Sunday, November 11

Making every day count

The end of the year is approaching rapidly. News stories covering the US economy’s “fiscal cliff” ominously note that January 1 is less than seven weeks away. Between now and then I have four separate trips planned. It seems my days of regular travel aren’t quite done.

On Tuesday I fly to Port Douglas to witness a solar eclipse sweeping across northern Queensland shortly after dawn on November 14. This will be a quick excursion, lasting just 24 hours. Currently the weather is forecast to be partly sunny. Not ideal conditions to watch the sun disappear for two minutes and five seconds.

A week later I fly to Melbourne for another 24 hour excursion. I’m scheduled to host a breakfast presentation at the World PR Forum, a global public relations conference. I’ll be recommending strategic actions that local business owners should prioritize in 2013. Two days later I then head to New Zealand for five days to spend time with my parents.

Sadly, my father is slowly losing his five year battle with cancer. Tumors are spreading through his body so we know that his time with us is limited. His older sister (my aunt), is flying out from the UK to visit him next weekend, along with my cousin Hilary. While I’m in town my brother Matt will bring his family down from Auckland and another cousin I’ve not seen for years is also making her own pilgrimage. It’ll be a moving family reunion of sorts.

My father’s growing vulnerability has stirred an unexpectedly tender, almost protective, chord. I find myself moved deeply by his plight. I’m increasingly compelled to share as many special moments as possible in a genuine expression of love. It’s as if my inner being intuitively knows it must act now; that a unique window of opportunity will soon pass forever.

Then finally, in mid-December, my brother and his family in Austria relocate to New Zealand. They arrive on December 12. Garry and I will fly in ten days later. Our arrival heralds the start of one last Christmas reunion for the immediate family. 2012 has turned into an unusual year in more ways than one.

Oh yes, the photo that opened this post? It's a BridgeClimb to the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge that I took with my parents back in 2001. We're the group of four on the far right. Mum thinks it was a birthday present for my Dad. I cannot recall this but do remember it was a glorious day to be on the harbour. May the memories continue to roll.

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