New Life Christian Fellowship. Built in 1876 as Newland Congregational church with the earlier building to the right of 1840, these two buildings are now home to the Lincoln New Life Christian Fellowship http://www.newlifelincoln.org.uk/ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I can safely say this, that I have spent more than half of my life as an atheist for I am not yet 86 years of age! I became a Christian in February of 1989 but my search for God really started the previous summer. All this is recorded in my pages above. As a child my life centred around myself and my family, I had no friends other than one boy who for some reason always watched my back and that was probably because I needed it. I was a timid child and often bullied and I suppose that was a probable cause for me to be wary of people. I grew into adulthood without any friends. It was only during my short courtship and for a year or so after that I had friends of any kind though none of them were close. My life again became centred around my spouse and my family, that is our children as my siblings and even my parents I didn’t see that often. When I began to attend church things change a little and I enjoyed the company of like-minded people who were my brothers and sisters in Christ. I had found a new family and was involved in church life. I was happy but my home life wasn’t what it should have been. In simple terms my spouse began to lose interest in our marriage and our sex life ended. I was therefore now in a loveless relationship as far as the physical side was concerned. After a few years I found myself being sidelined in the church. Even though I was a member and had been for over nine years I began to feel unloved and left out of things. It was one of the reasons I left that fellowship and I swore I would never return. As a Christian I do understand that we have to overlook our brother’s and sister’s misgivings and forgive them. That I did and this is what I do else how can I expect my Father to forgive me? It doesn’t mean however that I have to endure the behaviour of others, brothers and sisters or not. When I tell other Christians of my experiences all I get from them is, try somewhere else. Well of course I could do that but I know nothing will basically change. The problem is partly due to myself, I will admit that much for I should perhaps be more tolerant, forgiving I am but tolerant I cannot handle sometimes. So it is that I no longer go to church and haven’t done so for sixteen years. I was at an old lady’s house late on Saturday morning. She is a Christian lady for whom I have worked a few times in the past. Each time I go there she asks if I am still not going to church. After doing the small electrical job for her we sat down with a cup of tea and chatted. She tried her best to convince me to pay her little fellowship a visit and perhaps bring along my guitar for they have no-one who can play an instrument. She once played the piano but told me she had problems with her fingers these days. I advised her to keep playing as it will help and she was inclined to agree. I learned that the fellowship consists of no more than twenty people all over the age of fifty. However their meeting is held some fifteen miles from my house toward Liverpool. I don’t want to be travelling that far just to be a part of a fellowship I would be reluctant to join anyway. Fellowship is not really the problem and neither is the distance, the real problem is the people. I love people and love being in company but I do not want close relationships with individuals or groups as might be the case in a church fellowship. I prefer to be with people on a one to one basis where I have the opportunity to witness to them. Their salvation is more important to me than their friendship. People are the reason therefore that I don’t have many friends for any ‘friends’ I had, such as they were, have long since deserted me. People let me down.
A map of Manchester from about 1650, from “Views of Old Manchester” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Tuesday was a very miserable day. The whole of this current week is forecasted as having poor weather, that is wet, windy and cold though not entirely cold. I had a couple of requests in the morning but they came to nothing and one of those nuisance calls most people are receiving these days regarding PPI (Payment Protection Insurance) claims. I was busy doing something on my computer when that call came in and I was caught off-guard thinking it might be a request for my electrical services. I glanced at the callers number and mistakenly thought it was someone living in the next town whose telephone prefix would be 01695 whereas in fact it was prefixed 0161. That prefix is for Manchester a city more than forty miles away and where I have no known contacts either for business or for personal reasons. It was the first three digits that threw me but I was not concentrating. A young girl began with a welcoming message and I had a little difficulty in stopping her as almost immediately I realised my error. I told her that I have never taken out a payment protection plan of any kind in the past and she then tried to persuade me otherwise. Too late! I had put down the receiver.
