Friday, March 15, 2013

What a Wonderful World

My blog is a rarely updated thing...its something I always think to do but never actually get around to posting blog posts. Today is a day where I feel like I have so much to say...I want to sit with a friend and pour my heart out...maybe that's where a blog post should come in. Today was emotionally very big day, I attended two funerals and two people that have been in my life for a lot of for over 30 years and another who has been in my life for over 20 years...not every week and in some years not even every year...but always there and when I did see them it was like we had seen each other yesterday. First funeral for today was my eldest brother's best mate, Gary Atkinson (also known as Schultz). I first met Gary when my eldest brother befriended him, I was probably in my late teens. They rented an old Queenslander on the top of the mountain and I dropped in from time to time and quite often saw them at my Mum's place. My brother and Gary were the type of mates who sometimes spent nearly every day of the week together and as they grew older and had other things in their life, would catch up from time to time. Gary was plain and simply a 'good bloke'. He certainly had not had the easy road to life but always managed to be cheerful and welcoming whenever I saw him. I really only knew of his health issues and tough times because of my brother telling me so, you would never have known it from Gary himself. Gary was a Type 1 Diabetic from infancy and in his later years suffered from various health complaints, one of which was probably depression. Depression has such a stigma attached to it that is often undeserved. Gary was only 43, too young for the end of life, but upon reflection it was like he had lived 100 years. It was a real lesson to my kids when Gary came into their lives. If you saw him in the street it would be very easy to judge Gary from his exterior...piercings, tattoos, facial hair, unique dress code. I clearly remember Gary visiting at our home and my two youngest children being wary of going out and saying hello because he looked 'weird'. I remember telling my children to go and say hello because Gary was a lovely guy. After that first meeting, my youngest kids would rush out the door to say hello and greet Gary and my brother. We talked a lot about how its always a good idea to get to know people but you should never 'judge a book by his cover'. Gary had a kind heart and he will be sadly missed by many. My second funeral today was for my dentist Stuart Edwards...known to everyone who knew him as "Stuey". I say that he was my dentist but he was so much more than that. My family first came to know Stuey when my eldest brother joined Scouts, I was maybe 5 at the time. Stuey was pretty much involved in every committee and organisation on the Coast, at the time when the Coast was a very small community indeed. I hated going to the dentist, as pretty much everybody did, but it was much easier to deal with knowing your dentist would give you a big hug and rub your arm in comfort when he knew that you hated having the needles. Stuey had only met my husband on a few occasions, one being when I forced my husband to have a dental check up after having spent many years avoiding the task. Yet every occasion I had an appointment he always asked me 'say hello to Geoff for me'...or he would have a story or a joke he would want me to relay to Geoff. I loved that he looked after me when I was a young girl and then took care of my own children when they came along. It absolutely touched my heart when Stuey came to my father's funeral, that was a true testament to the fact that he was a lifelong family friend. He was a gorgeous and caring man who I will remember with love in my heart. It was comforting today to see his wife, four sons and many grandchildren crying and laughing remembering this wonderful man. I am sure if Stuey had a comment to make about his own death it would be that he lived life with no regrets and lived life to its fullest. So today has been a very emotional day for me, and one that has made me reflect on my own life and family. Who would be there at my funeral and what will I be remembered for? All those things I stress about on a daily basis really seem insignificant. The important message is to love one another, show your appreciation and be thankful for every day we have. I will hug my children and my husband extra tight tonight and be thankful we have each other.


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