"You can choose your friends but not your family"
When complaining about relatives as a child my mother would always repeat the above saying. The significance of this saying is brought home when friends pass away. While it is unbelievably sad to lose a much loved relative it can be just as devastating to lose a dearly loved friend. For a friend is someone you've chosen to develop and maintain a bond with. A friend can be someone you met while travelling far from home. A friend can be someone you've survived an awful workplace with. A friend can be the person who sat next to you in your very first lecture. A friendship can grew from similarities, differences or even a combination of the two.
I've been blessed with friends from all walks of life, from my home country and many other countries and at the end of the day I love them all dearly. Last Sunday when I heard of the extent of the Victorian bushfires I immediately thought of one of my fellow Erection Team members who lives in country Victoria. There were a few anxious minutes while waiting for her to reply to my text message but thankfully she did. And she was ok. Her town was fortunate to escape the wrath of the fires but the town closest to her wasn't so lucky.
Tragically a girl in my office lost dearly loved friends in the Victorian bushfires. She is naturally devastated and has been keeping a pretty low profile this week. My heart is with anyone who's lost a loved one to this terrible natural disaster.