Som­bre day’s air filled with love

Midwest Times - - OPINION - Rae­lene Hall

A won­der­ful man lost his bat­tle with can­cer on Wed­nes­day last week.

I met him when my friend and I were on the Coun­try Mu­sic Cruise in 2011 and he played with a bril­liant band from Ade­laide called The Rustlers.

From that meet­ing we be­came friends and, while see­ing the band only once af­ter the cruise, we all kept in touch. The day af­ter his death, I was do­ing some last-minute Christ­mas shop­ping, which isn’t al­ways a lot of fun, es­pe­cially if you are still search­ing for ideas. How­ever, this day felt dif­fer­ent. I don’t know if it was be­cause I was to­tally on my own with no time con­straints, the beau­ti­ful day, or the re­al­i­sa­tion some peo­ple would never get to en­joy Christ­mas, shop­ping, sunny days, soft breezes and the smiles of strangers again. I was so much more aware of the peo­ple around me. The grandma I shared a smile with as she re­placed the clip in her grand­daugh­ter’s hair, the lit­tle girl jump­ing for joy when she found she was able to have an iced bun all to her­self rather than share, and the proud par­ents hand­ing their pre­cious bun­dle to Santa Claus for their first Christ­mas photo.

The staff serv­ing in stores, all seem­ing to go out of their way to help peo­ple find what they wanted, their pa­tience while cus­tomers made choices, and the lovely ca­ma­raderie with their fel­low staff.

Watch­ing a new staff mem­ber learn­ing the ropes while her cus­tomers waited pa­tiently and the ex­pe­ri­enced staff mem­ber jug­gling help­ing the new­bie and serv­ing her own cus­tomers.

The el­derly man pa­tiently wait­ing as his wife, with mo­bil­ity is­sues, browsed the aisles.

A young boy ask­ing his dad: “why don’t you just get that one thing?”, and the re­ply: “I want to get your mum an­other sur­prise”.

Even the driv­ers seemed to be in a calmer frame of mind.

Peo­ple waved me into lanes, waited pa­tiently while I re­versed out of carparks and I didn’t see any road rage (not that I ever have, mind you).

Per­haps it was the Christ­mas spirit, or maybe it had some­thing to do with the in­cred­i­ble day in Aus­tralia’s Fed­eral Par­lia­ment.

With the pass­ing of the same-sex mar­riage Bill, maybe there was just lots of love in the air?

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