Sunday, 14 March 2010

next steps

Whilst it's no big secret that yes, myself and herself are now formally engaged to be married (as an alternatively to the previous arrangement, whereby we were just planning to be!) it hasn't been dominating my thoughts this week as much as it should - to the end that, whenever someone congratulated me before a church service this morning, it took me a minute to realise what he was talking about!

However, after all the fuss this morning, it was one quiet moment that really hit me hard. It being Mothering Sunday AND therefore Mother's Day (Two separate holidays from two separate origins! Blame the Americans) after the family service in Maghera this morning, we decided to buy in a consignment of potted primroses, "one for everyone in the audience" style.

As the mums were picking and choosing on their way out of church, one lady picked up an extra one to give to an elderly gentleman coming behind her - a small gesture, as his wife has passed away. Almost wordlessly, he stood for a moment and then proceeded around the side of the church, in the sunshine, to set it on her grave. As someone I would regard as an elder statesman of the parish, it was humbling to see his small action weighted with huge emotion, as he privately illustrated where his thoughts and heart still lie. For me, the challenge in such an act is immense, and it's a moment that, I hope, will stay with me throughout the upcoming madness.


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