Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:4-7

30 June 2010

Looking Through the Window at the Old People's Home

Just before I finished up teaching seven and a half years ago, my boss invited me into his office for a chat.  We often chatted about things deeper than classroom management and staffroom politics.  On this day he described a scene from his weekend to me.  He'd been to visit his dad.  On his arrival at the aged care facility where his dad lived, he stood a while in the doorway of the common room regarding his dad and the three friends he was sitting with, chatting while they were waiting for their visitors.  His dad had been a high ranking official with the police force.  With him was a man who finished his working life the CEO of a middle sized business, one who had been a gardener and one who had been a rubbish collector. 

An outsider looking in would never have guessed at the career disparity amongst that group of four - because there was no disparity.  They all belonged.  In their final years, how they spent their working lives mattered little.  What mattered, he observed, as he sat with his father that afternoon, was who received visitors that afternoon and furthermore, what the quality of those relationships was like - and how that played out depended upon how life had been lived alongside those careers.  It didn't pan out as you might expect at first glance either.

That conversation has never left me.

[Top photo from Microsoft Online Clip Art.  Bottom photo from my camera]


Anonymous said...

You are doing a splendid job on your Blog, Meredith - very encouraging for most people I would say. Where DO you get the time to do all this wonderful work ????? Lots of love always from your friend Dot C. PS My little matey, N, spotted me today and I couldn't resist providing the two peppies for him ! The way to a (little) man's heart is a Kool Mint or two !!

Meredith said...

Thanks Dot! When do I do this? I think about it during the day and type in the evenings - it is my TV watching time I suppose. And as for that little Mr N, you definitely have a very big place in his heart. Thank you. Mxx