I know the title of this post sounds a little maudlin, but it is actually the reason I find myself heading to Melbourne tomorrow unexpectedly. My dearest great aunt, Aunty Joyce aka ‘Tiny’, ‘JoJo’ or ‘Little One’ has passed away just shy of her 92nd birthday. She, along with her husband, who unfortunately passed away 5 years ago on his 92nd birthday, has always been a rock to my family. Always interested in everyone and everything, they were always there to make you feel special and like there was no-one else in the world like you. I remember whenever we visited, and returned from a day shopping, they were there at the door, ushering us in with words of excitement – ‘what did you buy, come on, bring it all out’, and ‘oh goodness Joyce, look at this outfit Michelle bought, isn’t it just stunning’ and ‘oh what a bargain – you are such a good shopper!’. They knew what your strengths and weaknesses were and what your dreams for life were and they always tried to cater for that on our trips. My grandparents were unwell for most of the time I knew them, and although they didn’t have to, Aunty Joy and Uncle Ron always filled the void and made us feel like we were special and had a place in the family.
So now that both of them have gone, it is with bittersweet feelings that I find myself returning to Melbourne this week. To say goodbye to a wonderful part of my life and to remember all the good times, all the laughs, the great jelly fight and all the amazing experiences and times we spent with our special little Jennings’s.
I don’t know what this trip will bring. Probably it will be a little trip down memory lane, hopefully it will mean catching up with beloved family members and perhaps it may even bring a glimpse into a side of the Melbourne we have not yet had the chance to see.