life – be in it

Death has been featuring a lot in my life recently.

Dennis couldn’t come down to Canungra with Henry and I over the Anzac Day weekend as he was in Sydney at his mother’s funeral. Down at Canungra Jack reminded us that April 24th was Kapyong Day and we took a moment to remember those soldiers who fought and died in Korea. Anzac Day itself is a remembrance of those who have not returned from wars and a dawn service followed by an early morning march is a good place to reflect on the futility of armed conflict.

We helped Jack and some of his family say a few words over a plaque to their father who passed away last year. His plaque has been placed amongst forest in area reserved as a memorial to the Australian Army Training Team at the Canungra Army Base.

The day after Anzac Day I changed into my suit and travelled to the Gold Coast to pay my last respects to my old mate Paul. I first met Paul 36 years ago when we were both playing football for Surfers Paradise and we were saddened to hear while in Viet Nam that he been diagnosed with cancer. Paul subsequently lost his right arm and shoulder to the surgeon’s knife and, despite being given the all clear a few weeks ago and despite never giving up on life, he succumbed to an aggressive tumour in his lungs.

I had no sooner got home from the coast than Dutchie rang to tell me that a motorcyclist killed on the coast over the weekend was Maxie Shields a former B Coy 6RAR soldier and an old mate of Dutchie’s.

We can’t deny death, it’s a part of life, but right now I’m all for life and I’m all for living and fulfilling our dreams to the best of our abilities.

With that said we are going out to ride our bicycles along the banks of the Brisbane river and enjoy the autumn sunshine.