The Annoying Orange (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Most annoying are these cold calls but even more annoying that I should have been caught off-guard. What is particularly annoying is the fact that this company ( a law firm specialising in claims) thinks I have an outstanding claim of some sort. I haven’t. Where they get this information I am not sure but it only takes one error by someone who has not closed any case files and removed them from their system. As these companies exchange file data it means anything I have been involved in, even though it may have been resolved many years ago, is still on somebody’s books.
Although I had no electrical work to do on Tuesday I didn’t do any work at home either. Aside from the fact that we are still waiting for the delivery of a new cooker extractor hood which is holding back the kitchen project I really didn’t want to be working on anything anyway. Even working in the garden was not an option because of the lousy weather. My heart wasn’t in it and that is because my relationship with E has turned a little sour once again. It is a sad affair that keeps rearing its ugly head every now and then. I guess I should have left years ago but I know I would have suffered more had I done so. I am not the sort of person who gives up in the face of difficulty and besides which I love E dearly.
“Cocaine toothache drops”, 1885 advertisement of cocaine for dental pain in children. United States. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I have not been enjoying the best of health lately due to the problems I have been experiencing with mouth abscesses and toothache. I have been feeling run-down and according to my dentist it was probably due to my condition. The feelings are similar to those of ‘flu. Nevertheless I have soldiered on as best I can and it got better as the days passed by. I write this on Friday evening after a day feeling weary from working in the morning and having to endure the pain of toothache. Until the antibiotics complete their work I shan’t be free of pain completely so I have resorted to taking paracetamol tablets for the time being though I try not to take medications if I can avoid it. Sometimes the pain is too great though isn’t it? I took E out to a late lunch in our local pub and had a lovely time together chatting about this and that. I love company and being able to speak to others but over the last few months I have not had that privilege except at work. We drove to the vehicle service station later to have that exhaust box fitted that I mentioned in my previous post. We had a great time there too! E and I hadn’t been talking for some time but we finally sorted out the problems between us. It is hard not speaking to someone you love and have been with for over forty years. Anyway life is now looking good again and already we are planning to work together on the patio project, the construction of the flowerbed. E is limited in what she can do to assist but I know she will want to render that assistance anyway. Just the fact that she will be there will be an encouragement. According to the weather forecast for the next four days we expect dry and sunny days, ideal for setting concrete and laying bricks. I hope I don’t overdo things, I am sure I won’t and hopefully I will be as right as rain again soon. I felt better than I did yesterday.
Raining (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Wednesday afternoon and it is raining. The day started very bright and sunny and remained that way until a little before eleven o’clock. It was expected though and somewhat welcomed by myself. I sat out on the patio after breakfast with a cup of coffee and something to read, actually my Bible. Yes, I am reading it through yet again after finishing reading it through a couple of months ago. I am now about to read the Book of Numbers. This is not however the subject of my post. I sat out there for quite some time before returning indoors as it was starting to get noticeably cooler once the clouds rolled in. I spent the rest of the day indoors though I could have gone for a walk if only to relieve the boredom. I had no electrical work and nothing I wanted to do inside the house even though there are things I could be doing. My heart simply wasn’t in it. I occupied my time cooking, playing guitar, doing things on my computer like writing this post, watching a little television and reading and general household chores. Although I am very domesticated life spent totally at home would bore the socks off me! It was nice to look out at the rain whilst knowing that I didn’t have to go out in it. It was raining outside but it has been raining inside too, inside my heart. My personal life has been upset because the relationship I have with E is not what it was. For so long I have been taken for granted, shown little respect on occasion and often ignored. We haven’t spoken since the start of February because I reached a breaking point after once more being snapped at. Many times I have been badly treated but made the effort to heal the rift and forgive. I always forgive but that doesn’t mean I have to put up with ill-treatment and so I had to back-off. How long it will take before E repents and apologises for her behaviour is not known but I wait patiently. I like the rain but that falling in my heart takes a little more getting used to. I am discovering though that I am getting used to it, I don’t really have a choice.
