On Tuesday evening I think I had a bit of a reaction to some food. We had Turkish takeaways because we had a meeting at 6 p.m. By the end of the meeting I was uncomfortable and shivering. I slept through most of Wednesday, and while I went in to the office on Thursday, I was weak and listless. I was scared it might delay my operation! The Doctor declared it food related but gave me antibiotics just in case. By Friday I was a new man again, though tired.
Lost and found..
|Spot the keys?|
|The keys that went AWOL|
Just before 2 p.m. I joined with some firefighters at the Cancer Society Relay for Life. There are teams from various groups and businesses, you receive a baton for your team and you keep that baton walking around the track for 24hours. It is an expression of solidarity with those who battle cancer, but also a way of raising funds for the cancer society as they support cancer sufferers. The Fire fighters had entered a team and I joined them. They had already raised $2000 by running a quiz night. I walked for almost four hours. It was so much fun. I was scheduled to walk with another guy, and I imagined him saying, "Oh no do I have to walk with the bloody padre!" When I first met him he had declared himself an athiest. We walked, talked and laughed together for an hour or so. Then another firefighter joined me, then another replaced her. I met other people I knew and chatted with them. Another firefighter's partner often passed us jogging and kidded us, trying to get me to jog with her. The thing that I loved about it was the depth of conversation I had. The first two firefighters had said they were atheists, but we talked about spirituality, values and the deeper things of life. They shared their history and the experiences of life that had shaped them. I felt really privileged. The varied crowd of people, young and old were there to share, in a common cause and they simply had good wholesome fun. I loved every minute of it and was sad to have to come away and do preparation for Sunday. I was given a fire service tee shirt to wear. These younger fire fighters were surprised that I did not have one having been their chaplain for nearly 19 years. I wore it with pride. I enjoy the warmth I receive from my firefighters and so many people I share life with.
We had two friends from Australia visit last weekend and we laughed and talked a lot. One is a hospital chaplain, the other a retired police chaplain. It was great to catch up on them and share common interests and similar life experience stories. I was introducing one of them to another man and my friend said, "Dave and I have had a forty-year friendship." It surprised me, but he was right. Within the Night Shelter Trust I have people I consider friends, we can talk warmly and freely. Even my doctor relaxes and jokes and tells yarns about his past. We have a friend who is distressed and depressed. We ache for her and wish we could help. We try to express our love and friendship. She is important to us. Tonight I walked with a friend. For nine years we have walked or run together roughly once a week. Last weekend we missed out but today we ambled around the Woodhaugh - Ross Creek walkway and caught up on each other's activities talking flat tack. It is an hour of relaxing warm company that I value. All these friendships, of varying depths help sustain you as a person. They are sacred. I am rich to have these people in my life.