Personal Stories: Gill Hooker's story
I Can Remember Thinking ‘Why Me?
I was brought up in a Christian family. I went to church with my parents and to Sunday school. I was Christened as a baby, was Confirmed at school and belonged to the Scripture Union in school.
I used to teach Sunday school when I was about 13/14 and I played the small church organ for some services and sang in the church choir also. So as you can see church was a big part of my life in my early years.
However when I reached the age of about 17/18 a different kind of ‘man’ came into my life, who at that time seemed far more interesting. The only way I can explain it is that I put God on the back shelf.
Time went by, I met and married my husband and God seemed to get further and further pushed back on the shelf until he was almost invisible.
My daughter Alison was born and then I had a son, Gregory. When he was 6 days old he was taken seriously ill with meningitis and I thought he was going to die.
I can remember quite distinctly calling out to God for his help. Greg pulled through his illness; however he was severely handicapped, mostly mentally but also physically too. He never learnt to read or write, had very special needs, but was always a joy and full of laughter.
I can remember, at that time and for many years to come, thinking ‘Why me?’ I also remember thinking that God had not answered my prayers. I do remember thinking however that I had deserted God so why should he answer my prayers?
I eventually had another son, Robert, and life began to have a normal routine. Gregory however continued to have many problems and several brain operations, which yet again he pulled through.
Unfortunately, not once did I think this was God’s hand. But over the years I have learnt that God answered my prayers after all.
Gregory is so lovable and others like him make me feel so humble. People like Gregory help you to put things into perspective; an experience I would never have had if Gregory had died at a young age.
My daughter and second son eventually married and I have four
wonderful grandchildren: two boys and two girls. Gregory lives in a residential home in Worthing because of the wonderful care they can give him and the 24 hour one-to-one he needs that I can no longer physically do.
Six years ago, almost to the day, my husband died. He had had a heart attack and because of diabetes all his organs gradually stopped functioning. He died on April 16th 2002.
My family were wonderful and there for me. They loved their dad very much. I know because of the things that had happened in my life from a very young age that God had given me the strength to cope with the tragedy, although I did not register this at the time.
For a very long time I felt there was something missing.