Thursday, December 8, 2011

Bad News

I have felt a bit like a prophet of doom this week.

The guy who was (until last weekend) the main minister of our church has been diagnosed with cancer. There are many people (Canberra being Canberra) who once came to our church but have now moved interstate/overseas. I have been contacting those whom I am still in contact with via facebook/email/phone to let them know.

On the one hand you hesitate to tell people bad news ...on the other hand it is better to know sooner so you can offer support, send messages etc.

On the whole I don't think we handle illness, disease and death very well in our culture. I suspect it is because despite the fact that we will all this country we aren't confronted with it head on. Because we have a high standard of living and good health care and we generally don't live in villages with communal facilities we are not confronted with illness and death in a way those in the developing world are (or previous generations were).

I was 46 before I saw a dead person - sadly that person was Glenn.
After Glenn died I took both FD and No 1 Son to see him - a fairly brutal thing to be confronted with at a relatively young age but many kids would have been exposed to this harsh reality of life much earlier.

I suspect this unfamiliarity with illness and death is what makes these subjects difficult to discuss and why some people say inappropriate things.....don't ever say "I know how you feel" - you don't. Even if  someone close to you has had the same injury/illness /disease or has died.....everybody is different..everybody relates differently and therefore everybody will feel different.

Another one I hate is "I'm sorry" ...I bet you aren't nearly as sorry as the person you are saying it too.

While I am confident that Glenn is now enjoying eternity with God that doesn't make death a good thing.  The empty space he left in the lives of those who knew him is real - it is not right that FD and No 1 Son are growing up fatherless. We rejoice in Glenn's salvation but we still mourn his loss.

Those who are ill and/or injured suffer pain - and those who love them see them suffer - not a good thing.

The one thing that keeps echoing in my head is something that Marcus said at Glenn's funeral.
Glenn was "good to go". While I am confident that Dave is "good to go" we want him to stay - there is nothing good about illness and death.

This week I have been reminded that
Life happens, and death happens (Reddy or Not)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Missing Glenn

I think I have mentioned before that grief is a strange beast.... sometimes days will go by when I don't miss Glenn in any practical sense....and other times his absence screams long and loud.

The last few days Glenn's absence has been very noticeable for a number of reasons....his brother + family have been in town. In the immediate aftermath of Glenn's death I found being around Bernard REALLY hard, and I suspect it was similar for him. The prism through which we had viewed each other was gone.....but now talking about Glenn has become easier - I guess that is the passage of time means the wound is less raw.
The Scott 24 hour race was on last weekend. I went out to visit the Crankensteins on Sunday morning at Stromlo.......that was hard. I've visited the troops every  24 race since Glenn died so not sure why this one upset me more than the previous occasions.....maybe because last time I was at Stromlo it was to scatter Glenn's ashes.
I bought a new TV and DVD player (+ various cables and attachments) - that is the sort of thing that Glenn would have done....and then come home and set it up - this time my friend Karen and FD set it up.....and Lydia got frustrated just like Glenn would have.
Tonight I had some computer issues and didn't have a clue how to sort it out - previously I would have yelled "GLENN" and he would have come in - smiled indulgently (possibly made some rude remark) and sorted it. Now I have to "phone a friend"......very grateful that some of my friends are much more computer savvy than me.
Tonight I had to put the bike carrier on the back of the car and load the bikes because I've booked them in for a service.....again needed to ask for help...and again something that Glenn would have done.

It isn't that when Glenn was alive that I was oblivious to all the things he did - but I was blissfully ignorant of HOW he did them........can't help missing that!!!!!!

Life happens (and death happens)
Reddy (or Not)

Thursday, October 6, 2011


Woody Allen once said "I don't want to achieve immortality through my work...I want to achieve it by not dying"

There are few people who could really claim that there life's work changed the world. I'm suspect Steve Jobs never claimed that his work changed the world - but to my mind, at least, I think he could have.
Like most new technologies it could be claimed that the Apple phenomena was a good thing or a bad thing - but the world as we know it would be a different place without Steve Jobs - no iphone, ipad, ipod, no Toy Story etc etc. His legacy will certainly not die.

I wonder if he would echo Woody Allen - if he would have swapped it all for a few more years (let alone forever) with his family and friends? If he would have preferred life over fame and riches?
In the end "he who dies with the most toys - still dies"

Life happens (and death happens)
Reddy (or not)

Friday, September 30, 2011

living in a garden paradise

Last Saturday my back yard was transformed.......what was once dirt and weeds is now paths, garden beds with plants......and 12 cubic meters of mulch was moved from the nature strip on to the beds.

