Goodbye to a Friend

I never heard him say a bad word about anyone.

He was very witty, he had a very dry sense of humour and I often wondered if he meant to be funny, but then I would look at him and see the twinkle in his eyes.  He made me laugh almost every time we met.

He was charismatic.

His positivity was amazing.

He used to read passages from the Bible, and then explain what they meant.  I was inspired by this.  He had a way of making the Bible seem very relevant to me, in a way that few others have done.  I wonder who will do that for us now.

He was dapper – his colour co-ordination was amazing.  I never saw the famous canary yellow suit, but I have heard tales of it.

He was a traveller, forever jetting off somewhere.

He was very private, but fascinating if he ever let anything slip.

I didn’t know how old he was, I was surprised to find out he was 89.  I thought he would go on forever and the accident was a real shock.

He came to Meeting once without his car – it had been stolen.  Some time later it was found, where he had parked it and forgotten.  He laughed the incident off.  It was my first indication that things were getting difficult for him.  There were other signs; getting lost, forgetfulness, but he was still razor-sharp in other ways.

I am going to miss him, we all will.  I will continue to hold his nearest and dearest in the Light.

What to take away from Yearly Meeting

I have been really thinking about what I take away from the YMG.  I wanted to state nice and clearly what I found useful, what I didn’t  and what I need to do with it.

Firstly, let’s get the negatives out of the way. 

  • I didn’t do all I wanted to do, partly due to tiredness, partly because of health issues.  I felt that I was letting my Meeting down by not being able to report on everything.
  • I found being so far out of the campus a problem, and there were problems with the accommodation itself.
  • I felt lonely – or more properly I was expecting to feel more lonely as the week went on.  I was aware that most people would be as busy as I was and I did not see that they would have time or the inclinations to spend time with me.
  • I was very worried about what I would do about money.
  • I did not have the internet access that I expected.
  • At the start of the week the home group sessions were not very good (though they improved with time).

What I found useful or fun

  • I reaffirmed my faith
  • I reaffirmed my belief in Quaker business methods
  • I saw Quakers take a brave and right decision, and saw how lovingly we treated those who were not with us
  • I felt the Spirit move us several times
  • I spent some very enjoyable time on a narrow-boat with new friends
  • I enjoyed the company of Friends old and new
  • I found about about Friends from all over the World
  • I found out what Friends House does in our name

  • I learnt some very interesting facts, heard about new ideas and found a couple of techniques.
  • I saw a brilliant film (The age of stupid)
  • I enjoyed a concert produced by Friends
  • I learnt a few new songs
  • If I go with the flow (as we eventually did in our Home group) things usually work out 

What I will take from the Gathering

  • Firstly I think that I must be more disciplined about my silent times.
  • I think I should have more confidence in my ‘belonging’.  I am no longer a ‘newbie’ in Friends.  I have sufficient knowledge and experience to start seeing myself as a ‘proper’ Quaker.  I should be more open, perhaps, about my leadings, as it says in one of the A&Qs that has never held much significance to me:

Take heed, dear Friends, to the promptings of love and truth in your hearts. Trust them as the leadings of God whose Light shows us our darkness and brings us to new life.

  • I need to fill in my yellow form and stop waiting for someone to suggest what I might be good at.  I have something to offer, and I know what I am interested in.
  • I need to ask for help when I need it.
  • I need to get over my negativity around the Bible – I heard some things at YMG which inspired me.  I don’t need to accept all of it, but to take what inspires.
  • I need to get back on my diet – I am not sure if some of the joint pain might be because I changed my diet to an unhealthy one.  I certainly feel more awake and better physically since I got some fruit, vegetables and fish inside me!  I haven’t dared to weigh myself since I got home, but I need to do so.
  • I was blessed to be part of YMG and I now need to share that blessing with my Local and Area Meeting.  I need to be inspiring!

What I have achieved today

I am amazed with myself because

  1. I went down two flights of stairs
  2. put the tax disc in my car
  3. stood and talked with a neighbour for a few minutes before l had to lean on the wall
  4. Went back up two flights of stairs
  5. emptied the dishwasher
  6. Washed up a few non-dishwasher things
  7. washed the kitchen floor
  8. vacuumed the lounge carpet

I had to have a break  after each task of  course, but my recovery times are better and at this rate I should be on course for going back to work next Monday.  Well, I can hope!

(I also sorted through the solicitor’s letters. I haven’t done what I need with them yet)

A short post

I normally rabbit on for too long.  This will be short.

I do get depressed and I know there is nothing worse than people trying to jolly you along; to suggest that things are actually better than they seem.

Sometimes, though, they are right.  Sometimes the glass really is half full.  Sometimes you have to trust others.

The difficulty comes, for me, when trying to persuade others of this.