This past weekend was a lot of bittersweet memories for us this weekend. On Saturday we went back to our old church to celebrate the life of a dear lady who was one of the founding members of our congregation. We’ve watched her over the last many years struggle with the recovery from a stroke and then with the onset of Alzheimer’s. She struggled for many years and her husband and family were always so wonderful with her. She passed away last week, and Saturday was her memorial service.
It was odd to go back to our old church after being away since the fall. We got a chance to see lots of old friends — ones who’d left our church years ago for various reasons, and ones that we’d left behind when we left. It was a realization for us that despite the fact we go to other churches now, we are all one in Christ. Catching up on news and seeing how kids had grown brought back so many memories and in some made us “wish for what was”. But things move on. New friends come into our lives, old ones move on.
Sunday we decided that since our whole family was free that we packed up early Sunday morning and headed to London to visit with Nancy’s Mom and Dad. Nancy’s Dad is doing very well given the circumstances. He was his usual bright cheery self while were there (although we know he has his understandably low moments through the week). His appetite was great! We took in Swiss Chalet chicken and ribs and I think he ate more that I did!!
But it’s hard to see him deteriorating as well. He’s been a huge influence on me over these past years – especially since my Dad passed away in 1994. It was his teaching of a Bible Study on the Holy Spirit in 1979 or so that really helped me to open up to my Christian faith (although I’d always gone to church). He’s STILL got so much to offer – always concerned for how work is going; how our church search is going; making suggestions of ones to visit; reaching out to other people, even when they call to see how HE is doing! “But things move on. New friends come into our lives, old ones move on.”
The great thing is that in both situations – seeing Nancy’s Dad getting ready to move on, and seeing the friends from our old church who have moved on – those who are dearest to us in our Christian walk will never really be gone. They’ll live on in our memories and of course we’ll see them all again eventually.