Hospice patient’s reflections

GIFT OF LOVE: Peter Mulligan and his wife, Gloria, glance through Peter's book 'A Time to Reflect' - Picture: ELEANOR DOUGLAS-MEYERS
GIFT OF LOVE: Peter Mulligan and his wife, Gloria, glance through Peter’s book ‘A Time to Reflect’ – Picture: ELEANOR DOUGLAS-MEYERS

ST FRANCIS Hospice patient Peter Mulligan’s book entitled A Time to Reflect aims to raise funds for the hospice while giving much-needed comfort.

The self-published book features poetry and meditations with local photography, and despite having a strong Christian tone, Mulligan, 80, believes it could be a blessing for all who read it, regardless of their religious affiliations.

The book is a compilation of work by Mulligan, who with his wife Gloria started St Anne’s School in Walmer and spent years working with underprivileged people in the city.

“I have been writing at various times for the past 40 years and have treasured this way of processing my thoughts and thinking,” said Mulligan, who has been diagnosed with terminal cancer.

Verses like, “I will befriend my strength and my weakness and encourage them to learn from each other” sets an optimistic tone that mimics Mulligan’s positive spirit – which despite a 14-year battle with cancer remains unchanged.

“He is the eternal optimist. He wakes up every morning, goes to his favourite room and exclaims, ‘good morning beautiful room’. Writing and talking about his work does his spirit so much good,” says Gloria.

The book touches on topics from parenting and family to finding joy in nature and hints at finding peace with one’s mortality. Such as the poem entitled, Only a Guest: “When I can accept that I am really only a guest in my own house. Then and only then am I truly at home in me.”

Illustrative photography came from various sources, with the bulk coming from his neighbours Bill and Pat Metelerkamp. Mulligan discovered their talent for photography through pictures published in The Herald’s sister publication Weekend Post and enlisted their help in making his work “come to life”.

His daughter Martina’s pictures are featured along with those of Greg Betts.

According to St Francis Hospice the book makes a perfect inspirational gift.

The books are R100 each and are available from the Hospice and their two charity shops, in Newton Park and Central, as well as Fogarty’s bookshop in Walmer Park. All proceeds will go to St Francis Hospice.

-Eleanor Douglas-Meyers

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