Dear Inner Circle,

A woman born to older parents was formed in an atmosphere of quiet; an atmosphere where noise was offensive no matter whether it was generated by ten howling cats or a rock band. In such a home, loud speech or boisterous laughter was considered a form of assault at worst and on every occasion, unnecessary. These particular parents were “old school” even in the olden days. They were brought up in a world that has been long forgotten. They were raised by people whose hand-shake was as good as a contract. They were people whose word was more certain than gravity.

The parents lives had not been easy, but those tough times were a private matter. Their hearts were tender and easily hurt, although no-one would have ever guessed. Disappointments were endured with stoicism that would make the ancients proud. They had three daughters, seventeen years apart with many miscarriages and failed births, never marked by public statement but secured in a holy, intimate place. The father was an engineer who served in the Australian Army in New Guinea in the war. He was a man who could apply himself to any mechanical problem and make things work, in his own way. The mother was always on the job making life possible and comfortable in any circumstance. They were people of faith. They read the bible in the shower. They found community in their church. They encountered injustice believing in a higher judge. They were fair and honest in every matter, especially in small matters. They were people you could trust with your life or with one dollar.

The three daughters were taught and formed to be good women and good wives. The girls each became women whose quality of loyalty was that by which any human performance could be measured and the standard against which the word ‘loyalty’ can be used.

All three girls spent their lives working hard, doing all the practical things that enabled their husbands to shine in whatever field their efforts were directed. All three girls grew to be women who anticipated issues, solved problems and made the way smooth for their husbands and their children.

With confronting honesty, loyalty that almost has teeth, an ability to work and do and be and lift and clean and act for the sake of those she loves, I’m so thankful to have married the youngest of these three daughters.

In this my second last note to the inner circle, I’m pushing my luck a bit to bring attention toward the one person I know who hates public focus more than any other. If it wasn’t for my wife Robyn, this Wayside adventure would never have begun. Robyn has done whatever it took to make me shine in the work that I love. At the end of these fourteen years, I could write all day about those to whom my heartfelt thanks is due but none is more deserving than this good woman. I’m sure that nothing higher can be said of anyone than, they are a good woman or a good man. Last year was a difficult year with health issues for us both, but this year our daughter Mandy has become engaged to be married to a wonderful bloke and now the 30th of June is so close, new beginnings and time free of other worries, is almost upon us.

One of our granddaughters asked me recently if I thought she was, “the goodest”. There is no doubt for me that her Grandma is the goodest person I’ve ever met. To Robyn, my rock and my hiding place, my deepest, highest, widest thanks.

And, thank you for being part of this inner circle,

Graham

Rev Graham Long
Pastor & CEO
Wayside Chapel

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