We've lost two friends to cancer over the Christmas period.
The first is a Dutch lady with whom we were put in contact through her friends in Pembrokeshire. She lived in Bergerac - a two hour journey from here - but we used to visit her on her visits to the hospital in Bordeaux. We got to know her very quickly and she seemed to appreciate our visits, contacting us from her iPad to let us know what room she was in and so on. She had a very lively and well-informed faith and used to work translating books from Dutch into English for some very well-known people. We weren't able to visit her during her last few days, or to go to her funeral, but we said farewell by email - her last message was to say goodbye as she was getting too weak to type.
The second is a lady who was very involved with the Christian bookshop in Bordeaux. She contracted a cancer in her face and her battle was long and difficult. She is greatly missed but it is good that this hard period for her and for her family is now over. Her funeral is this afternoon and I hope to go.
A British philosopher (?) has recently said that cancer isn't a bad way to go because you get to say goodbye to your family and you have time to relinquish this world and set your affairs in order. Well, yes, I suppose, so, if it is well-managed, and depending on the nature the disease. Not all cancers are the same, are they...
This week has suddenly become quite hectic. Tomorrow at Maison de la Bible all day - I'm replacing the afternoon guy this week and he'll replace me next week. I'll be able to read and prepare during the quiet intervals. The sales start in Bordeaux tomorrow so everyone will be trying to buy cheap winter coats and boots. Then Friday we have the Bookshop Committee meeting. One item on the agenda is how to publicise the bookshop and encourage suitable people to volunteer.