Monday, June 05, 2017

BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING...MAYBE...








 
Photos of my late brother Graham  - 28th February, 1942....6th June, 1998.  The top one taken a month before his passing; The lower two taken on his birthday, 3 months before he passed away....


My big brother, Graham, passed away on 6th June 1998.   19 years ago...and yet his leaving seems and feels like it was only yesterday...

Knowing my brother Graham, if there are such beings as incorporeal spirits hovering around inhabiting the environs, unseen to the naked and un-naked eye, I’m pretty certain he’s keeping a keen eye on me. 

I’m not sure if he would be an angel or a demon; most likely it’d be a combination of the two.  Why change?  In life he embodied both. If, perchance, his presence is floating about the place, out of sight, he most definitely would have me in his sights because he treated his role of being my big brother seriously when he was alive.  He had no need to do so, but it was always his way.

When we were kids together growing up in Gympie he teased me relentlessly. To keep him happy I always rose to the occasion, not wanting to thwart his expectations.  The teasing game continued throughout our adulthood.  

During my teenage years his watchful eyes were always on alert when or if hopeful lads cast their eyes upon me, his little sister! 

Graham could be a giant pain in the neck; I can be, too.  We had our arguments, of those there were many; but I knew Graham had my back if required; vice versa applied.  He wasn’t perfect; neither am I.  Who among us is?  You know the answer to the question without my elaboration.  Graham had his faults, as do I; as do we all.

However, I knew my brother better than anyone else in this world ever did. I took the time to know him, more than anyone else ever did. I loved him more than anyone else in this world did. I still do...I miss him.

Without flinching, he looked you straight in the eye.  Calling a spade a spade; he never suffered fools.  In those, he and I were/are very much alike.

We were alike in many ways. 

For instance – regarding the comments written in my previous post about sarcasm, cynicism etc., he felt similarly. 

Graham and I frequently shared “sarcasm, tinged with pathos and good humour...”   Sarcasm done without malice, but in harmless fun – “non-toxic, innocuous humour” shared by siblings of like mind.....

My brother enjoyed cooking; and he was a good cook.  Often we exchanged recipes.    However, he never made meatloaves.  Those he left to me.  He loved my meatloaves.

I’ve written previously about how I’d  make two or three meatloaves for him to take back home every time he visited me on weekends...visits of which there were many – almost as many as there were meatloaves! 

Also, if a boiled fruit cake was on offer, he wasn’t shy in putting up his hand.

When I lived and worked in the northern areas of Queensland back in the late Eighties to late Nineties, Graham lived, for the most part, in Mackay, the city he’d moved to in the mid-Sixties – so he was often within easy driving distance to where I was.   

For a time he worked with me on Hinchinbrook Island, as a member of my maintenance team of three competent hombres.

Graham and I both loved reading, music and movies; each of which played major roles in our lives as children, and as adults.

Last night I spent an emotion-filled night watching the “One Love Manchester” concert until the early hours of this morning (Aussie time)...the telecast of the concert finished at 12.20 am.  If Graham was still alive he, too, would have watched it.  If we’d been together we would have watched the inspirational event together; and together, we would have shed tears and shared smiles – and, like me, he too would have felt pride at the resilience of the good, decent people in this world of ours.

Graham wasn't embarrassed or ashamed at shedding a tear.  He and I inherited a "soft spot" - it was in our DNA.

One of the best times shared with my brother was an evening, in Townsville, when we went to see John Denver live in concert.  And, on that night, we had the good fortune to meet Denver and chat with him for a while.  It was a memorable evening in so many ways.  I’m a fan of the late John Denver, but Graham was even more so.

Throughout our childhood Saturday afternoons were spent watching innocuous black and white newsreels at the matinees while counting the contents of our Jaffa packets as we waited impatiently for the cartoons to appear. Graham never sat near me, of course, but he maintained a look-out for those who did (of the male variety), or dared try to do so! 

When not at the ‘pictures’, as they were called in those days of innocence, at home we gathered around the radio listening to the adventures of “Jason & the Argonauts” in their quest for the Golden Fleece.   

We laughed at the hapless dingbat, Dexter Dutton, played by Willie Fennell in the radio sitcom, “Life with Dexter”.  The drama serials, “Burtons of Banner Street”, “Blue Hills”, and “Hagen’s Circus” captured our interest.  “The Quiz Kids” tested our general knowledge. We mimicked the speech and every imagined nuance of “Dad & Dave from Snake Gully”.  “Biggles” and “Hop Harrigan” competed for our attention. Biggles won out in the end.  “The Lone Ranger & Tonto” were worthy contenders in the action stakes.  

The hilarious  “Yes, What?”... filled with the antics of the lads of the fourth form at St. Percy’s kept us highly amused.  Bottomly, the classroom rascal and his mates, Greenbottle and Standforth led the pack. Dr. Percival Pym, their wretched school master didn’t stand a chance when the larrikins ran a-muck in his classroom.  Those scallywags gave us a few ideas...

Here’s to you, Graham!  Thanks for the memories, Big Brother....

 

33 comments:

  1. It's nice to think he's still got 'his eye' on you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If any of the meatloaf I've made today goes missing, Delores...I'll know who the guilty party is! And I won't be blaming Remy and Shama, my two furry mates! Thanks for coming by. :)

      Delete
  2. so sorry you lost your brother so young; my brother died at 47 and I still miss him, although we weren't as close as you and your brother; you lost a good friend and friends and brothers we never forget and always miss that's for sure.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Linda. :)

      Delete
  3. Lovely memories of your late brother.
    19 years ago is a long time, but you just don't forget the ones you loved and still do :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes...I can't believe 19 years have passed, Margaret. I don't know where time disappears to...or why it does so rapidly.

