Life... Just Be Happy!

“Don’t cry for me ok!… the very last words my mum Lucy said before she passed away peacefully later that evening, the same day we had visited her in hospital in Newcastle.

But it’s hard not to cry isn’t it? – The passing of any family member or close friend is especially hard.

Like just recently. My much-loved father in-law Jack Browne – yes my wife Kaye’s dad – had recently turned 96. He was in an aged-care home having finally gotten to the stage where it was just a bit easier for him on a daily basis.

But not just because he was ‘older’… In fact just a year earlier he had been on his second ocean cruise with some of his mates from the ‘Over 60’s Club’… most of the members being in their 80’s!

Keen to find out what other activities older people enjoyed I asked him does he ever play bowls.
He said “No… I’m not old enough yet!”

And that says a lot about the very same man I asked about the ‘secret’ to a long and happy life just after he’d turned 80. He said “I don’t worry about anything!”

And it’s absolutely true. Jack NEVER worried about anything his entire life it seems.

Sure, life has its ups and downs, but at the end of the day ‘worrying’ solves nothing.

Concern yes. It’s one thing to be ‘concerned’ about someone or something and to plan or put in place actions to help resolve a situation, but worry does nothing but add stress on the worrier and those around them.

So what is life really all about?

Money?... Sure we need a bit to survive in a modern world, but it does not bring happiness – just freedom of choice.

Friends?... Absolutely! But as most people can relate to, there are friends and then there are…’friends’

Family?... See ‘Friends’.

My mum lived a full life based around a charity originally called the (radio) ‘2GB Happiness Club’ – later known as Eurobodalla Homes For The Aged.

This was originally established post-war to provide help in the form of meals, accommodation and emotional support for returning soldiers, sailors and air-men in the Newcastle/Hunter region of NSW.

She worked tirelessly for more than 60 years involved in some way or other raising money, helping older people on a daily basis.

Their motto was...


"We Are Helped By Helping Others
 If We Give We Always Get!"

The impact it had on her life overall was significant. She was able to appreciate first-hand how ‘lucky’ she was despite her and her twin brother Geoffrey being raised alone by their mum – the father having deserted them apparently due to war related PTSD issues.

Continued in Part-2: So How Can We Enjoy Life More?

(c) 2021 - Brian Pickering

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