A testament to the importance of family

"Somehow my children and I have formed wonderful adult relationships."

My family on my father’s side is quite extensive. Dad was one of eleven children, and only his youngest brother is still alive.

I grew up visiting Sydney where most of his family lived and where I met and played with a heap of cousins some of whom I developed relationships with but many I lost contact with as we grew up and moved on.

On my mother’s side, there was only a brother, and he had five kids, four girls and a boy. They lived close to us, and I had and still do have a lot to do with them.

My own family was an older brother, younger brother and a younger sister. My older brother is five years my senior and as a kid, I didn’t have a lot to do with him as I think I was the irritating little brother. He was very good at sport and often came home with a trophy or two. It wasn’t until later in life that we connected, and today we get along well; he lives in New Zealand, and we call each other every week or so.

My younger brother is three years my junior, and we played a lot as kids. We were always very sporty, and he was into football and cricket.

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My younger sister was the annoying sister who followed her brothers around.

We have stayed good friends throughout our lives, and it’s a testament to us – our parents even – that we see the importance of family and we support and spend time together when we can.

From my married life, I have six kids, three boys and three girls. They are the most amazing people. Each has achieved things in life they would never have considered as children.

Marriage and I never went so well together, but somehow my children and I have formed wonderful adult relationships, and now with them all being 30+ I am enjoying the time we spend together. They have provided me with eight grandchildren, equally amazing people and I am loving watching them grow up in their own skins becoming people I am loving being around.

What do your relationships with your family members mean to you?