A touch that never leaves you

A Jackson get together circa 1980

“You know Jesus I hadn’t this all thought out, I wasn’t sure where we would go though I knew in my heart that there were places that I wanted to bring you. Maybe I wanted to bring myself but I needed a friend to come with me.”

“Gordon I am happy to visit all these places with you though in one sense I was with you the first time round. You remember that cross you made out of straws when you were four as a Christmas present for me I remember too.”

“Really? I can’t say I remember sensing anything back. As I got older I heard someone use the word ‘perceive’. That was such a good word for sensing, well I was going to say you though, the divine seems more accurate. And no I don’t want to start a debate about who’s who’s and what’s who.”

“I know you are teasing me, Gordon, as I know you have moved beyond that. It is as it is, this.”

“You know Jesus this is beginning to feel like how Sundays would be for me as an early teenager. I would go to church in the morning have my dinner and then Toby would start getting excited. He knew the routine that after my dinner on a Sunday I would walk to my Granny Gates. She had moved to a small bungalow by then. It was cosy as it had an open fire and the furniture was pulled in tight around the fireplace. Toby would walk in first and lay by the fire. I can’t really remember what we talked about but we did talk. After an hour we would then leave and walk to Granny and Granda’s Jackson’s. That dog knew the route like the back of his paw and often got there before me.”

“Let’s go to Granny and Granda’s.”

I’m hovering between their former and latter homes not certain of which one we should visit.

“O let’s go to the former first we have no time restrictions.”

There’s my granda’s greenhouse where he grows his tomatoes. We always use the back door, come on in.

It is Christmas the tree is up, the lights flash, cards decorate every ledge. It is Christmas morning. All the children and grandchildren are here. Christmas drinks are being poured alcohol for the adults and juice for the kids. Joey the budgie is chirping and Sindy the dog is licking anyone who wants to be licked.

“I know you know Jesus but this was all because of you. Well, I suppose people didn’t know exactly what to do on your supposed birthday but someone must have reckoned it was a good time for families to get together. Although I can’t remember exactly what we did I remember the feeling. The feeling of being part of a bigger family with cousins and aunts and uncles and a granny and granda. Funny that it was always granny and granda never granda and granny.

My granny easily made you feel welcomed and at ease. I didn’t get to know my granda so well until she joined you.”

Suddenly we are in a private room of the local hospital. My granny is in the bed. I know she hasn’t long to live, she is no longer communicating. I touch her hand with my fingers and I feel a touch back.

“You know Jesus that touch has never left me.”


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