Yesterday I shared ‘The Last Supper’ with two special friends. Hopefully it just marked the end of an era, not the end of one of our lives.
Two years ago I moved into a house with two people from my church, neither of which I knew very well. Another connection at church had a house to rent, they were interested in it but would prefer to split the rent three ways rather than two, so given that I was also looking to move house, it worked out well. I’d spoken to this couple at church a few times, but I wouldn’t say I knew them. So after we’d all been to see the house together, we went to the local Wetherspoons for food and to check we didn’t have contradictory personalities. About a month later we moved in together, and a strong friendship was created. I moved out a year ago now, but I still see both of them regularly. They are a very laid back couple, easy and fun to live with, not much stresses them out. Except recent events.
He is from California, and moved over here to marry her, so all his family is still over there. And his Dad has been recently diagnosed with cancer. Two weeks ago the doctors declared it terminal and said he only had weeks to live. They made the decision to pack up everything over here and move out there for a year. They’re hoping they’ll get there before he dies, be around for all the funeral arrangements and then establish some kind normality out there. They’ve always wanted to live out there for a period of time, before they settle down with kids, etc, so they’ve decided to do it now. It is just the most stressful moving house situation I could possibly imagine.
They’ve managed to pack up all their house and clean it, in the past two weeks. But they haven’t had to do it alone. On Sunday 10 of their friends spent the day packing, cleaning, and moving the stuff they didn’t want to take, to her parent’s garage. We’ve got friends who are involved with local asylum seekers, and they’ve just been given two houses which needed furniture, so a lot of their furniture was donated to them. I was working all day Sunday so couldn’t join the party of helpers, but I unexpectedly got Monday off, so I offered to come over. I got there about lunchtime so we went to a local cafe for lunch. As we were waiting for food, a mirrored comparision was made with our first meal together in the Wetherspoons. I was upset when it was called ‘The Last Supper’ because I didn’t want it to be our last meal together, but they insisted it was just a closing house meal. They will be back.
We spent all afternoon packing and cleaning, when we finished it was only the hall that needed tidying and hoovering. It was good to be able to help them out in that way, especially as when I moved out I couldn’t clean as throughly as we did yesterday because the house still had all their furniture and stuff in it. Mr B then came over and we took the stuff they want to take with them round to the friends that they’re staying with until their flights. She has to work out her contract so won’t be flying out until the end of April.
It’s been an emotional time for them, and I think everyone who has been involved with helping them has felt it too. It’s all the hoping that he gets out there before his Dad dies and hoping that he goes as peacefully as he can. And at the same time, saying goodbye to good friends. If you can, please say a little prayer for them – J and B.