June 27


Leaving a Legacy

By lilly

June 27, 2024


It’s all about the stories you tell. The stories you tell yourself and those you try to convince others of.
Are you a social media addict? Does you life consist of you convincing the world how great you are? How great your life is? How great your deeds are? What a great family you have? What an expert you are? How you are the right one for the job you are applying for?

It’s okay to paint a picture.
It’s fine to have a vision and define, describe and imagine what you really want.
I’m thinking of the stories in my head.
How easy to complain as I contemplate what could be different or better. I choose gratitude and marvel. And now you feel jealous as I list all I am grateful for.

Three score years and ten
As I acknowledge the accomplished three score years and ten, I have to think of dear friends who passed over before reaching this age. I was going to say of those who didn’t make it, but who am I to judge? What is your lot? Jesus only had 33 years and had more impact than many 90 year olds. So I am in no position to judge the quality or value of anyone else’s life. I am in a joyful situation to appreciate and reflect on my own and now, here on my parents’ life.
As I spend these few days in the countryside surrounding where my mother grew up, I appreciate the opportunity to share with my brothers on the other side of the world. We reminice family holidays on a houseboat on the Murray River, fishing for catfish and redfin, diving off the back of the boat into the muddy Murray waters. The waters of the lake here remind me of our family holidays at Lake Eppalock.

Morning swim
On Tuesday morning we took a walk around the lake to the pier and had a swim. Exactly what I’d love to do every morning, especially in summer. Next day we took a boat trip, a cruise down the lake, ten stops down and ten stops up. Seventy minutes one way. At the castle I just sat as Josef hiked up a bit towards the castle until the next cruiser came to pick us up. I suspect the ships are all electric. Dallas, Leipzig, Stuttgart, five in all, named after sister cities to Brno. I asked Josef to photograph the information about Dallas, as I thought of our internet supporter and mentor, Dave Yost and his connections to JC Penney in America.
I’ve been wondering how much things have changed here since Mum grew up. In fact I’ve been thinking so much about change and growth, development and moving on.

We are the generation that has experienced more change in our lifetime than any other in human history. I’ve adopted the notion of second generation TCK. when my parents came to Australia from Czechoslovakia, they were “New Australians”. There were no foreigners then, just new and old Australians. Recognizing the land and country and original inhabitants took a few more decades. I think I was already gone when I read about the apology of the Australian Prime Minister to the aboriginal people.

Human Rights
It was easier for the immigrants in America and Australia to reflect and digest their history, than those who stayed in old Europe. I myself could not believe I had chosen to “emmigrate” to Austria from Australia. My concept was Australia is the promised land and now, here I am, in the heart of Europe, and grateful. My neighbour asked me why I don’t have the Austrian citizenship. I said I am not prepared to sacrifice my Australian passport. I feel like Australia does foreign policy through multilateral citizenship! Thankfully my Austrian born sons have the right to retain their Australian citizenship inherited by decent. I tried once to apply for a Czech passport and somehow believe I would even be entitled to a German one on the basis of my maternal grandfather. However, despite my thirty-six years in Austria, I have no voting rights anywhere and could not participate in the recent European elections.

I can vote for the executive of the Vienna United Nations Toastmasters club, and enjoy the honour of serving as an honorary executive member, supporting from the wings, as I do the NGOs I support.

Thank you
Now thank you to everybody who read this far. I’d now like to share a magic poem I received today.

Happy 70th Birthday, Mum ❤️🥰🎉🎂

Here a poem written by magic 🪄 ✨

From Melbourne’s dawn to Vienna’s twilight,
Seventy years, a journey bright.
With five sons and four brothers near,
Your heart and home hold love so dear.

Lilly, with a spirit so strong,
You’ve woven joy in life’s sweet song.
From Aussie shores to Europe’s grace,
You’ve brought light to every place.

Seventy years of laughter and cheer,
Each moment treasured, each memory dear.
Surrounded by those you love and cherish,
Your legacy of warmth will never perish.

So here’s to Lilly, on her special day,
May happiness light your every way.
With love from family, both far and near,
Happy 70th, filled with joy and cheer!

About the author

Consultant, mentor, motivational trainer

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