As I contemplate another birthday about to hit, and with that, the prospect of moving on from being the age of "the answer to the meaning of life, the universe and everything" (and if you have no idea what this means, you obviously need to read The Hitch-hikers' Guide to the Galaxy series), I send you belated Christmas wishes (as I didn't seem to manage to get my act together to do Christmas cards, or even a proper Christmas email this year), and trust that your Christmas was a special time of peace and blessing.
A particularly special moment for me came a couple of weeks ago, just after I had spent a very intense couple of days supporting the family and friends of a young woman who became very ill and then died. On my first visit to the ward after this had happened, I was almost pounced on by a patient who I had spent some time with the previous week; he was very excited, and keen to share with me some things he had written down, articulating his take on the meaning of life. He told me that he had been inspired by a conversation I had with him earlier, where we talked about issues of meaning, and he thought he should take the opportunity to write some stuff down, so that when he was going through dark times in the future, he would have something to come back to, as a kind of reference point. This encounter was a real gift from God, which helped to lighten my own spirit after travelling with the family and friends of the other patient through the heaviness and intensity of their grief the day before.
Last night, I initiated Mum into the pub scene of Brunswick, as we had a counter meal at the Retreat Hotel for dinner. Then this morning we did Sydney Road, from Coburg, where I bought a sewing machine (something I have been wanting to do for ages, and saw a great bargain advertised on TV last night, so went out and bought it), then I introduced Mum to the Mediterranean Wholesalers, an amazing Italian supermarket/general store/cafe on Sydney Rd, and I bought some of their great pasta, and we had a cuppa there, before heading down to the local supermarket for some more mundane grocery shopping before I had to head into the hospital for afternoon/evening shift.