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Today's quote:

Monday, January 16, 2023

Childhood memories recur, like a door suddenly slammed by the wind in the distant wing of an old house

The only photo I have of my stepbrother Borkhardt


The door suddenly slammed this morning as we were getting ready to drive down to the Bay for our thrice-weekly aquatherapy, when my stepsister Karin messaged me: "Hallo Peter, heute ist Borkhardt verstorben. Es war sehr plötzlich. Damit hatte keiner gerechnet. Grüße Karin"

We were a totally dysfunctional family. I had a father and stepmother, and a mother and stepfather, and three sisters and a brother, and a stepsister and a stepbrother. This may sound like too much of a good thing, which it was, and which is why I left. First from father-and-stepmother to mother-and-stepfather, then from mother-and-stepfather back to father-and-stepmother. Then, with schooling done, FULLY AWAY!

Australia suited me because it was about the farthest I could get away, and I've only been back twice: once at the end of my compulsory two years in Australia in 1967, and again in 1984 for my father's funeral.

Still, receiving the message that my stepbrother Borkhardt had suddenly died at the age of 73 put me on notice that there is such a thing as family, and also that death comes equally to all of us, and makes all of us equal when it comes. John Donne said that, and how right he was.

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