DATA BASE REF: I/F 1018
AMANDA JANE CURRIE
AFTERWARDS ALL WELCOME AT THOMAS COOK LEISURE CENTRE
Today we tell a tale of a life of faith, and hope and love triumphing over adversity; of difficulties being overcome by courage, good-humour and determination. And it is appropriate that we should gather here to celebrate that life, because this is where the tale almost starts. Mandy was born and bred in the parish of Castor; she was christened in this church – in 1974 she married David in this church; today we come together in this place to give thanks for her life, to recall what she was and is to us, to mourn her passing, and comfort and support one another in our sorrow.
Most people will know that she started her career as a secretary, first with Baker Perkins, and then for 10 years with the Development Corporation, where she ended up as the secretary to the Chairman, Windham Thomas. She loved her work, she loved being with people, she had a great rapport with people; a lovely smile; a caring approach, and a great sense of humour. She was to have to dig deep into all these and other qualities after she stopped work. She came home one day in 1982 and announced that she wanted to stop work. Adam was born in 1983, and the next 16 years were to be a fight for survival; first for Adam , and then for herself.
Adam was born prematurely, and his birth changed Mandy’s life in a way that she can hardly have expected. At times she and Adam almost lived at Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital. Many of you will have seen the lovely photograph, either in the Evening Telegraph, or at their house in Milton Way, or in her mother, Stella’s house- the photograph of her holding Adam, as he was finally brought home just before Christmas. In the photograph she looks up with love, and shining eyes as she clutches the precious bundle. She became dedicated to ensuring Adam survived and lived a full life. His progress was a source of pride and pleasure to her.
As a person Mandy took a pride in all she did, home, work, food and clothes- she had a great sense of fun, a good sense of humour- a raucous laugh some-one described. She never said a bad word about anybody, and she also had some good friends. She cared for Stella, as well as David and Adam- she valued life and people. And as I have said all these qualities were to help see her through the 16 years after Adam’s birth. For as it became clear that Adam was going to develop into a fit, strong young man, so she became ill. For the first 10 years after Adam’s birth his survival was to be the focus of her energy; for the next 6 years it was her own survival. She never complained, she said she would handle it; she never said why me. And with the support of David, and good friends she battled against her illness. Gradually the pattern of life took on a different shape; as the end drew near for David, it was a case of spending mornings on the golf course with Adam, and afternoons with Mandy in Thorpe Hall.
And good things came out of the battle. Good like Daphne proved their true worth. The family drew closer together; Stellla showed what a loving mother and grandmother she was; David’s employer, Perkins, showed that they were also a concerned friend.
Precious moments were valued, like trips to Scotland; the peace of Iona and its cathedral; a foretaste almost of the peace that was to come for Mandy. For the struggle is now over; her body is at rest, free from pain and discomfort. Sometimes it is difficult to see purpose, shape and pattern in our lives. But if we look about us, away from the confusion and muddle of our own lives we can see that shape and pattern there is. We can see that the stars and planets in the heavens move in a fixed pattern; the suns sets and rises; the seasons come and go, and as surely as Spring follows winter, greenery dies back and returns to new life. We can see evidence of the pattern around us; but as one monk said to me; there is also a purpose and shape to our own lives- it’s just that we lie too close to the carpet to see the pattern in our lives.
Well I think we get more than a glimpse of the purpose and shape of Mandy’s life. It was a life, as I said motivated by faith, hope and love; by a determination not to let difficulties defeat us, for she never was beaten psychologically by her illness. It didn’t change her or distort her real self; she always remained the fine person she was, good; loving, caring and fun to be with, a loving wife, mother and daughter. With sadness We give thanks then for such a life, one that gave so much; confident in the knowledge that her body is at rest, and her soul at peace. In funerals we use the water of baptism to remind ourselves of God’s promise- the promise of new life that comes to Many now, and us all in our turn. For her the battle is over; we commit her with confidence to the loving care of her heavenly Father- in a place of refreshment, light and peace.