2009 has not been the best for me. I guess it all started with the gable end of a tenement building coming through the roof of the church, demolishing my office in the process. However, that was sorted before the big hassles of the year started. It became apparent that dad could no longer live alone after hospitalisation in early April. We nearly lost him then, but he eventually pulled through. Then to find a Care Home. It's been a dreadful process, but at least he is happier now, having moved into a new place just before Christmas. He has been so unhappy and extremely difficult since May, but we have high hopes that 2010 will be better for him.
It was a year, too, when I publicly expressed my fears over sectarian marches of any variety, and I paid the price for that in many ways. I would be disinclined to mention the subject publicly again, and that's a shame. The reaction, and the pain and aggro that followed just wasn't worth it.
However, we managed to build a new Community Hall beside the church, and that was an achievement. The new place is all ready to take off in the New Year, and we'll be moving to a new Rectory at the end of January too.
Archie, the Special One, arrived to be part of the family and sometimes I wonder if he is a blessing or a weight around our necks. Then he looks at me as only a Golden Retriever can and my heart melts!
So we go into the new year with high hopes and lots of expectation! Looking back I can see that "Emmanuel", the Christmas message, is very true. God has indeed been with us, and for that I'm grateful!