Some goodbyes and some tears

Rain droplets on a window.

The last few days have seen quite a few moments of saying goodbye, and a few tears too.

Thursday

I had my last regular meeting with my spiritual director on Thursday. He has accompanied me through a great deal in the last nine years or so (can it really be that long?) The meeting went well, I was excited about my news and what lies ahead; and rightly so. But when it came for me to say thank you, I just cried. Words alone can’t express how grateful I am to his journeying with me, through some at times very dark places. I am a better person for knowing him, and for the paths that we have trod.

Friday

Yesterday I met Mum off the bus, in the pouring rain. At least I would have, had she not got off at the wrong stop. We went to visit an old colleague of Mum’s from her days in India in the 1960s, Dr Winifred Bailey. She was dying. We went in, sat with her, told her our news and held her hand.

Winifred knew that we were there, and smiled, although we couldn’t make out anything that she could say; she was very weak. I had to go, but before I did Mum and I held her hand and prayed with her. As I left the tears were trickling down my cheeks.

Winifred died early this morning. I’m glad we went in. I’m glad we sat with her, and told her that we loved her.

Saturday

Today Jane and I had to decide what to do with Triskal, one of our cats. It’s a long and complicated tale, involving neighbours who began to feed him … and kept feeding him until he was over 60% (and dangerously) overweight. They want us to bear the responsibilities (and the vet bills) for him but they want to keep him. The situation has made us feel more and more angry, and more and more sorry for Triskal, who clearly is fond of these people but he is getting more and more ill.

What to do? It appears that they don’t want to take him over officially until he is well, despite the fact that it appears that it was them who made him that way! We’ve decided that as we are moving, and we still pay the vet bills we are taking him back. Hopefully he will resettle once we’ve moved.

He’s part of the family. It has been a hard decision to make. There were tears. There will be more. This moving lark is a real wrench at times.

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Gareth Saunders

I’m Gareth J M Saunders, 46 years old, 6′ 4″, father of 3 boys (including twins). Latterly, web architect and agile project manager at the University of St Andrews and warden at Agnes Blackadder Hall. Currently on sabbatical. I am a priest in the Scottish Episcopal Church, and I sing with the NYCGB alumni choir.

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