Yesterday morning I learnt from my brother Bryan that his wife Stephanie had died. Her passing was sudden and unexpected but peaceful. Bryan has recently come out of hospital following major surgery. It is a devastating shock and a sad loss to him, their children, Catherine, Virginia and Tim, and their respective families.
We weren’t able to dwell on that for long as Luca, our seven year old grandson came for the day. He helped Rachel bake scones and cookies; he helped in the garden sweeping up leaves (‘This is actually quite fun’), pruning back shrubs and digging up dahlia tubers. He had his joke book with him (…the bad tempered doctor with a short memory who kept losing his patients…) and we played together. It was a full on day.
In the evening I met Allan, Luca’s dad, my son-in-law. We talked about the family – schools and future plans. We talked about his family in Brazil – his anxieties about the political situation, the spread of Covid-19. We talked about his work with Norfolk Social Services – dealing with a woman whose ex-partner was stalking her; about a course on supporting families suffering with domestic violence.
Three generations of family life… puts things in perspective.
Walking on the beach this morning it was very windy. I remembered Steph. She would go walking with Bryan and their dogs – and us on occasions – whatever the weather.
Some walkers were battling against the wind. There were wind surfers who were harnessing the wind, travelling at great speed with skill and enjoyment.
Life’s wind blows on all of us; sometimes it’s gale-force. Some of us battle against it; others learn to harness and enjoy it. And our washing has dried!
And my Christian perspective describes the Spirit of God as the wind that blows where it will; sometimes gently, sometimes with stronger gusts. I think Steph knew something of that wind too.