It was caring for a mutual friend that brought Dermot and me together, so far as she allowed anyone to care for her, that is. Dermot and Margaret did more than most, living opposite. But our friend had to go into a care home, and finally to hospital where she died. Soon after that Margaret’s cancer returned and she went to her Maker, and now Dermot’s brother Joe has died.
‘Everyone that made me laugh has gone’, he told me, and all younger than me.’
He carries on, taking on the responibilities his wife had had around their home, adrift at times, but ever ready for a few words of conversation, for he has hope, despite the encircling gloom.
LEAD, Kindly Light, amid the encircling gloom Lead Thou me on! The night is dark, and I am far from home— Lead Thou me on! Keep Thou my feet; I do not ask to see The distant scene—one step enough for me. I was not ever thus, nor pray'd that Thou Shouldst lead me on. I loved to choose and see my path, but now Lead Thou me on! I loved the garish day, and, spite of fears, Pride ruled my will: remember not past years. So long Thy power hath blest me, sure it still Will lead me on, O'er moor and fen, o'er crag and torrent, till The night is gone; And with the morn those angel faces smile Which I have loved long since, and lost awhile.
John Henry Newman