Sunday, December 22, 2013

Happy Birthday

We approached Padi's birthday with some trepidation but the prospect was made easier by the memorial service at Glan Taf. This solved the awkwardness around what we would actually do when we might have spent some time looking at each other wishing we could bid Pads a happy birthday and enjoy opening presents with him.
Pads was amazed to get a new DS in December 2012
The CofioPadi group, who have raised over £4000 by now, were instrumental in organising a very sensitive and emotional tribute to Pads. Around ten of his friends lined up to read their own tribute (I encouraged them to transcribe and share through their facebook page but no sign of that yet). Ally also had a chance to say something. She noted that many have said what a 'saint' Padi was, although those closer to him could all recall moments when that picture did not quite fit. When he was small and out shopping with mum, Pads vanished from sight. Two feet sticking out from under some baskets gave him away. There he was, gorging a large chocolate Santa, cheeks bulging. Fast forward to early last year and this event came back to haunt his conscience. Newly awakened to the holiness of God, he knew that this seemingly trivial sin was offensive to his Maker. One theft makes one a thief. One lie makes one a liar, just as one murder makes one a murderer. You may be forgiven by the person you stole from or lied to/about. But what can you do about your conscience? What do you do with guilt? Some try and drown it or tell another human about it. Nothing can really erase it. The reason for that is that the essence of sin is that it is against the Living God who sees all and will hold you to account. Be sure that God takes you much more seriously than you take him. But God is gracious and affords you a Way, a Truth, a Life, by which you can know peace instead of the raging of conscience, no matter what you have done, we can confess it to Him and know the peace of God which passes all understanding. That is grace. How thankful we should be that the Second Person of the Trinity came to live in accordance with his own laws, becoming the spotless Lamb of God qualifying him to bear the due punishment of our sins on Calvary's cross.
After Ally, Pastor Dewi Higham read a few verses from Padi's Psalm (46) in Welsh and prayed. It was a lovely service - great to share it with the whole of Year 11 and others, such as Miss Evans, the Head from Mynydd Bychan primary school and Padi's nurse.
After the service, we went to a garden where everyone wrote on a balloon and released it into a clear blue sky. You can watch a video of this on YouTube.  After that, we were invited back to a comfortable room where we had time to relax and chat. This was important for the children especially, many of whom were deeply affected. It was characteristic of the outstanding way that Glan Taf have looked after the children throughout Padi's illness, his passing and beyond.
It was time to move on. Ally and I visited the grave where roses placed by one of Padi's friends were still in good shape. We co-incided with several other visitors that day and had so many messages of support - the house resembles a florist again! Ally and I 'chilled' for the afternoon - Padi would have approved of our visit to the hot-tub. He would have also liked to join us for the second installment of 'The Hobbit', but that was not to be. Padi was excited at the thought of watching these films, being something of a Tolkein buff he enjoyed the first one last Christmas. However, previously the news had leaked that the three films were completed but would be released annually. This grated somewhat as rather grasping of Hollywood and yet it was another poignant illustration of how Padi had to come to terms with his term.
We reached the end of a day that we'd been dreading, grateful to God and all our comforters for another good day. 

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