Telling the Truth

connecting the dots of my life

Tag: Australia

A Tribute to Brian

Golden Wattle, Australia’s National Flower

One of my faithful blogging friends has died. Gone on from this world to whatever lies beyond and within. I hope he won’t take offense at what I’m about to say. Then again, if he didn’t, he probably wouldn’t be Brian.

I never met Brian in person. In his younger years he visited the USA and studied our history. Especially military history. He was a proud immigrant (by choice) from England to Australia, always aware he was British, and proud of it.

Brian was about 12 years older than I. He was afflicted with difficult physical challenges, and blessed with a memory for historical detail. As he said about his posts, they were rambles. Rambles through the past of just about any world issue or slice of his personal history you might enjoy hearing about (or not).

As you might have observed in his comments on some of my posts, Brian was a self-proclaimed atheist. However, he enjoyed reminding me that he was raised in the church and sent his children to church schools. Definitely an enlightened atheist. Never afraid to confront me, miss the mark entirely, or listen to my responses. Every now and then he even ended up agreeing with me.

Sometimes Brian’s comments annoyed me just a bit. More than once I had to wait a day before responding. A few times I considered trashing a particularly off the wall comment. However, sleep and my better angels out there somewhere helped me listen and respond. It’s fair to say his challenges went way beyond the ‘normal’ challenges I got when teaching in seminary. For that, I owe him many thanks.

Brian was also a self-proclaimed curmudgeon. From my perspective, he pulled it off gloriously. It wouldn’t surprise me one bit to discover that behind his curmudgeonly atheist persona lay a tender, sometimes lonely heart. Which may be what drew me to him.

The world is less interesting with Brian gone. I’m blessed to have met him here in Bloggy Land where anything and everything can happen. I’m also grateful for the experience of walking with him just a bit of the way. All things considered, I wouldn’t be surprised if our paths crossed again…somewhere and sometime beyond our knowing.

If you’d like to learn more about Brian, here’s a link to his blog.

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 1 October 2019
Photo found at

Meet my Ms Moxie

I was only 8 or 9 years old when Auntie Rose Payne waltzed into my life. Well sort of. Even though she was very short, Auntie Rose dominated everything when she entered a room. She had a nonstop smile and sparkling eyes. She also delivered, unrequested, nonstop cheery comments, spoke loudly and often, and didn’t seem to care what people thought about her.

From my perspective, this was astonishing. At first I could scarcely understand a word she said. Worse, I couldn’t help sneaking frequent peeks at her lame leg that carried her along in huge lurches. One of her shoes had super-thick soles. But even that didn’t give her a level, evenly matched, pain-free stride.

I still see her walking ahead of me, swinging along in her off-beat gait. Her overloaded purse hangs from the crook of her right arm, a large Bible clutched tightly in her other arm. She swings along unevenly, rising and falling as her body ascends and descends with a jolt. Strange-looking orthopedic shoes help a bit, but don’t resolve her gait.

Never once did I hear Auntie Rose complain or see her downcast. That wasn’t her style. She preferred upbeat and onward Christian soldiers! In my presence she never stopped smiling, and she never stopped calling me ‘Love,’ even though she also knew and called me by my first name.

Auntie Rose was a polio survivor, an immigrant from Australia, and a visiting home nurse. She was bright, savvy and adventuresome. Unafraid of anyone or anything. When she entered a room she commanded attention. Especially if she spotted or even heard about anything that was out-of-order in our behavior.

Auntie Rose and my mother hit it off from the beginning. They bonded. Both lived with the crippling effects of polio, as did my sister Diane. Both were incorrigible extroverts. And Auntie Rose had a way of making everything fun or looking on the bright side even when it seemed bleak.

About ten years after D and I married, we visited Savannah and happened to run into Auntie Rose. She was just leaving church on a Sunday morning. She hadn’t changed a bit; she’d just grown a bit older. We stood there chatting about our wedding and what we were now doing in our lives.

As we moved on, Auntie Rose stopped several lively young boys who’d just come out of Sunday School. She smiled at them cheerfully, called them “Love,” and gave them a proper refresher on how to walk safely on public property!

I’d like to think some of Auntie Rose’s moxie rubbed off on me. Not just as the adult I am today, but as the little girl I was yesterday. Even though it sometimes got me into trouble.

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 15 July 2017
Response to WordPress Daily Prompt: Moxie

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