English: BC base of an incandescent lamp (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Now I don’t usually work on a Sunday unless someone has an emergency of sorts but late on Sunday morning a lady called me to ask if I could help her with an electrical problem that continued to trip out the lighting supply. At that stage the remainder of the household installation was unaffected but a possible leakage current on the lighting circuit could change that situation. Evidently a lamp had broken in its holder which left its metal base firmly stuck. Furthermore the lighting switch didn’t seem to be working properly either. I told her how to remove the broken lamp base safely which she did but the faulty switch still needed replacing. I would have to go there, replace it and check everything was in order if she agreed. She asked that I should go but that she was just about to go to work. She works as a nurse at the local hospital. However I could go there at two o’clock when a neighbour would be there to let me in (and pay me). I agreed and she thanked me, going on to say that she was new to domestic problems such as these as her husband usually took care of them. It seems her husband had recently left her and the two children of ten and twelve years, though when I called they were both with their father at his house wherever that was. She was the third woman in the last few days, in fact since last Monday, to have told me that her husband had absconded. It seems to be a regular thing hereabouts for over the last couple of years I have come across quite a number of women in the same situation, four of them in this month alone! A sign of the times I suppose. Had the lady been at home when I called she might have told me the reason for their separation as many of them do. Perhaps it helps them to cope with the situation when they can speak about it with others. It is such a shame nevertheless. I did her job in about ten minutes and was back home within the hour. I am wondering just how many more women are going to call me for help because their husbands have left the home. The neighbour was an elderly gentleman who was quite surprised to see a female electrician attend to the job and he told me that he and the lady I had been working for would be adding me to their list of people to call when they want a job doing. That was nice.
Face sculpture embedded in wall in Cuba (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
In my home life I am between a rock and a hard place and my face is up against the wall. Sometimes I feel like bashing my head on that wall too out of sheer frustration. It is all to do with my ex who is completely indifferent to what is going on between us. I shall say no more on the subject save to say that I am fed up with it all. Speaking about having my face up against the wall, that has been exactly the case these last three days (I write this on Tuesday). All the electrical work I have had at each of the three separate locations I have worked in all involved wall lights, either re-fixing them to the wall or in some cases repairing them beforehand too. I am not complaining. I was paid well for my efforts. The first house I visited on Monday morning was in response to a call from an old lady of 83 who didn’t know where to begin in explaining the problems she wanted me to help solve for her. After a few minutes I managed to get her to tell me her address so that I could pay her a visit. Her house is located about 8 miles away in the township where I once lived. She was actually waiting at her front door for my arrival and when I approached the door she was overjoyed. She reached out her hand to take mine and gently squeezed it like I was a long-lost friend. She was so excited that I was there and she took some time to settle down. She insisted I sit down and have a coffee, which I did, and she began to tell me about her problems. Nothing was said about the electrical work. She explained the problem she was having trying to clear away and remove what must have been tons of paper in the form of magazines, newspapers, files and other things from her house. Coupled with that she had other things to remove too. All this material had been collected by her husband who had hoarded it in their home. Now that was only part of the story. She and her husband had been married for 60 years but it seems that he had recently decided to become a recluse in his own home, locking himself in the front lounge with its curtains drawn closed, a gas fire and lights left on during the day. All he did each day was to sit in the room reading or watching television. He refused to help his wife and wanted no part or showed no interest in her at all or what she was going through. She really needs professional help, they need professional help for something had gone drastically wrong between them. She however was the one suffering. He was completely disinterested. I met him not long after I had completed the work I had done there and he came across as a completely normal and level-headed person. He had only left the room in order to visit the toilet and after speaking with me he returned to the room and closed the door behind him. The work I was doing involved re-fixing walls lights and making the connections safe. One set of lights had to be disconnected for the old rubber insulation on the wiring had perished. It was wired in metal tubing and could not be accessed. I disconnected the wiring behind the control switches and cut it out so that it could never be used again. Other wiring behind those switches was PVC coated so it appears the rubber wiring was not replaced when last the wiring had been replaced. It took me some time to get away from the house once the work had been done for the lady was reluctant for me to leave. The second job was on Monday afternoon and that too involved wall lights, old wall lights that needed repairing and re-fixing to the walls. The lady in that house was a widow for whom I had worked on previous occasions and who for some reason has taken to me. On Tuesday morning I had yet another job involving faulty and loose wall lights in an apartment on the other side of town. That too was a lady who simply wanted a female electrician rather than have a man do it for in her words, they just don’t turn up! So I don’t mind working on wall lights, the work pays just as well and I am used to being up against the wall.
