“Pleasure the meeting and parting the pain.” That was what my Grandmother used to say when we would make our summer visits to Pilley’s Island each summer. Yesterday we returned to Windsor from Newfoundland and from a hard but very love filled week. Saying farewell to my parents and to Gary and Annette and Leah and Becky and Gary and Helen and indeed all of my family was hard this time – really hard.
Yet I am looking forward to seeing my parish family tomorrow. The love and support expressed from everyone here in Windsor has been tremendous. I look forward to the opportunity tomorrow to share with the family I have here the kind of week it has been and to offer my own reflection on wht it means to be called as a follower of Jesus – especially at a time like this.
Before I returned I wrote a hymn in Andrea’s memory and gave it to my sister Helen and her family. It is written to the tune of Londonderry Aire (Commonly known as O Danny Boy). I post the words here now for you to see how I expressed my feelings in writing. If you would like to reproduce this hymn or use it you are welcomed to, however I do ask that you send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and seek permission before you do.
It is good to be home – but I must say – I miss the family today.
Indeed we know that God has given goodness
That it is shown in vast and wondrous ways
In love that comes from friends and all their laughter
In love that’s shown to all who are dismayed.
God’s Love is known when Light destroys the darkness
God’s Love is known when friends are close at hand
God’s Love is known in moments of silence
When we can weep and cry and seek to understand.
There are those days of cheer and jubilation
The world is right and pain seems so remote
The love of babes so beautiful and radiant
The sounds and sights when children play and run.
God’s love is known when birth brings life and nurture
God’s love is known when siblings laugh and play
God’s love is known in all of the frustrations
Expressed in living life as family day to day.
And we rejoice that God is in the moments
Present in joy, in pain, in doubt and fear.
While oft alone in moments of confusion
There is no time when God just does not care.
And we Rejoice for God redeems the fallen
And we Rejoice for God provides a feast
And we Rejoice for God restores all vision
And God breathes life and love in everlasting peace.
And so to all who walk life’s winding highway
Who sometimes feel immense amounts of grief,
Take heart and know that God is watching always
and God alone will know your inmost fears.
And we Rejoice for God weeps when we’re weeping
And we Rejoice for God extends all love
And we Rejoice for God is all compassion
For Christ is here in the sweet hearts of all who love.
Tune: Londonderry Air
Words: Kevin George © January 22, 2008
(In Memory of Andrea Sparkes – age 6 years)