January 31, 2010
We finally arrived back in Carlisle at 04:30 after a long drive from London. Akila’s man, Fitzy with us. Once we all surfaced at 13:30 on Saturday, I asked them what there plans were for the day. Akila said without hesitation, “its a lovely day, lets go and see Mike”!
Akila & Fitzy visit Mike
That brings such joy to me, that Akila wants the first place to be Mike’s grave. Its so wonderful how she wants to include Mike’s memories into this special time. Fitzy has been on the Logos Hope for 2 years and is returning home to Perth, via Carlisle!
January 24, 2010
The girls decided that Mike’s dog, Roro, should have an 18th Bday party. Dave and Joy Thomas, gave Mike this teddy on his first Bday and has been with him ever since. The girls had great fun, even giving him his first legal beer.
Akila also brought a lovely card for Mike and a helium balloon that she wanted to take up to the grave.
“Just for you Brother on your Birthday, We shared a very happy Childhood that cannot be denied, yet did not alway show the Love and Respect we felt inside, We shared our many Hopes and Dreams nd lots of Secrets too, and all these other special Memories have tied me close to you, and now it’s your Birthday you’re wished the very Best, For its a most important day that Stands out from the rest, May it bring you all the Joyful things you have in mind, for as a Brother, you are one of a Special Kind.”
Love from a Sister
January 23, 2010
What do I expect when I come off the mountain? A valley or lush woodlands? In fact I came onto an arid desolate plane, with no apparent landmarks. I am empty, empty of desire, empty of words, empty of energy. On February 1st it will be 6 months since Mike died. I feel like every part of my body, has been focused on survival to get through the grief. Whether right or not I feel I am through the mourning of Mike, but now my emotion and mind are shutting down, they are empty. Every day I am happy that I get out of bed, go to the office, come home, go to bed and know I made it through another day.
Any initiative, whether it’s a phone call, putting in the loft the Christmas decorations or clearing away the branches I pruned in the garden, is a massive mountain. That in itself depresses and annoys me. Even writing my blog has become a challenge.
Kathy, Akila and I sat talking for 4 hours yesterday evening. We listened again to Akila’s side of the story, when the news was broke to her on the ship in the Caribbean. Her struggle to continue with Uni studies, when she too just wants to curl up in a ball and stop life. Kathy is in the same situation as me, simple tasks at work are mountains.
Our struggle is not in the physical environment but the mental and emotional. We know this will pass, we know that spring will come, that we will be able to embrace “new” again. As Christians we walk by faith, even when we do not see, feel, or sense God’s presence. Some days its simply crying out “Jesus, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner”.
January 19, 2010
Happy Birthday Mike
19.01.91 was a wonderful day, My Buddy was born. I was going to head up to Mike’s grave by myself, but Akila said she would like to come. (Kathy was in meetings all day) What a joy to read 1 Cor 5 together:
1Our bodies are like tents that we live in here on earth. But when these tents are destroyed, we know that God will give each of us a place to live. These homes will not be buildings that someone has made, but they are in heaven and will last forever. 2While we are here on earth, we sigh because we want to live in that heavenly home. 3We want to put it on like clothes and not be naked.
4These tents we now live in are like a heavy burden, and we groan. But we don’t do this just because we want to leave these bodies that will die. It is because we want to change them for bodies that will never die. 5God is the one who makes all of this possible. He has given us his Spirit to make us certain that he will do it. 6So always be cheerful!
As long as we are in these bodies, we are away from the Lord. 7But we live by faith, not by what we see. 8We should be cheerful, because we would rather leave these bodies and be at home with the Lord. 9But whether we are at home with the Lord or away from him, we still try our best to please him. 10After all, Christ will judge each of us for the good or the bad that we do while living in these bodies.
Although we had a party for RoRo, Mike’s dog that was even with him at his death, we wanted to celebrate Mikes Birth Date, not the fact he would have been 19. It is good to give thanks to God and remember the day when my buddy came into the world. I miss my son very and am sad that our journey came to an end. He was a wonderful companion and we enjoyed each others company. He got the best present, but not from me, from his Heavenly Father, to be in His presence. What more could I ask for?
