My last evening in England. My suitcase is packed and all but two of my goodbyes have been said. It is quiet, even though it is only 9.30 pm. Mum goes to bed early and Rob has retired for the evening to his flat with his faithful dog, Bruce.
I can't help thinking of the day before I left Canada for here; a Sunday.
That morning at the end of our church service, my friend Poppy (a.k.a. Frances--the butter cream icing Frances) came over. She was smiling; eyes bright; intent on telling me something. She was dressed in a blue floral sleeveless dress and was bathed in a delicious fragrance. Her eye shadow matched the dress and her dark blond hair framed her lovely face in tamed curls.
Just then, Esther, the pastor's wife approached in a hurry. "David wants you to come to his office to meet two new visitors from Bond Head," she said, urgently. Frances had not finished what she was saying, but released me with an understanding look, as I turned to follow Esther.
On the way to the back of the church, Joyce, another friend, her dark eyes also signalling a message, approached and reminded me of the frozen chicken and dozen eggs her husband Fernando had sent for me, and which she had to pass on before I left.
Torn between the waiting pastor and ladies and the transfer of the frozen chicken, I explained my current mission. Joyce went to get the chicken and eggs, while I went on to the office.
What a contrast with my time here. That busy morning could be a metaphor for my life in which I often feel pulled in several directions at one time, all of them good.
Here it is like skidding to a halt in comparison; nothing is rushed; the clock ticks; routine is all. We find our rhythm here quickly. My routine fits in seamlessly with Rob's and Mum's and all is well, peaceful and unhurried.
It has been almost 8 years since Mum had the stroke that brought her to this place in her life where she is dependent on the support of others for so many of her daily needs. The great blessing is that she is content in her world as it is.
One night after I said prayers for us both, her soft hand holding mine, she and I both gave a light squeeze at the ending "Amen."
"It's nice," she said, "I don't have prayers so nicely organized like yours are--they are rather muddled."
She gave a little smile and added, "But the Lord understands."
I said, "Yes, Mum, the Lord reads the heart."
Such a contrast: Her last 8 years of life so inactive when I think of all my rushing around. She quietly waits for her busy child to land here. And I always do; punctuating my life with "full stops" and hers with exclamation points! :)