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Farewell little fella, special memories this father's day.

Goodbye little fella. I will always remember our last day together. I cradled

you in my arms as you stretched your paw to hold daddy. We listened to beautiful music as you lay close upon my heart, my tears rolling in a constant stream as I watched your little body moving up and down. You were listless and warm, your little handsome face starring desperately into our eyes pleading with us to help you. We felt your desperation. If only we could take away your pain, we couldn’t bare the thought of losing you. Our head spoke to us but our hearts didn’t want to listen. We felt lost, frozen with fear, both the fear of letting you go, coupled with the fear of what might happen if we kept you alive. Where would you take us to as the sun faded and the darkness of the night fell upon you? We would hold your frail little body as you faded away but we didn’t know God’s plans for you. We loved you, you trusted us. We were torn. The thought of losing you was too much to contemplate, as it was to see you suffer.

Thank you fella, our dear little Chili for the many special memories you have given us. The day we brought you home cupped in our hand you were so very tiny. I cradled you beneath my navy jumper next to my skin to keep you warm. We all fell in love with you that day, and from that day on you were part of our family until the end. We miss you ‘fella.’ We wish you were still beside us on the lounge or you were bounding to the door to greet daddy when he placed the key into the lock, we can still sense you presence and feel your warmth. It’s not the same anymore. It’s different, because you’re not here. We miss you fella. Rest in peace little angel. We’ll meet you again some day on the rainbow bridge.

This week I came across a lovely newsletter written by Maggie MacKellar called The Sit Spot. Written from a place of solitude in beautiful Tasmania, Margie writes about what is immediate and powerful to her, learnings from what she experiences, what she is reading and what she is listening to. What caught my attention in this weeks letter was her quote ‘Pay attention to the weather, to what breaks your heart, to what lifts your heart. Write it down’. I have always thought of the weather as a powerful metaphor to express ones emotions. This week was dark and gloomy, feeling withdrawn and introspective, I wanted to remove myself from the world outside, draw the curtains and hide away under a comforting blanket. My heart was lifted by the trust our little ‘fella’ placed in us.

Another lovely quote in her writings was from poet Mary Oliver. ‘Don’t worry, things take the time they take’ was a pertinent reminder to be patient, and amongst other things to let my feelings of grief linger as long as they needed to. You can subscribe for more of Maggie’s musings in a free monthly newsletter here or sign up for a weekly paid subscription.

I’ve found my own ‘Sit Spot’ in the beautiful secluded Swain Gardens in Killara where I often spend time reflecting upon life’s ups and downs.

Swain Gardens, Killara

I’ve added Annie Smithers book A Recipe for a Kinder Life to my reading wish list.

On instagram, I’m loving this beautiful account @tillys_table where Tilly Pamment showcases her photographs of beautiful flowers and food she makes from seasonal produce at her home in the Blue Mountains. Each week she also shares a recipe of a cake she bakes for ‘The Plain Cake Appreciation Society’. She says it begins, as all good things do, with the creaming of the butter and sugar….Her photographs are also hand printed on linen tea towels and cards which she sells from her online shop.

On Sunday, in Australia we celebrated Father’s Day, and for the second year in a row we spent the day with most members of our family being in lockdown. We organised a morning catch-up on zoom with family in Tamworth and Brisbane and in the afternoon played games on an app called HouseParty with our adult children who are isolated in other parts of our city. This was a novel way for us to get together with family both near and far.

As a special Fathers Day treat we also enjoyed a take home meal of smoked meats, creamy mash, salad and orange cake which was organised by our daughter from LP Quality Meats. We ate out, but in.

I also wrote this tribute to my own father to share with my sister in Melbourne.

In the lead up to Father’s Day I’ve been thinking a lot about our dad. Whilst he left us 21 years ago to join the angels, he left us well equipped to make a positive contribution to the world. He taught us the value of hard work, the importance of integrity, kindness, family, love and laughter. Our dad didn’t have an easy life. When his mother died he was very young and he left school to fend for the family. At times, with very little money, he had to steal food to survive. We remember the stories he told us of being chased out of a neighbour’s garden with a shotgun when he was stealing a watermelon. He swam for his life across a river, the watermelon under one arm whilst frantically paddling and dodging bullets with the other. So desperate was he to eat, there was no way he was going to let go of that watermelon. It was a life of poverty and hardship and when he had the opportunity to board a ship in search of a better life and come to Australia at the end of World War 2, he didn’t hesitate. Bravely he set off alone with a suitcase, leaving his family and his country to seek out a new life on the other side of the world, unsure of what awaited him when he arrived, and with no means to return. That took strength! I have nothing but admiration for the courage our dad showed in pursuit of a ‘better’ life. It couldn’t have been easy and for the rest of his short life dad continued to work hard to provide for his own family. He educated us, fed us with nourishing home grown food, and toiled with his own hands to put a roof over our head, but most of all, in his own strict way, he loved and protected us. No one would ever stand between dad and his family as we were his shining lights and everything he lived for. I always remember his tickles and cuddles, his chortle of gleeful laughter and beaming smile, his warm soft blue eyes and his kind hospitality. No matter who turned up on the doorstep there was always a seat at the dining table for one more, a cold beer or a glass of his home made red wine in hand, dad enjoyed a good conversation and a meal with both friends and foe, and when they left for home, often many happy hours after they had arrived, he would always send them on their way with a bag of fresh veggies and fruit from his garden, eggs from the chooks, or a bottle of his prized red vino. That was our dad.

Until next time may your days be both serendipitous and enjoyable.


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