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Rainbows and Opals - Life in Opal

21st August 2019 | 7 min read

Ted Tarrant recently published a thought-provoking essay on life in his Highton Gardens home, (formerly Opal South Valley). Dedicated to the memory of his dear wife Edna, the essay provides an extraordinary insight into every aspect of life in the place Ted calls home. The piece clearly reflects his keen sense of humour and positive outlook on life and is both witty and moving. Below he reflects on happiness; on living with purpose, and on his Opal family.


Truth is stranger than fiction

Looking back over my life, what seemed fiction was the truth. If I told my story to Darryl Kerrigan (Michael Caton-The Castle), he would comment “Ya’gotta be dreamin”.

Maybe I am.

Teaching scholarships, attending universities, lecturing, College Principal appointments, world travel, a wonderful marriage, children and good health came all too easily. My achievements and successes far outnumbered my failures. What else could I want?

Well, my life is not yet finished.

I am happily retired at Opal. Life has not been as generous to every resident. I realised that as age creeps upon them, their friends fade away, their relatives are busy pursuing their own vocations, indisposition and immobility hold them in its lonely grasp. Nevertheless, they are happy and contented in their own unassuming ways.

But, I was taking and not giving. I still had something to give.

I needed to engage, to befriend them all, to smile with me, talk with me, walk with me, share their memories and laugh with me. The joy on their faces and their willingness to give me a smile and a “high five” as I pass by is reward enough. I have found another sense of purpose. I am family.

Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood) would say, “Make my day”.

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