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I was overwhelmed by the response I received from writing about Florence. There was such an outpouring of love and compassion on a scale which I had not expected. All of those amazing, wonderful voices that spoke to my post, I want to say a very deep and heartfelt thanks from the bottom of my heart. Thank you so much. I would love it if Florence could have shared in the love and compassion too but sadly she is no longer here. But that does not mean that because she is not here to hear all those wonderful sentiments, she cannot share the love. Florence was my mother. And because I am her daughter a piece of her, a very valuable and precious part of her lives on in me, and so because she did not have a voice while she was a victim of domestic violence, I hope by sharing with you a very poignant time in her life, her voice will speak once again.
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Florence, my mother, your once tortured soul I hope rests in peace and I hope that you don’t mind sharing that wonderful day you had in the Holy Land shortly before you left us. I found your journal in amongst your things, and I read about the amazing time you had. You didn’t have many amazing days for longer than I care to say, sadly for you, but I know you treasured life and all it had to give despite facing many dark days. This light-filled day was a blessing to me when I read it and so many were saddened by your experience, that I would like them to know that you experienced joy and you were able to record it so that I would one day find it and share it with others who care for you.

Florence in her own words:

“The tour of the Holy Land is a most exciting and moving experience. The Bible is made alive. It surpassed all my expectations.

During my grown-up years it was always my desire to visit the Holy Land – Christ’s birthplace. Oh I wish I had been there when He walked among men.

Now that I have gone there, I was really overwhelmed by the vastness of the land and the awesomeness of it. I have seen a lot, and I am certain that there was much more to be seen. But the place that had the greatest impact on me was the Garden Tomb where Jesus was supposed to have been laid after His death. I entered the tomb and saw the imprint of His body and as I emerged I glanced upon the wall and saw the words: “He is not here. He is risen” and then I suddenly realised that my Redeemer lives and for a moment I was transfixed.

Then we began to wander through the Garden and the visit was terminated by Holy Communion and prayer. I never experienced such peace in my life. All the tiredness had left me and I felt so relaxed I had to tell my experience to my room-mate when I returned that evening to the hotel. I am so glad I was able to make the journey to Jerusalem because what I saw and heard will linger with me for the rest of my life. We returned home on the 24th February 1996 and our lives have never been the same since that week that was spent in the Holy Land. We stayed at the King’s Hotel in Jerusalem”.

I am pleased to have given my mother a voice. So many of us are unable to use that most precious of gifts for whatever reason. It is such a powerful instrument and with power comes responsibility. The responsibility to use our voices wisely.

~ MEW 2016

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