Dear Terry and Margo
After the watershed in 2008, we had no idea what the future would hold.
Would I live past the next 12 month?
Would I start to unravel?
Would I need assistance to piss and shit?
Would the business survive?
What would become of Billy and I?
Would the girls stay the course?
How would Horatio, Estelle and Otis react to Grumpy losing his marbles?
These and a host of other questions were uppermost in my mind at the time.
I sent an email to many people, friends and family alike, telling them what had happened. The reaction was supportive as I expected it to be.
You guys though; were the bonus!
We had been separated as a family; distance, different interests, political beliefs, success, failure, the result of a fractured and at times; traumatic childhood, the shame of Steve, a family lost as Chloe and Jerry suffered through their demons.
These factors had kept us apart, but now; you guys were crying with me over the phone.
Terry’s country drawl became a welcome part of almost every week, Margo’s “I love you Brother” would echo across the Nullarbor, defying time and distance.
A night or two at Terry’s on the way home from Christmas in Melbourne, became something we all looked forward to.
There were many other occasions when I chose to drive to Melbourne, rather than fly, I wanted to spend time with you and the family.
Your “man cave” the site of late night drunken confessionals; Billy and I built or rebuilt bridges with Terry’s children and later his grandchildren.
Terry, you are not the most likely person to welcome a Gay man into your life, but your love and affection for Billy knows no bounds.
You and I embrace without reservation
Steve’s ex-wife, Madeline and her children and grandchildren became welcome additions to these gatherings, I had not known what to expect from Madeline, she and her children had suffered so much at the hands of my brother and our family.
Margo, you and Rick visited from the West on several occasions. Your family of Amelia, Tamsin and David became an integral part of this mended family.
My illness had reunited the nucleus of our family, more mending would happen over the next years.
There is a silver lining to every disaster, you guys were the ingots melting in the furnace of family.
Where would I be without your wisdom, warmth and love?