a writing by James Stephen Thompson

Lord Of All Hopefulness

John 14:1-4 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”

The break of day had to it a cold and frosty feel, as those in hope of a train travel onto Exeter St Davids, stood in silence with faith. Perhaps it was time, with Christmas now on close approach, for a change in a variety of ways as to those within the circumference of the city of Nottingham.

It was as the expected time of arrival of a particular train drew in, eyes would focus upon the updated computerised timetable so as to obtain information of any further updates of the time when, each train would be due to pull into a particular platform. The high volume loudspeaker system meanwhile, would also be in regular use of further news and the precise time trains would be due to arrive at the station. There seemed little time of silence whilst, yet further messages continued to be delivered unto all commuters:

“Please do not leave any luggage unattended. If any is come across at any time, it shall be handled with instantly.”

“The train due to arrive at platform 5, shall be arriving shortly. Through icy weather conditions, please stand away from the edge of the platform.”

“Due to weather, the 9:00 o clock train running to London, has been delayed!”

Fortunately, the train running South from Edinborough to Exeter, arrived on time. There were also a high enough number of vacant seats on board to satisfy all travellers. However, what to be on alert for, would be the chosen seats now occupied, becoming booked by more recent reservations. Computer technology these days it was decided, can only be a further disturbance unto all.

Perhaps meanwhile, the computer can also have its value as, two bookings at an exceptionally good hotel in Exeter, had been seen to in good time. For it was a relief after a reasonably safe train journey, to arrive at the Exeter St Davids station, next door to which stood the chosen Hotel. A suitable resort maybe for an incredibly good evening meal and as many breakfasts as one would so wish. Drink bars also for the evening period followed by, a good quite restful nights sleep. It was Paradise.

Perhaps it was only for a short stay, yet it had seemed as if another member of the family amongst those who had lived most of their days in Exeter or Topsham, had received a nudge and short message from my mother, who after a decent number of years being employed as secretary to a Consultant Neurologist in Nottingham, had passed away only three months previously. “Exeter Devon;- Here, it is Heaven!”

For it was 11:00am the next morning when a church service was held at the St Margaret’s Church Topsham so to remember the death of our Auntie and the mother of our cousins, who had been brought up in the midlands, but through employment had moved on into that area. It was following the service, we all spent time in ways of our waking together in amazement of the ways we all had changed over the decades, and how it was noted, how today we each resembled our mother or father much more closely. As all unfolded within the Globe Hotel in Topsham, all spread and opened out and became as if one was standing upon a railway platform, waiting on alert with patience.

The train goes down the track, there ain’t no turning back. Life is just the same, there ain’t no two way lane. Waiting I suppose for a particular train as yet further messages would have been brought forward from the mouth, unto so many; “Please, help yourselves to all the foods and drinks, we don’t want any left unattended. All must take to the intended track!”

One person I seemed to be taking too well in ways of conversation, being a retired Occupational Health Doctor. Of course, myself among the family being the one still looking so young, active and healthy, being the one who had become so busy activated with strong hands over time, physically, mentally and Spiritually too. Treated in ways of looking after and dealing with so many retrievals of the required for the necessary contact of improvements of health. Champagne and wine glass after glass, together with a superb and handsome variety of dishes and snacks all be drained. In my case, all had continued on very much for a period of over 37 years, or 3x7 or even 777 (Spiritual perfection) within grounds of the NHS and ever since.

Meanwhile, here we close with your peace in our hearts Lord, at the end of the day. A particular poem was read out by one of the grandsons at the funeral who today, is a trained General Practitioner. Is it something in the blood of the family I wonder?


You can shed tears that she is gone,
Or you can smile because she has lived.

You can close your eyes and pray that she will come back,
Or you can open your eyes and see all she has left.

Your heart can be empty because you cannot she her,
Or you can be full of the love that you shared.

You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday,
Or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.

You can remember her and only that she has gone,
Or you can cherish her memory and let it live on.

You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back,
Or you could do what she would want: smile, open your eyes, love and go on.

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