The eye of the cyclone

Well it’s been a wopping few days and I’ve returned home tired and ready to flop onto my bed and have a good cry. But first there’s the blog. One has to get priorities sorted. I’m not sure whether I’m bemused or astounded by my about.me stats. in a mere four days there have been 11,906 views of my page. I am rather confused, even unsettled by this sudden attention. It was only a one page photo and blurb after-all, with no proper bio.

But back to the flop and cry moment and the real grit of the day. Yes, I went to my aunty’s funeral. Actually I navigated airport security, including the explosives test, and arrived in the midst of a Magnitude 5 tropical cyclone to find that flooding had already cut off access to the city and the funeral was postponed. I could imagine that my aunt was somewhere nearby, laughing at this comedic family tragedy and reminiscing about how we narrowly escaped the devastation of Cyclone Tracy. Some hours later when the little bunch of stalwart relatives, who had managed to skip through the eye and into the airport, were enthusiastically trying the local brew as a consolation, the phone rang. My father’s voice was suddenly shaky. My other aunt had passed away at her home minutes before. She was a family favourite and will be sadly missed by many people. My heart goes out to my youngest uncle who shared many years of married life and her final moments.

The following day I was on the plane again, valiantly trying to keep down my breakfast as we carved through the unsettled sky, and digesting the family scenario that had played out in the past hours. People are complex but families are simple. They either work or they don’t. There can be huge gaps due to distance and different lifestyles but there’s something about that old adage ‘blood is thicker than water’. In the post midnight hour I had the best conversation with my brother, ever, in spite of the fact that he says we have zero in common. I suspect that he’s right, not counting our shared history and good looks. Seriously, it takes a significant occasion to lever each of us from our comfort zones and put us face to face. I hope that the next catch-up has no tears, unless they are outpourings of joyous celebration.

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