Dave, our friend from when we first immigrated to Australia, is terminally ill in hospital. He has only a day or two to live.
His wife, Alice, and children, grandchildren and others are no doubt nearby. Recently, he was at home with his wife, but took a turn for the worse.
We first met Alice and Dave when they arrived in Australia from England. They stayed with us for six weeks while Dave looked for work and a house to live in. Since then, we have been close friends of the family. Alice learned lots of cooking and sewing tips from Mum and Graham, Alane and David has stayed friends with me and my brother over the years.
Alice is famous for her long and involved telephone conversations. She loves to share all the family news, in sharp contrast to my Mum, who doesn’t like to waste time with idle gossip. It is always a marathon phone session when Alice “from the Palace” calls our place.
In the last few years, they moved from the family home, splitting up the very large block between the children. They have been in a lovely rental cottage which I visited one night in between baseball umpire training on the Southside. We have been to visit a few times, the most recent being for a wedding anniversary, I think.
In the family home, we used to visit every Boxing Day. Then, they moved to live with their daughter, and we went there for Boxing Day until Alane’s family split up.
It has been a lovely life for Alice and Dave in many ways. Dave was with the Australian Airforce and lived in Malaysia and Papua New Guinea for a while. They have moved many times, always keeping in touch with us.
They have many grandchildren, in particular one who lived with them while doing an external degree in Information Technology. The children have been through divorces and remarriages, but still they are an awesome extended family.
A relative of Alice’s from England even married a fellow Gridiron Football official, so we keep in touch through many people.
Mum and Dad have had a flu-like virus and been coughing and sneezing in the last week or two. In addition, they are very sad about losing Dave, who always seemed happy and fit, friendly and caring.
After losing the youngest in Dad’s family of ten siblings just a few months ago, it is doubly sad for Dad. Still, life goes on.
The best that can be said is that we have glorious sunny weather most days, unlike the snow and bitterly cold Spring that is in England at present. I’m sure Alice and Dave are delighted to have travelled to Australia with their family and have enjoyed the last few years together in beautiful peace and companionship.
Mum and Dad are not keen to visit at this time, as it is more for close family. I’m sure Dave is content that he has had a wonderful life.