Financial advice and humanity

Dear David

This will be probably the only letter I write to you in this Journal, you deserve more.

If for no other reason, than; your persistence and your continued support from early in the 1980’s through to the early 2000’s when you retired.

You always offered me the best of financial advice and personal support, often; in the face of my stubborn and at times, stupid refusal to listen.

You were and are, a good man, David, I have been privileged to have you in my life.

The best illustration of our relationship, perhaps occurred in 1997.

My venture into the business in Melbourne was not going to plan and I drove up to Wagga to see you. I had to fix up my taxation and financial affairs which had been ignored for the past few years.

I did not have a tax problem. The last three years of losses, had taken care of anything I may have owed, but I did need to get everything up to date.

I sat in your office and watched with bemusement as you thumbed through the accounts I had presented you with.

Knowing you as well as I did, I feared the forensic questioning that was sure to follow.

Your questions came in a deluge.

“Bruce, what is this payment that comes out every month?”

“Those are living expenses for Sas and the kids ”

“What is this monthly lease payment”

“That is for Sas’s car”

“What are these two car lease payments that don’t seem to have any relevance to the business?”

“Oh, those are for the kid’s cars”

“What is this payment that comes out every quarter?”

“Ah, that is for Kayla’s school fees”

You sat back in your chair, took off your glasses and looked directly at me.

“Bruce, does Sas know you are not making any money now?”

I felt like a naughty schoolboy

“No David, she does not and we won’t be telling her, will we?”

“Bruce, this can’t go on, Sas must be told”

I reached for my phone, found Sas’s number and handed the phone to you.

“Here David, you know Sas, you ring and tell her”

“I am not going to do that!”

“Thanks, and neither am I, this must be yours and my little secret”

I listened for the next ten minutes as you tried to make me aware of what you thought I should do, but I knew your heart was not in it.

I have never thought what I did was particularly noble, it was simply what people should do.

Sas had been with me through the tough and good times, she was the mother of our children, she had supported me through a divorce which was in no way, her fault.

For God’s Sake; when Kayla was finding things difficult to cope with, Sas had risked ridicule by going to the Sutherland Library to ask about some books to help a child understand and live with a gay parent.

You probably did not know this, but I had seen the turmoil and destruction Steve had left in the wake of his coming out and divorce. I had seen him alienated from his children and Madeline, I had seen him die alone, still refusing to accept responsibility for his actions.

I was determined to do what I could to avoid this horrendous loss and, besides that; by the time you and I had this discussion, the end was in sight.

Sas was soon to remarry, the two eldest kids could soon stand on their own feet and Kayla would leave school within a few years.

Apart from all that, I knew I was looking at a man who, if he had been stupid enough to find himself in the same circumstances, would have done the same thing as I was doing.

Family means everything to you, as it means everything to me. Despite our many differences, we do share that.

Thank you, David.

Bruce

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