Category Archives: Family

My Dad

Today would have been my dad’s 90th birthday, so I’m reposting this poem I wrote for him when he passed away… you and still miss you dad!


He may not have been a super hero
With supernatural powers
Able to leap tall buildings
Or climb the highest towers.

He may not have been a movie star
All slick and debonair
He may not have won an Oscar
Or walked the red carpet with any flair.

He may not have been a sportsman
Worth a million bucks
Who takes his team to victory
With skill and just a little luck.

He may not have been Prime Minister
Of this or any other land
He wasn’t even a politician –
Just a simple man.

Though he may not have been your hero
There’s one thing for which I’m glad
He wasn’t just an ordinary Joe
This man was my dad!

‘though he never won a medal
Or a Mr World contest
I’ll always love my dad
‘cause to me he was the best.

Margaret Holahan
© 31 October 2005



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Linda Mary Cunneen

My Aunty Linda passed away on 2 May 2018.  I wrote the following about her for Uncle Reg on the drive from Sydney to Lake Macquarie for her funeral service today…

Aunty Linda

What can I say about Linda Cunneen
that hasn't already been said.
A wife, a mother, a grandma
a sister, an aunty a friend.

Linda Mary Wilson
was born September 12, 1938,
destined to grow up and marry
Reginald Keith Cunneen.

They shared a life together
through the good times and the bad,
raised two sons and a daughter,
filled their home with happiness and love.

She made her home a refuge,
a place of warmth and peace,
and welcomed all who came
with a smile upon her face.

A life well lived for others,
unselfish to the end.
Now gone but never forgotten - 
Linda Mary Cunneen.

Margaret Holahan
11 May 2018



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A Cricket Ball and The Cross

In 1995, NSW played the West Indies in a cricket match in Newcastle.  A friend of mine umpired the game and gave one of the game balls to my stepson, Shane.  Shane absolutely hates cricket and was going to throw it away and at my gasp of horror offered it to me instead.  Later I got the ball signed by Sir Wes Hall (West Indian team manager) and plays Ian Bishop (West Indies) and David Freedman (NSW).  David had taken 8/49 in the WI first innings and ended the match with figures of 10/93.

In 1997 I volunteered to work with Cape Town City Mission in South Africa for 12 months.  To help raise funds for this trip, some friends arranged a fundraising dinner and auction, with George Capsis (Cronulla Rugby League team Chaplain) as the speaker.  The auction items included an autographed Cronulla jersey, an autographed Newcastle Knight’s jersey and an autographed pair of Andrew Gaze’s basketball boots.

After much debate and arguing with myself, I decided to add the cricket ball to the list of auction items.  After all, I couldn’t let my friends do all that work if I wasn’t prepared to make some sacrifices.

My brother Fred, knowing how hard that decision was, offered to drive up from Sydney to attend the dinner – just to offer some moral support.

The dinner went well and the auction started.  The cricket ball was the last item up for bid.  It was a sad night, in just a few more moments this ball – one of my prized possessions – would no longer be mine.

Bidding started slowly, but excitement and tension increased as everyone realised there were only two bidders, each one pushing the other higher.  Seated at the front of the room I couldn’t see who was bidding.

When the final bid was made and the auctioneer called ‘GONE’ the winning bidder was revealed.  It was my brother!  I was so glad it was him and not someone I didn’t know.

Fred came to the front with all the other successful bidders, handed over his cheque and claimed his prize.  He then came over to where I was standing, and with hands behind his back smugly said, “Guess what I got?”  I told him I knew what he had and was glad if I had to give the ball up it was going to someone who would value and appreciate it as much as I did.  He then told me to hold out my hand. I figured he was going to tease me further by letting me ‘hold’ what was now his ball.  But as I held out my hand he carefully and very gently placed the ball in it.  As he did so he added the words “Happy Birthday – it’s yours!”

That was a very emotional moment for both of us!  I don’t cry in public.  I don’t show my vulnerability in front of people – not even those I know.  But on this occasion there was no helping it.  As he said those words I threw my arms around him and the tears started.  I asked if he knew how much I loved him.  He assured me he did.  His gift told me how much he loved me.

“So how does this relate to the Cross?” you ask.

Well, that simple.  It’s a reminder that I belong to HIM.  The first time the ball belonged to me because it was given to me – a gift from my son to do with as I choose.  In just the same way, my life was a gift from God – a gift to do with as I choose, which is why He gave us all a free will.

Then the ball was lost to me when I decided to include it in the auction and it was bought by someone else.  In the same way, we are sometimes lost and separated from God by our sins and the choices we make in life.

But then the ball belonged to me a second time because it was bought for me when my brother paid a price for it – the price he paid to purchase the ball at the auction.  In the same way, I belong to God because Jesus Christ bought my life by paying a price – His Life – when He died for me on the cross!

My brother died in a hit and run accident in July 1998.  That ball is no longer one of my prized possessions.  Instead, it’s my ‘most treasured possession’.  It’s a constant reminder of the brother I loved and lost – but more importantly, it’s a reminder of his love for me in the same way that the Cross is a reminder of Christ’s love for me.


March 2002

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A Father

Tears came to his eyes

as he tenderly gazed,

at the child in his arms,

safe and secure where she lay.


This child he’d created,

along with his wife –

A gift from above,

this precious new life.


He smiled at his child,

then he gave a slight start,

when she smiled back at him,

and captured his heart.


He vowed he would give her,

all that he could,

of his love and his time,

and all that was good.


So right then and there,

he declared before God,

to be the best father,

his daughter ever could have.


And so they began,

her journey through life,

both father and daughter,

with God by their side.


31 August 2005


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His Best Girl

She looked at him

with hope filled eyes,

he looked back at her –

and let out a sigh.

She’s the one –

and as he held her close,

he fell in love

which left no doubt.

He gave his heart

to this love starved waif.

Gave her a home

and made her feel safe.

She shared his life

for 15 years.

His hopes, his dreams,

the laughter and the tears.

Yet never once

did he feel judged.

Her big brown eyes

held naught but love.

Though she’s now passed

he’ll not forget,

the life they shared

from the moment they met.

And never once

did he regret,

that she was the one

he chose for his pet.

Yet she was more

than that to him,

In her he found

A lifelong friend.

So rest in peace

Lois dear.

His heart holds memories

Which keep you near.

Margaret Holahan

© 12 September 2010

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Mother – 2010

She brushed my teeth, and combed my hair

and no matter what, was always there.

She washed my clothes and made my bed

and always made sure that I was fed.

When I was sick she felt my head

took my temp, then tucked me back in bed.

She made me eat what was on my plate

and always made sure I was never late.

She drove me here and drove me there

and did all this, because she cares.

She’s a doctor, teacher, chef and maid

she’s all this and more, yet never paid.

But her most important job you’ll see

is being a mother to you and me!


Margaret Holahan

© 8 May 2010

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Mother – 2006

Created by God

She’s one of a kind.

One of His previous jewels

and a very rare find.

When I reached out in the dark,

Looking for someone to care,

To protect me and comfort me,

and to always be there –

I found that my mother

Was not far away.

Her arms enfolding me

And keeping me safe.

And when I grow old

I will never forget,

The love of this woman,

Or what we have shared.

For what would life be

If I didn’t have mother?

God made her specially for me

and I don’t want no other.

Her heart filled with love,

and a smile on her face.

A reflection of happiness

and God’s wonderful grace.

So remember I love you

and there’ll ne’er be another

Who could take the place in my heart

Of the one I call ‘MOTHER’

Margaret Holahan

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