an old English idiom, “Every Cloud Has a Silver Lining” Difficult times are like dark clouds that pass overhead and block the sun. When we look more closely at the edges of every cloud we can see the sun shining there like a silver lining. As believers we walk in Faith, possibly not being able to see or understand from a Kingdom perspective. Psm 57
9-10 I’m thanking you, God, out loud in the streets,
singing your praises in town and country.
The deeper your love, the higher it goes;
every cloud is a flag to your faithfulness.
Now there is another perspective, “every cloud is a flag to your faithfulness”.