For 9 years we went to a playgroup in a Church. It was only intended to be for 2-6 year olds, but the group was managed by a very nice lady called Jane. When we started in the group our children fitted very well into that category, with a 5, 2 and 1 year old. Then they grew older. But Jane still made us feel welcome in the play group. She did not care much about age groups or rules generally. What mattered to her was the overall feeling in the group and if the children knew how to behave well towards each other. You would always get a loving hug and a truly personal concern and interest into your life from Jane. She was open and loving. Jane had not had an easy life before she came to the church. Many people had not treated her with the respect everybody deserves. But she had found her love and meaning in God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. She gave that love on to us all.
As our youngest child turned 5 this year, we decided to stop in the play ground this year. As Jane was become more like a grandmother to our children than just a friend, we made plans with her to meet up with her and also for her to become a part of our home school network and arrangements.
But sadly, she died quite suddenly from cancer, during the summer break from the playground. We managed to meet her once at the hospice and we also attended her funeral. At the funeral they said that one of her sayings was:”Always stay honest in your heart”. I will never forget that. She was a person who gave so much. You felt understood and energized from her company. We will never forget her.
In the play ground there was a meeting once a week where we would start out sitting in a circle. Then all the children would get to choose a song from song books she had put together through the years, with songs the families had brought. She had a lot of toys that fitted the different songs. Then she would often bless us all. We also had a dice the children could throw, with blessings on. Then there would be an activity. It could be that she would tell a bible story that fitted that season of the year, or there could be a creative activity.
At the start of every year we had a paper we could write an activity on, that we would like to do during that year. Usually “look at a fish” would be put on it, as a popular activity. Every year Jane managed to find a new interesting sea creature to dissect, fry and then we would eat it.
Every year we would have a ceremony in the church at christmas, where Jane would make a christmas play with children from the local kindergarden. We would then every year receive some kind of angel figure, to remember Gods love for us.
Every year we would celebrate “Fastelavn” in the play group. Jane would put sweets in a brown paperbag the children had painted. Then the children got to hit the bag, one by one, until it broke. One year Jane had put oranges in the bag. They all were completely smashed up, so she didn’t repeat that treat 🙂
Easter. Usually spend with a bible story. Then Easter Egg hunt in the church.
We did a lot of creative activities in the play group. Often we would paint, sculpt, build things. On this picture we could paint on caps, shoppingbags or T-shirts.
Jane. We miss you and will never forget you.