Being good to people

OK strange title coming from me I know. Not like this thought was some epiphany I had when I woke up this morning – I’ve been aware of this sentiment most of my life – I just haven’t always been as good at living it as some people are.

I’ve been lucky enough in my life that I’ve only lost 3 people that were close to me (to death anyway – I did have a parent once that went to the pub and was never seen or heard of again), my Grandfather, Grandmother and my good friend James. Meanwhile nana is still kicking on (go nana!).

Twenty years ago today I went over to my mate James’ house, spent some time with him, his wife and baby, had a cup of tea, talked footy and said good-bye as I prepared to head off on a trip that I knew would keep me away from home at least until the end of the year. Two things I couldn’t have known were that a) I would be gone for almost 2 years and b) a year later James would pass away in his sleep of a rare (and undiagnosed) strain of the disease Hypercholesterolemia. The great tragedy was that he left a wife and 2 young children, but the first vision that came to my mind when I heard the news was that of his wife consoling him as I was leaving on that night 20 years ago. I’d unnecessarily given him some home truths as I’d departed (why??) and left him to deal with it. What a crappy way to treat any person and a terrible last memory of a guy who was a better friend than I had ever been. So be good to people.

When our Grandparents go, we just regret taking them for granted and not spending a little more time with them. Interesting twist to the story of my Grandfather is this – when were kids our Grandparents lived interstate, and would write occasionally as this was the preferred communication method of the day. These entertaining letters were written with a curvaceous script, flowery tongue and viscous wit. After Grandad’s passing, the letters continued, yet with less verve and creativity. Then it struck us. My Grandfather, through all those years of relative silence and being content with sitting in the background, had penned those lovely letters unbeknown to their recipients.

You have to watch the quiet ones!

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