This story deals with domestic abuse and might be triggering for some readers.
Phil Cleary lost his sister Vicki to domestic violence in 1987. Here is his open letter to her.
How are you, gorgeous girl? I’m always thinking about you. Small of frame, but big of presence, dispensing love and humour like confetti at a wedding. Alongside Mum and Dad at the footy, defending me from the traducers.
Remember the cake they brought out after my 200th game at Coburg in 1987 and how you blew out all the candles before I had a chance to draw breath?
You were a special woman, young Vick. No wonder grandmother Gladys put pen to paper the day you were born.
I’ll just read a couple of lines: ‘I can’t tell you in words, Lorna, just how happy I am for you at the moment... I don’t think it has really set in with me yet, but I will have to wait until I see her...my heart is so full for you...I think you have been rewarded for your goodness and I love you so much’.
Watch: Women And Violence: The Hidden Numbers. Post continues below.
Lorna Cleary’s first daughter, after four boys.
What joy you brought into the world! Baby Vicki on my knee in the back of that old Ford leaving the Sacred Heart Hospital behind as we headed home to that brick veneer alongside the Merri Creek Mum had made home for all the kids in Shore Grove.
I’ll never forget how Dad swept you up and got you to the Children’s Hospital after Elma Seidler’s car nearly ended your life in 1965, and how you wailed, the lament haunting us as we retreated down the corridor after every hospital visit. Yet when the cast came off, you ran just as you did that day in front of Elma’s car.