To my dear friend,

At school, we have started our new module on belonging and I have been trying my very hardest to detach the topic from the bad connotations it has to Yr 12-ers and to reflect on what makes me feel I am accepted and that I belong.

An incredibly important woman in my life came to mind called Minnie. Her name is Beryl Forbes and I have no clue why we call her Min but nevertheless, that is what she is known to me as. She is my mum’s mum, grandmother to thirteen and is the strongest and most joyous woman I know. She is 85, lives independently with her darling cat Sooty and is an great painter, hand seamstress and grows the most incredible gardens with roses, pansies, lettuces, cucumbers, lavender and violets. She laughs a lot and has a wicked sense of humour. Her heart is full and warm, always popping over to make dinner or to help Dan and Lily with homework. Whenever I come over to her place, she welcomes me with a hug, a sloppy joe and conversation, as well as a potfull of stewed apples or custard to take home with me on the train.

I love her dearly and she has done such a wonderful job raising her family with my grandpa Brown. Through trials she has always shown her heart for others and last year was probably the greatest of her hard times. Brown needed renal dialysis multiple times a week because his kidneys hadn’t worked for the last couple of years and he became very sick at different points in the year. Minnie constantly cared for him with devotion and affection but around this time last year he grew extremely ill, his body was so frail and he stayed in hospital for many days before he passed away. It was incredible devastating for me, losing Brown who had such strength of character and gentle passion for us all. If I was sad, how much more distressed must Minnie have been, his wife of so many years. She was and still is terribly sad for Brown but has battled on from last year with our family holding her close and has chosen to fill her days with things she loves; her family, the Lantern Club, her art classes, her beautiful garden and her friends. Despite such awful circumstances, her warm, fun and compassionate spirit stays strong and she is cherished in our family.

In her hugs, I feel like I truly belong and so I wanted to share that with you.

Hope you are well,

Love Ally xx



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