      Thanks for coming by. :)

      Delete
  4. While he is remembered, and remembered with love, he most definitely isn't gone.
    Missed, but not gone.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We had our "moments", EC...but we had our good moments, too. :)

      Thanks. :)

      Delete
  5. Fine tribute to the memory of your brother! I've lost my brother too, and so I kow how you feel about it. It's like a part of your body and soul has been cut off.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. G'Day, Duta. Not a day goes by that I don't think of him...and have a chat! :)

      Nice to see you again. :)

      Delete
  6. Let how many years pass away it is difficult to forget our loved ones. He is still living in you and also in all your surroundings...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey W-W...Our loved ones are never forgotten...nor does one wish to forget them...that is for sure.

      Thanks for coming by. :)

      Delete
  7. Lovely memories of your brother, Lee. I didn't grow up with mine, he was younger so mum took him when she left, I'm getting to know him a bit now, but even with him being in Adelaide, we still don't see each other much as he is working full time and sometimes overtime. Road construction is busy work, and he is working on the Northern Connector project, part of a freeway connecting the Port River Expressway with Port Wakefield Road. A huge project scheduled for three years.
    I remember listening to life with Dexter and Dad & Dave, sometimes that Greenbottle one, on the radio, but mostly read books instead. I haven't heard of most of the others.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey River...We grew up in a humble situation as I've mentioned previously in my blog, but we had lots of fun. We had our arguments, of course, we did. That's pretty normal, I think...but we knew we were there for each other.

      I'm glad you're able to spend some time now with your brother, albeit difficult with his work commitments. I'm sure you value the time you do get to spend with him. I wish you both all the best.

      Thanks, River. :)

      Delete
  8. What a nice memoriam for your brother, if that is the right word. Even if you fall out about things, I feel maintaining the sibling connection is so important. He died at a young age and you have lived to be so old........oops. And you have lived well into your middle age.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Andrew...

      Yes, I suppose by turning 73 this coming November (if I make it to then) I am "so old", but then, in a couple of week's time I helping to cater for a
      friend's mother's birthday celebration...the mother is turning 100 years old.

      When I compare my age to that age, I believe I am still a spring chicken.

      Thanks for coming by. :)

      Delete
  9. What a lovely tribute to your brother.
    Such lovely memories which are always with you. Although time passes our loved ones stay forever within us.
    A lovely post.

    My good wishes
    All the best Jan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Jan....it's always a sad time for me...many memories. But then, on the other hand, not a day goes by that I don't think about my brother...

      We never forget the ones we love...

      Thanks for your good wishes. :)

      Delete
  10. That is such a nice tribute to your brother. I'm sure Gordon watches over you. I'll think of this whenever I make meatloaf now! (I don't make it that often, but I do love it for its good sandwiches especially.)

    And I loved John Denver, too. I had the good fortune to see him in concert, too, but didn't get to talk to him.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey there Lynn...Graham, not Gordon...although I have called him names over the years! :)

      Cold meatloaf does make for good sandwiches, I agree.

      Denver had such a pure, strong voice...and live, it came across even so much better than on recordings...he was special.

      Thanks for your comment, Lynn. :)

      Delete
  11. What a sweet tribute to your brother...I always wished I had one...
    hughugs

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Donna. He was a big tease, often and could be damn annoying...but I guess that's what brothers are! :)

      Thanks for coming. :)

      Delete
  12. That was a lovely tribute made all the more so because it was a remarkably interesting and frank account of your relationship.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Graham. My brother and I certainly had our "moments", but we had many good moments, too. He was one person I knew I could trust.

      Thanks for coming by. :)

      Delete
  13. The span of Graham's life was almost identical to John Denver's. Graham got about a year more. This post brought tears to my eyes because I understand how special your brother was to you. He was - and perhaps still is - a constant in your life. Always there for you and you for him. Thanks for sharing Lee.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it was Neil. It was the 21st November, 1994 we saw John Denver perform live in Townsville. And then a little over three years later on 12th October, 1997 the news broke that he had died tragically.

      I remember where I was and what I was doing when I heard the shock news and I immediately rang Graham. I was living in Ingham, working at Lee's Hotel, at the time; and Graham was living and working in Tully, as small town north of Cardwell...in the Hinchinbrook Shire area.

      Thanks for coming by and for your comment. :)

      Delete
  14. Blessed you were to have Graham in your life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey there Annie...there were times I wanted to kick him out of it, but we always got over our hiccups!

      Thanks for coming by. :)

      Delete
  15. How wonderful that you both got to see John Denver in concert and then, to actually meet him. What a special thing to have shared together.
    You might guess that I also liked John Denver a LOT! Not only a great singer AND songwriter but a great friend to the environment. Lovely man, I miss him a lot. (And that last sentence sounds like something you are saying to us in this post about your dear brother.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey there, Kay. Yes...it was a thrill to have met and spoken with John Denver. He was a fine-looking man...more so in reality, I think, than he appeared in print or on TV. Meeting him certainly was a highlight for Graham and me. When we got back home to my place after the concert we talked for hours....while Denver's music played in the background. :)

      Thanks for coming by.:)

      Delete
  16. He does soung like a wonderful person...Glad he is part of your life.
    Coffee is on

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Dora...he was my brother...we shared many different emotions and times throughout our lives....some good, some not so good.

      Thanks for coming by. :)

      Delete
  17. the concert we talked for hours....while Denver's music played in the background. :)

    บาคาร่า

    ReplyDelete