It has been two years today since my beautiful dad passed away in my arms. An honour and a privilege for which I was completely unprepared. At 91 his spirit was still so strong we thought nothing could take him from us. For he truly was a great man. A humble man, but a man filled with love, kindness, understanding and humour.
Family was everything to my dad. Not only did mum and dad have nine of their own, but also embraced into our family my Aunty Maureen, our cousins, our partners and all our children and their children. Dad had a special place in his heart for us all. He did save a little space for his other loves, gardening, golf and a bet on the gee gees . We'd love to tease him by asking how his days betting was going and the answer was always " I haven't worked it out yet" Jim Goodlet, man of mystery.
Dad shared his love of gardening with me and I treasure the memories of Saturday morning trips to the local nursery. There we would discuss our potential purchases. Usually our choices were wise but looking back planting a Tasmanian Bluegum next to the swimming pool was not too brilliant. Luckily we sold that home when it had only hit twenty metres in height!
Many a Sunday we would pile in the car to tour display homes.i am sure the hosts of these displays trembled in their boots at the eminent approach of the Goodlet clan. A designer/builder dad always liked to keep abreast of new ideas. A love of design was fostered in us all. It is a brave sibling that brings out drawings of their latest renovation/building project at a family gathering.
Dad built and renovated our homes and eventually in a futile attempt to escape us all Dad, Mum and Trish moved to Apollo Bay. Many of us foiled that plan by following them there. We were embraced whole heartedly and soon became an infamous part of the Apollo Bay community.
Family get togethers are always good for a laugh . Mum often pointed out that Dad was brave when he had an audience. My favourite example of this was at a small gathering, Dad was up tidying away in the kitchen, Patty was issuing shrill commands from the comfort of her lounge chair. Suddenly Thelma Louise sitting innocently on my lap piped up with a high pitched " Oh shut up Pat " the guffaws from the kitchen were priceless as dad gripped the bench with tears of laughter down his face. Patty was speechless, a truly rare phenomenon . Who would have thought a Pomeranian could have such good comedic timing ? (there is a slim chance that it was me practising my extremely rudimentary ventriloquist skills).
There are so many stories that illustrate the special place dad holds in out hearts and this is a good day to share them. He had a huge heart, an open mind and a kind soul. He gave love and was shown great love in return. Never was this more obvious than when the Apollo Bay police had to close the Great Ocean Road as his family and community followed the great man to his resting place high on the hill, with the stunning view of the place he loved surrounded by the people he loved.