Saturday Morning (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Apart from working for a short time on Saturday morning the long weekend was pretty much a boring affair. The weather on Saturday was appalling, wet and windy for the most part and I don’t remember if I saw that Sun even once! Sunday was a little better, more so toward the end of the day and Monday morning I was awakened to bright blue skies. As I write this on Monday morning I have no plans for the day though I might go for a walk later. However, because it is a national holiday most places will be filled with people, especially in town. I therefore usually avoid town for that reason, preferring a walk along the seafront instead. I have stopped all work at home until further notice except for those jobs that are emergencies or maintenance, like mowing the lawn for instance. I doubt E could mow the lawn nowadays with her health problems. With the way I am getting treated by E lately though I have lost all interest and that really goes against the grain because I like working at home and getting things done. I feel I am not appreciated most of the time. It is such a shame as there are jobs I’d like to be doing in order to improve the interior of the house, refurbishing the central heating, a couple of bedrooms and other things. Everything I do at home is funded by myself, E makes no financial contribution simply because she cannot afford it. At the moment all my expendable income is getting saved except where I want to treat myself now and then, which isn’t often at all! My electrical work keeps me happy and helps fund all my projects. I will be glad to get back to it if and when I get requests. As I look out of my front room window I see the flag blowing in the wind and I am hoping the wind will drop a little so that being outside is more enjoyable, then I might take that walk.
The job I started on Tuesday I managed to complete on my return on Thursday. The incorrectly installed kitchen power outlets were rewired and an extra one added too. The guy was very pleased with what I had done. Whilst there he engaged me with stories about his life and again had me in stitches laughing. I learned some sad things too, his poor relationship with his son who had essentially robbed him of many thousands of pounds. He had loaned the amount to him but his son absconded, refusing to pay him back or even to offer to do so. It left a bitterness that has kept them apart since. It is such a shame that families have problems like this. His wife died about six or seven years ago and the only company he now has is with a woman who lives about twenty miles or more distant from his house. The plan is to repair and decorate his house with a view to selling it and then move across the country to settle on the east coast, presumably with his lady friend. He retired about three years ago when he was seventy years of age. It is not really a good age to be uprooting to live somewhere else and I wish him the best in that. Speaking of families and their problems, I can very much relate to that for I have had a rough ride with mine at times, not with all in the family, just a few of them. I said to the guy that indeed it is written in Scripture that ‘a man’s (woman’s) enemies will be the members of his own household.’ (Matthew 10:35-37 in context). That of course is referring to the opposition one is faced with when they become Christians but I suppose it is often true in the secular household too! I had spent most of the morning at his house so by the time I had returned home it was time for lunch. Soon after I had returned, E did too. She had been out all morning at her friend’s house and had taken a suitcase filled with, I assume, prizes for their quiz games when they have them. I didn’t ask, in fact it has been almost three months now since we last spoke. She treats me badly at times and after the last episode I had just about had enough. I pray her attitude will change and she comes to her senses. That is family for you though isn’t it? They say a dog is a man’s (or woman’s) best friend for they don’t treat you like some people do but the dog shown here unfortunately lived in Rome when I was there eleven years ago! After lunch I received another job request and scheduled it for the next morning whilst E went to do the weekly shopping with her mom.
