From the Daily Mercury Editor’s Desk
Dear valued readers,
When our Daily Mercury photographer came to me with his Life Beyond the Scars idea, he told me he wanted to capture inspiring stories both visually and through words.
Tony Martin has spent more than a decade capturing this community's highlights, and at times the low points, and has met many characters along the way.
He hoped this series could offer a unique insight into the bravery and courage he has witnessed and from which we could all learn.
We began the series in our Saturday paper with Tiana Fry's story - an inspirational read about life after a double mastectomy.
She has an incredibly positive outlook on life but she shared one of her few low moments with our photographer Tony.
"I didn't feel like I'd lost my identity as Tiana, but as a person - one thing I kept thinking was, men have nipples, babies have nipples, everyone I know has nipples except me, I felt a bit freakish," she said.
Some of Tony's subjects have a new positive outlook on life, some have found their scars a constant reminder of how easily life can change, some give their brush with death barely a look back.
They are stories we can all relate to and learn something from.
Some of us have experienced our lowest points during the coronavirus lockdown, especially those who have lost their jobs.
It's not easy to pick one's self up from despair but we hope this series provides some insight into the way forward.
But how wonderful to finally be able to go for a drive this weekend. The 150km restriction includes the Whitsundays so I went for a hike up Mount Rooper in Conway National Park.
I experienced absolutely stunning views and spoke to some lovely strangers - a joy in itself.
When we were driving back through Airlie Beach, we realised we might be able to sit down for a meal. At a table. While someone served us. What a treat!
I can recommend the arancini balls and the gnocchi gorgonzola at La Tabella. And our host made the experience even better - reminding us of how much we've missed human interaction during isolation.
Our reporter Heidi Petith was also out and about, finding out how Mackay region residents were spending their first weekend of coronavirus restriction freedom.
Meanwhile, in homeschooling round two this week, I did some reading with my sister's middle child.
But it was a disaster because her youngest, Mister 5, wouldn't hold Al the Alpaca steady so Mr 7 could read it.
If my sister is copping the temper I saw over FaceTime, I really do feel for her.
The funniest stories of the week though came from the remote learning sessions with Mr 9.
The class was having what I assume was a Zoom catch-up and they were each saying nice things to each other.
When my sister noticed one of the girls had not been called out, she suggested my nephew say nice things about her.
His reply … "But I don't like Ebony (name changed) so I don't want to say anything nice about her."
Yep - that happened.
In front of the whole class.
When my sister explained this to him, he said: "I don't care."
Again, in front of the whole class.
My sister was basically the gif of Homer Simpson shrinking back into the bush.
But, also, poor Ebony.
As we all look forward to stage two of eased coronavirus restrictions, I hope you're all well in these strange times.
Until next time,
Rae Wilson, Daily Mercury Editor