Last Saturday I was doing some last-minute shopping for my daughter’s upcoming birthday whilst trying to avoid anything to do with C__________! I noticed Neale Daniher’s book ‘When All is Said and Done’ on the shelf, right where it couldn’t be missed. Neale was a former Essendon footballer and coach of Melbourne. He was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease in 2013 and co-founded FightMND in 2014. The foundation raises awareness and vital funds for research to find a cure and better treatment for ‘The Beast’ that takes two lives every day in Australia. Neale started to write a letter to his unknown grandchildren and kept writing.
I picked it up for a quick look, wondering whether it would make a good C____________ present after promising myself that I would just get what I need and leave. The back cover caught my eye with the following quote:
‘A wise man said, “Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”
I understand the wisdom of this – right now, I don’t have much forwards left.’
I put the book down and I didn’t buy it (I think I will later) but the saying stayed with me all day. On the Sunday, I attended the parent information session for the Sacramental Program and a parent shared how she takes out her children’s baptismal candle on the anniversary of their baptism and lights it. This is what her mother had done for her. Afterwards, I went home for the family barbeque, just Mark and me. While the food is cooking we talk together about lots of things, going forwards and looking backwards. These three incidents really came together for me.
As parents, we support our children as they work towards receiving the sacraments. The reasons for doing this are many. The sacraments help us to live forwards but it is only when we have our own ‘a-ha’ moment later on in life and look backwards, that we understand what all that learning that took place long ago, means.
Whatever your reasons for enrolling your child in the Sacramental Program, good on you!
If fitting it in and life just looks all too hard, come and talk to me.
If you have no idea what I am writing about, come on up, my door is always open.
Neale Daniher may not have much forwards left but he has graced us with a wonderful and full life:
‘It’s often in the darkest skies that we see the brightest stars.’
‘Balance is not something you find, it is something you create.’
‘Grow through what you go through.’
Our family defines an interesting person by whether they would be good to have at the family barbeque. Neale Daniher, you’re on the list!
Assistant Principal Religious Identity and Mission