January 14, 2010
How do I respond to Haiti? 100,000 dead! I only just spoke on Sunday about the judgment of God on the Israelites and that most of us cannot relate to national disaster. Some people have already told me that the “earth groans” as a result of mans sin in the Garden of Eden. Disaster like this is no respecter of the wicked or the good.
I was in Haiti in 1986. The poorest country in the Nth hemisphere. It is no surprise that within hours water and power have been lost. I dont know the latest statistics but in general in the Caribbean, the demographics are that those under 16 is much higher than other parts of the world.
Is there compassion in my heart? Does it translate into action? Yet again, more questions than answers.
January 11, 2010
After reading many stories in the old testament and looking at what writers in the new testament had to say on faith, I have come to a very simple statement. “Faith is belief with legs on it”. Basically these people we accredit with faith, simply believed what God said was true and acted on it. They lived in the physical reality which told them quite a different story, but they believed in the spiritual reality, the conviction of things hoped for, things unseen, and responded to that. Noah believed what God said and built a large boat, Abraham took his son and was ready to sacrifice him…… Many people believe, but does that follow through to action. Do I by my lifestyle reflect that in acts of daily faith, especially in the area of trust? Faith has to be active or it is just belief and even the devil believes.
January 10, 2010
Kathy shared a wonderful message this morning at St Andrews Chorleywood. You can download in a few days from St Andrews Web Site
What a pain she did such a good job, I now have to follow that at the evening service! This is our first time speaking in public after Mike’s death and its such a priviledge that it is at the Church Family that nurtured and sent me out 30 years ago.
January 10, 2010
Im writing this in advance. In 1 hr we get in the car and try and drive 300 miles south to my supporting church, St Andrews, Chorleywood. For 30 years they have faithfully supported me as a full time Christian Worker with OM Ships. Early on Monday, if Ryan Air can get off the ground I fly to Germany for leadership meetings. This is my first trip since Aug 1st. I have just had no energy, desire, motivation etc to travel before now.
Its strange because whilst we have moved on a lot, I still find it challenging to think about facing people. As I write today, I am planning to stay on the fringe, escape as much as possible and only engage in what I have to.
To be honest, I dont understand all that emotion because these are friends and colleagues that I have worked with for many years, some 30. Its not their problem but mine. What I can identify is that the emotional capacity tank is extremely low. If I perceive something as trivial and others have their knickers in a twist, it can be a challenge for me to be gracious. Even around the house, some of Kathy’s recent frustrations I cannot relate to in view of the bigger picture. So its learning to zip it and shut up!
January 9, 2010
What fun to throw a surprise party for Laura’s 16th Bday yesterday. Poor girl didnt know whether to laugh or cry when she walked into the lounge room and there were 8 of her best friends. Isnt it fun to bless people! What a great evening they had eating Chinese, drinking virgin Pina Coladas, playing poker and doing girlie things. One of the girls had brought Laura a pregnancy test, fortunately there was a big shout of delight when she came out of the bathroom showing a negative! I have watched my kids have so much fun over the years by creating the moments. I am happy to see that in so many ways this group still enjoy simple, childish, pure things.
Your 16, your beautiful and your mine!
January 7, 2010
Kathy and I have been asked to speak at both the morning and evening service at my home church, St Andrews, Chorleywood, this Sunday. Its the first time we will take the sermon in the 30 years I have been with OM Ships. Several weeks ago I was all pumped up and had much to say. Today, I am totally flat, empty. Of all the times to “run out”! I’ve been asked to share about Joel; Judgment, Mercy and Hope. You know where I sit today, life has become very simple. We who follow the teaching of Christ have an awesome message which is Good News. The mercy and grace of God are so wonderful. We have a Kingdom Message that transforms lives. Seeing Mike dead in bed brought home the reality that death is very real. Life is a gift from God and is very fragile. We as parents worry about our kids, a trip to Europe or getting a driving license or walking home late. Guess what, Mike was in bed, healthy and died. So thinking we have time to sort out our affairs is in my opinion rather short sighted. Holding back from sharing Good News is also a serious issue.
Laura, a different perspective!