New babies are amazing things. They're completely instinctive, seeking warmth and comfort and food. Every day they change, gradually morphing into a little person with a distinct personality. He's coming home today. I'm going to be there to see his first reaction to his home and the dogs, cat and bird who will be his companions growing up.
I'm also going to be there to watch him grow and learn about his world and the people who love him. I'll watch as he meets new people and forges friendships and relationships. I'll see his sphere of connection and influence grow as he does.
The other end of the pendulum:
Being around the elderly is a poignant thing. There's a life time of memories and, as people come to the hospital to visit, to say goodbye, you get a very clear indication of how many lives this one person has touched through the years. The impact and influence of their personality is visible in the pain and sorrow etched into every face, and also at the jokes that still abound, the laughter at the memories. In amongst the pain and sorrow, there's joy and celebration of life. Of that particular life that's been so precious to so many people.
This morning I'm going back to the hospitals. One to say goodbye, the other to help a new life take his first steps into the world. And I'm going to try to remember the good and happy things, and at the same time continue to look forward to a bright and wonderful future.