Monday, March 7, 2011


This week for me, is the passing of an era. The last of my parents’ siblings is being laid to rest. My father’s only brother died within a week of my father’s death back in the ‘90s. My mother had one brother, but seven sisters. The sisters squabbled for most of their lives, mostly over petty jealousies, constantly forging new alliances as their fortunes changed.

Vera was the youngest, only about sixteen years older than me. Although she would occasionally join in the sisterly fracas, she was different for a number of reasons. She was the only one of her siblings not to marry. She battled medical overweight all her life, and surprised us all by living to ninety.

But she was the only sister, except my mother, who retained her Christian faith. Hers was a simple faith. It didn’t require pshyco-babble to define it, nor was she conflicted over finer points of theology. She was simply a sinner saved by the amazing grace of God, enjoying and sharing her faith to the end. Here are words she wanted to be remembered by.

I have had a good life, many, many interesting changes, not always as I had planned. I have been very blessed and look forward now to my call Home, where I shall claim my inheritance which will never perish and which is reserved for those who love Him. Also to be presented to God our Father, to be lead by Jesus to God's throne and hear Christ say, "Father this is Vera for whom I died". Wonderful!

A favourite hymn, and a favourite of mine also, will be sung at her funeral in England on Thursday. Here are immortal words that will only grow brighter with time.

O Love that will not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in thee;
I give thee back the life I owe,
That in thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.
O Light that followest all my way,
I yield my flickering torch to thee;
My heart restores its borrowed ray,
That in thy sunshine's blaze its day
May brighter, fairer be.
O Joy that seekest me through pain,
I cannot close my heart to thee;
I trace the rainbow through the rain,
And feel the promise is not vain,
That morn shall tearless be.
O Cross that liftest up my head,
I dare not ask to fly from thee;
I lay in dust life's glory dead,
And from the ground there blossoms red
Life that shall endless be.

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