The people God placed us within the midst of, the ones who know the nuts and bolts of who we really are, warts and all. The blood-bound-hearts who can cause our own hearts to ache, break, or flourish.
Family has been on my mind a lot this past week.
I remembered my mum on the 23rd as it would have been her birthday, and realised that all my daughters are now older than she was when a drunk driver took her life back in '62.
Mum was 21, and my dear Blossom is almost 22. I hugged Bloss tight that day and thanked God for her milestone and the first new life she carries now within her womb.
Yesterday it was Nana who came to mind, the loving 'mother' who in her fifties and after raising three children of her own and her sister's two babies as well, gathered me close and started over again with a toddler.
Nana loved forget-me-nots, watching sport on the telly with Pop, and scones - so I baked scones, drank coffee from my forget-me-not-in-honour-of-nana-mug and watched the tennis with Mr E.
And I thanked God for the privilege of having her love me through 22 years...
This is where Mr E and I eat lunch on the weekends (or public holidays like yesterday) and dinner every night. Perched on footstools and chatting across the well-worn coffee table he made me back in his University days...another precious family memory and memento.
After a call from my daughter Aisha this morning I remembered a plan I'd had before Christmas and decided today was the day to follow through on it.
You see, Blossom and I had been shopping at KMart for her maternity clothes and my 2016 diary when we found a beautiful recipe folder for storing hand written recipes. It was $10 and very pretty with dividers, recipe sheets, stickers, a zipped compartment, pen, and pad of shopping lists...
I bought one for myself and planned to return and purchase more so I could make all my girls a family recipe book for their birthdays this year, but as I've not been back to KMart since that day I hadn't yet moved forward with the idea.
With my mother and Nana close in my memories this past week, Aisha in hospital and Blossom quite unwell with scoliosis triggered back pain and nausea in her pregnancy, I feel the need to gather my loved ones in my heart and smother them with love and care and wonderful memories - to remind them we are family, we are here for each other and they are not alone.
So, it's just a recipe book, I know...but, it's OUR recipe book.
And I can write individual little notes to my girls all the way through, messages of love, memories of their childhood.
It's one we shall each have a copy of, a record of all those treats they call me about while standing in the baking aisle at the supermarket having forgotten what ingredients they need.
As an addition to the family recipe book I'm going to add one of these retro Women's Weekly cookbooks to their birthday parcels...
They're full of all the oldies but goodies my Nana made, and I had a giggle when one of them fell open at Corned Beef & Pickle sandwiches because that is my most favourite lunch in all the world for road trips and picnics and bedtime snacks...
A set of pretty pink measuring cups and spoons will complete my gift plan rather well, don't you think?
Did you notice my blue tablecloth?
It's a vintage sheet that my friend Rosalie sent me a few years back and I'd planned to make a quilt from it at the time, but found I just couldn't cut into it as it made a perfect table covering - the kind that makes you want to brew a pot of tea and eat scones with someone you love.
So it's still in one piece and I'll treasure it always.
Hold your loved ones close.
Pray for them often.
Treasure precious memories and perhaps think of ways you can preserve them for the next generation.