Sharon’s Sabbatical Reflections August 22, 2014

Today is a sad day.  The phone call I had been dreading and expecting finally came.  My friend Karen has died.  She is part of the amazing girls weekend group from residence at Carleton University so many decades ago.  Along the way, she has provided my home away from home on sabbatical.  Karen was a political junkie which is what drove most of us to university in the nation’s capital.  She worked on “The Hill” after graduation and never lost her hunger for the intricate workings of government.  She was a knitter, crochetter and stitcher of beautiful needlepoints.  This part of her character I did not get at all.  I smiled sweetly as she showed me her latest project without any appreciation for her skill and passion.  On another front, however, we were soul-mates.  She loved to read and would plan trips to cities especially to visit bookstores.  We regularly shared the titles of great books so that both of us usually have large piles on our bedside tables.  Most of all, I treasure Karen’s gentle, kind, giving nature.  Throughout her life, and most especially these last two years battling cancer, she has had the innate ability to know what others need.  Yes, she was an uber-volunteer in all her daughters’ schools and teams but it was more than that.  It was her way of anticipating what others might need to make their load a bit lighter or making choices to spare others from tasks that might take away from their full enjoyment of a moment.  She was gracious and caring even as she tried to map out her final journey.  I am so glad I went to visit her in January and again in July.  We laughed much about both visits; one with a cast on my wrist and the next on crutches with a cast on my ankle!  It was good to be together;  to talk about the whole spectrum of life; the ordinary joys of family and work as well as the painful reality of sickness.  So often I tell people that we tend to regret the things we didn’t do rather than the things we did do.  That is my way of encouraging people to speak what it in their heart, to reach out and visit someone they care about, to say and do whatever will bring peace and completeness to one’s soul.  I’m glad i took my own advice.  Grief doesn’t hurt less because I’m a minister.  It does help, at least a little, to trust that the one who in his ministry made a point to call those near him ‘friends’, will be the same loving Saviour who will be taking care of my friend now.Sharon

Categories: General News, Sharon
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