Boilermaker Blog

The Explosion

To those that regularly read my blog my writings are generally a mix of seriousness very liberally sprinkled with comedic elements, or perhaps visa versa; my writings mimic me. Todays will be different. This past three weeks have been very sad ones for me as I have seen the death’s of three people who in some way have a connection to me.
A workmate lost her sister and brother-in-law under horrible circumstances and as a result four children between the ages of 9 and 17 are now parentless.
The following week an employee from my former company lost his 19 year old son after a tortuous 3-year battle with cancer.
Finally, a long-time Boilermaker volunteer passed on due to brain cancer.
I can only imagine that for the survivors it’s like standing too close to an exploding artillery shell. The initial impact causes disorientation and bewilderment. Then there is the shrapnel that injuring those that are closest to the blast; closest to the one killed. The result often for the survivors is a series of disfiguring scars that throb and ache for the rest of their lives. Although the difference in the wounds we sustain are the emotional kind; they are no less painful that those physical ones. This is the ‘collateral damage’ of death.
So whether the explosion is like a roadside bomb that delivers it’s horror with sudden unexpected fury or the ticking time bomb that you know will reach zero the resulting loss is similarly gut-wrenching.
I was down at Boilermaker Park (behind the brewery) last week looking at the engraved bricks in memory of loved ones to whom the race made a difference in their lives as runners, volunteers or just spectators. It reaffirmed the obligation I have to this event and the community.
Our race is blessed with thousands of volunteers, many who have been with the Boilermaker since the beginning over 32 years ago. It saddens me to think about the passing of ‘the old guard’ and frankly the importance of replacement of these folks for the continued life of the race.
Finally, I guess all these events remind me of my own mortality and the inevitability of my own passing, which is a really ‘suckie‘(my kid’s word) subject.
So, is there some sort of uplifting message to all this; yes. We are all blessed to be on this little planet for a short period of time; make the best, rather do the best, of that time you have. Life to me is like a huge ‘if- then’ decision tree. I believe that our choices of today however small at the time can have profound influences as they ripple through the lives of others.
I can only hope that for many the preparation to run this race has set them on a road that has changed, extended or at least added a bit of zest to their lives.
I’m sorry for such a ‘downer’ blog this week; next week will be better!

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