A place called home
Where did my lost generation
go to so fast? I turned my back and they were gone. To believe you belong; only
to suddenly find out youíre alone. Protection then becomes rejection and
isolation becomes fear. With the unknown approaching steadily, to embrace it
might mean danger, but to ignore it could bring disaster.
To show courage in facing challenges and unforeseen obstacles is
opportunity for growth and should you choose to avoid these, your
vulnerabilityís can haunt you. In a sense itís an examination. Will you
allow new experiences to make you stronger when radical change comes bursting
through? When you think you have established character will you then despise
that character once itís defined you?
Now I have a story to tell, humble in its awakening where my adolescent
wanderlust seeks out new experience that was never looked for in my own home.
When this opportunity comes begging, once in a lifetime is never quite enough.
First memories of anything are memories of innocence where clouded
thoughts misinterpret information in vast quantities.
whirlwind of questions & confusion - you know youíre alive but are unable
to comprehend the reason why.
To firstly explain myself I was introduced to my parents at an early age,
but not as early as a child would hope if given the chance to choose. The reason
for this was because I was not born to the parents who raised me. I was adopted
at the tender age of three. My real parents, of what Iíve been told, were
victims of poverty who couldnít afford to provide me with even a tiny bed.
They left me on the steps of a hospital. I never felt bitter yearnings, nor
sorrow, nor hate.
Fortune smiled one fine day when devoted; adopting parents took me under
their protective wing. They treated me like their own son and this made it easy
to behave like one.
To briefly describe them, my fathers name was Tom Daniels. He was a man
of distinction and full of praise for me. If a wrong could be corrected, it was
done so without angry words raised. Everyone who knew him said so with pride.
His wife, my mother was an angel in disguise. She was a woman unable to
ever bear her own child. Her name was Grace and as her name implied she
displayed this charming quality always. She was a gentle, affectionate woman,
thoughtful and kind. No harsh words ever left her lips, nor I suspect were ever
considered in thought.
We lived in a small country town, nestled in a deep valley where the
population never grew beyond that old assumption that in a small community each
face would always be known. Your business was everyoneís business - secrets
werenít kept, but instead, lives were shared.
Our family home was situated on the outskirts of town. A long white
picket fence and a wide bush bracketed driveway
up to the front door, where parked outside was our faithful campervan that was
always willing to take us on short journeys away.
Our house was a home in the truest sense of the word. It was a
comfortable and peaceful dwelling with a fireplace downstairs and panoramic view
from each of the upstairs bedrooms overlooking miles of lush green pastures
under acres of blue sky. The sun refused to set until stars could be seen in the
clear southern sky.
Family values were the order of day. My parentís fortitude and
understanding were qualities I aspired to.
was also their youthful sense of humour. We were comfortable and content.
Such was the pleasant atmosphere we shared in our family life. What could
possibly go wrong in this state of perpetual harmony? What destructive upheaval
could shatter the serenity of us, the fortunate few?
To remember the day it happened is to remember a pain that will never go
away. A moment etched in time where intense emotion previously dormant erupted
to become a memory I tried hard to forget.
I was sitting pleasantly alone on the front porch of the family home with
my radio beside me playing upbeat songs. My parents had gone away for the day on
a short journey to the waterfalls, which were no more than fifty miles away. I
had declined their offer to go along.
When the local news of the hour came over the radio my mind was far away
from being tuned in with what the newsreader had to say. But as his voice
stressed urgency that something serious had happened, it caught my attention. He
explained in graphic detail a serious accident that had occurred within the hour
involving a head-on collision between a campervan and semi-trailer. The impact
caused both vehicles to veer off the road and plummet down a steep incline.
There were no survivors. I held my breath, refusing to believe it could be them.
But when he announced the number plates of the vehicles involved, all
hope was lost.
Sudden despair rocked me. Confusion paralysed my mind and I sat stunned.
The news sunk in hard, but the world didnít stop revolving, nor was there a
minuteís silence before a song about someoneís sweet baby filled the
airwaves in blatant mockery of my pain.
My world had just collapsed. It all seemed too unreal. How could life
resume any sort of normality after such a tremendous blow to my safe
foundations? It didnít make sense, nothing did any more. I wanted to sink
rather than swim, go down with the ship.
Were they victims of chance if Ďchanceí was at all to blame? Was it
just that they were in the wrong place at the wrong time or was this their
unavoidable and tragic destiny that fate had dealt them?
I grieved for my parents who represented love and missed their warmth and
laughter. It was a loss unequalled and beyond repair.
Where to go from here? This was the question swimming around inside my
blurred head. Although my parents had left me the house in their will, I
couldnít stay there. Not with all those fond memories to consume and haunt me.
I had to move on, and move fast, far away and leave all that behind.
To start afresh was the only coherence that came to mind. With the little
money I had saved I packed all my essentials into my travel sack and after a
brief, intoxicating glance of sadness back at the family home, I turned and
walked away leaving my past in mortal ruins behind me.
Although wanting to leave fast I had one important engagement to attend.
This was the funeral of my beloved parents. The grief experienced at the morose
gathering turned my suffering into cries for help, doubting my strength to cope
on my own. I wanted to mourn in private, pay my respects for their lives, not
their deaths, without the alien onlookers who couldnít share in what I felt.
If this was selfishness then others were ignorant as to my depth of feeling for
both the deceased and the one they left behind.
Prices in Australian Dollars CURRENCY
(c)2003 Poseidon Books All rights reserved.