Analysis

Nemani Delaibatiki: Rodan Reminds Us Of How We Can Be Happy In Our Families

At a time when the nation is addressing the serious problem of domestic violence, relationship problems and family breakups, Mr Rodan’s inspirational words are empowering.
20 Jan 2020 12:08
Nemani Delaibatiki: Rodan Reminds Us Of How We Can Be Happy In Our Families
The children and grandchildren of the late Rosylene Rodan rolling her casket out of churh after the funeral service on January 18, 2019. Photo:Simione Haravanua

Prominent athletics personality Joe Rodan on Saturday gave a poignant advice to us all.

While paying tribute to his late wife, Rosalain, during her funeral service at Lami, he said words to the effect – husbands and wives love and value each other.

He spoke with authority because he and Rosalain did exactly that. They appreciated and treasured each other.

This closing statement from him aptly summed up their relationship and companionship – “Rosa, thank you for 45 years. Thank you for the 55 years plus we’ve known you. You were God-sent to me and my family. You have done more than enough for my family.”

What a beautiful eulogy from Mr Rodan.

Behind every successful man …

The saying behind every successful man stands a strong woman was certainly true for the Rodans and he recognised this and spoke openly about it. They were the foundation on which their family was built. No doubt she has left behind a legacy that will continue to light the way forward for Mr Rodan, their five children and 14 grandchildren.

The late Rosalain Sarah Rodan.

The late Rosalain Sarah Rodan.

At a time when the nation is addressing the serious problem of domestic violence, relationship problems and family breakups, Mr Rodan’s inspirational words are empowering.

While he was speaking to the converted in the congregation that included Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, a champion for families, women and children, his message is universal. It transcends race, culture, politics and socio-economic status.

A couple of weeks ago I attended a close friend’s funeral service in Hamilton, New Zealand. His sudden death shocked the family but they were buoyed by what he had done for them and others.

He treated his wife with absolute dignity and respect. He loved her to bits.

Their children gave a glowing account of their father whom they described as strong but humble. He opened his hearts to strangers and when the children were growing up there were other young people living with them – people who had strayed from their families and were looking for a sense of direction in life.

He became the “bridge over an abyss”, was how one of those he took in under his wings, described him.

Joe Rodan.

Joe Rodan.

Importance of strong families

The Rodans and the Kiwi family are two examples of the importance of strong families. Incidentally, my late NZ friend grew up as an orphan. But he did not let that affect him because he worked hard to operate his own business, got married had children and helped others in need, particularly the young folks.

His children said they did not hear dad raise his voice or lay a hand on their mother.

They went on to lead successful lives like their parents – their future built on love, understanding, patience, forgiveness and compassion.

Violence has no place in the home and the family and can impact generations. Greed and pride are the chief causes of problems. Violence is a product.

It is often said that children copy what their parents do. While this is true to a certain extent, I know of people who have turned their back on a horrible past and succeeded in life. They brushed aside self pity and stopped blaming their past for their predicament. They adopted a positive outlook about life, set goals and achieved them.

I am sure there are many families out there like the Rodans and the family of my late friend in New Zealand. They need to tell their stories and share their experiences, like Mr Rodan did on Saturday, so others may learn and try to emulate

Feedback: nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj

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