Dear Inner Circle,

An old lady died this week. She was born into an Australia that knew a lot about economic depression and next to nothing about government support. It was a world of hard work. As the eldest daughter in a large family, her lot was about raising younger children and endless domestic duties. Her education finished at primary school because there were many brothers and they needed to be fed and their clothes washed. An old wood stove seemed to perpetually burn with soup for strangers and a kettle constantly ready for a cup of tea. There was no entertainment in the house except for when the family sang together or laughed together. After the lady got married she was amazed at how her parents could suddenly afford some labour-saving devices like a washing machine.

The lady’s mother had agoraphobia before anyone knew the word and so as a little girl as young as seven years, she would toddle up to the bank to bring home wages for the men in her father’s joinery. Her mother was sharp, all the prices for timber and quotes for building jobs were at the top of her head. Her father was a big burley builder. She adored her father who once every night would walk into a room full of children that ought to be asleep and say a prayer. One night she asked her father to pray for their pet dog who had taken ill. The father hesitated and she knew that he thought perhaps prayers for dogs were not in order. He prayed for the dog.

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