Tag Archives: Death

And the band played Waltzing Matilda


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Judith Baxter

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By Judith Baxter

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Remember Anzac

April 25th is a solemn day of remembrance here in NZ and in Australia.  It marks the sacrifices made by members of ANZAC (the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps)  when they joined  to fight alongside Britain in the first World War.

ANZAC day Dawn Service, State war memorial, Kings Park Western Australia (2009) - Photograph by Gnangarra...commons.wikimedia.org
ANZAC day Dawn Service, State war memorial, Kings Park Western Australia (2009). (Photograph by Gnangarra…commons.wikimedia.org)

Young men flocked to join up having no earthly idea of what they were getting themselves into, but filled with a fervour “For King and Country.”

Photograph of painting: "Anzac, the landing 1915 by George Lambert (1873-1930), 1920–22. The painting depicts the Australian soldiers of the covering force (3rd Infantry Brigade) climbing the seaward slope of Plugge's Plateau which overlooks the northern end of  Anzac Cove. The view is to the north, towards the main range. The yellow pinnacle is "The Sphinx" and beyond is Walker's Ridge which leads to Russell's Top. The white bag that each soldier is carrying contains two days of rations which were issued specially for the landing.
Photograph of painting: “Anzac, the landing 1915 by George Lambert (1873-1930), 1920–22. The painting depicts the Australian soldiers of the covering force (3rd Infantry Brigade) climbing the seaward slope of Plugge’s Plateau which overlooks the northern end of Anzac Cove. The view is to the north, towards the main range. The yellow pinnacle is “The Sphinx” and beyond is Walker’s Ridge which leads to Russell’s Top. The white bag that each soldier is carrying contains two days of rations which were issued specially for the landing.

The first deployment of the ANZACS  was at the Turkish peninsula of Gallipoli.  The information the command  received about the terrain and an under estimation of the Turkish forces led to a disaster.  Nine months later the Allies withdrew leaving behind 46,000 dead.

“They shall not grow old as we that are left grow old
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We shall remember them.”
From Ode of Remembrance, taken from Laurence Binyon’s
For the Fallen” first published in 1914.

This day is also commemorated in Turkey at Gallipoli where the cove has been renamed ANZAC Cove.  Many ex-servicemen and their families travel to Turkey each year.

And Waltzing Matilda?  This was the song played as the troops sailed out from Sydney, Australia at the start of that fateful enterprise.  Click here to hear John Williams singing “And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda”.

I have written in more detail on this day both in 2011 and 2012.  It is a sad commentary on the people of the world that even after this “War to End All Wars” we still send our young men and women out to be slaughtered by ‘the enemy’.

Last post being sounded at North Beach, Gallipoli. Photo Mike Bowers, Sydney Morning Herald
Last post being sounded at North Beach, Gallipoli. (Photo Mike Bowers, Sydney Morning Herald)

And now there are no more survivors from Gallipoli.
RIP all the fallen and

Alec Campbell
Last Gallipoli survivor from Australia
(died May 2002 aged 103)

Alfred Douglas Dibley
Last Gallipoli survivor from New Zealand
(died 18 December 1997 aged 101)

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Re-posted from I choose how I will spend the rest of my life

An Aged Mother’s Plea…


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Myself 

By T.V. Antony Raj

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An aged mother crying

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My Dearest Child,

May the almighty grant you patience to listen to what I am about to say.

Please understand that elderly people are a bit too sensitive.

I am sorry dear. Your dad and I are getting old. Age is creeping on us and our hands shake. So, I beg you not to yell at us if we drop the plate, spill coffee, tea or soup on the sofa, table or floor.

Since your father’s hearing is getting worse day by day, he can’t hear what you are saying. So, please don’t hurt his feelings by calling him “Deaf! ….”; instead please repeat patiently what you said or write it down.

In time to come we might wet our clothes, the bed or the sofa. Don’t scold us then.

When our knees get weaker, I pray you have the patience to help us get up from the chair or bed. I don’t think you can remember us helping you while you were learning to walk as a toddler.

We know you are busy with your work and your family. So, if you do have some spare time, can you talk to us just for a few minutes – in person or over the phone?

At times when your father or I keep repeating ourselves like a scratched gramophone record please bear with us. Please don’t make fun of us, or say that you are “getting sick of listening to” us. When you were little, we enjoyed hearing you repeat words and we encouraged you to do so and as we encourage your son to do so now.

Even if you’re not interested in our “repeating the same old stories,” please pretend that you enjoy listening to our rambling like we used to listen to your babbling when you were young?

Your father and I know that we are not going to last much longer, and we pray to God to grant you patience to take care of us during the last few moments of our life.

At the time of our death, will you please hold our hand to give us the strength to face death peacefully?

When we are dead don’t spend money and your precious time by burying us in a cemetery; instead donate our mortal bodies to a medical college where the students may profit by dissecting them.

After we die, when we finally meet our creator, we will whisper in His ear to bless you and your family because you loved your mother and father till their death.

