Today was special, special in ways I could not have imagined when I woke up this morning.
First, I had a surprise visitor - Leanne Mahy from Australia. My goodness, I have known Leanne every since she was a little girl and now, here was this young woman sitting just a hug away, talking about going to "uni" and taking Technology with a minor in Religion. I cannot describe my feelings - or my fear that Elsa, who was out running errands, would miss meeting Leanne.
Elsa has heard a lot about Leanne over the years and vice versa. I was relieved when the front door opened and it was mine Schatzi. She was surprised and tickled to meet Leanne. Elsa knew Leanne was in the States and that she hoped to get down to Bryn Athyn and stay with the Sandstroms and here she was, sitting as right as rain in our living room.
We had a lovely, lovely visit and Leanne had Lyn-Del Sandstrom, who played her chauffeur, take some pictures. I was so happy to see Leanne walk in the door and so sad to see her leave.
I still cannot believe it - Leanne was in my living room this afternoon. I got to hug her. Hugging her, I felt like I was somehow hugging Karen and Kimberly and Carolyn and all the other Down Under lasses dear to my heart.
Before supper, Elsa helped me downstairs to watch the parade of athletes into Stadium Australia (my, that is an impressive place) and the opening of the 27th Olympiad.
Oh my, to watch the US team marching in to the "Stars & Stripes Forever" then to see Team Australia - my heart was full to bursting. Then to watch the last leg of the torch relay, run by all women - it just overflowed.
Elsa was weepy with emotion - she is sentimental and there are so many people she loves in Australia - but I did not get teary, not even when Cathy Freeman walked across the reflecting pool with the waterfall behind it and lit a ring of fire and that incredible crown of flame rose and rose and rose.
I was overwhelmed with awe, but was not even misty eyed, just utterly amazed. Then Elsa reran it to the beginning and played the part where they sang "Advance, Australia Fair."
That tore it. Tears flowed, through a big smile. It took everything in my heart and enlarged it and swept me away with so many thoughts and feelings and memories. Elsa heard a woman singing the national anthem in a beautiful soprano, but in my mind I was half a world and many years away, hearing a group of children breaking into it spontaneously at a church camp near Loftus, NSW. I will always see their faces and hear their voices whenever I hear "Advance, Australia Fair."
If you go to my memorial celebration, whenever that may be, and hear them play "Advance, Australia Fair" - as I have requested - think not of me, but of those young children breaking out into song.
Blessings on you all - Nan/Ma Lockhart (and a big WELCOME to Leanne to Mindwalkers)
(13 months – to the day – after Mom wrote this posting, Advance, Australia Fair was played as a duet at Mom’s memorial celebration. Maret Taylor Genzlinger (full Aussie) was on piano & her son, Brahm (half Aussie), on trumpet. Did Mom envision that sort of serendipitous pairing when she included it on her “wish list,” way back on our ride home from DisneyWorld? I wouldn’t be surprised.)