My mum died on friday.
She was 98 years old, and died gently with loved ones at her bedside.
Her life had not been untouched by tragedy. After all, as a young woman she had lived through the Second World War. Two brothers and a sister died in those years. Later in life she did not hold high public office, nor did she rise to commanding heights in industry or commerce. She spent most of her adult life as a wife, mother and grandmother (and latterly, great grandmother). As such she achieved truly great things. She left a legacy of children and grandchildren who have all had the incalculable blessing of knowing that they have been deeply loved, and who are passing on to their own children the love and faith of which she was such an effective conduit. In a small but very important way, the world is a better place for my mum having lived.
And, by the grace of God, the same is true for millions, billions, of ordinary, unremembered people throughout history. It is they who, in every generation and in every society, counteract the selfishness of others, and so give the human race a future.
By Peter Britton