Cockney Rhyming slang for mate (as in bud, friend, joined at the hip, pal) is Plate...be it dinner or China. One's best friend, like one's best plate, is China. Seonag (pronounced like Shawnack for the uninitiated) introduced me via video to a Glaswegian comedy team by the name of Francie and Josie. Though the accent was thick the humour was clear and classic. Though I have many dear friends in Glasgow, there is only one I call China, and that's her.
For those who don't know, one of the first of the many kind folk who welcomed me into their lives in Scotland was Seonag. She is woven in and out of nearly every memory I have of Scotland. I could fill a book with just our adventures, from the building my first peat fire in the Hebrides, to flat flits, to chickpeas on the stairs. (you just had to be there.) One of my most cherished one's is sitting atop black hill, being devoured by midges and singing Psalm 62 to the tune "Bay's of Harris".
Today I had to dash home from morning worship due to a tricky tum. I went straight to a heating pad on my bed, just wanting to feel better. Next thing I knew it was nearly 4pm our time. I'd wanted to call S. before she went to hospital for liver surgery but it was then 11pm her time and though she is always a night owl, the night before a hospitalization I had hopes she was away to her bed. my heart sank until I realized that being a nightowl myself , all was not lost.
I've been sitting up now waiting for nearly 2 am our time. If I call too early, the sleep she so needs to prepare for her surgery could be cut short, if I wait too long, I'll miss her. I'd said in past e-notes I'd call and pray with her before she went. Thankfully, I broke down and called at 1:45 am/8:45 am her time, and she was there, just biding her time to call the hospital to see if they have a bed for her. This is apparently standard procedure with NHS. (National health Service) Tomorrow some surgeon is scheduled to operate in order to reduce the tumor in her liver, what remains after weeks and weeks of chemo.
This past fortnight, She and her husband were able to go north and spend a couple lovely weeks with her delightful and large extended family, most of whom I have met, several of whom I have laughed till I cried with. I praise God she and they had health and vigour to visit with each other. Knowing the highlands and Islands rich heritage in piety, knowing the faith her father (age 90) and mother (on to Glory) have had, I don't doubt her family in heaven is also large in number. I pray that continues so for generations yet unborn.
She told me a plaque behind her toaster reminded her yet again that there is nothing in this day she cannot face with God. She sounded as confident of that as ever. Her spirits are settled I think and that was good to hear. It is an amazing thing to consider that those of us who are siblings in Christ, will never ever suffer loss, not of riches in Christ, not of eternity and not of each other. I rang off having every confidence that Seonag and I have a solid future together as China's, as "Charaid" (Gaelic for friend) as daughters of the King, girls in Glory and it matters only a little who gets there first, and when.
That said, I know that so many count on her love and care (she is the best living example of selfless Christian service that I know), and for their sakes, and my own selfish desires to have her fellowship in this life for years to come, if you think to pray for her, I know that they and I appreciate it. The world is richer with her in it.