Sometimes you have to begin again, realise that what you intended hasn’t worked out.
So press the delete button and it is gone.
We can do that with words but we cannot with our lives.
I had started to write something about old age and even though it was good news Mrs Smith (she who must be obeyed) said readers do not want you going on about that again.
So what I have written is gone – only words after all.
But the life I have led is not so easily done away with.
Every action, every meeting forms us.
We carry the years with us, the good, the difficult and the bad experiences and they make us what we are.
My sister is over from Canada and, yes, we are growing older, but each time we meet I realise how much we carry of our parents with us… the ability to judge too quickly, the way we repeat ourselves and an impatience with each other that we witnessed at home.
I have no doubt that there are little bits of so many of my patients that are now caught up in my very being, the patients I loved and the patients I struggled to love.
The lives they led, the illnesses and troubles they went through became part of my life too.
Their strengths and weaknesses, their heroism and their fear were absorbed into the way I worked as a doctor and now as a priest too.
Yes, I could outline incidents that left me speechless and humbled, but often it was the little things, the words said round the kitchen table in the middle of the night, the arm around the shoulder as bad and good news was shared, that have imperceptibly left their mark and made me into the human being that I am.
And so it is with you, with all of us.
Wind and rain shape our landscape, events and meetings shape and continue to shape the people that we are and will become.