A heart full of memories at Christmas time
I wrote this column on Tuesday, December 18 - the 6th anniversary of my dear old Mum Edna's passing.
Well, I actually edited it, as I originally wrote this a couple of years after Mum died.
She managed to leave me a lasting memory of Christmas as her funeral service was on Christmas Eve, 2012.
I edited it this year for another reason: December 18 is my good mate Paul Thomas's birthday.
Thommo has just lost his mother-in-law Mary Murray, who, at the grand old age of 100, was put to rest on Thursday.
Mary was an amazing woman who made a massive contribution to her family and the Sunshine Coast and will be sorely missed - just like Edna is to me.
While Christmas is a season of celebration and everyone trying to enjoy themselves, I think Edna and Mary picked a good time to pass as they will always be remembered.
Christmas is definitely when mums and grandmums come into their own.
I am sure most kids would agree this is the mums' time of the year - cooking roast lunches in 100C heat and stuffing anyone within reach chock-full of food to the point of feeling comatose.
It's funny, though, looking back when I was a kid, I thought the things Santa brought were the most important.
But you know, I can't remember one thing now that was special, but I sure can remember plenty of experiences and happy loving moments at Christmas.
Yes, I know I have written about all this before: the pudding with the copper coins, the fruit mince pies, the rum balls and everything else.
It was always fun and Mum was always behind all of it.
So I sure have pleasant memories of this time of year.
I guess what I am trying to say is something else I seem to repeat at this time in December: covet your family and your loved ones.
I know I have been lucky in life in that regard, both with growing up and Sheila and our family with the Christmases we have enjoyed.
One in particular stands out: having lunch at Currumundi Lake at a picnic table with our Christmas hats on and our bonbons in the rain.
It didn't matter, though, because we were all together.
Of course, we are now going the full cycle with grandkids Ryder and Lola - it's great.
Forget about the argy bargy at the shops, the parking and trolley rage and trying to find that special present for someone.
The important thing is that someone and all the people that you love in your life.
Some may not be there but they are in your heart.
Of course, don't forget the four-legged, the feathered and everything else that makes the tapestry of your life.
I received an email a few years ago from a good friend and it ended with the following which I think sums up what I am trying to say far better than I: "Hold your loved ones close. Tell them you love them. For if tomorrow never comes, you will have no regrets about today.”
PS: RIP Mary and Edna, and of course your loved ones firmly nestled in your heart. Enjoy the memories.