Level crossing at Duke Street, after a Southport-bound train has crossed (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
There’s a song in there somewhere……but it isn’t about a song. E and I have not been speaking now for seven weeks. It is all about her stubborn heart but I am not saying more than that just now. It means all of my time is now spent alone, not that this is anything new for over the last few years I have found myself in this position quite often. At the moment I just think she doesn’t care. I on the other hand do care but this time I am not rushing in to smooth things over as I normally have done in the past, this time I refuse to give in to her indifference. I am not at fault as usual but it seems that makes no difference. Everything is well for me as long as I have work to do but I seldom work every day. That means I get bored unless I make an effort to stay occupied. I take walks when the weather allows and go shopping sometimes. I took a walk on Wednesday in order to make a deposit in my bank and took a roundabout route to kill time. I had been dressed for work during the morning in case I received a request but none came in so in the afternoon I got changed and headed off out. After visiting the bank I continued my walk but got stopped within a hundred metres at the railway level-crossing. I could have crossed the road and taken the underpass at the station but it was such a sunny day and I was in no hurry to get anywhere. I got chatting to an elderly lady whilst we waited for the trains to come and go then we crossed over and chatted some more before we went our separate ways. I then met the only other female electrician I know hereabouts who was just about to enter a shop where I presume she was either working or giving an estimate. We didn’t talk except to say hello then I carried on with my walk. I was wondering rather aimlessly for a while before deciding to go to the pub and have a very late lunch. I hadn’t eaten for eight hours since breakfast. This time the pub was rather empty. I sat alone and had my meal but was greeted by a couple of guys I know, one of whom stopped to chat for a few minutes. I think he fancies me to be perfectly truthful for he never leaves me alone whenever I visit the pub. I was allowed to continue with my meal. Another guy came in and sat at the next table to have a meal and in the meantime was drinking a pint of beer. He went to the toilet and returned a minute later looking as if he was about to drop off to sleep when he seated himself at his table. I asked if he was alright and he asked why I was asking. I said that he looked a little tired and I thought he was about to fall asleep. I just wanted to make sure he was OK. He thanked me and told me he was fine then he asked me if I was alone. I told him that whilst in the pub I was. That gave him the impression that I was in a relationship and he said no more. I had an idea he was high on something but not alcohol for his pupils were a little dilated. Maybe he was simply tired. I didn’t stay long after that and returned home. E had been out all afternoon with her mom and she returned an hour later.
It Ain’t My Fault (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
On August 8th last year and at other times, April 19th 2013 for instance, I posted an article concerning my relationship with E and how she treats me at times. Three weeks ago on Sunday last (Feb 1st) she was at it again, snapping at me for absolutely no reason. I have endured this treatment on and off for some years now always thinking that it will get better and usually it does but only if it is me who breaks the ice so to speak. If it was my fault I could understand her attitude but it is never my fault that she snaps at me and we end up not speaking. Like I said it is I who has to break the ice even though I am not at fault, she simply will never apologise when she is wrong. Do I deserve such treatment? I don’t think so. I only persevere because I love her. People tell me that I should leave, friends say I shouldn’t let her ways interfere with my happiness and that I should just accept her the way she is. That is absolutely true and that is exactly what I have been doing these past 40 something years! It is hard living with someone who is difficult to get along with some of the time and who seems ungrateful toward me considering all that I do for her. I end up retiring from her company in case I am snapped at again, consequently we don’t speak. Why am I telling you this? Well one, it is good to get things off your chest and two, so that you don’t think everything is a bed of roses in life, especially my life! It will get better, it can’t get worse so I bide my time and wait it out yet again.
