Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Hills Angels

It is amazing how one person, one life, one story can touch you on so many different levels. This is the story of Hillary and her Hills Angels, as I know it.

The amazing location, Stillwaters - Davistown Waterfront

I had been invited to a fundraising breakfast through a friend and had heard the heartbreaking story of Hillary. A beautiful person who has been struck with a terminal brain tumor. Sadly for Hillary it is a matter of time. If ever there was an example of living in the here and now Hillary and her Angels certainly demonstrate this.

As a new mother Hillary was part of a mothers group, like many of us. It is here that sleep deprived mothers got together to exchange stories about life with children to share a laugh and to support each other in this new life. It is here that firm friendships and bonds were formed. It was so eloquently described by one of the mothers, Lisa, that HILLS angels stands for Help Involves Love, Laughter and Support. When Hillary became ill her friends rallied around. Unfortunately Hillary was continuing to decline in her health. Her husband had to leave work to care for his wife and child. This in turn has left an incredible strain financially. How do you pay your mortgage, put food on the table and care for the people who love and need you without an income? Enter the Hills Angels.
These mothers were determined to do what they could for Hillary and her family and with steely determination stomped there way down the fundraising path with the resolve to ease one part of the stress this family faced. They have formed their own charity - Hills Angels and have linked into the Gosford Lioness club. The president of the club also came to the breakfast and cheered them on as the future generation for the Lioness Club. This is a power to be reckoned with and leaves you in awe of these strong..invincible...women (isn't there a song about that?)

The breakfast had a theme of 'Hats and Heels' and was beautifully done. I was blown away by the community spirit shown. The owner of the restaurant, Domenic, (Stillwaters at Davistown) opened up her restaurant for the morning, the staff donated their wages for the day to the cause, the musicians who performed came up from Sydney (with no payment) at the request from one of the angels. There were bottles of wine donated - not just $10 bottles, but $150 bottles of champagne given away, facials, hair straighteners, handmade quilts, flowers, signed cook books..the list goes on and on.

The Angels not only organised this but were part of the staff for the morning. They went around filling up champagne glasses, judging the best hat and heels and having a chat to all of us that wanted to know more.
Hillary and her Mum.

Hillary's Mother had come over from New Zealand for (amongst other things) this breakfast. I don't think there was a dry eye in the house when Hillary and her Mother were at the front of the room with microphone in hand. Hillary's Mum was thanking everyone for coming, Hillary kept pushing the microphone closer to her mouth...such a moment that all of us daughters share with our technologically challenged mothers!

I met some wonderful women here too. Bianca and her mother Narelle were such fun and Narelle (in conjunction with the gorgeous muso Dani) provided some much needed light entertainment. Narelle lead the singing of Hey Big Spender as Dani took off his shirt....Go Dani, go Narelle.
You can see/hear more of Dani and his music at
That is Narelle singing her heart out to Dani (finger in the air). Why don't you spend a little time with me...
Where's my hug?
This is where I met Hillary. I had heard about this story but not yet met this women who has already entered my life and touched my heart. She is a gentle soul, I do not pretend to know her, but she appears to have a quiet resolve about her. What I do know is that she must be a very special person indeed. To have so many people around her at this time is special indeed!

The restaurant
A huddle with Hillary and her Angels. It seemed too intimate to intrude, but I think this shot captures the mood!
Hold out your hand and open your heart.....Thank you to Hillary and the Hills Angels for all that you do and all that you show. Know that you are touching many peoples lives

Friday, October 9, 2009

The Journey Continues

My trip to Europe has changed me forever and there is a certain sadness knowing that it is going to be many years before I can return. However, this trip has opened my eyes, it has taught me to appreciate what is in front of you. We all too often take our surrounds for granted.

I live in a beautiful part of the world and there is still so much to discover right on my door step. Live today, be present. Sometimes we are always looking ahead and other times behind us. To what has happened let us live and learn, for what is to come lets wait, for now let us enjoy. Know that this moment may pass us by if we live for tomorrow or yesterday..
Back at home there is a beautiful church that I have admired and wanted to look at but have never made the time to do so. Well I have made the time and was impressed by it's simple beauty. It has a calming influence, the grounds (even the graveyard) are beautiful. Big old trees with seats ringing the trunks, the church itself is a lovely sandstone structure, gorgeous gardens that line the fence and a nurturing, calming feel. I come here to have time out sometimes and at other times to calm down! It is soothing and comforting and it is right here on my doorstep..

The gorgeous magnolias in bloom around the gardens

I loved the sandstone walls covered in vines