In memory of my brother, Adrian John Jacobs

In memory of my brother Adrian John Jacobs 2nd Nov 1953 - 30th Nov 1969.

By: Rosemary McKenzie-Ferguson
       Founder, Craig's Table NSW

It was Monday July 21st (Australia time line) my brother and I like countless others sat in the lounge room in front of the TV, it was such an important day that the school we were attending was closed for the day so that we could stay home and watch the Apollo 11 moon landing. My brother was just 4 months shy of his 16th birthday.  Other than the Moon Landing nothing in 1969 was out of the ordinary.  I remember that day so vividly, I remember the picnic food that we had in the lounge room so we would not have to miss any of the images, I remember how proud we were as young Australians that the Parkes Observatory was playing such and important role in all that was happening. My brother had no real interest in any of the maths or sciences that was behind space exploration, he was just there supporting me in my own dream to graduate school then go on to be a science teacher. 
All of it was so safe so secure so known so accepted as the path forward.

My brother was going to finish school at the end of 1969 and go to work full time in the family transport business (despite Mum’s insistence that he go on to university) then I would finish high school the following year and go on to university.

It was all planned out, everything was going to plan nothing could alter anything once my brother and I had agreed on something.
Then just 132 days later every plan, everything known, everything safe came to an end.
My brother born on the 2nd November 1953 died on the 30th November 1969 due to a workplace incident. 
I remember that day so clearly, it was a Sunday, I had been revising for the fist end of year maths exam, the exams were to start on the 1st December.
I was meant to go to work that day but due to my exams starting, my brother took the shift instead as his exams were not due to start till the 3rd December.
I heard the ambulance siren going and sent a silent prayer that who ever needed the ambulance would be safe.
Hours passed, study went on, I stopped around 6.30pm to get the family dinner organised I was not in the least surprised that my family was not home, such is the way the transport industry goes.
It was around 9pm when one of my other brothers came through the front door of the house, without asking I knew that something serious had happened. My brother wrapped me into his arms as he tried to tell me what had happened, he was crying none of what he said was making sense.
He kept saying John is dead John is dead. 
What had been a normal Sunday in a very small town shattered through my life in ways that made no sense and even now 48 years later still do not make sense. 
The days between John’s death and the end of the school year are blurred into confusion I know that I never sat the end of year exams. I remember the anguish of my parents not just from the loss of their youngest son, but from the various legal investigations that took place. I remember thinking how utterly cruel everything was but at just 15yrs old, I was unable to shelter my parents from any of it. It seemed that there was always something that Mum needed me to go to the shop for and someone at the shops would keep me talking so that by the time I arrived back at the house yet another investigator had been and gone: my parents sheltered me but I could do nothing to help them. 
I never made it to university instead I went onto do many other things including moving into social work in order to find ways to ease the burdens of others. Always as the driver the loss of my brother the grief of my parents and the gravity that death had delivered into my own life.
Come forward to 1994, I had spent 18months recovering from burnout, finally I was ready to stop for a while, take a job that paid the bills before doing the required adult entry exam so that I could enter university to study and become a science teacher.
I had spent 25years holding onto the dreams of a 15year old.
Once more life had other plans.
The job I had taken just to pay the bills in order to keep my family housed clothed and fed ended up injuring me.
Without as much as a by-your-leave workers compensation barged back into my life, only this time it was me who needed to front the consequences of it. My parents thankfully had both passed on so they didn’t need to watch me struggle with all that they had already gone through once. 
I know that all of that the death of my brother and the years of social work, shielding and shelters others has shaped me into the who I am now and has formed the solid base of everything I do.
I often sit and wonder the what if’s of my life, what if I had become a science teacher, would I have inspired someone to reach past the stars or plunge deep into the oceans or any of the other countless things that science offers to us.
And then I look at the work I have done, the lives that have been altered the dreams that have returned or been born and in Grace I know (apart from the constant pain) I would change very little.
My brother guided me through the first 15yrs of my life, his death taught me what was needed in order to address the inhumanity that was in place at the time, my injury presented me with a life lesson that could not be ignored.
Every day for me at Craig’s Table is yet another opportunity to take a Moon Shot- it really is an amazing opportunity for all of us.
Yours in service
SKYPE Rosemary2412
6th December 2018


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