monument hill fremantle
It's been a pretty hectic few weeks. And just this minute I have finished drafting the last of my 250 art comments that my school admin has insisted that I do even though the union and the department signed off on an agreement that comments were only required for English maths and general comments. So not only do I have those to do for my classroom of year threes I have 10 art classes to do also. well at least the drafting is done and now its just a matter of entering them and the grade allocations into the computer system. I can't do anymore at the moment because the system closes down at 12o'clock. I found this out on Thursday night as I had just finished typing in a whole class worth of undrafted directly typed comments into the computer system. I pressed save and a page error sign came up. It was 12.03 and the system had shut down and I lost all my work that had taken ages! (I should have saved as I went along...I may have said a few naughty words at that point!)
Last weekend I caught up with a friend of mine who I've known literally all my life. Her parents lives in the house behind my grandmother and we more or less grew up together. To call her my friend is an inadequate term- she's more like a sister to me. She was here for a while from Kalgoorlie because her brother was very unwell with a brain tumor. We had made plans to catch up over the weekend but she was unable to do so until Sunday morning. So we went into freo for breakfast. We had a lovely time catching up but underneath the laughter there was the ever present sadness at the immanent loss of her brother. We left the cafe with her feeling a little lighter after having laughed about things that otherwise would make us cry. Then as I drove her back to her dad's place we got the call to say that her brother had just a few minutes earlier passed away. She grasped my hand and my eyes filled with tears....it does not make driving easy! Thank god I was with you she said. Then the poor thing had to go and break the news to her dad.
I had to go into school and try and get some of my class reports finished off but I made the decision to take the Monday off to support her if she needed me or wanted me. I'm glad I did because she rang me in the morning after a terrible night and asked me to come and get her and take her out for a coffee. She had been trying to be a support for her dad who is quite old and sick himself and she needed someone to lean on herself. So I went to pick her up and ended up taking her to a lovely little local cafe (after a detour to Monument Hill so we could both cry and she could hold my hand without me having to fear I would cause a traffic accident.) It is amazing though her capacity to laugh in adversity...although I think we were both being somewhat manic in our laughter.
We talked about what made someone successful. Her brother was a good man, a loving father and brother. He was not well known in his field of work, he did not have an 'important' job, he was not rich. Yet he was well loved and we agreed that that was in the end the most important thing.
To live a simple life well, to love and be loved, the little acts of kindness that touch peoples lives. Here is a quote from Emerson that says it better than I can...
To laugh often and much, to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children, to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends, to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others, to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch…to know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded!