The Catholic Parish of
Blessed John Henry Newman

 Covering most of East Leeds

The Gift of Life.

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It was a few months before their tenth wedding anniversary and Francis Roach knew exactly what she would like to buy her husband as a surprise anniversary gift. The problem was that it was a specialised item not available in the shops and she had to look on the internet to find a store that stocked them. Then she encountered the next problem, when she found she couldn't afford the price out of her weekly budget, as the item was more expensive than she expected. Undaunted, she rang the store and asked if she could pay by three monthly instalments, the store agreed, saying that delivery would be made upon receipt of the final payment. This surprise gift was very important to Francis as it had been a difficult year for them both, her husband was made redundant from his last job and it had taken him several months to find a new one, which he said offered a good secure future with the nationwide company which now employed him.

On July 6th, during an armed robbery, her husband David was shot three times in the chest, during an armed raid on his security van. The first Francis knew of this, was when the police called to tell her that her husband had been shot and had been taken to hospital, they had no other details at present, so they couldn’t say how badly injured he was, but they said they would take her to the hospital. Climbing into the back of the police car her heart sank, as the car sped off with flashing lights and sirens blaring, quickly clearing a way through the busy traffic on route to the hospital. Upon reaching the hospital Francis rushed into the ward not knowing what to expect and was relieved to find her husband sitting up in bed and smiling at her, she threw her arms round his neck and they hugged and kissed each other.

If Francis had not bought her husband a surprise anniversary present of a bullet proof vest, her husband would be dead and not just hospitalised, with only three bruises on his chest as proof of his dangerous encounter.
This loving, caring wife, who had already given the gift of life to their two young sons, had now given her husband the gift of life also.


“Money buys everything except love, personality, freedom and immortality.”



Published Mon 20th Jan 2014 12:45:54

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