Fiona knows how precious time is

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“I will forever cherish the Christmas holidays I spent with my mum and my sister. My mum Annie was sedated and on pain relief, but she smiled and was so happy when I told her that she was finally going to be a grandmother. I still remember holding her hand and the way she smiled when I told her. My father kept joking saying ‘You’re going to be Grannie Annie, Grannie Annie.’

She now has six grandsons but sadly she didn’t get the chance to meet any of them. I think my mum would have been so proud of what thoughtful caring young men they have turned out to be. They have their grandmother’s sense of compassion and mischievous sense of humour.

My mum was totally devoted to her family. She was so loving and supportive and was a fantastic role model for me and my two sisters – Andrea and Dominique. I’ve always tried to be as loving and giving as she was. I could easily talk to her about anything and she had this strength about her that I’ve always admired so much.

My family originally came from Great Britain, and so every Christmas we’d have roast turkey with stuffing, baked potatoes and veggies, plum pudding with hot custard – even if it was 38°C. I’ve continued with the turkey (I just serve it cold with salad and seafood now). But I still love my Christmas pudding served hot so that is something that will never change! Also every Christmas me and my three siblings would hang up our Christmas stockings for Santa, and every year we’d find them filled in the morning with a small present.

My husband Colyn and I carried on this tradition when we had Fraser and Lachlan – I even still try and put out their stockings though they sometimes grumble good-naturedly because they’re now teenagers.

Losing my sister to the same disease cut a wound that will never heal. My sister Dom would do anything for anyone.

Riley & mum Thornleigh - 1-2003

She was well respected and loved and this was shown in the large crowd of friends and family who attended her funeral. She was special. Dom was also quite shy and quiet like my mum. She was passionate about the environment and worked as a volunteer.

She loved being a mum – it was her greatest joy. She loved to take her boys out and would run around and play with them.”

At night it was time for bedtime stories and cuddles. Because Riley and Logan loved Thomas the Tank Engine her husband,  Ross built cubbyhouse and Dominique spent hours painting the face of Thomas the Tank Engine on the front. She would make special little carrot muffins for her boys because she knew they loved them.

She would take them to outings and loved taking them for bush walks and showing them the birds, trees and other flora and fauna. She started up a mothers group where she lived as a chance for mums and babies to play and get to know each other.

Her family miss her so very much, it was the special little things that she did for them.

Being there to cuddle them and love them when they were sad or upset. Riley and Logan’s dad and grandmother shower them with love and take them on lots of adventures and holidays but they still miss their mum.”

– Fiona Henrisson, ACRF Supporter

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