To my boys

Originally appeared in White Horses (issue 33)

If you’ve found this note, I am dead. Figured I’d write this and leave it in my surfboard bag in case anything ever happened to me out in the water. I hoped it’d just sit here for years until I became an old fart, but obviously the big fella upstairs had other plans.

If it was a shark did it… bloody hell ay, hopefully I put up a fight. Please don’t blame the shark. It was only looking for a feed and I was in its backyard. If I knocked meself out on a rock, tell everyone it was a shark that did it. Don’t want anyone thinking I was a kook hehe. Also, maybe buy a Gath.

Where to begin? I’m sorry I won’t be around to watch you grow up. I made a lot of mistakes in life, mostly zigged when I should’ve zagged, but you boys… you were the only things I got right. You were the reason I got up in the morning and I’m still amazed at how smart, funny and handsome (in spite of my ugly mug) you’ve become. Plus, you’ve become pretty handy little surfers. At this rate you’ll be ripping harder than your old man by the time you’re in high school.

Don’t let this stop you from surfing. It gave me everything in life, kept me fit and sane, saw me circle the globe. But it was also a thorn in my side at times. Don’t let it run your life, or you might end up like I did with a missus that gets fed up and leaves ya for a bloody accountant with a broomstick up his arse! Nah, Craig’s a decent enough guy and he looks after your mum, so don’t give him too much grief (maybe a little). And Dan, make sure you look out for your little brother, he’s gonna need you.

I worry about the state of the world I’ve left you boys in. The planet’s warming, your leaders are a pack of cruel and heartless bastards, and people are more divided than ever. But I truly believe there’s hope when we turn off our phones and get back to nature (as long as a shark doesn’t get ya, I spose).

I hope I taught you both enough to see past all the bullshit and live long and happy lives. You don’t need a new car or a fancy house. None of that stuff will make you feel any better. And if you can try to make a difference, even just in your own community, I think you can say you did your best. I didn’t try hard enough in that respect, but at least I can say I always tried to be kind (though Craig and ya mum might disagree with me there hehe). That’s the key I reckon.

I know you’re upset, but try to look at the bright side. We had a bunch of good years together, special years, and no one can take that away from us. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a crystal ball and can’t tell you what was waiting for me here on the other side, but as long as you can remember me and all the laughs we had together, I won’t ever truly go away. Any time you think of me, I’ll be right there with you until you become old and join me up here, wherever here may be (hopefully a rifling warm-water lefthander – sorry, Russ, time to work on that backhand!).

If you find this note before my funeral, make sure there’s no big fuss, AND NO CHURCH. Get all the boys together, your nan and pop, mum and the rest of the fam and have a huge feed, and a bunch of beers (Cokes for you blokes), and talk some shit about me, have a laugh. I’ll be watching and cracking one with you.

Anyways, enough rambling. Surf’s pumping and my wrist’s getting sore so I’m out there. Chances are I’ll be back on land in an hour or two to die another day. Hopefully not for a few years yet, but I just wanted to get this off my chest, ya know?

Oh, one last thing. After the funeral I want you to scatter me ashes right here in the Gulf. That way, whenever you’re pulling into a tube, I’ll be there with you.

Love you blokes.