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December Editor's Comment

"You can never step into the same river; for new waters are always flowing on to you."

- Heraclitus

Not long now until Christmas – the time for family get togethers, Christmas tinsel, fake Santa’s in scruffy beards and the harmony of the carolers. December is often a month for reflection – the ending of another year brings thoughts of what the future may bring. For many it is a time to rejoice, taking time to get in touch with our nearest and dearest, spending time with the kids, going Christmas shopping with friends (and bemoan the credit card bills in January!) Yet it can also be a more difficult time for some, with re-emerging painful reminders of past events, perhaps for the loss of loved ones that are felt more keenly at this time of year than at any other.

Whilst I am one of those annoying people who embrace Christmas with open arms, waking in the morning humming ‘We wish you a Merry Christmas’ under my breath while hanging tinsel on every available piece of furniture – I would like to dedicate the first December issue of to the reason behind it’s conception – my father. Five years ago, my father was taken from us by cancer. At his funeral, my Papa Max (Dad’s Dad) mentioned how it was sad that it often took such an event to happen to bring family together – and I also remembered how Dad had once shown an interest in our family geneology. (Unfortunately I have yet been unable to find his notes.)

Thus, was born. Partly as a research tool, in discovering our family’s history – but more as a way of keeping our family in touch with one another, especially in today’s world, where even our immediate family now stretches around the world.

Christmas has become a particularly poignant time for my family – not only was Dad’s birthday on the 21st November, which has him in our minds anyway, but he left us on the 22nd December, only three days before Christmas. We still celebrate the festive season, but I think now it holds an extra special meaning, with Dad always in the forefront of our thoughts.

Dad, this is for you – wherever you are; at times I still feel your presence and always your guidance alongside Mum’s, still keeping me on the straight and narrow; not just at Christmas, but the whole year ‘round – and I miss you always. We all do. Merry Christmas.

For SGBT...

There and yet not
You sit patiently at the back of my mind
Offering advice or concern
You’re never far from me.
I feel closer to you than ever I have
Though years separates us
From when last I held your hand,
And whispered words of love
As you left your place of pain for one of peace.
Yet I can still see your face - as though
It was over your coffee (strong, black, no sugar)
This morning.
When at times
I feel overwhelmed and
Am drowning from confusion or fear,
With wise words and clear gazes
You help keep my focus strong.
With the strength of love
That transcends all distance
I have the comfort of never feeling alone.
When I have need of your council
I can always feel you nearby -
In a shadow of a certain tree,
In a familiar scent,
Or in the hint of a breeze,
You are with me always.

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