Marrying later with two delightful children his medical practice blossomed as did his life as husband and father. In 2013 when we returned to live in Cambridge we wanted him to be our doctor too. And he proved to be the very best. We enjoyed some wonderful friendship that first year. But it was cut too short.
The service today was so full many had to stand at the back. The service had been planned by him with his favourite hymns and prayers. I found it deeply moving. So many things - let me share a couple:
- How he coped with rampant disease. He was only 63 when he died. Told two years ago that he had between two and ten years of life left, it turned out to be the tragic minimum. How he must have hoped for so much longer to see his children through college and into the future. Yet, in the speedy decline he showed no feelings of bitterness, fear or anger at the unfairness of his suffering when he had given so much to help others win good health. I find that extraordinary and it was explained by.....
- How faith shone through with radiance. Carol and I saw this when we visited him in the hospice a few days before he died. He loved the psalms. 'Can I read you one?' I asked.' Do you have a special one?' He feebly reached for his worn copy of the New Testament and Psalms. Slipping in and out of consciousness we read Psalm 16 and prayed. And, in spite of his upsetting weakness and pain his faith in Jesus shone through. It did!
- How uplifting were his service choices. His hymns: In Christ alone my hope is found; I, the Lord of sea and sky; Before the throne of God above; Be thou my vision. His Christian conviction was also sounded out by one of his closest friends who shared Hugh's faith story.