A big thank you to the gardening guru (aka chook whisperer) and a veritable army of helpers.
I didn't do a single thing to assist on the day.

Now I just have the challenge of keeping the plants alive (only one plant looking crook so far). Thankfully it has rained on and off since Saturday so the plants are all getting a good soaking in. I have been a proverbial black thumb in the past so I keep touching the gardening guru's thumb.

After we moved in the house G and I had a garden plan drawn up by a professional landscaper. Over the first year we had the hard landscaping done and we were about to embark on planting etc when G died.
While I am being guided by the plan I am not sticking to it rigidly.....for one thing some of the hard landscaping is not according to the plan....secondly some of the plan has become impractical with only one adult (I'm not going to be espaliering plants - G would have taken pleasure in some of that fiddly stuff), thirdly some of the suggested plants are unavailable, and fourthly I now feel the need to plant some plants that will link back to a climbing rose "Titian" that he carefully nurtured at our previous house, and maybe some South African plants.

I also stumbled across a garden sculpture/pot plant stand of a bike that is now in pride of place next to the paved outdoor eating area.

I am also now free to plant whatever I like without reference to G....but even if I wanted to I still feel bound not to plant things I know he would hate - so there will be no photinias, nandinas or pittosperums in this garden. I guess it is just another example of where I am no longer bound by G's tastes or wishes but still want it to be something that reflects the man who once lived here.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

check this out

FD just created a great background for my blog - thanks darling.

And in GREAT news George Clooney has broken up with his Italian girlfriend it is now just a question of time!!!!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


I have been thinking about happiness, not sure why in particular. I am mindful of that old chestnut...that if you ask yourself if you are happy you will fail to be so.

I don't think I entirely agree with that perspective. While I think contemplating such things can lead to a deep feeling of dissatisfaction with life I have found it has had the opposite effect. I have come to the conclusion that I am happy. I've asked myself why am I happy and the only conclusion I can come to is because it is underscored by my thankfulness.

I am so thankful that my material needs continue to be met...through my job, and Glenn's life insurance, and I have been able to pay out the mortgage. I am thankful that Lydia and Calvin were in the final year of high school and primary school and had a year to adjust and grieve before they started college and high school. I am extremely thankful that both Lydia and Calvin are old enough to have solid memories of Glenn....and my heart aches for others who are so young they won't remember their Dads. I am thankful that, while imperfect, Glenn was someone who "walked the talk" of what he believed - and the legacy that is for his children. I smile when either of my children do or say things that remind me of Glenn.

I am so thankful for all the messages of support in the immediate aftermath of Glenn's death, and the ongoing support since then. So many people have supported us in word and deed. Glenn always considered himself such a small cog and thought his absence didn't matter but he was so very wrong.
Most of all I am thankful that I can live with the certainty that Glenn , who struggled so much with life, can share in Jesus' glorious triumph over death.

It would be dishonest to say that I don't miss Glenn....of course I do...and I am gutted for Lydia and Calvin. I have days, and moments when his absence feels overwhelming......and that is only to be expected.

But am I
Am I happy......yes I am.

Life happens (and death happens)

Reddy (or not)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Bad News

The news today is full of stories about carbon tax.....and if the sky will fall in if we do/do not go ahead with putting a price on carbon, the multi trillion dollar US deficit, and what seems to be a triple homicide/suicide in southern Queensland/northern NSW, and the continuing conflict in Libya and Syria.

Closer to home I've found out that a friend has cancer, and some other friends had their house burgled.....

What is the right response when bad things happen? Sometimes I get really angry about the injustice - "it isn't fair - they didn't deserve this'. Sometimes I feel really sad about the way people suffer. Both of those responses are justified in some instances.

What bothers me is when I fail to respond, or respond with complete indifference. Why should I feel (justifiably) angry about my friends' house being burgled but not be disturbed by the deaths of people in Syria and Libya?

Why are we horrified by the death of a five year old in northern NSW, but not disturbed by preventable child deaths that happen every day in many countries.

Is it right that I should be upset about my friend's cancer diagnosis (yes) but not upset by the the treatment of cancer patients in the Ukraine (severe restrictions on morphine usage).

And in the light of all this do we agree with Stephen Hawkins assessment that there is no heaven? No place where justice prevails, where the wrongs will be righted?

I don't agree with him. If my brain is just a giant computer why do I feel anger and sadness about things that happen to other people, both friends and strangers?

Life happens (and death happens)
Reddy (or Not)