Dunedin, New Zealand, my city - my people

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

My pre Christmas week so far.

Siblings, cousins and partners.
My siblings with two cousins (brother and sister)
My brothers and sister. "Mrs Brown's Boys"

A family funeral
On Saturday we went to Gore (about 100 miles away) for a family funeral. We had to farewell my cousin's wife, a truly lovely, gifted lady who died too young. It was a sad time but we were able to celebrate her life and be together. It was an interesting venture. All of my siblings were there, even my brother from Melbourne who led the funeral. We had a cousin there we had not seen for years, and other people we seldom get to see. While it was a funeral, and a very sad time, there was also a festive sense about it as we caught up on each other. It is weird how the two things mix. I remember when my father died in 1964 when I was a young teenager, there was a similar feel about the after match function. Family, friends and others all gathered after the funeral for food, mixing and conversation. I recall thinking, "Dad would really love this!"
Positive feedback
I have been visiting fire stations. I have had lots of guys say, "You did a bloody good job of John's funeral." This was a funeral I wrote about in my last post. Today an atheist firefighter who often rubbishes the Christian faith said, "You did a great job of John's funeral. It was really good." Later in the conversation I was commenting on how I seemed to have lost my skill at Table Tennis, he commented, "Well you're good at funerals and naming ceremonies." I am pleased to be able to do things in such a way that they link with it.
Getting old.
This same fire fighter headed out the door and a while later came back in with a beautiful young teenage girl and her little dog.  He brought her over to me and said, "Do you know that photo we have at home of a man holding you as a baby, at your naming ceremony? Well this is that man, Dave, our chaplain." I had met her at various times during her life but now I could not believe that that baby was now this elegant, nicely spoken young lady in front of me. I must be getting old. The naming ceremony was 13 years ago. The couple had almost given up hope of having a child when this baby arrived on the scene. They both were so thankful, and even though one of them claimed to be an atheist, they wanted to gather friends and family for a ceremony to show their delight, to give thanks and to commit themselves to parenthood. It was a delightful time in their front room with friends and family gathered around. It was nice to meet his daughter again. I am getting old though.
The young "lady" as a baby.

Christmas Greetings...
We are traveling to Christchurch to be with all our NZ based children and grandchildren for Christmas. (except our foster daughter who has handicaps - we had a special Christmas with her on Sunday. Traveling and staying away with her is very difficult for us and often upsetting for her - though we feel a bit guilty as it will be the first Christmas she has not been with us. We plan to make a fuss of her when we return. ) Where ever you are dear reader, I hope that you have a special Christmas. 

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