Thank you so much for your care.

You’ll understand what I am saying now when you yourself get older.Never, ever forget that your father and I loved you and your family and will always love you all, forever and ever, from the “Bosom of Abraham“.

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I was there once.


Myself . 

By T. V. Antony Raj
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My young friend Joe Napoleon and I were talking about hospitals. When I mentioned the name of a hospital in Chennai, he said: “Uncle, I was there once.”

This brought to my mind the friendly exchange I had with another blogger – OneDaringJew, Raphael Gamaroff living in South Africa, born to Jewish parents who as children, in the early 1900s, immigrated to South Africa from the Russian Empire.

Recently, on March 29, 2012, I posted in my blog “Inspirations” an article titled … before Abraham came to be, I AM and I ended it as follows:

YHWH stems from the Jewish conception of monotheism that God exists by himself for himself, and is the uncreated Creator who is independent of any concept, force, or entity “I AM that I AM”.

 

On reading my post, Raphael Gamaroff alias bography commented:

Thanks Tvaraj.

Much useful and inspiring information. You asked

“So, when Jesus said ‘I Am’ was it another way of referring to God?”

What do you think? I ask because – I might have missed it – I don’t see any answer to your question, or did you mean to provide no answer?

So, I answered:

Hello bography,

I am just a humble soul, a layman.

The daily gospel readings inspire me so I try to gather a bit more information to aid my understanding.

When I wrote: “So when Jesus said ‘I Am’ was it another way of referring to God?” is a perennial question that could be answered by One Daring Jew like you and others dedicated to the ministries.

In the last paragraph in my post, I have put in gathered information.

‘YHWH stems from the Jewish conception of monotheism that God exists by himself for himself, and is the uncreated Creator who is independent of any concept, force, or entity “I AM that I AM”.’

Since Jesus was a Jew you will know him better than I do. I want to learn more about Jesus and his times. That is why I have undertaken to write a post daily on what inspires me, namely the daily reading from the gospels.

And Raphael was quick to lay the next question:

Tvaraj

You say, “I am just a humble soul, a layman.”

As you know most Jews, Christians, etc. are laypersons. If they are genuine about their faith, their lay status is no excuse to “layabout,” which you obviously don’t do.

If, say, a Christian does not devote a good amount of time to the study of his religion, he is not a genuine Christian. You have shown what a humble layman – and an agnostic (that is what you are at the moment, right?) – can do with his time, effort and ability. And English is only your second language, not so!

But to return to your post, you have laid (tee hee lay-man) out the issue well. There is Jesus who claims to be God (do you agree that he is claiming this?) and there is the Jewish claim of who God is. They both can’t be right, right?

Do you think that knowing which one of the two is true could affect your eternal destiny? But I suppose I should have first asked you whether you believe in an afterlife.

This was my reply to him:

Raphael (aka bogrophy),

About afterlife? I don’t know… Is there a life after death? This too is another perennial question I find in ‘my’ book of life.

There is an age-old adage in my mother tongue Tamil, “மாண்டவர் மீண்டதில்லை, மீண்டும் வந்து வாழ்ந்ததில்லை” (Transliteration: maandavar meendathillai, meendum vandhu vaalndhathillai) meaning “the dead don’t resurrect nor do come back and live again.”

About 2 years ago, in India, I suddenly fell ill. My elder daughter rushed me to a nearby clinic where I blanked out. She later said that for ten minutes or so I was motionless without any pulse. All, including the doctors, assumed I had ‘gone.’

I? I was in a limbo, in a pitch-black, cold, singular, silent abyss.

After a while, I heard the voice of my daughter, faint and far away, crying her heart out, By and by, her voice became louder and I could hear her giving instructions to some people beside her to be careful with my body/person.

I slowly regained consciousness but couldn’t open my eyes as it was excruciatingly bright. Then I saw my daughter’s face, tears streaming down her cheek.

So, from then on, I became conscious of the fact that there is some purpose for my resurrection and coming back to live again. So, from that day onwards

“… I do nothing on my own, but I say only what the Father taught me. The one who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone because I always do what is pleasing to him.”

Now don’t say “The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.”

Mark you this, Bassanio,
The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.
An evil soul producing holy witness
Is like a villain with a smiling cheek,
A goodly apple rotten at the heart:
O, what a goodly outside falsehood hath!
( Antonio in William Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice”)

Quick Quiz:

If “The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose”, why would he do that?

(a) to show off
(b) to curry favour with God
(c) to disguise his intentions

My choice would be (b). 

So, I was there once – in limbo, in a pitch black, cold, singular silent abyss. I try to open my eyes: nothing. I try to move my arms and my legs but nothing responds. And then I saw the light and am once again with the living now.

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Christ is risen from the dead – المسيح قام من بين الأموات


Christ is risen from the dead – المسيح قام من بين الأموات

This is the day the Lord has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it

Jesus is risen from the dead
Defeating death by death
And giving life to those in the grave

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