Hear No, See No, Speak No
I did next to nothing on Tuesday neither electrical work or work at home though I could have spent some time in the garden. The reason I didn’t was because I am at a low ebb. E and I are not speaking again. Basically she refused to answer a question I had put to her even though the question had been initially asked in innocence and without intent. It wasn’t so much that she wouldn’t speak on the subject but more the way I was blanked and given no explanation at all. I should know better than to ask certain things having known her for more than forty years. Her refusal to simply chat about any subject and engage in an intelligent conversation has always been beyond her and over the years we were married that left me with no-one to speak with. She wouldn’t speak to me if the television was on or her favourite program was scheduled and during the latter half of the marriage it drove me crazy because she wouldn’t speak about the issues we had with the marriage and it drove us apart. I ended up in a loveless marriage and was lonely for many years. I digress. Most of this is already recorded in my pages above and it doesn’t serve to keep going over what is past but just to give a broad insight to new readers I mention it. The crux of the matter is I am simply keeping out of her way for the time being. I don’t suffer from depression because I am not clinically affected but neither do I dwell on things also. I just feel at a low ebb, not wanting to be bothered with anything other than my work until things return to some semblance of normality. No dining out then and a temporary cessation of anything to do with home, work-wise that is. It is a sad state of affairs I know but I’ve been through it all many times over the last few years and don’t expect it to last. At least the day gave me the opportunity to rest after the full day I had on Monday though I would have much preferred to have been at work.
friendship – IMG_3604 (Photo credit: Nicola since 1972)
There aren’t too many things which capture my attention though I take an interest in many things. As far as my daily life is concerned many would think it rather boring and mundane and for them I suppose it is. Much of my time is spent working on one thing or another either at home or in someone else’s home. I like work because it gives me something to do but not only that it gives me something to do that is constructive and doesn’t simply waste time. I also enjoy the challenges that work often presents me with and the sense of achievement that cannot be experienced in other things. One thing I do enjoy now is socialising, meeting people and connecting with them. Once though, long ago in my life, I was a very unsociable person and reclusive, rejecting all advances by the invitations of others. I simply didn’t wish to know. Even at this time in my life I didn’t mix with my siblings though in fact they had all flown the nest bar one. I took this attitude to its extreme occasionally until one day I began to reach out and mix with people. I found it very easy to make friends and I made quite a few of them within months. I did see my siblings but only on rare occasions. All I had in my life were the few friends I had made though none of them ever became close. Once I was married I found those friends gradually falling away and I lost contact with them. Winding the clock many years onward and by the time I was divorced I had no friends at all. I hadn’t seen my family, that is my siblings, for a long time either so there was again no-one in my life. I made a second attempt at socialising and again made a few friends. I almost never see any of them now and I am back with no-one for companionship, that is except for my ex partner with whom I remained. I have found that our relationship has improved vastly and is as good as it ever was when we first met 42 years ago, though the form it takes now is different from what it was then. Without this relationship I have nothing. Yes, I do see my children from time to time but no-one else. I wonder why my friends drifted off and lost contact and though I have telephoned them I get no reply. I don’t expect to live in their pockets for they have their own lives to lead but the occasional contact would be nice if only to see how they are doing. Such is life, people are what they are but I know my life would be better with them in it.
Golf “Lessen” (Photo credit: JD Hancock)
During the last couple of weeks we have had The Women’s British Open Golf Championships being held at Royal Birkdale Golf Club, about a half-mile up the main road. The event is being sponsored by Ricoh, a Japanese multinational imaging and electronics company. I have to admit not knowing that until I checked them out on a search engine. Personally I don’t have much interest in golf but I do watch it in part on the television occasionally. Had I been an ardent follower I would be living in just the right place as in fact I am doing here on the west coast for there are many golf courses in the area, a golfer’s dream. Personally I would never go to an event to watch the game, especially if it was only for one day in a competition that lasts for several days. My eldest son it seems isn’t that fussy. I didn’t know he was interested in golf, though his wife may be but I think it was more of a casual visit to the event, this one day, rather than him wishing to go every day to see as much as he could. On Thursday morning he arrived with his wife at our house so that he could leave his car here all day. I had gone to work a half-hour before they arrived so didn’t see them. E ferried them up the road in her car and returned home. I was back home myself an hour later. I chose not to do any more work in the garden as the weather was too warm and I wanted a rest in any case as the following day, Friday, E and I were collecting a hire-van to transport our youngest son’s furniture up to his new house in Manchester, about 50 miles away. We would be kept busy loading and unloading for a couple of hours, pretty tiring work. Later in the afternoon, actually it was well after six o’clock, E collected our eldest son and his wife on her way back home from doing the shopping with her mum and they picked up their car and drove off home to her parents house about three miles away where they have been living for the past two years. Now we hardly ever see them but whenever we do they are always in a rush to go elsewhere or have an excuse to leave early and never stay long. This time they were alone as their little girl, our granddaughter, was being looked after by her nan so they could have stopped for a while to chat. It appears that they can find the time for watching golf all day long though. It is hard sometimes being a parent and being treated this way.
