Christmas 2005

Well, what a year 2005 has been! By no means all good but there have been quite a few wonderful moments. In order to not leave everyone depressed, we’ll start with the not so good and finish with the better…

Nadia’s Mum had a total hip replacement which was both a difficult time and also a real boon. It has been a while coming but will really improve the quality of her life as she was in considerable pain prior to the operation. She recuperated quickly thanks to many of the family taking turns to travel to Bundaberg and assist – mainly by stopping her overdoing things like push starting the car (yes, she tried to do this but was stopped!).

Towards the end of November Nadia’s Dad had a fall and broke one arm and the other wrist. Again with the help of the family, her Mum and Dad are now both recovering well and we are looking forward to catching up with them during our week in Bundy just after the start of the New Year.

For Rob, the year hit a real low point in mid November when his Mum, Helen, passed away. She had major surgery about 18 months ago but recovered well and enjoyed, for her, really good health until November. She was admitted to PA hospital with some bronchial problems (these were perennial) and appeared to be recuperating well. Fortunately the consultant on her case was very conservative and stressed to us that she was very ill which prompted Bruce to travel up for her birthday. The day after spending her birthday with all the family (albeit in hospital) she passed away peacefully from heart failure.

Since Helen’s passing, the year has been frantic with her funeral in Brisbane and memorial service in Canberra to say nothing of tidying up her affairs etc.

Rounding off 2005, Rob just received news from the USA that Betty Allington passed away. She was a very good friend who took him under her wing when he first travelled to the States. At 89 she had a very full life and had touched many people’s lives in wonderful ways (not unlike Rob’s Mum). We will be toasting both Betty and Helen this Christmas for Lives well lived.

As we mentioned at the beginning, 2005 has not been all bad. Through the year, we had a great social schedule which included catching up with many friends – local, interstate and international – and attending a number of wonderful events.

One notable event was the annual Rotary Opera in the Vineyard in Stanthorpe in May. This event is held on the first weekend in May and just seems to get better and better. As always, a great time was had by all.

The trip south for Rob’s Mum’s memorial service was sweetened by being able to join in the 20th wedding anniversary celebrations of our very good friends, the Goodmans. We were also fortunate to be able to catch up with some of our friends in Canberra as time permitted.

Probably (definitely) THE most notable event for us was attending the wedding of our very good friends Paul and Jodie in late October. Following a wonderful ceremony in the Botanical Gardens was a spectacular reception across the road in the Royal on the Park. The most outstanding aspects apart from the perfect flow of the event were the speeches (no, we’re serious! they were all spectacular) and Paul’s nephew, Arnie’s, wonderful tenor rendition of The Prayer. The next day we packed up and joined the crowd going up to Noosa for the honeymoon (that’s right – they’re really good friends!) where we spent a great week relaxing, eating, drinking, fishing and catching up with friends.

What was the best part of 2005? That would have to be our friends and family. There have been some pretty hard times this year but we have been seriously blessed with great family and wonderful friends without whom it would have been a very rough year. As it is, we survived and are really looking forward to 2006.

We wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a happy, safe and healthy New Year.