The Last Word

By Cameron Miller | Posted: Tuesday May 23, 2017

Before I was born, my Great-grandfather died. Ive been told he was a great man.

Born just out of Oamaru in a family with five siblings, he worked on the building of the Waitaki Dam until he saved up enough to buy his own farm. He raised my Nan, and my Nan raised my Mum, and my Mum has raised me. For him, and them, I am thankful. His name was Sandy Godsall, and he was a hero of a family man. Sandy’s death was sad to his family, my family. But consolation came to them knowing that he found happiness through his family.

For family is the one thing we can fall back on. They are the constant in our lives. Family will always be family. In this world, it is people that provide happiness, not possessions. No object or sum of money can bring anyone back once they’re gone. It’s not a reversible chemical reaction. What’s done is done. Be grateful for what you have, and let your family know, before the time comes that you can no longer do so. One thing I do know is that family is one of the few things that will make us happy.

By the time you hit Year 13, you have been travelling through this journey with your mates for the past four years. As the years pass at Otago Boys', your true mates are revealed, and it’s fair to say that they become brothers to you. They become a part of your family. You need to treat them well, because they may remain as family to you for the rest of your life. Take care of your friends. Don’t be that guy who winds your mate up past the point of no return. Know the line between banter and bullying. Respect them and their feelings, and they will do the same for you.

Everyone will cross the boundary between a joke and something hurtful at some point. We’re boys. We’ve all done it once, if not more. But it’s important to apologise and accept when we’re wrong. We’re all brothers, in the OBHS family, and families always forgive.

I watched a video the other day. A teenager’s single Mum went into cardiac arrest, and he had to make the decision to revive her or let her pass peacefully. In the moment, he was told not to let the decision haunt him for the rest of his life. He let her pass, with the chance to goodbye. He told her everything that he was grateful for and that he loved her – but the sad thing was that it was the only time he had ever told her anything like that. A lot of us are in the same boat. I know I’ve never truly told my family what I’m grateful for, have you?

When you next see your family, let them know that you appreciate them. Don’t leave it unsaid. Take every day with them as your last, as there is a chance that it may be.

Put family above all else.