My last day at St Mark’s on Sunday was a most joyous occasion, in amidst the sobbing and sniffling and lack of saliva. (Where the heck did it go? but you’ll be glad to know it has safely returned.) The mistake was choosing some of my favourite (and schmaltzy) hymns and music so if I wasn’t in danger of becoming too emotional with all the rest they certainly did me in. Farewell to Stromness (aka Portobello) almost finished me and that was the organ prelude. The choir did me proud with a couple of Bernadette Farrell numbers which I really just wanted to stop and listen to.
Placing the Body of Christ into familiar hands made me realise that I won’t see those familiar palms again for a while, if ever. And I know them all. Each wrinkles, calloused, manicured and arthritic hand is special to me.
We used a special bit of liturgy where I handed back some of the gifts which were given to me at my Institution and that worked really well. For some reason it was handing back the big bunch of church keys which set me off again! Knowing that I can’t let myself into that church again was quite a thought. (Then of course I poodled off home leaving my picture behind and had to get someone to go and get it for me!)
I didn’t read the card from the children until I got home and that was indeed good advice for it was another weepy. They had all written individual messages for me and what tearjerkers they were.
So farewell to St Mark’s. Thank you for sharing the journey with me and thank you for putting up with all my silliness. I will miss you. And thank you for the generous gifts. You share a space in my heart forever.