Tag Archives: reunion

Goodbye Lesley

So… I did have to preach a different sermon from the one I had originally planned. Lesley died in the early morning of Tuesday 17th and so when I started to write the sermon she was already gone. I chose to preach on Jephthah’s daughter (Judges 11), one of the grimmest passages in the Bible. It came into my mind because it is about premature death, and also about a death that is anticipated so that the person has time to prepare. I think the sermon went well – at least I didn’t break down in the middle of it. I have known Lesley for almost 20 years and she has been one of the most significant people in the church for me, and for many others. Now her son Adam is left without any immediate family, as his father and sister both died within the last 10 years. He is only 26 – not an age at which you expect to be orphaned.

Since then, The Grouch has been extremely busy helping Adam plan the funeral, which will happen this Friday. It has been very stressful for him, and I have tried to support him as best I can. Meanwhile I have been called on to write a tribute which I will deliver at the funeral, to proofread the order of service, to find a photo for the cover, to give my opinion on our paid elder’s planned sermon, and in the midst of this to start writing Bible notes on Mark 1-4. Oh, and I have also been to a parents’ special needs day (very useful), a mini Shipmeet (delightful) , and an arts evening (see below) where I was selling the speaker’s books. I have also volunteered three times at my new voluntary job (one afternoon a week) doing admin at a local carers’ centre. Not much to do then… I’ve hardly had time to grieve, but I think the funeral will give me that.

The arts evening turned out to be a reunion with many people from my past, including a man ten years younger than me, on whom I had a crush approximately thirty years ago. He is still gorgeous, but also still queer as a nine bob note, so no more hope there than there ever was. Silly me.


This afternoon after what will in all likelihood be my last appointment with the Terribly Tenacious Therapist (since I think she is actually making things worse), I took myself off to Brent Cross Shopping Centre to look for a handbag and have some lunch. In the Italian café I chose, I queued up to pay for my food and after telling me the cost, the girl serving me apparently said ‘Are you really tired?’. Somewhat touched by her concern, I answered ‘Well, yes I am actually’, hoping I wouldn’t have to explain that actually I was not just tired but depressed. ‘That’ll be £X, then’, she said, naming a smaller sum. It was only at this point I realized that what she had actually said was ‘Are you retired?’. Apparently there was a reduction for pensioners. Now I don’t generally tell people that I will be eligible for my pension in four years, but people generally tell me that I look much younger (when I was 40 and expecting my son, a neighbour said she thought I was 28), so if the girl in the Italian café thought I was retired, I must have been looking particularly rough. Not so nice as when I innocently thought she was expressing a concern for my welfare.

In other news, I have just read that Pleasant Oaks Mennonite Church and First Mennonite Church of Middlebury, Indiana, are reuniting, having split in 1923 (over women’s clothing, would you believe?). It’s taken 86 years, but hey, reconciliation can take a while. The proposed name for the reunited congregation is First Pleasant Mennonite Church. They don’t seem to have noticed that this implies that all Mennonite churches heretofore have been unpleasant. Sigh…