Mayor delivers poignant message as personal milestone nears

Memory bench is 'the first thing I see in the morning and the last at night'

Saturday, June 25 is the second anniversary of my Mom May’s passing.

One doesn’t truly understand loneliness till after losing both parents. In memory of May and Des, a year ago a memorial bench was placed just north of Ferry Dock HIll law firm [George, Murray, Shipley and Bell] on Sarnia’s waterfront, a waterfront which they deeply loved.

It is the first thing I see in the morning and the last at night, looking down from my apartment.

The Queen once described a difficult year [1992] with the words “annus horribilis,” which is Latin for “horrible year.” (I) share that feeling about the past year, personally and politically.

However, the bench inspires one to keep going, knowing how much adversity my parents faced in their lives yet they preserved and succeeded together as one.

And, in turn, they taught me that you give true meaning to your life by devoting yourself to creating something meaningful in your world that gives you purpose.

I chose Sarnia.

My parents gave me the opportunity to serve the public with the same values they shared. For that I am eternally grateful and thank them every day.

The bench is not a shrine, but a place for people to sit, eat and read. A place to catch your breath. A place to watch the four seasons change.

Now I share every sunrise and sunset with Mom and Dad and think of their lives and love in the words inscribed on the bench:

In loving memory of Des and May Bradley
From Belfast Lough to the shores of Australia
to the banks of the St. Clair River
They journeyed through life together as one

An Irish Blessing:
“May the road rise up to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
May the sun warm upon your face; the rains
fall soft upon your fields and until we meet
again, may God hold you in the palm of His hands.”

Mike Bradley is Mayor of Sarnia. He writes a regular column, which is made available to media and from which this was excerpted.

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