Joy and sadness. Labour and rest.

We sat at our usual spot at church yesterday. Seated next to Tress was AC. As the service progressed, I could hear AC sobbing. Across the blocks I see Kiera too was wiping away tears. Both AC and Kiera were close to Elena and the sadness was palpable. I too was quite saddened. Tress wiped away a few tears too.

Later that night, Susan sent an email to all in the group, suggesting a meal later in the week to remember Elena. That was a good idea and even as the fog of yet another very warm night enveloped my mind, I found myself wondering why someone we knew quite little, touched us that much. Maybe it was her tireless advocacy work, especially for the deaf. She has this roundish face with large round eyes. I’d say she even glows – often – and she was just a very lovely person. She warms up to anyone she spoke to and her very gentle demeanor belies the steely strength that saw her labor long and hard for the causes she held dear.

She’s at rest now from her labor and her battles against a world that is often not attuned to the needs of those less able bodied.

Rest was the resonant theme yesterday. Both David Williams (leader) and Mike McNamara (sermon), had messages along that focus. It was what I needed to think about.

I had been saying to Tress lately, that I’m tired. Even at the footy at the G on Saturday night, as we saw a sluggish Hawks side labor hard against a pumped Bombers team, I felt tired. At half time, as Hawthorn was unbelievably in the lead, Tress and I decided to leave early. It was a night game and if we stayed till the end it might have been close to midnight when we got home. It was the first time we left the G at half time. I was glad we did however as we were able to have a wonderfully relaxed night at home and slept earlier than had we stayed on till the end.

And yet the tiredness lingered. Maybe it’s just the never ending warm weather. It’s the end of March and it should have been cooler now but it remained warm. An overnight over-20deg always makes sleep more fitful and though I didn’t wake till the alarm went off, that fogginess lingered to ward off any sense of being refreshed. Even a clean home – Tress and I had spent the better part of Saturday cleaning, vacuuming, wiping and dusting – did not appear to have brought us rest. Rest remained elusive and as we contemplate the next two weekends remaining before we head up to Canberra again, the weary fog stubbornly remains, un-lifted.

Even as we feel the sadness of Elena’s departure, she is probably – at rest now – the one feeling sad for us as she looks down from wherever her Elysium may be. She is no longer tired and as the rest of us labor on, I wonder if we should be joyful for her and sad for ourselves.