Sunday, 14 November 2010

Radio Shropshire Pause for thought Remembrance Sunday

Picture painted by Harriet Davis with a little help -from Trust website

I turned the key in the lock and opened the large wooden door which led into a bright and spacious hallway

Stepping inside my eyes were drawn to a photo, hanging on the wall, in an ornate gold coloured frame, in the the photo a happy young girl smiling; not just with her mouth or her eyes but with her whole face.

I had never seen a picture of her before, and there was no writing to identify the smiling girl but I knew her name was Harriet.

Turning away from the from the photo I saw firstly, a large lift with a glass door straight ahead, and then looking left down a long corridor with white walls I could see another wide doorway and through the glass in the door I could see a swimming pool

Exploring the house revealed not just wonderful views of the Pembrokeshire coastline and the autumn sun shining on the rough sea, but other more prosaic things, special baths and toilet seats and hoists and adapted beds -all things that are too familiar to those who inhabit or indeed knows someone who inhabits a world full of disability aids
And the smiling girl in the photograph is Harriet Davis. The trust we rented the property from bears her name

A leaflet lifted from a small wooden table tells us that Harriet had a rare degenerative disease , which meant she lost most of her motor abilities but that seaside holidays were a source of great joy to her until her death in 1992 at the age of just 11.

Inspired by Harriet’s memory her mum and dad founded the trust so that other disabled children could enjoy holidays too in this wonderfully adapted house

Memory can be totally inspirational!

Today is Remembrance Sunday a day when in small chapels and large churches and at war memorials throughout Shropshire and the United Kingdom these familiar words from Laurence Binyons poem for the fallen will be said as they are every year

"They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
we will remember them."
The British Legion do a phenomenal job They certainly remember and keep alive the memory of brave men and women who in conflicts as far apart as Belgium and the Falkland’s ,Burma and Afghanistan died in the service of their country
But they don’t just remember the memory spurs them to act to raise money to care for the survivors in a whole host of different ways from pensions advice to building centres where wounded service personnel can be rehabilitated to live lives to the full.

Like Harriet’s parents -the painful memory of the past inspires a future dream
What do you do with your painful memories?- do they fester deep inside or do you allow them to motivate you to build a better world- to inspire future dreams

At the heart of the Christian faith is a painful memory of a crucified man on a cross
Christians think about the cross often
Christians believe in the words of the old hymn that Jesus died "that we might be forgiven" and the memory of that death and the resurrection that follows should energise & inspire us to live for him- to love as He loved and serve as He served

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