The road to the Filby family home will be forever signposted with a mother's love.
Talgarno father of four James Filby has succeeded in his bid to have the road to their house named after his late wife Danelle.
The official street post for 'Danelle Lane' is yet to be erected, but James and their sons Taj, 17, Zane, 15, Ari, 12, and Lawson, 11, hope it will stand as a lasting legacy to this devoted mum and wife of 20 years.
An autopsy report later revealed she died as a result of a "freak" bacterial infection which attacked her body after she contracted Influenza B.
James was also struck down by the same infection, which left him fighting for his life at the Albury hospital for more than three weeks.
"She was my best friend so maybe this is a tribute that will outlive me," he said after news the name had been approved.
Mr Filby applied to Towong Shire with his proposal for the lane, which was approved in September 2020.
But the application hit a road block when the state government planned to reject the bid on the basis it "didn't do first names".
The fact there was already a Philby Lane in the district combined with a submission outlining Danelle's community contribution thankfully made for a convincing case.
There have been some tough days in the two years since Danelle's tragic death.
"Every little step - that took me away from Danelle - was painful," James reflects.
"Even something as silly as putting fuel in her car - fuel that wasn't hers anymore ..."
"It got kind of dark for a while," adds James, who struggled to let go of the thought he was still married.
"We had removed the phrase 'til death do us part' from our wedding vows.
"Finally, when I realised ... there was nothing to cling onto, I was shattered: I went downhill very fast."
At one point James came to a terrifying crossroad.
"I had to choose life or death," he says.
"I had to make the difficult decision to live my life - I knew the only way to be an effective father was to be a happy person."
He has seen a psychologist more than 40 times, understanding now that grief doesn't leave you.
"You have to have a relationship with grief," he states.
James and his sons have forged a new, "independent" life together.
The boys make their breakfasts and lunches - Taj is at TAFE studying horticulture; Zane attends Grace Christian College, while Ari and Lawson are settled at Talgarno Primary School.
James marvels that their youngest Lawson, often "cooks dinner for all of us" and seems to have stepped into his mum's role.
They like to remember Danelle in the ordinary of everyday life.
Her ashes sit, comfortingly, in the house alongside photos, a necklace threaded with wedding rings, and a favourite bottle of wine.
Sometimes a smell, sound or song can be crippling.
"Life is a minefield of little memory triggers," he reflects.
But there are new beginnings too - a new relationship, a new passion for paragliding.
"It's the most freeing, peaceful experience," James says of his newfound sport.
"I've learned life is too short - just do it!"
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