I really think the universe has ways of being so merciful and kind, yet at the same time, being a complete bastard all at once.
Em and I were out at Car City, out in the suburbs, out where if you don't drive a Camry there is something wrong with you. Em's on the hunt for her first car. Being the appropriate big-sister-substitute who's bought the odd car in her life, I offered to go with her on her go-see mission. Glorious day today here in Melbourne. Shining sun, light breeze, traffic not too bad on Punt Road. The Eastern Freeway had no roadworks.
On arriving at our iconic landmark on the Maroondah Highway, I checked my phone. A call from Mum. Nothing unusual in that, it's Sunday - we normally talk on Sunday. I called back, with the full intention of saying I'd call this evening for a proper chat.
The news wasn't unexpected.
JD's Mum, Trista passed away this morning after a long battle with cancer. JD, Trista's husband and a couple of JD's friends were with her. It was quick. Mercifully quick in many ways. She didn't have to suffer for too long.
I texted JD - "Love you. I'm here. Whatever you need."
I can't do anything. What the hell can I do? I'm 700 miles away in another city - all I can be is on the end of the phone - and I will return to Adelaide for the funeral. Of course I will, I've known Trista for 35 years. I have to be there for JD - and my step-dad who I'm sure will be in a bit of turmoil - he was married to her for twenty years after all.
Em and I start the hunt for a cheap automatic banger on which she can cut her insurance teeth - rare as hen's teeth as they're all snapped up by kids on automatic licences who've been given $5000 by their parents to get an leg in the car market. We saw a few gems. Met some complete cretitns. Taught her the "Dagenham Five Step" while I was there.
But my heart wasn't in it.
JD calls. What can you say? Sorry, your Mum's dead just doesn't really cut it. She sounds okay, just very tired. And relieved if anything. She's also grateful that I got the call from Mum and that I'd been told already. The bush telegraph was working - doesn't always when it comes to the news my mother choses to pass on, but this one was too big to leave.
Thankully, JD has her friends around her.
Em and I finished our look around and came back to the civilisation of Richmond. I don't know how useful I was - I was a little distracted - though the early model Beamer 5-series was quite nice. There seemed to be a steady stream of sharks vying for her business. Em will do her homework and all will be well.
For me, I'm off to Blarney's to go cuddle some things - the baby bar fridges and the cat. Isn't that what we are supposed to do at times like this - embrace life and embrace potential.
The words of the Hebrew Kaddish for the Dead are playing in my head. "May there be abundant peace from heaven, good life, satisfaction, help comfort, refuge, healing , redemption, forgiveness, atonement, relief and salvation, for us and for all. " A simple prayer - that amidst life there is death. And in death, there is life. It's part of the grand plan. That all is as it should be.
Rest peacefully, Christine.
I leave you with Ben Lee. He talks of peace and potential better than anybody I know.