Such laughter and joy!
I remember stopping in Trosly on my way to India in 1991, visiting you and listening to your stories, and soaking up your love for that place and those people. I remember you opening up your drawer full of tablets for different countries where you’d been to visit L’Arche, and offering me some, to keep me healthy. Now, all these years later, I’m not sure if that was real, or just the way my mind remembered the advice you gave! I do know there was a fascinating mix of practical and personal in your stories for me, and how special I felt to receive them, and how I felt your personal blessing on my going there.
The memory I most cherish with you Jean, was the time you came to visit Asha Niketan Chennai, and stayed with us for a couple of weeks. We had walks on the beach together, and I remember how special and yet ‘normal’ it felt to be in the simplicity and joy of that community together. I remember the welcome of you there, how much eager anticipation that ‘tall John’ was coming! I remember doing drama and you crawling on all fours because you’d been chosen to be the bull! Such laughter and joy! Each time I have seen you since then, I’ve been surprised and touched that you have remembered our beach walks too! You came for the ‘big meeting’ to read Asha Niketan’s sacred history in India together with all the people that had been a part of the founding and the growing and living and learning of L’Arche in India. How incredible it was for me to be invited to be a witness in that gathering!
You have been so faithful to me in my journey Jean. We sat together for Daybreak’s Gala One Heart at a Time, in a time that I was struggling… but you wrote to me later saying that being beside me helped you. Thank you for that, and for your nearly-impossible-to-read notes at so many important times along my way – when we sat together that day, when Tony and I married, when Miryam and Christian and Hannah were born. Thank you for your blessings, for your invitations to pray for you and send you peace, for the way that you greet me like a long-lost friend every time, despite how long it’s been!
Thank you, Jean for giving us L’Arche! Thank you for your unwavering love and blessing for me and all of us!
Blessings for your birthday, and always!