Monday, 17 December 2012

A gift of inspiration.


This post is about how life can bring unexpected surprises.

                                         How new friends bring a sharing of new happiness

                                                      and sadness as we embrace friendships.

                                                 We live in the Blue Mountains in NSW Australia.
                                                              All our children have grown up here.

                                                             We have some pretty spectacular friends.

                                                     My eldest 3 boys went to the local public schools.
                                              That was fine but I didn't get to know the parents very much.
                                                            Then my step son Gabriel went to Korowal, 
                                                                an independent school in the mountains
                                                                     that starts in kindy and goes to year 12.
                                                           It is an artistic and musical school community.
                                                              We were delighted with Korowal for Gabe
                                                                  so our daughter Mara has also been there
                                                               since kindergarten and she is now in year 10.

                                                          Starting in kindy means that it is possible to make
                                                              long standing friendships and as parents
                                                  we have watched each others families grow and change.
                                                                            A pretty special situation.

                                                                 Mara and her (now) boyfriend Ruben
                                                                 have been close friends since year 2.
                                                      I find it very special to see such a young romance
                                                                                 based on friendship.
                                                                    These two friends can argue a point,
                                                                      be competitive in a game of cards,
                                                            agree or disagree on the musicality of a song.....
                                                                  say what they think and feel to each other
                                                                     and continue to be strong in themselves
                                                             but at the same time they are devoted to each other.
                                                                 I have not seen such a healthy connection
                                                                          in such a young romance before.

                                                          For however short or long this romance lasts for
                                                                   it is great to see these two young people
                                                        discovering what romance is in such a healthy way.

                                                              OK... well I had to say all that to set the scene.

                                                             There has been a lot for these two young friends
                                                                        to handle over the last few weeks
                                                                       and they have been courageous
                                                             and understanding, way beyond their years.
                                                                            Both towards each other
                                                                          and in support of Rubens family.
                                                                     You see Rubens wonderful family
                                                                           have been greatly challenged
                                                                            over the last couple of months.

                                                                          I have been finding that as parents
                                                                      and as friends of parents there has been
                                                                                     much to hear and feel
                                                              and I really don't know what to say or do to help.

                                             So I just want to acknowledge how great these two kids
                                                    are handling their complex world at the moment.
                                                       I love and respect you both so much. xx 

                              Rubens step dad, Neill Duncan is an awesome musician,
                                              originally from Christchurch, NZ.




                                                      He is a creative force and inspiration,
                                                                not only as a performer
                                                                but he also teaches music.
                                             He has 3 other gorgeous children and is a great dad.


                                7 weeks ago Neil was diagnosed with a cancerous lump in his arm.

                                     Our wonderful school held an end of year benefit concert
                                                  for their family as Neil has been unable to work
                                                               and over $4,500 was raised.
                                                  What a special school family we have!

                                               Since then he found out that the sarcoma
                                                    did not respond to the chemotherapy.

                                              He now faces amputation of his arm this week.

                                               As an artist I use my hands every day to express myself
                                                         I am so deeply saddened by Neils story.

                                                             So I have been drawing him.

                                                  But sadness is not a word that should be used
                                                         in the same sentence as Neil Duncan


                                                                   Neil is a man full of stories
                                             and every one of those stories is full of inspiration.
                                                       I have personally only heard a few
                                                       but I can tell there are many more. ;)

                                                              This will be his next story
                                               and it is bound to be even more inspiring.


                                                In the face of this life changing time
                                       Neil and Rachel decided to have a big final gig.

                                                    A send off party for Neils arm.

                                              This man continues to be a creative inspiration
                                                         even in the face of adversity.

                                                             Musicians came to play.
                                                       Friends came to dance and sing.
                                                 It was a performance I will never forget.

                                                           It was not possible to cry
                                           because it was full of love and joy for what has been
                                                 and full of courage for what is to come.

                                     It is an honour to have heard you play with both arms Neil
                                           and it will continue to be an honour to know you
                                                        and hear you play with one.
                                                       You are a very special family.

                                                  Unfortunately Ruben could not be there
                                   as he was being a wonderful big brother and caring son,
                                                     helping to look after his young siblings
                                                    at his grand parents place in Queensland,
                                                        while Neil has his operation.
                                                              We missed you Ruben.


  1. a lovely tribute, Sadhana. Tough times ahead but it sounds like some special friends and family to help Neil through.

  2. Hi Sadhana

    I type through my tears. I was a big part of Neill's life before his Australian adventure. I sobbed when he left us, he became a surrogate uncle to my children Robert Arien and Rebekka who adore uncle Neill. Neill has been the great friendship of my life. I love your tribute to our friend, I so hope that one day we can visit you all in your part of the world and share some food, music and some memories.
    Arohanui Harmen

  3. So Beautiful, supportive and heartfelt Sadhana. Everything the family needs through this tough challenging time. Our thoughts are with you Neill, Rachel and family.
    Liona and family