Before moving into a new year it’s good to reflect on the ups and downs of the previous year.
A lot has happened in 2009. There have been some extreme highs and some tragic lows.
Pauline’s sister Carina passed away from cancer on the 8th of February at the age of 41. She had battled cancer back in 2007 and had later been given the ‘all clear’, but very early in the year she was diagnosed with more aggressive forms of cancer and we knew that she wouldn’t be with us much longer.
Our children changed schools and we all changed churches as we prepared to move from one side of the city to the other. While our move didn’t happen anywhere near as fast as we would have liked, we can still see God’s hand in the process and we’re so thankful that on the 5th of August we moved into an eight year old house that instantly felt like home.
In February I took our son, James, to see the opening night of Phantom of the Opera. Considering that he was only ten at the time, I really wasn’t sure how much he would enjoy it but he seemed pretty pleased that I’d taken him along. It was only later when he kept raving about it to anyone who would listen that I realised how much he loved it.
In the middle of the year I became the father of a teenager when our daughter, Emily, turned thirteen. Unfortunately, Emily is as as gorgeous as her mother and so the next few years are sure to involve a plethora of teenaged boys and me beating them off with large sticks.
In September we were devastated by the death of close friend Mark Simpfendorfer. We’d travelled half way across Australia together in 2003 as he videoed a team of cyclists I was leading on a marathon fund raising ride from Perth to Hobart. Earlier in 2003 we had travelled to India together. Mark was there to capture my ride from Agra, home of the Taj Mahal, to Delhi. It was an amazing experience for both of us. We loved our time there and were more than happy to return two years later with a small team of Aussie cyclists. We were talking about returning next year around the time of the Commonwealth Games in Delhi. Mark was also a major part of one of an extremely significant day for Pauline and me. He agreed to video our wedding back in December 1992. The resulting video, as expected, was spectacular. He was just 45 years of age and left behind four remarkable children.
In October I cycled from Perth to Albany with six other amazing cyclists, raising money for Cancer Council WA and broadcasting from a different town each day. It was a bold experiment for 98.5 Sonshine FM and a huge boost for Cancer Council with over $15 000 raised by the team.
Speaking of cycling, over the past twelve months I more than doubled last year’s cycling total. I finished 2009 clocking up just over 10 500 kilometres on my bike. (Now I have to decide what target to set for next year.)
I’ve interviewed a wide range of people during my morning radio programme in 2009 including Ian ‘Dicko’ Dickson, Guy Sebastian, Paul Potts, Kate Miller-Heidke, Tina Arena, Sam Kekovich, and many others, but perhaps my favourite interview for the year was with Australia’s first world road race champion and Tour de France contender, Cadel Evans. I’m a cyclist but Cadel is cycling royalty.
Time has moved on. My hair has got a little thinner. My skin has gathered an assortment of wrinkles. My eyes don’t see as clearly as they once did. But thankfully there is much for which I can be thankful. Wisdom keeps growing. Life experience is becoming richer.
I’ve got so much to celebrate.
I’m the husband of the world’s most wonderful woman, the father of two thoroughly amazing children and a son of the God who put this incredible world together.
I think I’m just about ready for 2010.
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