Love each other

Chelsea With Nanna And Pa

It’s been eight weeks since The-Father-in-Law died with a parting instruction to “love each other”.

He uttered this entreaty within moments of learning about his imminent death. He’d been preaching this all his life and now, with time running out, there was an increased urgency for him to be heard.

He may have been addressing his immediate family. But I doubt it. I think his message was meant for everyone and I feel obliged to pass it on.


I didn’t protest in public today. I confess I didn’t know that was an option this morning. I’ve been cloaked in my own life, consumed by the immediate and mundane.

Instead I had breakfast at a Valley cafe with The Husband.

Then I promoted a social event on social media.

And later delivered sushi and raspberries to The Ballerina at the theatre.

Despite my busy schedule, I’m aware an ignorant, self-serving buffoon has been handed the keys to the White House. A bully who trash-talks women and wants to build walls around his kingdom, who incites violence against minorities and dissident voices, who promotes sycophants and cosies up with tyrants.

This makes me unspeakably sad, even sadder when I hear good people make excuses for him or the broken system that put him there. He and the people who support him are the antithesis of loving each other. The Father-in-Law would weep.

I feel powerless in the face of so much self-interest, so much vitriol and bile. But while I might not rally I will still rage against the message. I will question its certainties and challenge its assertions. And I will not visit you, Land of the Free, until this blight is extinguished.

This gesture is no more than an ant bite on the arse of your colossal economy, but my presence is all I have to withhold. So I will.

Love in action

Love was out in full force tonight as Nanna and Pa watched The Ballerina perform on closing night of the ballet.

Nanna wept. Pa might have been teary too. Pa, who only goes to the ballet if it’s football, who used to disappear from his daughter’s concerts to visit the pub across the road, said it was the best thing he’d ever seen. Maybe even as good as The Cats winning the grand final.

And we celebrated afterwards with dinner. We ate calamari and arancini balls with mushroom. We had steak and chicken and broccolini and chips. And The Ballerina, with toenails blackened and achilles wound tight like springs, celebrated with a deconstructed banoffee pie.

For the record

The feather cushions and velvet covers have not recovered from their milk coffee bath. I fear no amount of water, soap and sunlight can resurrect them.

And even though my life is more about spilt milk than placards and platitudes, I will never forget The Father-in-Law’s message and will quietly continue to spread the word.

Angela Bensted Bw 1x1
Angela Bensted is a Brisbane-based freelance writer who likes to listen first and struggle with syntax later. She pitches stories to magazines and helps businesses produce compelling copy for print and online.
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