I have been busy and life seems to be getting busier without me trying. I was in Wellington, New Zealand's capital city for an Order of St John Chaplains' conference for three days early this week. I had a phone call on Friday from a man whose father had just died. Years ago he had told me that he wanted me to take his father's funeral when it happened. I had taken his mothers funeral in 2002. When he rang today my wife answered the phone and he said, "David said he would take Dad's funeral." Well I don't remember it that way, but what could I say. So next Wednesday I will be "funeralising." Not long before his phone call I had one from my sister. An old minister of hers, and now her close friend had died. I felt sad because he was a little part of my history as well, but he was a great support to her in her journey through life. I feel like I should travel the 5 hours to his funeral later in the week, he was a colleague. We also had a phone call last Friday from another ex-minister I have known all my life. He was principal of the Bible College I attended for a year when I first decided to train for ministry. He is now nearly ninety and is recovering after a nasty fall in hospital. He was a member of my old Church, but he wanted to catch up with us. I have visited him twice and while I was away my wife has been a support to him, doing his washing and supporting him in an important meeting about his health and future. Today I spent most of the day at the Night Shelter doing odd jobs.
I am feeling flat, frustrated and mystified. I look at next week and I can see me working hard every day and still not getting everything completed. My disappointment is that I did not want retirement to be like this. I wanted to do some constructive community caring stuff, but somehow to slow down and do other things I had put on hold during my working life. That slow down is not happening and I am worried it may not happen while I still live in this city. So tonight I am sad and flat.
I thought I would perk myself up by including this joke for my Aussie friends. I lived in Australia for four years a long time ago and suffered four years of jokes against Kiwis. This is part of my revenge. I feel better already. To those further afield - "Wallabies" is the name of the Australian rugby team. "All Blacks" is the name of the New Zealand world champion rugby team. There is a World Cup starting in a few weeks time in the UK.