I must enjoy long term relationships!
Twenty years ago I made my first visit to Leonard Cheshire Home in Cheltenham. A friend had suggested that Danny and Yunus would like a trip to Lourdes. Indeed they did enjoy it and we became friends over the years, as a result I am still visiting Leonard Cheshire – though unfortunately both Danny and Yunus are no longer with us.
Today I took Peter to South Cerney (near Cirencester) where he goes sailing – I managed to limit my involvement today to that of driver and spectator – my main role these days is as a volunteer driver for the wheelchair adapted vehicles at the home. Before suffering brain damage Peter did a lot of sailing – learning his skills on the River Severn. Last time I accompanied him I found myself in the boat. It seemed that they didn't want an instructor with Peter' because he might take over, whereas Peter knew what was needed and was capable of being the skipper giving the necessary orders – what they really wanted was someone to accompany Peter who was totally incompetent !!! (and they found him!!)
Last year Jennipher visited the Leonard Cheshire Home and met a few of the residents. Today I talked to Kay who used her hands to show Jennipher how to make bracelets from loom bands and Paula who acted as our guide to the home – showing Jennipher around. Todays HANDS however are from Lizzie who has more recently followed Danny and Yunus on trips to Lourdes. Show your support by following this link. Give us your hand - Hands Around the World
I am getting through my list of things to buy or find and jobs to do before I leave for Zambia. Yesterday I collected my 'new' car which will make life a little easier and make Dilys happier!!
Our accommodation in Monze was also settled yesterday, so it was quite a day. I will be sharing this year. Deana and a colleague are heading out tomorrow and I will join them on Monday. Unfortunately we couldn't find a furnished house and will be busy trying to find something to sit on etc.!! Maybe I will be lucky and by Monday my chair will be in place!!
I have decided to buy a double mattress – not so much because I like a lot of space,but because I have a friend who had his mattress stolen several years back and hasn't been able to replace it. He is now married! It makes me realise just what some people need to cope with. For me 7 weeks without a mattress seems too much to cope with – for others these are the normal trials of life. Anyway after I leave my friend and his wife should sleep more comfortably.
As usual my luggage contains many standard holiday items!! e.g. 7 footballs, twenty knitted glove puppets, a few blankets, 20 bars of soap, a BP monitor, 6 bottles of clove oil and 600 cotton buds. I will get around to packing a few clothes on Saturday if I have any room left!
Having decided that a coach to Gatwick was too expensive I booked to Victoria and then a train from there to Gatwick. Of course if I had looked at the cost for one ticket instead of two I could have saved myself the trouble of lugging cases between the coach station and train station!
As usual this time is one of mixed emotions. There is the stress and anxiety of preparing for the trip together with anticipation of the joys and pain of what I will meet back in Zambia.
I have been reading a small book about John Vanier and his life with people with mental disabilities.
He reminded me how important it is to take time out to pray – to be with our God. Most of us are guilty of filling every waking moment and forgetting to take time out. I certainly plead guilty! We need a lot of help to do anything worthwhile, my coming visit will only be successful if I give the Lord a chance. I will have plenty of opportunity on my long journey on Sunday and Monday, I hope to make a good start – I will let you know.
Please pray for me!