It’s not been an easy time for my human family over the last couple of weeks. Nanna, who lived on the other side of our house slipped into unconsciousness and eventually died a week later. It had always been her wish to remain here at home, so my owner and I sat up through many night-time hours until her final passing. I may be a parrot, but I knew exactly what was going on, and I knew that I had to be gentle and quiet throughout.
Nanna had reached the grand old age of 95 and had lived through so many different life experiences. She was born in 1926 into the midst of the Great Depression, and became an evacuee at the outbreak of World War Two, moving with her school to rural Somerset. But she became homesick, so made the long journey back to East London to ride out the rest of the war in her family home. Every night was spent in an Anderson shelter as bombs and rockets rained down all around. Mercifully, none came down right on top of her.
After the war, as Europe was starting to pick itself up and dust itself down, she made the decision to start writing to a German penfriend as a small token of reconciliation. This friendship stood the test of time and has been continued by my owner and the German lady’s daughter.
Marriage and motherhood came Nanna’s way. She lived through the assassination of J.F. Kennedy, the rise of the Beatles, the Cold War and the Cuban Missile Crisis. If she had been a tree, then I think she’d have been a mighty oak or beech bearing 95 rings of unique experience.
Throughout her final week, many people were praying for us all and God never seemed too far away. In fact the pain of Nanna’s passing was tempered by an extraordinary sense of peace and wellbeing which could only have come from the presence of God. He really was present when we needed Him most…
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanks-giving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7).
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27).
“Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.” (2 Thessalonians 3:16).
We’ve been on quite a journey over these last couple of weeks. And we’ve learnt an important lesson in life; to never doubt the power of prayer and to never dismiss the presence of God. Amen.