Rā 361 Rāhina 26 o Hakihea

Boxing Day – always a good day for a walk (and I wanted to try out my Christmas presents!) This week is also the week when one of our friends, Hugh, will be walking the final legs of the 1800 miles he set himself to do in 2016. He has been walking with his dog (and any family and friends who would join him) to banish his demons and to raise money for a charity called Special Effect which supported his son, Sam, after an accident and in memory of his wife, Ginny, who died of cancer far too young at Christmas 7 years ago. His very last walk will be on the 29th. Of course we cant physically be with him but we said that we would walk with him across the other side of the world. 

His fundraising page is here.

My photo today is a kereru which I managed to catch as it took flight as I reached the summit of Kakepuku Mountain. 

Rā 230,  Rāapa, 17 o Here-turi-kōkā

An emotional day. The rollercoaster ride of life as a parent seems to never stop. Lachlan has done a whole heap of growing up this week as he has coped with the tragic death of a close friend.  It has touched all of us since we all knew Mitchell; he was a relatively permanent fixture in our house for a couple of years.  The hardest thing as a parent is the sense of powerlessness – what do you say to a 21yr old who has just lost a friend?  Hold him, be there, let him cry,  wait until he is ready to talk. Then do it all again.  I think what struck me today, and what made me proud, was how close this large group of friends were.  Watching them as they carried their friend on his final journey, laughed at their memories, told their stories – irreverent and touching – of a friend who brought so much to their lives, and then held each as they cried together, I could only think that they were strong together and will continue to support each other. Probably even more ferociously than before. Very young, they have learned how precious friendship is and how fleeting life can be.