Monthly Archives: January 2016

Go Well “Gentle Friend”

harry and charlie

Today a member of our family went to sleep. When I first met him I knew that he was someone who could be completely trusted. His eyes held wisdom beyond his age and his gentleness was evident in his gaze. He has proven himself to be strong, courageous, and a good friend. But with deteriorating health his time to go on the next leg of his journey had come.

So at 12 O’Clock, in an act of kindness and love, denied to many others, the vet came and put our huge, strong, tender horse, Harry, to sleep.

Now if you are not an animal lover then I give you permission to “tut”. But your “tutting” only means that you have not yet experienced the strong and beautiful bond that forms between a human and their horse. I have seen that bond between Harry and my daughter Charlie, his owner, carer, devotee, lover, confidant and friend. A bond that has been there from the moment that she met him, which has developed with Charlie and has infected the entire family. Harry taught me to ride- trusting him completely. And he always did his best to please us, but especially Charlie.

Now, if love could have saved him then Charlie’s love would have; but love couldn’t save him. His laminitis (a serious condition in his legs) was too severe. So in a final act of love we did what Harry couldn’t do and took the painful, heart-breaking decision for his journey to end.

We have been overwhelmed by the support and love for Harry and Charlie on Social Media from horsey and non-horsey friends alike. So much love from people who understand and have been there. And, of course, we have so many wonderful memories; of his galloping; his life; the joy he gave and the love he received.

And I will never forget his wisdom; the way he looked at me and understood me at the deepest of levels. I will never forget how he changed our lives and my daughter’s life, adding quality and depth.

So for now, GO WELL, GENTLE FRIEND.

Thanks from an Insufferably Proud Grandad (that ME!)

emilia grace999

“Which service?”

Ambulance please,” I said with panic rising in my voice.

My daughter Suzy’s waters had broken at 4am that morning and by one O’clock she was having contractions really close together. We had tried to get her in the car, but by that time she couldn’t down the stairs.

The operator stayed on the phone and the crew arrived within 10 minutes. Their control, calmness, professionalism and care was exemplary – and with loads of reassuring words and some gas and air Suzy floated down the stairs and straight to the Meadow Birth Centre.

We were met at the door by Lucy, who calmly took control and showed Suzy to the Violet Room. It is a pretty room, beautifully decorated, with a huge birthing pool in the centre. Alison, Suzy’s Mom and also the baby’s Dad, were the birth partners and stayed with her. And in just two hours beautiful Emilia Grace was born.

My other children and I went up to welcome her to the world at about 4pm and she was already looking at the new world, and her mom, contentedly with beautiful big blue eyes.

My midwife friend Alison took over care and from about 9:00pm, I was alone with Suzy and Emilia as we were being prepared for discharge home. Alison was calm, professional, caring, interested and happy for us as well; and she made sure she took some photos of us putting Emilia’s leaf on the Birth Centre Tree to mark her birth.

Mom and Baby are doing well at home but I can’t stop thinking about that day. Usually my stories are second-hand; but for this once I was not the Chaplain, just David, a proud Dad and Granddad, watching in awe at the superb treatment we were getting from people who know their stuff.

So from a normal Worcester family, we want to give our heartfelt thanks to the Ambulance crew and Meadow Birth Centre staff for the best treatment we could have possibly asked for. Amazing is too small a compliment. We will always be in your debt!