Big waves and little waves

Today I got some very bad news that was very close to home, next door in fact.

I knew that my neighbours, Noel and Anya had a visit this Christmas from their only daughter and her partner. My mother spoke to Anya just before Christmas, and Anya was in a bit of a dither getting ready for her daughter's supposedly surprise visit from Singapore where her daughter works and lives.

On Christmas day, P came to tell me that Noel and Anya's daughter had arranged a special Christmas lunch for them all. She had organised a limousine to pick them all up and take them to and from one of the finest five star restaurants in Brisbane. Although I had not yet met their daughter it sounded just like her to organise such an event, as I knew from the conversations I had with Noel that it was usual for her to bestow on her parents extravagant and special gifts.

Noel and Anya are very lovely people, both retired and in their mid 60's I would guess . I was told by the previous owners of our house that although Anya has been fighting breast cancer for some years she never complains and is one "tough old girl."

Noel and Anya are always pleased to see my children and it is not hard to guess that they would love to have a couple of grandchildren running around their yard themselves. They always spoke of their daughter with pride particularly about her career achievements, though they had voiced some concern that she may not have any children. Their daughter had been divorced and now they said her career appeared to take precedence over children.

While there were big waves that have decimated the lives of many in South East Asia this year, here, right next door there was complete devastation although there was no water. For while Noel and Anya still have a roof over their heads all their hopes and dreams have vanished, dreams for their daughter's future happiness and hopes one day maybe for grandchildren.

Noel and Anya's daughter died on Monday on the day of her return to Singapore. After leaving the duty free area she quickly finished a glass of champagne. It was this drink, that is believed to have triggered a severe asthma attack which left her in a coma. Later that evening Noel and Anya took their daughter off life support.


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