There were four children born to Muriel and Wyndham Wise following World War Two; three of us survived, but the youngest, Henrietta, died the day after she was born, on May 31, 1951. She was buried in our parish church, St. Michael’s, not far from the hospital where she was born in Colchester, a rural town not far from London, England. Today I visited her gravesite, placed some flowers in her memory, and prayed for her dear little soul.

I am certain with all my heart that she is with her Saviour in heaven. David said of the child that he fathered through Bathsheba, and that died shortly thereafter, “I will go to him, but he will not return to me” (2 Sam. 12:21). Henrietta is not coming back in this life, but she is waiting for me in the next, and one day I will join her, and my dear father, who committed his way to Christ before he died. Such assurances are a blessed treasure for those who know Christ as their Saviour.

Finding little Henrietta’s gravesite was the reason for coming to Colchester where I was born. Colchester is England’s oldest town, and its original capital. King Cole of the nursery rhyme is reputed to have ruled hear, and Boadicea, Queen of the Brits, rode out of Colchester to defeat the Romans on her war chariots when they first arrived, circa 50 B.C. Charles Haddon Spurgeon was born nearby, and saved at the Methodist Chapel on New Park Street in Colchester, from which he derived the name of his famous church in London.

There is plenty of history to see, in other words. But it was personal history I was interested in. After placing some flowers on Henrietta’s grave and making arrangements to have her little broken headstone replaced, I went to Turner Road, where I was born and raised, and took a walk on the public footpath to the woodland behind our house, which looked pretty much as I remembered it. These memories are understandably vague and faint now, but nevertheless it was sadly sweet to visit these places again and touch the past, if only briefly. I thank the parents who gave me such a pleasant start to my life, and nurtured my love for nature thorough the woods and the lanes that surround the place of my birth.

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