Tag Archives: family

Dear Julia

“Thanks Dad for the ride” it’s just over a kilometer to school and normally Julia walks to school, as a year 11  Julia is 15 years old and tomorrow she turns 16 with all that being 16 means.  We told her a while ago that at 16 Continue reading


Feb the 1st

Feb 1 has come and gone, Feb 1 was my mums birthday, I thought about her as I often do and wonder how things might have been different if she were alive today.  She has been gone 23 years now and whilst I still miss her it is nowhere near the intensity of when she first passed away. Continue reading

Fathers Day (Things My Dad Taught Me)

Fathers Day for us down under is tomorrow.  All over the country the stores have been busy promoting it,  rampant commercialization in action, Continue reading

The Buck Stops Here.

I wonder what kind of an upbringing they had?  Often the first response when a teenager or a naughty child comes on the radar, Continue reading

My Son Josh

I am a blessed man, I have a number of young people in my life, some of them are my sons and daughters by birth, others related by blood, others are people that have come into my life, Continue reading

A Song for Grace

A song for Grace

It has been said that I am a little romantic, a soft side to me.  As a young man I had notions of greatness, a passable singing voice and a self- taught ability to string a few notes together on a guitar despite my dyspraxia.  Whilst I had up to date tastes, Billy Joel, Donna Summer, Blondie (oh be still my beating heart) my taste was eclectic, Barbara Streisand, and John Denver to mention a few . I enjoyed the melody of John Denver and his songs were easy for me to cover.  John Denver was a man with flaws, often the way with creative people but this is not a blog about being flawed…

Wearing your heart on your sleeve (hots) has many manifestations, and many labels.  Labels of course because people have to hang something off people and more so for people who challenge us. Words such as bleeding heart liberal, do gooder, are a couple of the most in offensive that I can think of, essentially people who have a predisposition for caring enough to engage, this blog is for one of these people, Grace we will call her, an apt name, charm, beauty, gratefulness, intuitive, heart centred a few synonyms for Grace. Passionate and expectant as well.

There is a cost to wearing your heart on your sleeve, it took me four and a half decades to work that out.  I remember as a social worker the chief executive came to visit our site, we had been a bit grumbly about pay rates and she unwisely commented that it really didn’t matter because us social workers didn’t do it for money.  I called her on that and we walked out to her surprise but she is right, the caring professions tend to be female dominated and consequently under-paid and over worked. Even within this there is another hierarchy, the hardnosed don’t give a shit nasty crew, bullies and generally unregenerate emotionally illiterate.

My friend”s daughter Grace is a social worker and I know a bit about that career and I know a bit about Grace.  Grace genuinely cares for people, on her days off she is texting clients, if she is not texting she is thinking about them,  Grace has lots of leave outstanding, no-where near as much as she is owed if she were really to count the total hours’ she works, the early starts, the late finishes she won’t claim for because she won’t be paid and she can’t take the leave anyway because no one-else will do her work and if they do they won’t either be able to do the work with the level of care needed, either they have too much of their own work to do or they Just don’t care.

Grace like many hots is intelligent, inquiring reflective, she will always do more than her share and will care deeply, celebrate success, and mourn failures.  I suspect that Grace like many hots will be hard to give to, she will see herself as only doing what is right, nothing special and you will need to have earned her trust before she will let you into her life to minister some care to her.  Grace epitomises the things that are good about social workers, the things that impact on people’s life, make no mistake though, she is not a pushover, she is principled and has huge integrity.

So my song for Grace is more a prayer or a poem.

May the sun always be on your shoulders

The wind on your back

May love surround you

May you be cared and cherished

May you be complete and fulfilled

May your dreams come true

And may your life always be

Inspirational and healing.

Grace is not hard to love and his post is just a gentle expression of the love and admiration that I have for her.

Walk tall Grace…


Walk tall Grace…


RIP Uncle Nelson

This morning we got the news, my Uncle Nelson had passed away, it was expected, he had a battle with cancer, I am not sure of the details as time,distance and life has meant that I have not seen much of Nelson and his wife Mary.  Aunty Mary is one of my mums sisters, one of 14 so over the tears we have had our share of death over the years, and no doubt we shall see some more.  As I was reflecting on Nelson’s life today there was one outstanding memory I have.  I must have been 11 as Nelson and Mary didn’t have children at the time.  My mum informed me I was going camping with them.  An unusual occurrence for me and a real treat.  I can remember a few details vividly.  We stayed just out of Thames in an old school tent, I can’t recall the car they had at the time,a Holden or Vauxhall seems to come to mind.  I remember the cotton sleeping bags, the crowded camp ground and pipis (a shell fish) cooking in a pot.  I think Nelson was a keen fisherman.

I would see Nelson and Mary at family celebrations (and funerals) family orientated and from what I see they were good parents, two fine children.  I know that we often tend to lionise the dead and I am sure that Nelson had his challenges as well as his strengths but I can only talk about what I saw. What I saw was a man with a ready smile, he was always kind and interested in my life when we caught up.  He was a pretty ordinary kind of a guy, no airs and graces that I ever saw, these things are not unusual in the people I know.  The one thing that impressed me above all else was the very simple strong faith that he shared with his wife.

We talked about it at one family gathering and he said that he knew he wasn’t perfect, he had his problems but he was in his words forgiven and lived in the grace of God.  Now I don’t know what your spiritual beliefs are, and in reality it matters little, what I saw with Nelson was genuine, no pretence about who he was or wasn’t, just a simple message about the love of God.  I admired him for it, particularly his honesty about who he was.  Others no doubt will have many stories to tell about Nelson, I just wanted to acknowledge the input and impact he made on my life, one of many who have done so but I am grateful for it.  The fishing trip was important to me as was the last in depth conversation I had with him.  I hope to be there for the celebration of his life.

To Aunty Mary, Daniel, Leslie and family much love in your time of loss, even when you are prepared for it, loss hits hard. To Nelson, rest well, I will remember you.
Now I have an update, Got my ears boxed by Aunty Mary ( figuratively) I didn’t call her Aunty Mary all through the blog post, well writing conventions and voice apart, no disrespect meant, arohamai, Arohanui ki te Whanau. Na naku noa