Saturday, January 26, 2008


Was a favourite Eric Clapton album of Mark's. But I digress. I am going to relate the details of 9th of December, 2007, as I'm sure that there are those who'd like to know how it went!

It was an evening that seemed to come together very smoothly. Friends were coming from Sydney and those who lived here were already confirming that they'd be there. It was looking to be a big night.

The day before, Saturday, was a huge day. Some great friends and I built a back deck on my house. Just in time for everyone to come and oogle! It certainly was huge event just in itself, especially considering that the deck is a massive 8 metres by 4 metres! And the fact that it all went together smoothly was also impressive. No hitches whatsoever!

Sunday was a day that held a lot of expectations, even though I tried my best to avoid having any expectations at all. I really didn't want to feel like the significance of the day was going to consume me and I certainly did not dwell on it. Just looked forward to sharing the day with some wonderful friends.

At church in the morning, I was invited up to give a brief talk about how the year had gone for me. I felt that it was a perfect time to put to bed some "myths" about me that had been circulating around the church community. It had been questioned that I was possibly trying to live out Mark's Christian walk. I actually agreed with this and explained why I agreed. It's not so much as my living out his walk, rather me living our joint ideas on our Christianity. Hey, its one reason why we married! We both had the same views on many aspects of Christian faith and so it would stand to reason that if one or the other was "left behind", we'd probably be reflecting that!

As I said, it's hard to just get rid of someone out of your life who has been there for a long time. As Mark used to joke himself, we'd been married for a million gazillion years! (Just exactly how long is that anyway!?) And I also said that I would be upset if people who knew Mark, looked at me and didn't see anything of him in me. It would mean that our marriage was not real and that we didn't live as "one" as we had originally been married as under the sight of God and in the view of His church.

I think everyone got the idea!

Sunday afternoon was the complete opposite weather wise to 12 months ago. It was overcast and cool. Not hot, dry and filled with the smoke from bush fires. A complete and utter contrast. As people gathered, friends arrived from great and small distance, the afternoon looked to be bigger than I'd even expected.

One great girlfriend had been working at something special of her own behind the scenes. She arrived and presented me with a large cardboard box, stating that she had wanted to commemorate the day herself in her own way. I opened the box and found it full of caps! They were all printed with the Top Gun logo and on the rear of the cap was printed "John 15:13", Mark's favourite Bible verse! The hats were awesome and well received by all! I think that it was terrific to see people wearing their Top Gun hats around on the afternoon! What an incredibly thoughtful touch to the day.

As the sun set and the people ate, I recall coming out at one stage to gaze down at those who'd set themselves up on the lawn. It was a very peaceful moment to me as I thought how much it was just as it should be. Everyone sitting around, eating, drinking and chatting together. Exactly as Mark would have had it himself! I was very proud!

Later, we got set up with the cinema equipment and though the rain tried to threaten, no one would be moved and sat through the light shower that came down! We just threw a tarp over the equipment! The rain cleared and I announced that I was going to show the slide show from last year, as after all, it was why we were there. Everyone went very quiet and I'm sure that there were a few tears as well as a few laughs.

Then, on with the show that everyone had been waiting for! TOP GUN!

Seriously, it had many of us reciting the lines along with the actors!

All in all, a great night had by everyone. A great way for everyone to remember a huge event that occured 12 months ago. An important time for helping others with their grief, as many still come to grips with the fact that the man that was such a huge impact in their life has gone on ahead. It will be a great day in heaven when we all get there because Mark will have done a wonderful job of helping our Lord to get it ready for us!

No comments: