ON THIS DAY
By Sister Sam
It was April 24th 2006. Colin and I have brought our youngest daughter Cassie down to a caravan park at the beach in Adelaide for a few days. We spent the morning roaming around Glenelg then headed back to our Cabin for lunch.
It was such a lovely day that we took our food and drink to a seating area overlooking the beach. The time 12.15pm!
We spent the afternoon at the beach, playing tennis, paddling in the water and just going for a long walk. After showers we watched the news amazed to find out there had been two more industrial deaths not far from each other. I watched a young man throw a mobile phone onto the ground in shear anger and frustration at not being able to rescue his Father from a 3mtr trench that had collapsed onto him and thought to myself "Gee he looks familiar".
Cassie then asked if we could go out for tea and off we took.
We hadn't been back long before my phone rang, it was about 7.30 - 8pm and it was Mary, another daughter with a garbled message about the man being killed today was Uncle Chaz. She was upset and confused because she hadn't seen the news so wasn't really sure what accident she was even talking about.
I sat there rather confused and tried to ring my parents but never got an answer. I suddenly thought to try one of my sisters' mobiles; I went outside and rang one number and had a different sister answer. "What's going on, I have had a call from Mary about Chaz" I said." "I'm sorry sis" she says "it was Chaz at the Munno Para site". We talked a bit more and she said they were at the hospital with Mum and Dad who hadn't taken the news well, I got a bit more information and I told her to tell Mum and Dad we would be at their place the next morning.
I went back inside and told Colin as much as I could and as we were talking the news came back on the TV and played the report on the deaths again. I thought to myself how can they be showing this when most of the family had only just found out about it. My parents had sat and watched it on the news not realizing that it was their youngest son!
After I had settled down we suddenly thought of Mary who was home alone because Amanda was at the football. Colin rang her and explained what had happened, Mary then said that one of my sisters had left messages on Amanda's phone about what had happened, so I then had to contact someone that I new was with her and get her to watch Amanda to see that she was all right.
We sat there in disbelief because these type of things don't happen to you they happen to someone else!!!
Since Colin and I had made the decision to move out into the country our family's weren't as close as we were when the kids were all young and we lived around the corner from each other.
You still have a mental tie with each other, you still remember the fun and mischief you had when you were together, you still know that there are out there and you can contact them if you needed to, you still remember that he's your brother and you love your family through thick and thin.
Mischief was Chaz’s middle name when he was young I was always there to try and help smooth things over.
Chaz and I were especially close when we were younger; being 16 months apart and the youngest of a big family we were together a lot. We married in the same year, had our first daughters in the same year and with our partners for the next 7 years our lives were much entwined.
As the saying goes “you can’t turn back time” but oh how I wish I could. Not only so that he could still be here with Stacey and the kids but for me, to be able to tell him that he was a much loved and deeply treasured brother - something that I never took the time to tell him and that is something that I will regret for always!