Maurie Drew

Maurie will turn sixty in a few weeks time. Our support crew consists of Marita aged 25, who is the youngest of our six children; our other children are Lorelle, Alison, Megan, Robert and Michael. The handsome young man besides me is Cooper who is ten years old and who, I believe, is one of the main reasons Maurie fought so hard to live; Cooper is the eldest of our three adored grandchildren.

When Jenny invited me to speak at this service I thought long and hard about the best way to say how grateful we are for Maurie's life, and I came up with just some of the things we would have missed about him the most.

We surely would have missed his yearly dissertation on why he is going to fill in Maurie Drewthe swimming pool (because no one helps him maintain it) and then watching him meticulously cleaning it night and morning just in case the kids want to come around for a swim!

We would have missed him being on the roof of our split level house, blower-vac in hand, cleaning the leaves out of the gutters. Our children would have missed "The Bank of Moz" being open 24 hours a day 7 Days a week. Maurie once said to me "when I die could I please put an ATM on his grave" because the kids would then have to come and visit him.

His theories on why Wayne Carey is the greatest footballer ever to pull on a boot! We would have missed his quick wit and his general knowledge which is outstanding, especially anything connected to the Second World War or the Vietnam War. When it comes to trivial pursuit though, I think that our eldest daughter is just that tad smarter.

His cynicism is well known and the nightly news would not he the same without his comments. His staff would have missed him being a very generous boss. His staff never leave and some have now qualified for long service leave.

But they will surely remember straight after his transplant being chastised for buying yellow ‘chux’ instead of blue ‘chux’ and buying the wrong sized elastic bands to go around the takings.

Trivial things, but I'm sure some of you can relate to little incidents such as these. They would have surely missed his meticulous eye for detail. Maurie has the lowest return rate from the Government of prescriptions of any pharmacist in Australia!

We would have missed his ability to attack computer technology head on, and his absolute refusal to use an ATM machine or learn how to use the EFTPOS machine at his business. (He has promised his staff he will have it mastered by Christmas!) And what would we have done with his Game Boy and games that are his constant companion on all his hospital visits.

These are just a very few things that we would have missed about him; but on the other hand we have been able to share a lot together since his transplant.

We have welcomed with love two more beautiful grandchildren, Jack and Georgia. We have seen our children graduate with degrees as diverse as Medical Specialist to a Bachelor of Dramatic Art from the Victorian College of the Arts. When it came to education, MOZ Study was always available to our children.

In the past eight years three of our children have started and are successfully running their own businesses. We are extremely proud of their achievements. Our two "adopted" sons are doing very well also. Our foster transplantee, Annette, from Western Australia is also thriving. Annette spent 9 months living with us while waiting for, and recovering from, her lung transplant.

Beside our family, the other great interests in our lives are Track and Field athletics and Australian Rules football. Maurie was recently selected in his former football teams "Team of the Century" which was a great honour for him. Maurie is also a former Australian Athletic champion so we have enjoyed being able to attend together-Australian Championships, Commonwealth Games, Olympic Games, and Goodwill Games. Next year we are hoping to be spectators at the World Athletic Championships in Paris.

With some luck this may also coincide with our eldest daughter's wedding in Rome. In fact, life goes on much the same in our home in Strathmore, with all the comings and goings you share when you have two adult children still living at home.

Sometimes living with a transplanted person is not easy, especially in the early days following transplantation, when they are on massive doses of "ugly" pills. If things are tough at any time here is my theory, walk away, take five, ring a friend, cat a chocolate bar ( think about the consequences later ) scream at the kids, take the dog for a walk and then come back, look at this person you love and thank the Good Lord that they are there for you to be a little mad at.

As you can see I am a realist, and I know life would have gone on without Maurie. But at no stage did I think that he would die because what would we have done without this loving and supportive husband, devoted father and grandfather and all round generous good guy who has shown the greatest determination to live.

So in conclusion I would like to say thank you to Maurie's donor family, the miracle team at the Alfred hospital, my family and friends, some of whom are in the congregation today, and especially my Mum, for all their love and support. Because without them the man I love so much would not he with me today.

Thank You

(A letter of gratitude has been sent to Maurie’s Donor family and a reply has been received. Thanks to Daisy Drew for permission to print this article – Ed.)