My name is Leah Grice and I am honored to be standing here today speaking about this wonderful, kind, talented man – whose heart just couldn’t cope with the weight of all the love in it – and gave up on Saturday.
My friendship with Ross and Kathy started a long time ago – Ross taught me art at North Rockhampton High School. Art was his living and he was more than just good at it – but I think people were his passion – and it was amazing how he often turned art lessons into life lessons.
I once had to draw blocks – seems simple – but I was having trouble – my current teacher was not on my wave length – so I went to Ross. He made me concentrate on the back ground to make the blocks stand out. I said (thinking I was profoundly wise and clever ) that I preferred to concentrate on what was there rather than what wasn’t. He looked at me and then Ross said “Leah, sometimes if we think about what isn’t in our lives – like famine, war, violence at home – it can make those things that seem ordinary – like parents who love you, free education, peace, friends – seem extraordinary” . Boy I can tell you – that makes you take a step back – and I think my constant gratitude for the things I do have in my life started in that moment with Ross.
Ross and Kathy have been “as Kathy put it” involved in all our momentous events – my 18th, our wedding, my 21st and we always brought our newest baby to show off to them. His “beautiful Kate” (as he referred to her) was the centre point of his life. She is one of the kindest people I know and I know he counted her and Mara as the blessing of his life. And what a full and wonderful life.
When you think of all the things he was actively involved in –starting from nurturing some very non-nuturable high school students it can make your head spin. But that is how he was – involved in people. Blunt sometimes, a smart arse often, but above all he was kind.
And if kindness is just love with its working boots on, then Ross must have gone through a truckload of working boots in his lifetime.
We will miss you Ross …….. I will miss you. And the world will be a much less colourful place.