Hello all

There are a lot of emotions floating around within me these last few days dear friends. Perhaps it’s just me, but I keep hearing things on the radio or seeing events unfold on TV that have moved me and caused me to shed a tear or two.

It all began on Tuesday when I popped out to the local shops to get a few things. As I drove I was listening to an in-depth interview on the radio so when I parked at the shopping centre, I was so captivated that I sat there listening … and I shed a tear. I wasn’t crying over my own life, I was crying because I was so touched by the  woman in the interview – Debbie Kilroy.

Debbie (now an advocate for women in prison) is well-known here in Queensland as a woman in her fifties who had a misspent youth and then some years later, she ended up in jail for drug dealing. During her time in the notorious women’s prison known as “Boggo Rd Jail” Debbie witnessed one of her best friends being killed by another inmate; she herself was injured in the same attack.

Hazel Hawke, well loved Australian who died

Hazel Hawke, well loved Australian who died

As she told the story – which happened 20 years ago – she broke down and became emotional. So many years later … and it still hurts her. And this dear friends, is when I sat in my car and shed a tear.

Later in the day, I was listening to the Memorial Service for Hazel Hawke, a women, much beloved in this country as the ex-wife of a former Prime Minister (got that?) who died at 83 years of age as the result of Alzheimer’s Disease. As her daughter spoke about the wonderful attributes of her mother, she too became emotional, and I felt a tear fall from my eye. I had been touched when Hazel’s daughter wondered, in a faltering voice, how she would ever live without her amazing mother.

Then yesterday, all hell broke loose in Australian politics folks! For my overseas readers, it is far too complicated to go into but I’ll try to keep it simple: our first female Prime Minister (Julia Gillard) was deposed from her position last night by Kevin Rudd. Now, Kevin had been previously deposed by Julia Gillard when HE was Prime Minister in 2010. Payback perhaps?

But … did I say SIMPLE? Sorry about that! It is quite complicated really. But the thing is, I watched as Julia gave her ‘standing down and leaving politics speech.’ She was strong. She never cried and she showed great dignity, but when Julia began to talk about the difficulties of being the first female Prime Minister she became emotional … but she did not break down.

Julia became emotional

Julia became emotional

However, my heart went out to her and again, I felt my eyes well up with tears. Love her or hate her, she has been an amazing woman, who – heaven knows how – had kept this minority government together for almost three years only to be deposed just before the next election.

But my little spate of tears were not done yet dear friends, for this morning I was watching TV when the now resurrected Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd was posing with his family after being sworn in by our Governor General. I watched his wife Thérèse put a protective hand on his arm. Then she rubbed his arm in a gesture of affection. Her huge beaming smile said so much … and I felt another tear welling up … suddenly I understood what THAT smile was about.

A memory came back to me. It was the day in 2010 when Kevin was thrown out and he was saying goodbye to the nation. Kevin was highly emotional as he listed all his achievements. Thérèse stood arm in arm beside him, being an incredible support to her husband, when something interesting took place.

Thérèse on right with Kevin and the Governor General

Thérèse smiles broadly (right) with Kevin and the Governor General

Kevin was trying to end his speech but he got a little lost. He didn’t know what to say. He looked at Therese and she said quietly, “How about saying what a privilege it has been to serve the people as Prime Minister?” Poor old Kevin, he may not have had the humility to say such a thing at that time, but Thérèse certainly did and she let him know. I shed a tear at that time too. Their hurt was palpable.

Now Kevin, suitably humbled – it would appear – after three years spent learning in the wilderness, had been returned to power and Thérèse  knew what it meant to Kevin … oh how she knew … and she was grateful. It was very very obvious that, even if no one else knew it … SHE knew it.

I was so touched by her. Forget the politics folks. I am not watching the politics but I AM watching ‘the people’ and how they behave in different situations. Thérèse had my vote way back in 2010 and she had it again today. Perhaps one of the best things about Kevin Rudd may just be his wife Thérèse.

And here you have the story of my emotional week. Perhaps the cold weather has sent me soft in the head friends, but I don’t think so. It seems to me that when people put their raw emotions – out there – for all to see and feel, and if you are truly watching and listening, you will be compelled to feel empathy with them … and yes, perhaps you will indeed shed a tear.

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