and also the 29th anniversary of my father's death. Back in 1978, he died on a Saturday, and Fathers' Day was the following day. Somehow, that particular celebration has never loomed large in our family consciousness since then.
I've blogged about my father here so often that I don't want to add more this year, but simply to say that I'm glad the blog allows me a space to remember and be thankful. And I am. So very thankful.
This year I'm also grateful to J, because from now on 17th June won't just be "the day Daddy died" but also "the day that J became a Canon".
Losing both parents before I was an adult means that there are all sorts of bits of my life that I can't share with them, so many people I'd have loved them to know. Whenever my children achieve something particularly whizzy, I mind that I can't phone my parents to crow.
Whenever my children are struggling and I long to fix unfixable things, I want to turn to my father- who never had to deal with a daughter growing into situations beyond his control....so that, for me, he remains forever the solution to all my teenage problems.
And on days like today, I just wish that my parents could meet and enjoy some of the people I'm blessed to count as friends. I still don't know what my rather traditional father would have made of my ordination (though he had the courage to outrage his lifelong conservative family by voting first Socialist and then Liberal, so perhaps all would have been well). I like to think he would have approved once the first shock had worn off. And I hope that today he has been cheering J as she gave me something quite different to think about on what has for too long been a rather regretful day.
After J's party, I spent an hour with a woman in hospital for whom today was also a significant anniversary. As we talked about love and loss, about death and resurrection hope I was so conscious of the way our stories weave into God's bigger picture...and for a few moments, I almost glimpsed it.
This is the most amazing calling. From Cathedral to party, to hospital bed, to wild youth group celebrations "We want to see Jesus lifted high"
and all that is part of who I am and what I do.
No wonder I'm thankful!