Family, Health and wellbeing, Opinion, Relationship and marriage, Writing

Adelaide and back

I’m back! I’ve been on a quick road trip with my family to Adelaide to see my dad for his 80th birthday celebration.

It’s hard to understand that my dad is eighty. It sounds old. It makes me feel old, because if my dad is eighty, then I must be…oh, never mind. When I look at Dad, I don’t see an old man. I see the strong provider, the protector, the guide of my childhood. Like a lion he prowled, making sure my two brothers and I were safe. Like a lion he roared at times, too, especially if we stepped outside his clear rules and interfered with his short fuse.

The party itself was good, although there were a few issues beforehand. For a start my sister-in-law and her family put the wrong date on the invitations which meant a few relatives were unable to make it, having made other arrangements. Because one assumes the date on the invite is correct, doesn’t one? Secondly, on the day before the party my uncle (my mum’s brother) had a heart attack and was in hospital. He and his wife have lived in Perth for almost my whole life; I was looking forward to seeing them as the last time we met up was over ten years ago.

But the prognosis for my uncle was not great. The doctors did not expect that he would be discharged.

Therefore, a sombre mood hung like a dark cloud over us, juxtaposing the glorious winter sunshine. As the afternoon wore on though, cousins caught up on each others’ lives, all our kids played nicely together, we ate and drank and made the most of the day. The close proximity of the fragility of life peppered the speeches, and tears trickled down mostly everyone’s cheeks.

By late afternoon, everyone began to make their way home, all in agreement that despite the grave outlook for one loved member of our family, we made the most of celebrating the birthday of another fine man, and a good time had been had by all.

On Sunday morning, as Hubster, the kids and I were on the road back to Melbourne, I received a text from my mum. My uncle had passed away in the wee hours of the morning. I spent the remaining kilometres of our road trip thinking about life and how we get tricked by thoughts of immortality. We grow apathetic, we take our breaths and loved ones for granted.

Our time on earth is fleeting. Love and live fiercely.


Image: author’s own, taken from the passenger seat on the way home to Melbourne.




6 thoughts on “Adelaide and back”

  1. Good to see you back safely Linda. I had missed your posts.
    I’m very sorry to read of the death of your maternal uncle.
    Many mornings I wake up and wonder if my elderly parents and their cohort of siblings and in-laws will make it through the day.
    It’s a morbid thought to have and reflects, I think, the growing sense of mortality with each passing day…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Gary. It’s definitely a thought of mine too, with my mum having had bypass surgery two years ago, and Dad being, well, 80. He’s a fit old bugger though 🙂 Still, there’s only so much time to be expected really, isn’t there. My maternal uncle lived a great life, and 16 years ago was diagnosed with a form of myeloma. In short, he wasn’t supposed to make it this far, to his mid-70s. Sad though.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My Dad is 89 and Mum will be 83 later in the year. We now have regular telephone conversations about death. Quite often I’m told about someone in the retirement complex who has died. Mum reminds me she doesn’t want to linger in pain or linger at all. I dread the text messages about what should be an uncomplicated chest infection or bladder infection because I know in the elderly, those infections can quickly transform into sepsis and often the underlying cause is some malignancy which is lurking. At that age, how far do we go with treatment???
        Some of those old concepts from science fiction about limiting our span of life, become more real every day…
        Sorry, I’ve become macabre. I’ve just return from a week with my parents.

        Liked by 1 person

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