I’ve been lucky enough to be in Australia for the last three ANZAC days and able to attend a dawn service in whatever city I was at on the day
My Pop marched for years every April 25th and when he couldn’t walk it anymore, one of his kids would push his wheelchair in the parade.


Pop’s not with us anymore, and ANZAC Day is probably more important to us now that he’s gone.

This year, I’m home in Chicago, and happy to learn that they have a service for ANZAC day here every year.

It’s a rainy, cool day here today and I wondered how many people would show up

Turns out a lot would…


Brollies in hand, us Aussie and Kiwi expats came out in droves to commemorate those who have fought and died for our countries
It was held at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in the city – a beautiful spot, even on a dark and dreary morning

It was both my girl’s first time attending an ANZAC Day service, and they were keen as mustard for it – particularly as this year marks the 100th anniversary
I had to brush up on my history (hello Google) to answer the eleventy-hundred ANZAC related questions they had
I’ve been attending ANZAC Day dawn services since I was a schoolkid – and it felt pretty great to pass that on down to my own children.


The Last Post never fails to make me tear up, and this year was no exception
I think hearing it played so well (great job Mark Olen!) only increased the lump in my throat


The Australian Consulate General & The New Zealand Honorary Consulate did such a good job this year, with both the ceremony and the breakfast afterwards. On such a significant day, they delivered a much appreciated piece of home to so many.

Proud Aussie sheila, right here.


As a special touch, all the children that attended were gifted with a commemorative coin/medallion – how cool are they?


My favourite quote of the day came from Magoo:

“I feel important and special that my Groppy (what she called her Great-Grandfather, my Pop) fought for Australia in the Second World War and my Grandpa fought for America in Vietnam. We get to be happy and awesome because of them. We’re very lucky Mum!”

Yes we are.

They shall grow not 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 will remember them.


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A Life That’s Good

Ask my kids what my favourite song is right now, and they wouldn’t have to think about it
It’s the one that I walk around singing every day
Needless to say, everyone that lives here is ready to punch me in the throat I’m the only one in this house that still likes it

The song is called A Life That’s Good
It’s written by Ashley Monroe and Sarah Siskind, two seriously freaky good songwriters
And while you’re all probably well aware I’m the opposite of religious, the lyrics in this song just get me, despite their ‘Lord’ and ‘heaven’ references

The chorus:
Two arms around me
Heaven to ground me
And a family that always calls me home
Four wheel to get there
Enough love to share
And a sweet, sweet, sweet song
At the end of the day
Lord I pray
I have a life that’s good

Because without getting all gooey and deep
That’s really all it’s about
A life that is good
Nice house, car, great job?
All those things can be good and add to your life
But you don’t need them
At the end, none of that will matter

My Nanna is a shining example of that  IMG_3216-450x337

By the time she moved into the nursing home
She had nothing more than some clothes and her favourite pieces of costume jewelry
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But she was happy
After a life of raising four kids and looking after her husband
It was time for someone to look after her
And she loved it

She had a constant stream of visitors, nearly every day of the week for all the years she lived there

And when she took her last breath 2 days ago
She was surrounded by love, and those who cherished her
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And from the other side of the world, my heart is aching

She wasn’t famous
She wasn’t rich
She would have been the first to tell you that she was nobody special

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She was a Mum, a sister, a Nanna and a Great Nanna – my girls called her Granna

It’s all about how you lived and how you’re loved
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In 95 years, she did it better than anyone

There’s a special kind of love us grandkids have for our Nanna’s and Pops.

I think Magoo put it best,
“… I loved my Granna and she loved me and special love like that goes on forever and ever”
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♥ Jean Marie Pascoe ♥ A life that’s good ♥


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lest we forget…

ANZAC DAY marks the anniversary of the first campaign that led to major casualties for Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War.The acronym ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, whose soldiers were known as Anzacs.ANZAC DAY remains one of the most important national occasions of both Australia and New Zealand, a rare instance of two sovereign countries not only sharing the same remembrance day, but making reference to both countries in its name.
ANZAC DAY is a national public holiday and is considered by many Australians to be one of the most solemn days of the year. Marches by veterans from all past wars, as well as current serving members of the Australian Defence Force and Reserves, are held at dawn services in cities and towns nationwide.  – (source: wikipedia)

My Pop was an ANZAC soldier.
Our family is so proud of him
And while we feel the loss of him everyday
On ANZAC DAY we do a little more…

“…They shall grow not 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 will remember them.”

Lest We Forget.


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