Lighthouse Beach in Port Macquarie will always hold a special place in Nyky Napier-Reynolds' heart.
It's the place where son Jake Spurdle's ashes were scattered earlier this year after the inspirational teenager lost his battle with Osteosarcoma - a rare type of bone cancer.
The beach was also where a certain calmness washed over Nyky as she prepared to watch their beloved South Sydney Rabbitohs qualify for their first NRL grand final appearance in seven years on Friday.
"I'm normally like a cat on a hot tin roof before big games," Nyky said.
"But on Friday I saw a koala and then a whole load of whales off Lighthouse which is where Jake is scattered, so it's a very special place for us.
"I really felt like Jake was with us and I know that might seem fluffy for some people, but he is very much with us. I feel he sends out messages and is guiding us."
I really felt like Jake was with us and I know that might seem fluffy for some people, but he is very much with us.Nyky Napier-Reynolds
When Jake passed away in April, it was the family's greatest request to see the red and greens claim premiership win number 22 at the end of the year and now they're one win away.
"This year has been one thing after another to be honest and we've got to turn the corner at some point," Nyky said.
"If we can have an October grand final win for Souths this would be the year for it to happen. If Jake's pushing any buttons up there to make it happen, he's doing it.
"It's been a bit of a sh*t year."
With September being childhood cancer month, it would be fitting to see Adam Reynolds lift the premiership trophy come 9pm on Sunday night.
Reynolds visited Port Macquarie and spent the day with Jake earlier this year.
"It's not Wayne's magic, it would be Jake's magic," Nyky said.
"South Sydney truly are family and they really are an amazing club. As we've seen all the way through Jake's journey they have been very supportive of us and I'll be forever grateful for that."
The thought of digging their way into Suncorp Stadium had crossed the mind, but instead Nyky will hold a grand final party with some of Jake's friends this weekend.
They know he will be there with them.
"A lot of people don't even support the Rabbitohs and just watch the game for Jake far and wide around Australia so he's very much still present in people's minds which is wonderful," she said.
"It is very much a double-edged sword because we would have been down in Sydney for the finals and probably the grand final, so it is high emotion."
A South Sydney spokesperson said the fighting spirit that Jake showed through his battle is in-built into the Rabbitohs.
"Jake had a profound effect on the players and coaches and he will certainly be in everyone's thoughts on Sunday as we play for the premiership," the statement read.
"We hope all of Jake's family and friends can get behind us on Sunday and show the same fighting spirit and will to win which Jake showed each and every day."
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