Thursday, 28 April 2011

Three "B's"

        Somewhere along the line I heard that in ministry there are four “B’s” that are central to ministry.  They are:  Births, Baptisms, Brides and Burials.  Whilst I am not an ordained member of the clergy, three of those four events—burials, births and brides—are present in my current life.  First, I will touch on the “Burials”. 
        Elza O. Cox:  He was my mother’s older brother, born 31st March, 1923.  Nearly a week short of his 88th birthday, he passed away 25th March 2011.  My mother was close to her brother.  The sadness for me is that I never made a point of actually getting to know him myself.  The memories I have of him are his beautiful white hair that fell in gentle waves on his head, a little white moustache and a smile that lit his eyes.  Uncle Elza was soft-spoken, his voice a bit melodic.  He was kind to my Grandma and my mother.   He and my Aunt had an enduring marriage based on respect, honour, friendship and common goals—they were married over 66 years. 
Marion at the LCCS Garden Party
        Marion Williams:  I met Marion Williams at the Langley Community Coffee shop.  Her death has been a shock really.  She passed away on Tuesday, 26th April.  Marion was very involved in the community—especially with the Lions Club.  (Yes, Lions Club is an international organisation with a local branch.)  She was also involved with local politics, and organisations that helped the deaf.  Marion was in her late 60’s, so losing her feels premature.  Just a few months ago she was attending church, organising events, and looking forward to the birth of kittens to one of her three cats.  For over two years she had been fighting with doctors to find out why a treatment for varicose veins in her right leg went so wrong.  Just last autumn her own mother died, and this left Marion heartbroken.  Then in December she had a mini-stroke.  From there her health declined as she suffered more mini-strokes, the re-emergence of lupus and a compromised immune system.  I’m so glad My Midnight Man and I were given the opportunity to visit her on Easter Sunday.  Her funeral is 13th May. 
        Uncle Elza and Marion practiced their Christian faith, being active with their church families.  And because of this faith, I take comfort that they have joined “such a great cloud of witnesses” (Hebrews 12:1). 
Next it’s Births
        At the other end of the spectrum is news of up-coming births.  Unless someone has news we don’t know about, none of our family is expecting babies.  However, two very close friends of mine have announced pregnancies.  Exiting stuff! 
Rob & Lyn on their honeymoon--2007
        Lyn is a good friend, whom I met through my time with Youth With A Mission in Scotland. We were prayer partners in Scotland and have lots of things in common.  She married a Floridian and is now making her home in America.  The end of February she posted the news on her blog that she was expecting her second baby.  I am so pleased for her, because her passion is being a stay-at-home wife and mother.  The link for her announcement is:
Michelle on my wedding day 18 Jan 2003
        Michelle:  is like my little sister, being nine years younger than I am.  I’ve known Michelle nearly 30 years...and I truly rejoice with her.  What is so exciting is that she never thought she’d be pregnant a second time—even though she and her husband truly wanted to have more than one child.  Their oldest daughter is a teenager who just passed her driving test!  Of course, I do pray that she will have a good pregnancy.  Baby Bump H. will arrive in October or November. 
        Finally, it’s Brides
        Not related to me at all, but known to the whole world is Kate Middleton and Prince William of Wales.  To be honest, I will be glad when the reporters no longer worry about announcing every nuance and minor detail to the world.  I don’t care who was invited, or snubbed by the Royal couple.  Nor do I care about table settings at the reception or precise schedule of events.  I simply want to turn on the tele and watch the romance of the day unfold. 
"Floss" 2007
        On a very personal note, my youngest Step-daughter “Floss” got engaged to “Harry” on Christmas Day 2010.  Certainly I have mentioned this on my blog previously, but I’m delighted hearing about her dress and the themes they want to bring into the wedding and reception.  It affects me. 
        Equally, my job affects their plans.  Here in the United Kingdom, it is a requirement that a couple getting married announce their intention to marry, called announcing the banns.  As the Parish Administrator, it is my job to write their names in a Book of Banns in order for the vicar to announce the banns at least three months before the date of the wedding.  It will be my honour, privilege and joy to write “Floss and Harry’s” banns in the book.  When I told them, they were equally excited.  Their wedding is May 2012. 
        Burials, births and brides (and grooms) are all occasions to celebrate life—times to embrace and cherish people.  After all, living is really about relationships with others.  The times we share with those with whom we open our hearts, our minds, are the truest treasure.  
        Serving Jesus, Author of our faith,  "Lady Helene"

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