As I reflect on Mum and Dad's life, I think of my own life and how I am who I am because of these amazing two human beings. They made so many sacrifices for us so that they could give us a better life than they had had. They taught us about love and adventure as they would take us out on the weekends to experience things that they never could. They showed us how to be respectful to others and to try and be kind to one another. To work hard for what you want and to never give up on the things that you really believe in.
I have so many amazing stories that will stay with me forever. A precious memory of my younger years is that Dad took Frank and I out shopping to Myer in Dandenong as Frank really wanted to buy something special for Mum for Mother's Day. I was about 8yrs old and Frank maybe 11yrs old. We were so excited and when we came home, I really wanted to help wrap Mum's present. Dad had also bought us wrapping paper and even though Frank didn't want me to, I started to cut the paper, but it was a little tough. That's because I was actually cutting the new shirts that were underneath it too. Frank was really upset with me, but I didn't mean to. Mum loved the shirts and managed to sew where I had cut it. I remember it like it was yesterday. Mum forgave me, but I'm not sure about Frank. Luckily, he can't remember it. One of the shirts was yellow with black polka dots and the other was a red shirt with black polka dots. Mum still wore them and loved them because we had bought them for her.
Life is not the same anymore and it never will be. There is a huge part of us missing.
I still go to the Silverthreads function with Mum and we hear lots of stories of Dad from all the people that knew and worked with him. It's a little sad to go, but also happy too to know what a difference he made in other peoples lives. The way he made people laugh and forget about things for a while. Others remembering his sayings and his manner. His jokes and his amazing love for life and his family.
I recently found out that when Dad first got the job there in 1964, it was actually called Australian Window Glass, but that there were many Europeans working there. They became like one big family.
Mum and I went on a tour of Dad's work in February 2018. When Dad finished working there after 35 years it was still called Pilkington ACI, but now it's called Viridian and still located in Greens Road, Dandenong. I would always drive past and see the eye which they used to call it. Dad had told me that it is filled with water. It's so tall that you can see it from miles away and I would always try and catch a glimpse of it when I was in the area. I always wanted to see where my Dad worked, but I never thought in a million years that I would get to go in there. Well, I did and it was absolutely amazing. I felt like Dad was there with us guiding me through and he also would have been so happy that I went with Mum. I was going to go by myself as they did warn us earlier that there would be lots of walking and some stairs to climb, but I knew that I had to take her. We first arrived at the Gate House which Dad would always talk about as you had to check in there before you parked your car. I had Dad's memorable Pilkington jacket on as they had told us earlier that we needed to wear long sleeves. They then gave us hard hats, goggles and safety aprons to put on. They carefully explained things to us about each part of this amazing plant. They also told us that we couldn't take any photos, but I wasn't going to miss this opportunity to take one or two precious memories away with me. It was such a magical morning to see where my Dad worked.
Mum tries to keep busy and still takes care of their home, but life is very different now, but I know Dad is still beside her.
When I see a Super moon, I think of a special night Mum and Dad had back in the year 2000. Mum tells me that we were all together for a Christmas gathering, but once we had all gone home, Dad said to Mum "let's go out somewhere". They would do spontaneous things like that and enjoy special time with just them two. So as they left their driveway in Seaview Court, Mum says that there was this huge, bright moon that seemed to be following them and it looked like it was getting bigger and bigger the more they drove. For some reason they had Dad's special Ricoh camera in the car with them and Mum asked Dad to pull over as she needed to take a photo of it. Normally photos taken of the moon back then with those types of cameras would not come out, but this one did. Mum says it was their special moon. It was also the year of their 35th Wedding Anniversary.
We miss you Dad so much, but I know that you are with us wherever we are. I hope that you are proud that I have tried to tell your story for your future Great Grandkids to read about their amazing Great Grandad. They would have loved you just as everyone did, especially me.