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10 years on

Alma Doepel refit well underway

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Away from the desk

The little bent tree

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Chamber update

School holiday fun

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Dan’s a community man

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Top five street style trends

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Health and Wellbeing

Modern approach to musculoskeletal pain

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Tram no Metro - Bike danger

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New Businesses

Tony’s back in business

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Owners Corporation Law

Take more care with your insurance

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Pets Corner

Best of friends

Precinct Perspectives

My view of Docklands; from NewQuay

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SkyPad Living

Sharing our vertical commons

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Street Art

Goodbye from Blender Studios

The District

A reading room for our community

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We Live Here

A Royal Commission into industry scandals

What Women Want - July 2011

28 Jun 2011

They say a single moment can change your life.

Sometimes, your life can just be turned upside down, in what feels like the blink of an eye.  

You wake up happily enough, with above-average expectations for your day, but then at some unexpected moment your life goes on a path you could never imagine or predict – and it’s changed forever.

Sometimes it’s exciting and exhilarating, if not a little nerve-wracking, a roller-coaster of emotion that leaves you breathlessly anticipating the next turn of events – like the first splinter of realisation you have fallen completely in love – all your senses are heightened and you live life for each delicious moment.

But other times, the catalytic change of direction is breathtaking in its devastation.

My idyllic country life, my perfect plans for a lovingly-restored homestead, my intentions to preserve the history that has been housed by my walls for over 100 years, have all gone up in smoke. Literally.

On a cold and otherwise insignificant Saturday night, my house burnt down.

We were in it, asleep, but I got us out in time. In time to stand on the nature strip in our PJs and watch my windows explode, flames hungrily reach through the eaves seeking to destroy more and more – a cream house turn black in 15 minutes.

I don’t remember hearing anything, the cracking timber, the shattering glass, the sirens of police, fire trucks and ambulance. But they were there. Our lives had changed, unexpectedly and forever.

But they had not changed in a way you might imagine. And not at the moment you might think.

You see, I’d never felt so lucky in my life.

At the hospital, I held my son in my arms and lay cheek to cheek, through the night. Our oxygen tubes tangled, our masks crunched together, but he slept in my arms.

And holding that warm, gently snoring child, I knew that nothing else mattered.

It didn’t matter we had lost our house, or that we had only the sooty clothes we wore.

It didn’t matter that we’d lost every material thing we had. We had each other, and I suddenly felt like I’d won lotto.

I was, and still am, elated and overwhelmed with my good fortune. From that moment I have, and will always have, a new appreciation for the simplicity of just being here, and from that moment we have made this new path an adventure, and we will find joy in every day.

I am humbled by the kindness of people we have hardly met, by our neighbours who gathered their own children’s and grandchildren’s clothes for us, by a country community that have held us in their hearts.

I have learnt it’s not about having the latest fashions, gadgets or toys for they can all disappear in a moment – it’s about having warmth, compassion, friends and family, a community with a heart because, no matter what the moment may bring, these cannot be taken away.

We all walk a tightrope in life and no matter how secure we think we have made things, they can change in a moment. Take care of the people you love, appreciate every blessed minute we have of this life and no matter what, polish the hell out of the silver lining of every cloud because sometimes, that’s all you’ve got.

There’s just one more thing I’m very grateful for … that I picked AAMI for my insurance company. Please treat your insurance seriously, you don’t realise how important it is until you need it.

Until next month, stay safe.

Abby x

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