While I was travelling overseas, my beautiful grandfather passed away. It was so hard to be away and I missed my family very much. When I flew back into Australia and walked through the arrival gates, my Mum was standing with the most beautiful bunch of flowers and tears in her eyes. In that moment, I truly appreciated everything happens for a reason and knew my grandfather meant for me to experience that moment with my mum.
Jess, Walcha NSW
Frank with his grandchildren cooling off in the summer heat.
My wife and I are two pensioners who live in Bega, on the Far South Coast.
Due to family circumstances we take care of our four emotionally challenged grandchildren, who are aged 3, 6, 11 and 12.
Emotionally and financially, life is a little tough – as it is for many other grandparents in similar circumstances.
We were dreading the school holidays, particularly financially. Out of the blue we got a phone call from a wonderful man named Gavin Bell from the Social Justice Advocates of the Sapphire Coast and the Bendigo Bank in Bega.
He gave us a season family pass to our local pool which has been a godsend. He and his organisation offered other help as may be needed.
It is people like Gavin and his organization who are making the world a much better place particularly for those less well off.
Thank you so much to Gavin and all the members of his organization. It is greatly appreciated.
Frank, Bega NSW
Becky’s Dad carving up the dance floor.
Last September, my Dad was diagnosed with a non-differentiated neuroendocrine cancer. A rare, aggressive and, as yet, incurable cancer. Luckily, he’s one of the 17% who responded to treatment and has been given a longer time on this earth.
I cannot even count on both hands the number of kind acts that I have been witness to in the last four-months, as my family has worked through treatment plans and came to terms with the diagnosis; but I’d love to put some of them to paper as I’m constantly amazed by the giving nature of people (especially in times of need):
My father was diagnosed whilst on holiday interstate and a friend of the family organised for my parents to fly home, paid for their flights, and accompanied them on the flight home to ensure the transfer between hospitals went smoothly.
A company my father has had some dealings with made their car park available to our family for use when visiting the hospital, as parking is expensive and limited at the hospital where Dad received his initial treatment.
A family friend organised a huge party for my Dad once he was out of hospital. People flew in from interstate to attend, bands played for free, chef friends brought huge platters of food, and one band learnt songs by my Dad’s favourite musician so our family could dance to it together.
My partner was away at work when we found out that Dad had cancer, so my Mum’s friend drove to my house off her own bat just to give me a hug so that I wasn’t alone in my grief.
This is just the tip of the kindness iceberg and I’m so grateful to all these beautiful, kind people who inhabit our world.
Jennifer Browning, has found kindness in a country town.
In 2018 my moment of kindness was the big warm welcome the community of Gilgandra and Collie gave me when I moved here from Sydney. I fell in love with a country boy and packed up my hectic big smoke life and swapped it for a more peaceful one in the country. Only knowing my boyfriend I was so humbled and relieved to be welcomed with open arms by so many lovely people, including the editor of this very column. There were so many sad images of country New South Wales beamed into living rooms on the nightly news last year due to the ongoing drought but that aside I see something else. I see vibrant communities, coffee dates, champagne at the races, beers at the pub, tennis on Monday nights, knowing the butchers name and them knowing yours, church on Sunday’s, mates helping each other out no matter how tough they’re doing it and the good old courtesy wave. This community has been so kind to me already and in 2019 I hope to return that kindness and give a big warm thank you back to it.