Epicentre of our family

June with some of her family

Growing up in Wagga, Athol St with Mumzum and Sandy was an everyday part of my life. The key in the door, the creaks in the floorboards, the smell, Mumzum in her study or at the table reading and Sandy in the kitchen. Weekend meals, the red Triumph, Tippie and Doglet. As a kid I lived it and it was just as life was. Easter and Christmas built on this and are still highlights for me. Uncles, aunties and cousins jamming into Athol St. Big sleepovers on the verandah, family visiting and drawn to the one place. Gathering around the fire that is Mumzum. As a kid those times were the best, I remember them fondly and I miss them. Happy happy times when I truely felt the love, familiarity and connection with my big, bold and beautiful extended family.

I left Wagga and family a long time ago, living away from its familiarity. Starting my own family and while remembering the extended clan it had become something largely seperate to my life.

This weekend and recent trips to Beechworth have reminded me of the warmth and love that exists for me and my small family within our extended mob. The open expression of love to my kids and Sam and the easy connection made between them and their great aunties and uncles has overwhelmed me with feelings of happiness. It wraps me in the warmth and security I felt at Athol St. It reminds me that it wasn't just that place but the love of the family and my connection with them that made it so special. I underestimated the everyday support it gave in my life, and the strength and identity it gave me.

The epicentre of the family has followed Mumzum around and seems to lay now in both Canberra and Beechworth. As one of the family who live out of easy reach of it I wanted to raise the idea of a regular event that will draw us all together to pass the connection and love between our amazing extended family onto Mumzum's great grandkids and those that are still to come.

Lachlan Sutherland (Grandson)

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