Sunday, May 27, 2012
Heaven has another ratbag
Our local shop is run by a little old Lebanese woman who's there before sun up to open the doors and then come the afternoons and evenings, her two sons come in and run the shop and then close up at night.
There's two daughters who also occasionally help out when mum is overseas visiting family or when family events require mum to help out. I'm not sure where the father / husband is, he's never been around.
That shop is open rain, hail or shine, Christmas day, Easter, you name it and that shop is open. Today the shutters remain down and the doors remain closed. Instinctively you imagine the old lady has passed away, she's old, but then she doesn't look any different to the day I moved into the neighbourhood 19 years ago.
I found out from a phone call from my son this morning that the eldest son died last night, heart attack. He's in his 30's (I stand corrected - he was 40) with everything to live for, a wife and two small children and now he's gone. To say I'm shocked is an understatement.
He's been in our lives for 19 years, he's not a close friend but he's a part of our day-to-day life, in so much as you say hi, how's things, how's the family - kind of way.
He's known my boys since the day they were born, he gooed and gaaed over them as babies, and then later wrestled and teased them when we went into the shop. There was joy when he got married and when his boys were born and I'm sure his mother breathed a sigh of relief.
He was truly a larrikin lad, he skirted on the edges of the law, he mixed with somewhat dubious characters, he was rough and tough and not always politically correct in his comments and behaviour. He was a ratbag who encouraged my boys to do 'ratbag' deeds but in a funny kind of way.
He came from good stock though, he loved his mum, he adored his wife and boys and he had a heart of gold and a bag of lollies or chocolates for every child in the neighbourhood. Organising santa to visit on Christmas Eve every year was tradition in our neighbourhood and every child knew that the corner shop was the place to be. He was one of those people who always had a smile and a word for every one.
Last night another ratbag left this earth and for some strange reason that makes me incredibly sad; for his wife, for his beautiful ratbag boys who will grow up without their daddy and even for myself because the corner shop just won't be the same without him.
It's amazing how even the people who are only on the outskirts of your life can leave such a big void when they're gone. Hug your loved ones tight everyone and even share a smile for those who aren't so close because things can change in a heartbeat.
"Tears are words from the heart which can't be spoken"
Comments are flying across Facebook tonight as everyone remembers him and the impact he had on our neighbourhood and the people who knew him. I found this picture of him and his boys which a friend had posted on her wall. This is him doing what he did best, being a dad.
Posted by Fiona Biedermann