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Last Saturday I was due to take my goddaughter’s wedding in Leeds. It had been postponed twice because of the pandemic, so the day was much anticipated. Last Friday evening I was feeling sufficiently unwell so took take a lateral flow test. It was positive.
Fortunately there was enough time to let the local vicar know. She was able to step in at the last minute, while I braced myself for five days of quarantine. Anne, my wife, had also tested positive, so together we reprised those early days of lockdown – except that (once we were feeling up to it) we had to take our exercise by gardening rather than walking the streets.
Having to miss the wedding was disappointing for me, but I am confident that the beautiful late spring day and over a hundred happy guests ensured the bride and groom had a wonderful time despite my absence. What was harder for us was also having to miss the funeral of my brother-in-law earlier this week. Instead of joining our family for the service, Anne and I watched a livestream on a tablet – the chapel reduced to the size of a small electronic screen. We were fortunate to be able to watch it together, but afterwards I remembered Father Tim’s reflections on loneliness in last week’s Catch-Up and recalled how so many people had been denied the opportunity to attend the funerals of loved ones for so many months at the height of the pandemic.
I am now, happily, out and about again. But I am immensely grateful to the many people who contacted us in our brief period of confinement, offering to do shopping, assuring us of prayer and generally enquiring after us. Mental Health Awareness Week may be over for another year, but gestures of kindness and caring enable the love of God to be shown, and experienced, in our lives every week – and every day.
With love and prayers,
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