Learning to live bravely. Last month my husband, my brother and my Mum all went on a family pilgrimage to Lido de Jesolo in Italy near Venice. The Kart track at Jesolo is world famous amongst karters and it was my Dad’s favourite place to race.
Dad and my brother went there many times and each time had the most amazing working holiday. The last time Dad raced at Jesolo circuit was last year aged 71, less than a month later he had a horrific accident at Mallory Park race circuit and eventually succumbed to his injuries in October. My brother made some serious promises to Dad when he was in hospital that he would take mum to all the places that dad had wanted to take her. And so he did.
We were welcomed at the Hotel Monte Carlo and the Hotel Ponte Antico run by the wonderful Peruch family with open arms and joy their hearts. I was greeted by Bruno who hugs me warmly looks me the eye and said "You are your father's picture". I am the very image of my dad. I can’t race like him though. I have the need for paint not the need for speed. I look back on our week away in Italy and think how brave it was for Mum to go. We had a wonderful time and felt Dad's presence with us when we visited many places. I of course spent many a happy hour sketching and painting and artily enjoying myself. On visiting the racetrack I was overwhelmed to discover tributes to Gerry Philpotts (that's Dad) all over the Karts of the Dutch team, Czech team and German team all of whom befriended Dad. More tribute stickers will be passed around the British drivers in due course. I’ve just finished wrapping up a painting of Venice to send to the Hotel Monte Carlo by way of a thank you to Bruno and his family.
Why is this living bravely? In a world that is uncaring and unkind, even the smallest act of kindness can be brave and life-changing. Dad lived bravely on the race track, he also lived bravely off it by being kind and supportive and bringing immense fun to his friends and family. He would very much enjoy seeing my Venice painting "going home" and being a part of a great family tradition.
Life is short. Live bravely and be kind.
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