This past week has been one that I have been lucky enough to share with my wonderful Aunt, a woman I truly adore. She called recently and said she was on her way to visit. We hadn't seen each other for more than 3 years and I was looking forward to seeing her.
As a small 5 year old girl I was sent away to live with my Aunty. Her home and love offered a safe haven from the household that my biological mother offered at the time (a whole other story). I lived with my Aunt for more than 12 months until my mother sent for me again.
Upon return, my mother's house now contained a step father. Violent, aggressive, explosive and tyrannical are an excellent choice of words to describe him and the type of household he ran.
It was whilst growing up in this household that I developed the capacity (looking back now probably a self preservation technique) to really enjoy the small moments of happiness that most tend to take for granted.
One of my fondest and happiest memories is of early Saturday mornings spent with my younger brother watching cartoons together. The whole household would be asleep and it would be just the two of us. Free to be ourselves, free to enjoy small moments of peace and quite together, free to laugh and free to smile. This doesn't sound like much, but to us it was the world.
Another fond memory I have is of my sister and I sharing a room. This room has created memories, that the two of us share and laugh about today as adults. We both remember the "invisible line" between neat and orderly and total utter chaos and my fantastic AFL worthy kicks at the invading items!
Whilst growing up my Aunty moved overseas and travelled for many years. I always looked forward to her letters and post cards filled with adventures and stories to brighten our days. When she called a few weeks ago and said she was coming down to share Easter with us, I was so excited and couldn't wait.
I felt such joy watching my Aunty spend time with my two young children. She read books, played basketball, went for walks, watched the birds fly by, picked flowers, giggled and laughed. These were all the things she and I did when I was that little 5yo girl and it was wonderful to see my children enjoy these things with her as well. I loved sharing Easter with her. She helped the children write their letters to the Easter Bunny, she understood the importance of choosing the healthiest and freshest carrot you can find for Easter Bunny and she shared in the love my husband and I have for our children whilst we all watched them excitedly hunt down the Easter eggs.
It was sad to see my Aunty leave, but this week I felt blessed. I had the chance to share with my Aunty, my life and my love. That sad little 5yo girl has grown up and she's OK. Her life is safe and comfortable. She feels and gives love and her life is filled with many moments of happiness.