Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Happy Death Day!

Yup, you heard correctly . . . that's our greeting today to one another at the Kilns, former beloved home of C.S. Lewis, and also the day that he died in 1963. Let me quote from Green and Hooper's biography, "'Friday 22 November began no differently from any other day from some weeks past,' wrote Warren Lewis [CSL's brother]. 'I looked in on Jack [the name CSL went by] soon after... six, got a cheerful, "I'm all right" and then went about my domestic tasks. He got up at eight and as usual breakfasted in the kitchen in his dressing gown, after which he took a preliminary survey of his crossword puzzle. By the time he was dressed I had his mail ready for him and he sat down in his workroom where he answered four letters with his own hand. For some time past he had been finding great difficulty in keeping awake, and finding him asleep in his chair after lunch, I suggested that he would be more comfortable in bed. He agreed, and went there. At four o'clock I took him in his tea and had a few words with him, finding him thick in his speech, very drowsy, but calm and cheerful. It was the last time we ever spoke to each other. At five-thirty I heard a crash in his bedroom, and running in, I found him lying unconscious at the foot of his bed. He ceased to breathe some three or four minutes later. The following Friday would have been his sixty-fifth birthday.'
Then Green and Hooper continue to the close of their biography: "'Then Aslan turned to them and said: " . . . you are -- as you used to call it in the Shadowlands -- dead. The term is over: the holidays have begun. The dream is ended: this is the morning . . . "'And for us this is the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for... them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on for ever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.'"
And I say to you, "Cheers". I'm off to the Magdalene College [where CSL taught and attended] Evensong service, then to the Eagle and Child pub for supper with friends, and finally to the Oxford CSL Society meeting to hear Owen Barfield (grandson of the Inkling, Owen Barfield). Let us celebrate a life well lived for our Lord Jesus Christ! Bottoms up to your tea cup:-)!

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