Sitting under his verandah in the glorious Tantawangalo sunshine, gazing over the rolling hills, Bill Brown reflects on the "vivacious and remarkable" woman his wife Janette was.
Janette Crowe died on Sunday following a 14-month battle with the aggressive brain cancer glioblastoma.
Only last week, the couple celebrated 41 years since first meeting at a musician friend's party.
"There was a big bonfire. I saw her literally through the flames and she saw me through the flames. We spent that night together and just about every night since," Bill said.
At the time, Janette was playing the role of Magenta in a production of Rocky Horror Picture Show during "an amazing cultural phase" in Wagga.
Bill said it was a very vibrant time, but that vibrancy and passion for theatre was with Janette throughout her life.
Many in Candelo, Bega and surrounds would know of Janette through her performance and "play therapy" work with local schools and the intellectually disabled.
"These kids would know they were getting something from her that was unique in Australian education," Bill said.
"She'd be able to draw out the personality of a person in a way no-one else could. It was magical."
Bill said the past year with Janette had seen enormous grief and despair "but if death was going to be 'done right' this was it".
"On the first day when the family - myself and the three boys - were all at hospital with her, she said 'we live and we die, get over it - and learn from it'," Bill said.
"Over 41 years, as much as we would have incredible fun, we would also have deep philosophical conversations - we'd discussed death.
"We launched upon an expedition that had been anticipated, it was inevitable, but was now our reality.
"Objectives were simple. Let's aim for the best quality of life for as long as we can."
And, according to Bill, the "learning" was profound.
"What unfolds in that experience is a whole lot of new understandings about life.
"You learn to live in the moment, and when you do you know that the moment is huge.
"And you also have an affirmation of that's why you've lived a creative life
"And she was one of the most creative people you'd ever meet."
Bill said he and his family felt incredibly blessed to be part of the Candelo community.
"To have gone through this in this community has been a blessing it's been amazing.
"The experience, that journey, was never grim. It had incredibly tough, to the brink, literally death-defying stages, but it was never grim.
"The foundation of a good defence is endurance and a positive attitude.
"Janette said to me, 'soul to soul is the best medicine'."
A celebration of Janette's life will be held at Kameruka Hall on April 26 from 1.30pm. BYO refreshments and a plate to share.
"It will be a party Janette-style - lot of tears, lots of laughter, lots of music and lots of good people," Bill said.