I have accompanied my daughter. son, son-in-law, grand-kids, and a family friend, on the family’s annual vacation to Gracetown, near Margaret River, south of Perth, Western Australia. This picture is of them. It is truly amazing to get so many members of the Deague-Playford ‘clan’ together at the same time and in the same place.
I, the patriarch, am on the extreme right in the picture. My son-in-law, David, is beside me to my right, and my son, John, is behind me to my right. Further to my right, is my daughter, Jenny, and then my grand-daughter, Emma, on my extreme right. At the back of the picture, going from left to right are grand-children Harry, Zoe (a ring-in, not of the clan, the family friend), Tash, and then (poking her head between her mother and father, Beth.
These are the people who enabled, and who continue to enable, my recovery/rehabilitation from the double whammy of recurrence of PMR (poly myalgia rheumatica) and loss of spouse that has beset me from October 2022 onwards. These are the people to whom I owe an enormous debt of gratitude. They rescued me when I fell in an enormous heap in Hakodate, Japan in October 2023.
Did I ask them? No. They volunteered.
It has been said that you choose your friends, but have no such choice apropos your family. It has also been said that ‘family’ is the other F-word. I have tended to endorse these and other such negative statements about family. There are plenty of dis-functional families about as evidence for such negativity.
But, as proven by my experience, families can be otherwise. They can be an agency of support in a crisis. The crisis that came my way recently was of a major magnitude. And they were there for me big time. Their support was certainly proportionate to the magnitude of my crisis. In fact, it went far beyond.
I concede. Families, at their best, as mine was (and is), can be a priceless treasure.