Went for a walk in St Jude’s Graveyard yesterday. Just voted in the local council elections and wanted to see if the wild grasses had grown high yet. No sign of them, they look splendid when they have been left to overgrow the graves
I have been away from the blog for a long time. Over recent years I have been quilting less and also getting out a lot less due to illness so this walk in the graveyard of the church where we once worked as Vergers for almost ten years brought back a lot of memories for me.
It is interesting in our time here I voluntarily gardened in the Columbarium but rarely ventured into the graveyard except for church based barbeques. This chnged a little in our last few years there when the graveyard was reopened to burials. Our much loved vicar Reverend Lovitt was buried there and a young lady whom we had the pleasure of watching grow up was buried there just before we left. More of that in future posts.
As I walked around photographing plants, monuments, graves and railing in varying stages of decay I reflected on this past year. Much has happened. Firstly I received an apology from the Australian President of St Vincent De Paul for the abuse I suffered and watched my husband suffer. This apology meant so much to me as I only ever wanted to bring attention to the appalling way good people were treated. That abuse and standover tactics as a way of acheiving an end result is never the way to go about things in a Christian charity. Not only did I receive a corporate and personal apology in writing but a personal pledge of prayer support for my husband who has had a difficult time adjusting to the injustice of the situation. Indeed earlier this year he had severe chest pains and breathing problems due to stress and overwork.
A few months ago my dear mother in law died and within two days of her being buried I had Colostomy surgery. I am twelve weeks out now and feeling much better than I have in many many years. Over the past ten years I had become increasingly housebound and now am enjoying outings without the strain of always wondering where toilets are.
So as I strolled around the graveyard for the second time since my surgery I reflected on the changes in my own perceptions. I loved the play of light creating the shadows. The decaying headstones and ironwork and overgrown plantings looked perfect to me at this stage of my life. Years ago when I worked there all I would have seen was the work that had to be done, now I appreciate the stories behind the imperfections.
I have found a new lease of life and though still not in great health due to increasing arthritis I enjoy the small pleasures and one of them is advocating for Ostomy health and womens health issues due to Colorectal cancer. I did not have that myself but a lot of the issues that women have to deal with after that treatment are my own after varying surgeries over the years. So I am delighted to have met the most wonderful people on Facebook and online through many groups and have become an active participant in encouraging and supporting members.
While I walked around I also reflected on change. Twelve years ago when we left St Jude’s I became quite isolated and found it hard to adapt to a new life after so many years of being available to our small community almost seven days a weeK. I found new interests, took up quilting and scrapbooking and spent time getting to know our new neighbours but it was still a time of adjustment.
As I walked around the graveyard I was especially thinking of a quilter/blogger I know, Di Jobbins, whose husband Boak Jobbins died suddenly just a week before. Their life together was one of service and my thoughts and prayers are with Di now as she prepares to enter a new stage of her life. Luckily her life is fairly full but there will be many changes ahead of her. It is difficult leaving a parish, and especially difficult I think on the widows of vicars who lose not only their husbands but often their role and not least their home.