“Family – Where life begins and love should never end”

Where better to be on a Sunday afternoon than at Donny’s with real old St Helenian hospitality.

Niece Terri and family had organised a christening lunch for baby Rocco and we were asked to wear something blue. Sister Colette, the artist of the siblings decorated a small ‘thank you for my gifts’ tree with blue trinkets. She also did the opening speech, ‘Collie’ has a way of bringing humour into the seriousness of life, important skill so if you need a good best man’s speech, she’s definitely a good person to ask.

I was chatting to someone actually this weekend about speeches as they prepared theirs for an event. I encouraged the person to include humour. Too many speeches are clinical and worry about offence being taken. I love the hilarity of a free flowing spirit. We worry so much about political correctness and offending other people that we lose so much of our colourful personalities. I suppose humour is subjective and when I write, I know there will always be someone out there who will take offence but since I am not trying to impress anyone and don’t mean to be spiteful or ‘catty’ I leave the message to be managed by those in receipt.

There was so much food (St Helena style) and we were so fortunate to be enjoying this wonderful repast with the smell of sea breeze and views which would cost a pretty penny to dine from in other parts of the world.

I love chatting to the younger members of the family. They teach me much. Katie and Hannah are ‘too old’ now to hang out with the younger ‘ladies’ and Hannah was in charge of videos and photos. I’m so incredibly proud of these youngsters and their focus on trying to be as authentic as possible. I laugh when I enjoy ‘adult’ conversation with them. Why not? They remind me how generations have changed and that my ‘older’ view of life can at times offer a dated approach which shackles their modern-free flow. I am endlessly encouraging the youngsters to live ‘free’ with love and respect.

We can all be joined by human virtues. No matter the age……

I want to make the most of my time with family as I know how heart-breaking it is to be apart. The Thomas family have had a tough 7 years but we are all still here to tell the tale and growing and evolving as best we can. Adversity is a chance to help someone else, once we have helped ourselves. My priorities have changed a lot over the last few months and all I know is that each day is not promised, so live it wisely.

I don’t believe that anything should come between the love of humans, it doesn’t even have to be family relationships. To disagree, to acknowledge differences but to always remember that in the end, those differences don’t mean a damn, but love does. Let it flow… we can grow.

Friends are also the family we choose. In the end, I like to remember that we are all joined together under one sky, in one cosmos, as one species….can there be a more important family than this?

My first dance was with baby Rocco and my second dance was with Mum who is a bit stiff but we’ll work on that. The last time I saw Mum dance she was trying to some kind of knee up thing and didn’t do too badly actually. I’m proud of Mum, at 70 years old she’s still moving, laughing and loving. “You go lady!”

Alex Vanguard kept the hips swinging and the feet tapping with his country piano tunes. I looked around and saw the glow in the older faces. To appreciate all kinds of music and the togetherness it brings. I have learnt over the past year the power of music.

Can we make the most of the moment? How many thought that they had all the time in the world with family, friends and colleagues and did not? Can we live fully, appreciatively and without all the hangups that add no value to our journeys?

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