Every time I see a crimson rosella, which is often in the bush capital, I’m reminded of a dear friend’s late mother who loved the vibrant plumage of the local birdlife, especially the aforementioned red and blue parrot.
Similarly, sulphur-crested cockatoos now remind me of my late brother, Tony, who passed away in Queensland on Sunday. That same morning, a lone cockatoo peered at me pottering in my garden; then, while out walking, a flock of cockatoos landed in a mighty gum beside us and one particularly cheeky fellow, flashing his yellow crest, squawked at us, as if to say “G’day mate!”. Later that afternoon, moments after Dad rang to tell me of Tony’s peaceful passing, one sole cockatoo flew directly overhead. When I spoke to my niece, she said a raucous clattering of cockatoos was swirling around the family property as her dear dad sighed his final breath. My brother was big, blond, loud and full of personality – you might say “cocky”. He was also generous, intelligent, brave, resilient, hard-working and quick-witted.
Due to the restricted number of flights to Brisbane due to COVID-19, I wasn’t able to be there for his passing but am there now to say farewell.
This week, I am grateful for a lifetime of knowing my brother, and the love of our parents, our family and his offspring, who were right there at the end. Vale, Tony Lovell.
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