On the 4th of July 1985 my mother died of a heart attack. She was in hospital being treated for angina. She had worried constantly because of her husband’s heart trouble and she worried about many other things too. All of these worries and disappointments seem to have taken their toll. My dad had been ill for many years prior to this and losing his wife of over thirty years didn’t help. In fact, he got steadily worse over the next two or three years. He and I now lived together in Knockbridge. I had no idea then, of course, but that fact was to prove crucial many years later.
Thank God, that’s not how this story ends. Let me explain a little of my view of things at the time. From the middle of my teens I had a desire to be married. It was more an ideal than a realistic idea of marriage. Almost every girl I dated I proposed to, or wanted to! In 1987 I fell madly in love, convinced that this was the one. Very soon we got engaged and planned to marry. I had told her that I was a Christian, that I had been born again in 1982. Of course, since I wasn’t truly saved nothing had changed in me. It’s only when God saves someone that His Holy Spirit enters into their life and begins to transform them. So, it didn’t have much affect on our relationship. We carried on like most other couples our age. But things gradually got worse for me. Every time we faced difficulties I was finding it harder and harder to sort out the problems. It dawned on me, finally, that nothing had ever happened to me back in 1982. I was still the same old sinner, only now with some Bible head-knowledge.