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Gratitude, attitude and kindness

Hope Price puts her lockdown mottos into action

This article was published in the May to August 2021 issue of Rapport magazine.

Three days into the first lockdown I had coronavirus. After a month, I was so grateful that I was better, I took the motto GRATITUDE and put it into practice on a daily basis, giving thanks for the sunshine, time ‘to be’ and to sort out things like photos and memory boxes that my husband, Geoff, and I wouldn’t normally have time for. We posted photos we had come across to friends, reminding them of shared memories and were daily grateful for the phone and emails to contact friends and family.

During the second lockdown I took the theme ATTITUDE, as we can’t control what happens to us, but we can decide to have a positive, joyful attitude towards it. As in the first lockdown, we have intentionally contacted many people we knew lived alone or in care homes, so they could have someone to chat to. With my husband, out of a Quiet Day on Zoom, we felt the Lord giving us a three-fold calling: to reach out to the least, the lost and the lonely.

When the third lockdown happened, we decided to focus on KINDNESS, as everyone in the long days of winter needs to know God’s love for them. We found a Christian ethical company through which we could post bunches of flowers to friends living alone. We kept the post office busy by sending DVDs, CDs and books to those who would appreciate them. Sharing some of our roast chicken with a neighbour who wouldn’t have a roast as she’s cooking for one. Plenty of emails, phone calls and letters too.

Isn’t Zoom a wonderful thing! We hadn’t heard of it a year ago, but now we can be in Scargill, Lee Abbey, Harnhill Centre of Christian Healing and the World Prayer Centre, all in one day without travelling. Sometimes with people from other countries too. We’re in a home group with friends from a parish we were at 25 plus years ago. We did Alpha courses there and many wanted to stay together and formed a home group. One of these was still going strong, meeting every fortnight. Last March they had to switch to Zoom, so they invited us to join them. Another friend of theirs, who has become a good friend of ours too, joins us each time from Israel. It’s been wonderful.

After 35 plus years as a Marie Curie nurse, I’m glad I can still do a similar nursing role with local patients in their own homes. I’ve been nursing a Christian gentleman once a week to give his loving wife a break. We had previously met on Zoom as we’re in a Julian Prayer Group together, and so it was lovely to be able to go into her home and give her the help she needed when her husband was close to the end. He died last week.

The next day I took her a sympathy card. She was very peaceful, grateful for a good ending for him, and said she heard him pray, ‘I’m ready when you are, God’. In his own home, with all the care he and his wife needed, a Christian man knowing where he was going. What could be a better ending?

Hope Price

Hope and Geoff Price led the Oxford Lee Abbey Friends Group for many years. They now live in Fairford, Gloucestershire.

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