Tony and I are delighted that Ben, our eldest Nephew and his beautiful wife, Sarah, have come to stay with us for a few days.

I cannot believe where time has gone…..I look at Ben, who is my sister Maxines, first born child, and I remember the day he was born. The years have rushed by and he is now the most magnificent man: gentle, loving, serious, kind and handsome, he has a beautiful soul. I can only imagine how proud my sister must be of him as he makes my heart burst with ”old Aunty” pride and love.

We sat around the kitchen table late last night, discussing life/family/history and general ”heavy subjects” in a lighthearted and fun way – but this morning, I’ve woken with a heart full of love and a renewed sense of awe at how life turns out/the way families grow and how you turn the corner and suddenly, roles have swopped and the child is the parent and the parent, the needy one…..

Ben is father to two gorgeous boys. His Mum, my sister, has four grandchildren and my baby sister, one granddaughter, so far! My Mum is now ”little granny” to these happy children while my sisters bear the monacle, ”granny”. We are Aunt and Uncle, Great Aunt and Great Uncle……yet I’ve no idea how time flew and we got to this point, happy though the point is!…

This morning, I was ”broadsided” when Ben offered to help empty the washing machine for me and to carry the wet washing. I realised in that moment, that he saw me as the person I am: older, not as fit as I was when he was born and someone who needed a little bit of physical help, following much surgery in the past few years.  I may feel like I’m young and am definitely young at heart but life is moving forward and middle age has enveloped Tony and I without us even realising it…..

Still, there is so very much to be grateful for. Our journey to this point has been rich in love, family, friends and , though ”problem splattered”, as all lives are, I wouldn’t change anything for the world….. and looking at Ben today, I was reminded that the world is all about the people we love who, if we are very lucky, love us in return.

…and even if they don’t, it doesn’t stop them being precious to us, does it?