I'm sure that if these old friends of mine knew how apostate I was they wouldn't have come round to see me, but they did. My Mum was a long-time RV and a place to go pee when the brethren were door too door in her area (Benfleet, Essex). They are actually very nice people, like so many are, and they were genuinely glad to see me.
One of this pioneer group, Brenda, was in the last stages of cancer (at home in bed on oxygen), she died the next day actually. On more than one occassion the sister with the most to say made a point of saying that Brenda would die faithful, with 26 hours of service in the month of August and still qualified to be a regular pioneer! She also threw in a bit of the usual circular reasoning by saying Jehovah knew ahead about the problems with blood transfusions, it was the week that there was a scare in the papers over tainted blood (mad cow disease).
It was the same old stuff, just like it had always been. It got on my nerves, but I was duly attentive and they left after their usual coffee and a chocolate biscuit. I felt quite sad - hearing the poor dying's sister's spirituality being measured by the number of hours she spent as an unpaid sales person for a religious publishing company. Wouldn't the time have been better spent with her children and grandchildren?