It’s not possible to hurtle through life without having a bunch of lemons thrown at us.
For some, the lemons are a life sentence. Cerebral Palsy. MS.
For most of us, the lemons are intermittent.
They come. Full of juice. Disrupt our life for whatever time. Then shrivel up. And decompose.
But for some. The arrival of the lemons is a death sentence.
As it was for my friend, Paul.
In his early 50’s, he was diagnosed with motor neurone disease.
He was given an 18 month window of opportunity to get his life in order.
I met Paul when I was working in the Sydney CBD. More than 35 years ago.
Although we never socialised outside of work. We always kept in touch.
And when he discovered how me and my partner – Victor Pleshev, the architect who designed the Fitz Like A Glove™ Ironing Board Cover for his mother. To help her with her ironing when she was recovering from a stroke – had reinvented ourselves. He had to become an owner of a Fitz Like A Glove™ Ironing Board Cover!
In the early stages of motor neurone disease, he rang to tell me about his diagnosis.
And his wife rang to tell me that he had departed this life.
But not without making a wonderful pitcher of lemonade to see out his final days.
Paul was a gifted amateur photographer. With exceptional skills. I don’t think he ever went anywhere without his camera.
He also had a deep love of trains. Train stations. And the people within.
Everywhere he travelled, train stations were on the agenda.
And many lunch hours in the Sydney CBD were spent at Central Station. St James. Wynyard. Town Hall. Photographing life as it’s lived on the rails.
And over a lifetime, he had amassed a catalogue of photographs that would rival Brandon Stanton. The photographer behind Humans Of New York.While he was poring over his photos one day, a friend dropped in. Who owned an art gallery.
He had never seen these photos before. And recognising Paul’s exceptional talent, he asked Paul if he could help him curate the photos. For an exhibition at his gallery.
According to his wife, Paul’s eyes lit up. And suddenly he was excited. He had something to look forward to.
Because of Paul’s failing health, it took twelve months to get the photos ready for exhibition.
But it was worth it.
The grand opening was spectacular.
Paul was very well connected to the glitterati of the art world. And more than a thousand people came to see his photographs on opening night.
I saw a photo of him at the opening. In the art pages of the Sydney Morning Herald.
By this time, he was in the final stage of his life. Slumped in a wheelchair. Unable to move. Or talk. His head tilted to the side.
But no one could miss – what was for him – the smile on his face.
According to the press, this was a photography show not to be missed.
And according to his wife. She said Paul, having come to terms with the end of his life. Spent his last days in a state of joy and euphoria.
Paul died 20 years ago. Today.
And I remember him with affection.
I’m always in awe of how a person can take a bunch of lemons that is motor neurone disease. And turn it into a pitcher of joyous lemonade.
Your thoughts? Email me at the bottom of this post.
~Carol Jones, Ironing Diva❤
PS. This Ironing Diva loves leading an elegant life. Because. She is surrounded by friends who see more joy than sorrow in their lives.
PPS. I am not only an Ironing Diva. But as one friend says, I am ‘The Queen’ when it comes to ironing.
I Am The Purveyor Of The Tantrum Free Fitz Like A Glove™ Ironing Board Cover And Other Goodies
Made with love and care in RURAL Australia by men and women who have a disability.
It’s not for everyone.
But it’s definitely for you if you’re fussy about the cover you iron on.
And if you love to support Australian made.
And want to put something back into the community when you make a purchase.
The Fitz Like A Glove™ Ironing Board Cover cover has more than 350,000 customers in 29 countries. Because it lives up to its name. It ‘Fitz Like A Glove™’ every time you iron.
And these are the ‘Other Goodies’
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Have a question? Email me at the bottom of this post.
Or phone me, Carol Jones, in rural Australia on 02 63 588 511.
Photos of my rural property are courtesy of me, Ironing Diva – who is also known as Paddock Paparazzi – and taken at sunrise every morning.
A Very Pensive Kangaroo. In The Morning Sunshine.
PS. And I have a fabulous newsletter ‘A Smidgen Of Gossip’. This is what a subscriber says about it. “Carol. Just had some time to read it and found that it is, as with everything you do, rather wonderful. A great read. W” You can subscribe to it by clicking this link. It’s FREE! This is not a lifetime commitment. You can Unsubscribe at any time. Don’t miss out. Click this link now!
A Welcome Swallow. Perched High Up In My BIG Blue Sky.