Apr 152010

If you haven’t happened upon it yet, let me recommend at eighty one. Avril writes very movingly and powerfully about her journey alongside her elderly father as he (as they both) come to terms with his vascular dementia.

At yesterday’s candidates’ training session (MTN) we were discussing the difficulties faced when visiting elderly people in care homes. It can be easy to forget that the disconnected faces and the disruptive outbursts are only a snapshot of the person here and now. It’s easy to forget that they have a history, a family, a life. We may never get to hear their stories and so may be utterly unaware of their past. And yet that is what we need to hold in mind during a visit.

This is where Avril’s writing is both profound and necessary. We become privileged sharers in the story and through that sharing come to see others as having a story which, though we may not share it, we acknowledge it before God by valuing our time spent with them and in our prayers for them.

Apr 182008

It’s the church youth club fundraiser tonight – an overnight games marathon. 12 hours of games and mayhem and tired teenagers. What’s this got to do with me you ask? Well you might. I ‘retired’ from the youth club leadership a while ago, but they’ve been left in the lurch a bit for this event. It’s the usual story – pleas for help have fallen largely on deaf ears. It’s not helped by the fact that one of the leaders (who helped organise it) has since pulled out of leadership and isn’t going to come. So that’s what it has to do with me. I’m going to be helping out overnight. Great joy! Mind you, it’ll not be the first time I’ve done one of these, but I did hope that the last one would be just that. My wife has it worse though. She had offered her help as an extra adult body (but not a leader) when the other person quit so she’s having to help as well. Unfortunately she also has a major Girls’ Brigade fundraiser tomorrow which she can’t avoid. Prayers for all events and those involved would be much appreciated.

Just to add insult to injury – actually the other way round – one of my teeth broke today. The corner of a back molar came adrift when I was eating a ‘healthy’ cereal bar. I phoned my dentist and the next available date for a treatment appointment is the 26th of May – 5 weeks away. However, if I’m in pain, they’ll ‘see’ if I can be fitted in any earlier. I’m trying not to think about it because it doesn’t actually hurt at the moment but I’m convinced that there’s a dull throbbing starting to develop. I’m pretty certain this is just psychosomatic and certainly not helped by me poking around with a toothbrush to work out if it is sensitive at all. I really dislike going to the dentist, though I do go for my regular checkups. But I’ve never had particularly ‘healthy’ teeth. My mouth is a bunch of gaps, fillings and crowns. Oh well! Grin and bear it and hope that 5 weeks passes quickly.