This piece is in memory of Les Mullins. Thank you for your wise words, Les.
To my younger self,
Congratulations, you’ve made it this far! I am here to tell you that everything will indeed, turn out alright for you.
Never mind being a loner, enjoy your time in the country, exploring and riding your bike around.
You’ll always look back at this time fondly. You’ll have a great couple of mates that will you’ll spend all your time with as you get older, playing tennis, squash, baseball – you’ll never stop! Don’t be a lazy person. Activity when young helps a lot as you get older, your body becomes stronger (even at the ripe old age of 94 and a half!)
And don’t worry, you’ll have a beer eventually, it’ll just be at your wedding down the track, after you’ve spent a bit of time around Australia and overseas working. Val will wait for you, until you’ve got a job and ready to settle down. You’ll be married for 48 happy years. You will love it. But you’ll also remind her constantly that she drove you to drink!
School will be a bit tough for you, you’re not much of a reader, but you are stubborn. A career as a draftsman will lead to some great experiences and travel across the world – although you won’t get to see too much of it while flying in and out. And be careful of during that monsoon, that will keep you away from home and your four kids for a little while longer than expected.
Of your four children, none will be engineers like you. In fact, you will ask the question ‘who will follow in my footsteps’ and will receive silence in return. But that’s OK, no need to encourage them one way of another, they will find their own way to their successful careers.
Remember to keep your faith. Treasure it. It can offer so much peace. You can be in diabolical trouble, you might be ill, but you’ll always have someone to talk to upstairs. Two heads are better than one. Continue to go to mass, because you can’t be on the team if you don’t go to practice sometimes.
Life has had bumps, but without those bumps it’s not much of a life. Just live the life you are living, and never wish for anything that you cannot afford. You will have no wishes left unfulfilled, you will have a good stable life.
Avoid arguments. They only cause anger. Debate by all means, but don’t let it get personal. Try not to hold a grudge, most people want to forgive and forget.
Things will fall into place pretty well for you, but when things do go amiss, don’t worry, the man upstairs will help sort it out.
Les Mullins – VMCH Corpus Christi Retirement Village, Clayton