I was listening to Rev Richard Coles on his Saturday morning radio 4 show recently and heard him talk about his sadventures. And, I knew exactly what he meant.
He lost his partner in December 2019, just 4 months before I lost my husband, and since then life has gone on but it will never be the same. He still has to earn a living, follow his vocation, and try to stay alive and get pleasure from what he does. And I do too. I have to feed and walk our dog, keep the house in a decent condition, stay in touch with friends and family, and try to enjoy what is left of my life. But it is so hard some days.
I have tried to make plans and stick to them for short trips, days out and even a holiday. But, any enjoyment I get is tinged with sadness as the little voice in my head says, “Gerry would have loved this!”. Hence, as for Rev Coles and all bereaved people, however pleasant my excursions may be, they will always be ‘sadventures’.
I went to Evesham yesterday with my wonderful sister and her family. The day was perfect, not too hot and not raining! The Abbey grounds were beautiful still bearing the ruins of the ancient building and walls. We found a lovely café which allowed dogs in as well as pushchairs. So, we sat and enjoyed coffee and ice-cream. Then I spotted an unusual sculpture of a large fish. Near it was a sign explaining the Legend of St Egwin who founded Evesham Abbey.
The legend says that Egwin was made Bishop of Worcester in the year 693. He came from a noble family possibly related to Aethelred King of Mercia. Egwin came to be at odds with the local population over his strict views on Christian marriage. His stern discipline created resentment which made him enemies and these people reported him to the Pope in Rome. Egwin undertook to prove that his regime was correct and journeyed to Rome to see the Pope face to face. Before he left Evesham he put a shackle round his feet and threw the key in the river vowing not to be released until he had the blessing of the Pope.
When Egwin reached Rome he settled into his accommodation and his servant went to market to buy fish for his supper. You’ve probably guessed that when the fish was opened up, a key was found inside its stomach, the key to the shackle! After such a happening how could the Pope not give his blessing? Hence, Egwin returned vindicated to Evesham and thereafter founded Evesham Abbey at the behest of Eof the swineherd after his vision of the Virgin Mary.
A fascinating legend which left me wondering how on earth a swineherd could raise the funds for an Abbey on this scale. But, also how Gerry, who loved fishing would have enjoyed this legend!
Sadventures a perfect word for the missing presence…..X
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