Saturday, 22 December 2012

My Dad

Yesterday marked the 1 year anniversary of my Dad's death. He was 59 when he died. He fell from the top of a ladder while trimming a hedge for one of his friends. We aren't sure why he fell and why he didn't try to save himself by putting out his arms but the injuries he sustained on that day meant that my Dad is no longer with us. 

My Dad aged 55 on my wedding day

My Dad grew up in a little town called Terang, North East of Warrnambool in South Western Victoria. The family had been in the town for so long that I am the first generation to be born outside Terang for over 100 years. 
I grew up going to Terang for holidays to visit my Nana and Pa and later just my Nana. My Nana died when I was 12 and after that we didn't go to Terang as often as I think my Dad would have liked. He often would return for funerals of people that he knew growing up and sometimes just for the day. My Dad had said when he died he would like to be buried in Terang so that's what we did.

When we buried him on New Year's Eve last year, I decided that I would return each year with my boys to visit Dad. So that's what we did. In the great family tradition we packed sandwiches and water bottles and headed off down the back roads to Terang.

Matty having stolen Ben's Ted while he was sleeping
 We arrived in Terang and stopped at the Apex park to have our picnic and a play after the 2 hour car trip.
Enjoying our picnic lunch


Colourful lunch
Hiding in the fort

Climbing down
Up the top with Daddy

picking flowers

From the park you can see the cemetery so we explained to Ben that is where we were going next. He understood, as much as a 4 year old can, that Hooley Dooley (My Dad) was not there anymore but that this is a special place to come and say hello. 

View from the playground

I think my Dad thought he was invincible. I certainly think he didn't think he would die as early on as he did. He hadn't planned his plot or anything but as always it seemed to work out. My Dad was a farrier by trade and always loved horses (that's how him and my mum met).  So when we buried him in the plot that was the next available it over looked the pony club and the entire town, we thought it was a good spot. My Dad was keen into harness racing and on the drive way into the cemetery there is a paddock with 2 bay standard breeds. So I guess I'm saying it's a good place for him.
Our rocks
 I've always liked the Jewish tradition of placing rocks on the grave. I like the permanency of stones, flowers wilt but the stones are a permanent reminder that someone cared to visit. So we placed 5 rocks on the grave, one for each of us and one for uncle Nic who is away in Japan at the moment. 

We then went and found my grandparents, Ben's great-grandparents and their parents as well! Yep the family has some pretty serious roots in Terang. We walked through the sprinklers and tried to feed the horses some apples. Then it was time to leave but we didn't want to go home just yet so I decided to introduce the boys to Logan's Beach in Warrnambool. 

Logan's Beach Whale Nursery - We missed the whales by a couple of months
 Ben loved it as usual!! Matty wasn't as sure... Ben even tried to make friends with some surfers and was keen to touch their boards and wet suits but they were pretty good about this little boy wanting to join in. Both Trent and I said that would be a great way to burn off Ben's extra energy (might have to think about moving back down to the beach).

Loving the water
Not too sure about this sand

The drowned rat look
Don't care back in the water :)

 I have to say thank you to Trent, he was really awesome! Lots of hugs and lots of smiles :)

Mt Elephant on the way home

According to Ben Mt Elephant has a pooey bum

Going home

And home we came.


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