My darling nephews; my accidental and most precious family, my heart boys, my kop geraas, my naughtiness, my bad joke comrades, my heroes with great dress sense, my clumsy and spoilt, my talented and heroic, my polite and compassionate, my sensitive and rude, my TV watchers and game players, sweet eaters and ice lolly chewers, fussy foodies, and messy tea drinkers.

You bring out my love, my strictness, my philosopher, my drawer, my swimming side, my golf cart driver, my tense shopping experience, my nagging self, my critical voice, my memory bank, my tender side, my negotiating deal maker, my threatening voice, my nagging self.

You make me laugh, you fill my heart, you make me proud, you irritate, negotiate, you run away, you come back for hugs, you grow too fast, you laugh out loud, you speak in riddles, you hide your tears, you cry in sobs, you buy bad shock pens, you love your grans, you drive your mom crazy, you break your promises, you swear on pinkies, you surprise me and make me cry.

I am so sad for your loss, so proud of your achievements, so tender about your growing up. I want to protect you, and I know that I can’t. I want to be here for you, always, and I hope that you know.

Thank you for loving me and challenging me. Thank you for listening and not listening, for letting me kiss you and sometimes for kissing me back. Every squeeze counts. Please throw those hideous shock pens and key rings away.