Dutchie and I travelled over to Vung Tau for a beach break last Monday, but as I mentioned previously, I cut my trip short and travelled home alone. When we arrived in Vung Tau I went looking for a couple of Australians who I know from there and also went looking for a couple of motorbikes for us to rent.
I found the people I wanted to see and over a cold beer they told me that another Australian friend from Vung Tau had died suddenly about three weeks ago. I was stunned to say the least because the last time I had seen Paul, he was looking healthy and we had a chat over a couple of coldies in Tommy’s bar that he ran with his Vietnamese wife Trang.
Evidentially Paul had detected a lump in his chest and had visited the French hospital here in HCMC for a biopsy. The lump proved to be malignant and further tests showed that Paul had massive amounts of cancer in his body including in his lymph glands. Three weeks later he was dead. Part of Paul’s ashes were spread over the ocean in front of Tommy’s bar while his sons, who had flown over for the funeral, took the remainder home to Perth.
I went and visited Trang and offered my condolences. That was a difficult thing to do because I guessed that she would be going through an emotional roller coaster ride with people like me turning up and bringing all of the memories flooding back. We stayed and had drinks at Tommy’s Bar for old times sake and it was good to catch up with the staff who know me well and to see that they are all getting on with life.
There is a clear message in this small anecdote and for me it is that we all need to get on and live life to its fullest potential right now. Tomorrow or yesterday don’t count for anything, it is only the “now” about which we should concern ourselves.