Thursday, 31 May 2012

Goodbye to all that

Just this morning I bade a final farewell to my parents' home at 49 Heronscroft Bedford. We moved there in 1971 and I lived there until 1973 (although retuned on and off whilst training for medicine between 1973-1978).

49 Heronscroft
Dad died three years ago and mum almost one year ago. How proud they were of their first owner-occupier home, having moved from the council house where I was born and grew up in at 5 Mareth Road Bedford. Heronscroft has always been such a welcoming and peaceful place and was beautifully maintained by mum and dad, who especially enjoyed caring for their sweet garden. How many memories flashed though my mind as I stood looking at it now-sadly overgrown with weeds.

Mum had left everything in such neat order, but like me was something of a horder with old newspapers declaring the Second World War over and lots on our Queen's coronation, in addition to papers on various other national issues. My sister has done the baulk of the clearing and until very recently her husband Alan had maintained the garden.

Biddy and I shared a short thankful prayer just before we left. I thanked God for the privilege of consistent, loving parents. For the ongoing sense of 'home' which I, Biddy, Sarah and Hannah always felt when we were there.  How often mum would leave whatever she was doing when we arrived, just to sit and spend time with us. "I can do that later...I want to make the most of being with you", was such a lovely thing to say and mean!

For many years going right back to my childhood, my parents had a plaque on the wall stating,

Christ is the head of this house
The unseen guest at every meal
The silent listener to every conversation

It was perhaps somewhat quaint, but in many ways I think the reality of it contributed hugely to the atmosphere that mum and dad created. Whilst they have gone and now their home is gone,  the ongoing presence of Christ and the richness of His resurrection, and the hope which that brings, fills me with anticipation of that welcome which God has in store for those who-like mum and dad- have put their trust in Christ.
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