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Widow Speak

Five women talking about what grief is really like as a young widow. Thanks to Nicole at the Sydney Morning Herald for including me in this story."...

TedX - It's Time To Be Right Here

Check out my TedX talk "It's Time to be Right Here".  It starts with a story about when I was volunteer teaching in Cambodia and the school got its...

Beauty and Lace

Check out my interview with Beauty and Lace here.  We talked about putting plans in place to protect your kids, should anything happen to you.  It'...

Are You Your Biggest Cheerleader?

I was at a forum in my capital city, 1000 kilometres from my home, with property developers, mayors and other politicians.  I didn't know anyone el...

Postscript - Dying to Know Day

Thanks to Postscript for helping to start conversations about what we want to happen when we die. Check out my article they published for Dying to ...

The Last Kiss

16 Jan 2016 6:08 PM - Have you seen Lightmakers yet? It's a website full of people's stories of working through challenge to wisdom. They published one of my stories, about cherishing what you have, for as long as your blessed to have it. Beware - it might make you cry!

After eleven years of marriage and no kids, my first husband Stuart and I made the life-changing decision to travel the world teaching English.  We started in Poland. 

And we loved it.  The teaching was great, we’d learned some Polish and made great friends.  We worked together and socialised together, until we’d been there about five months.  Stuart’s indoor football team was having a night out and it was the first time we would be apart since we got there.  We decided it would be fine – Stuart had worked hard and deserved to have some fun.  He said he’d be home for supper, I told him to enjoy himself and we kissed goodbye. 

They were the last words we said to each other.  When he was walking home that night, Stuart was hit by a car on a pedestrian crossing.  He died the next day in a Polish hospital, ten days before Christmas.

That was twelve years ago.  I now live in a different country and have a new job and new friends.  And a new husband, Russell.  Life is good but sometimes I still get a bit scared.

Russell loves to go to the hardware store.  Every time before he goes, he kisses me goodbye and says he’ll be back soon.  But at Christmas time, I’m not so sure.  I know that anything could happen.  I might never speak to him again.  Was that the last kiss?

At first I was dismayed that the sadness of twelve years still haunts me.  I was also frightened by the reality that it could all happen again, after one last kiss.  And Russell was very surprised by my reaction to his plan to buy paint and tools.

But I gradually realised what a gift I’d been given.  Every time Russell says goodbye I kiss him like it could be the last time.  I look into his face and see why I love him.  Every kiss is sweet and meaningful.  We’re both right there, in that moment.  Those moments are the lynch pins of our life together.  They create a warmth that keeps us close and sustains us through the hard times, like Christmas.

I’ll never forget the last kiss I gave Stu.  Because of it, I’ll remember every kiss that I ever give Russell.