Friday, 30 April 2010

May day (almost) meanderings

Tomorrow, I see, from the calendar is May Day, and so, to celebrate, here's a picture of the blossom on one of the apple trees we planted last year. It's sad that we shan't be able to let all the blossom turn into fruit. In the long term it will do better if we remove almost all of it this year. Maybe there's a moral there about pain and gain, or the Father pruning the vines....

I've recently finished reading Living with Dying by Grace Sheppard. This is a book written from the other side of the fence from mine, as it were. Grace is the wife of the late Bishop of Liverpool and English cricket captain, David Sheppard, who died of cancer in March 2005. Grace cared for him until his death at home on 5th March. The book is an autumnal love story - not only about the last few years when he was fighting cancer, but looking back over the life they shared together, much of it in the spotlight of being public figures. Grace is very honest and very personal about caring for a dying person and grieving for him after his death. It's a tender account, shot through with beautiful threads. Every bereavement is different, of course, but I think reading this would help anyone facing the prospect of caring for a loved one. It ends with a long letter to couple preparing for their last years, which is a distillation of the wisdom gained from Grace and David's experience. As you'll gather, I think it's a lovely book, personal but not sentimental, faith-filled but not pious, life-affirming but not unrealistic - and I don't think it's because I'm biased (because Grace is my cousin!).
The book's published by Darton, Longman and Todd (DLT) - and coincidentally, I assure you, has a foreword by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, like I Choose Everything. We got our copy, of course, from Cornerstone, but you can also get it via the internet.

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