Outcast (video game) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
It was such a lovely day yet again on Tuesday and E and I were to collect her new car at some point in the afternoon then drive off somewhere to dine. I had no electrical work to do and in any case would not have scheduled any for the whole day. As E so succinctly put it when she came down for breakfast and saw that I wasn’t dressed for work and said, ‘I see you have your ‘no intention’ gear on’. It’s a phrase I have often used in the past when I have no desire to do any work and dress accordingly. We hadn’t received a call from the dealership by noon so I suggested E call them to check. She was told that we could collect the car around 1.15 and we duly arrived shortly before then. After signing much paperwork and being shown the basic controls we finally were able to drive away leaving E’s old car standing on the forecourt to await its fate. We drove 15 miles to a restaurant/pub/motel in the village of Newburgh (pronounced Newburra), a place we have been to on a number of occasions previously. Not to our surprise the place was almost completely deserted, partly due to our late arrival at around three o’clock. The meal was as usual splendid and not expensive in the least considering we both had two courses and a drink each. We headed back home but when almost there E took a detour to see our eldest son who lives with his wife’s parents. E needed a few miles of driving to get used to the controls, not least of all the manual gearbox as her old car had a semi-automatic box. She soon got to grips with it though. There is an amazing array of gizmos built into this vehicle as standard equipment, things like a Sat-Nav, a hands-free system for the phone, remote controlled wing mirrors, refrigerated air-conditioning with a cool box to stow drinks or food in and many other handy features. We arrived at the house and E rang the doorbell whilst I remained seated in the car as she said she wouldn’t be long. E was let inside by our son’s father-in-law who looked towards myself sitting in the car but said absolutely nothing before closing the door. I waited for about a minute or so then E reappeared holding a couple of carrier bags containing some of our granddaughters toys, those she has grown out of. Our son came over but didn’t say much either and generally spoke with E about the car. Then his mother-in-law came out with our granddaughter but remained at a distance, neither wanting to come closer and I felt it was because I was present for I am sure they would have done had I not been there. Eventually our son went over and brought the little one over whilst his mother-in-law remained afar. I said hello to my granddaughter and she said something in return but continued to the rear of the car out of sight. She didn’t stay long and she returned indoors with her ‘nanna’. Her ‘grandpa’ made no effort to come and look at the car and he remained inside. Our son chatted for a few more minutes then went back inside too after we drove off homeward. Whilst driving home along the local coast road I spoke to E about the affair and told her that I had felt very uncomfortable whilst being at their house because I had been treated as if I had leprosy. Now I know this is an experience felt by many others who have transitioned and even those who haven’t but it still hurts to be treated the way I am. It is a sad state of affairs when my own granddaughter is a little apprehensive in approaching me. When this happened some time ago on one of our son’s rare and very short visits he explained that she simply didn’t know me enough to feel comfortable with me as she would if I were a complete stranger. I replied that is due to the fact that she is almost never allowed to visit for any length of time. Even E hardly gets to see her but does see her occasionally at the supermarket. I asked E how she would feel if she was given the same treatment as me and she had to admit she would feel hurt too. What I find especially hurtful is that my son, his wife and her parents are all supposed to be my brothers and sisters in Christ. How can they go to church and praise God with un-repented sin dwelling in their hearts? Whenever I think on such things I am reminded of these verses in Scripture:
You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. It is written: ‘“As surely as I live,” says the Lord, “Every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God.”’ So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.
I may be an outcast from my own family but the problem resides with them.
To my friends in America: Happy Independence Day!
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