Had a beautiful telephone call today from our dear little Grandson Oliver.
Our dearest and most long standing friend Alan passed away last night having battled since late last year with lung cancer.
The innocence of 4 year old Oliver's concern touched me in a profound way when he began to ask me questions.
"Did 'Uncle' Alan die Grandma?"
"Was he by himself?"
"Did he go to sleep?"
"Did he go to see Jesus?"
"Did he go by himself?"
The innocence and concern in his voice brought tears to my eyes.
Alan was a lovely Christian man who spent much of his retirement years helping others, particularly elderly folk in his neighbourhood and he will be sadly missed.
The number of people who visited him,some travelling long distances, amazed him and we kept telling him that he was reaping what he had sown.
He will be very much missed by Alan and I as we have known him and his wife Joan for almost 40 years.
We had the kind of friendship where we could be 100% honest with each other and be totally ourselves. As a foursome we have been there for each other throughout joyous and difficult times, sharing our faith as well as having fun.
We always remember in the 1970's when our daughter was a young child.
We were at an open air meeting in the park and Jane had won a fancy dress competition. The compère on the platform asked Jane if she had a boy friend. She said yes and pointed to our friend Alan who being the gentle man that he was had to stand up in front of a very large audience with a very red face.
It has been a privilege to know this man and particularly in recent weeks.
In pain, on oxygen, barely able to speak or swallow and having his lungs constantly drained, the weaker he became (and often not expecting him to get through the night) the stronger he became in spirit.
He prayed for people who visited, prophesied over his town and people and prayed for everyone of his grandchildren individually.
One grand daughter who did not come from a Christian home asked for a Bible which she read to him and left with a desire to know more about this God her Grand father knew.
He said he had a glimpse of heaven and was waiting for the door to open.
I'll finish this tribute with scenes from my garden this week
which is my little glimpse of heaven for the moment.