Hello once again to my page folks!

I was reminded this morning of the words I wrote on my blog yesterday about “looking to the Near Year to face the joys AND the sorrows that make us what we are.”

You see, yesterday afternoon when we were helping our daughter and son-in-law unpack into their rented house in Brisbane, Violet and I sat out on the back patio (amongst boxes and rubbish) taking a breather and having a cup of tea. It was all very serious. The table was the dishwasher (waiting to be put in) and the implements were a tiny china tea set with a teapot of water (of course).

We clinked cups and said “cheers” and it was delightful. I was aware of how precious this time was and I was indeed filled with joy. Violet is indeed a source of joy and I felt privileged to be allowed access to a child’s play.

Violet. Hmmm yes, what can I say about this little miss five-year old? She has a lot going on at present and doesn’t have the resilience of her 10-year-old sister to know how to deal with it. She is about to start ‘Prep’ soon. She has left her home in Sydney. Her father has been away a lot the last few years (including two stints in Afghanistan) with the army and is about to be away again for the next two years. But she is dealing with it in her own special way.

We were having breakfast when we got talking about the day she was born: 4th August 2006. I told her the story of that day and she loved it, smiling and asking questions. Believe me, it was quite a story and one I will recount at another time (you will love it).  A delightful day but a day when unbelievable things went wrong! Anyway, I digress.

Out of the blue she said to me in a sad tone of voice:

                                           “Grandma, I will miss you if you die…”

Oh dear, what to say at this juncture? So I began.”Well sweetie” I replied “I have no intention of dying just yet.”  She was not easily convinced but eventually she thought this might just be true. I told her that I may even live long enough to see HER have her own children (this was pushing it a bit but it sounded good). She responded well to this news, telling me that those children would have to be in her tummy just like she had been in her Mummy’s tummy etc etc etc. Of course! Only then was she satisfied.

That was yesterday. Only one day later there was sorrow.

You see, this morning, I happened upon one of those morning shows on TV and was reminded that today – Jan 10 – was the one year anniversary of one of the worst floods that Brisbane/Queensland has ever experienced. I was in tears as I watched. For those who do not live here, I will explain further.

In the worst of it, eighteen people in a small community outside of Brisbane (Grantham) lost their lives when a torrent of water came from creeks higher up in Toowoomba (a mountain town)that  flooded and came down the mountain into the valley in a torrent of water (like a tsunami) and swept houses and people away. Three people have still never been found.

Three-quarters of Queensland was declared a disaster zone. At least 70 towns and over 200,000 people were affected. Thirty-five people in total died during that time.  20,000 people in Brisbane suburbs and the City centre had their homes or businesses flooded.  I remember it as the beginning of a horror year as Geoff and I watched it unfold over three long days. Today, in tears, I was reminded of it all again.

I saw an interview with a husband and wife (John and Kathy) from Grantham, who had their two daughters and two grandsons with them when John saw the water coming across the paddock at great speed. It was too late. They phoned their daughter to say goodbye, telling her they loved her and to say goodbye to everyone. 

Thank God, after trying lots of things, they finally got onto the roof, putting the two small boys in a play dinghy to get them up there.  The water was lapping against the roof. They were the first people to be rescued by helicopter from the roof  which was just visible from the air. They survived!

So to all my readers ‘out there’ spare a thought today for those who lost loved ones and for the people who survived and are dealing with the trauma of destroyed homes and devastated lives.

WE SALUTE YOU.

We do know that life is full of joys AND sorrows…

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