We lost a special lady last week, my 84 year old Aunty Marj.
I say 'my' but we're not related. She's my mate Kelsey's childhood neighbour, whom I adopted in my late teens. Aunty Marj had a kind word for everyone she met, and some sage advice for a young woman named Amanda, who thought too much about what other people thought.
Aunty Marj had experienced great sadness in her life. She'd lost a baby, then a young daughter and later, her husband Ron. Her losses hadn't hardened her though, she was a lively little bird who always seemed to be laughing. When I put my arm around her I was always conscious that she'd fit under my armpit if I weren't careful.
There's a lot to learn from Aunty Marj's approach to life. At her wake, her adult grandchildren fondly remembered swimming with her in the pool last Christmas and it made me think about what my girls will remember of me when I'm gone.
They won't remember what I looked like in my togs. They won't remember the spider vein on my left shin or the scar on my right thigh.
They'll remember I was there, in the pool with them. Doing silly synchronised swimming impersonations and trying to do the longest handstand.
So this summer, I'm adopting Aunty Marj's ethos. I'm going to get off the sidelines, get in my cossie, eat the cake, have a go, swim in the ocean, stay up late dancing and be memorable.
The rest of Aunty Marj's stories are not mine to share but I will carry them with me as a little reminder to say yes.
will you be getting in the pool this Christmas?