Early last week our phone rang with the incoming call from Dad in Australia. Being 2pm in Australia I knew this was news that Nan had finally passed away. A week and a bit earlier she had suffered a major stroke although this was after she had a great Christmas and boxing day spending it with her family.
She seemed to know the end was near. When we said goodbye to her early in the year I think I know that it would be the last time I saw her too. Truth is she has been wanting to go and be with Jesus and see Pop again for the last few years.
So without being able to be around the family at this time to share memories I will offer some of my own here in tribute to a wonderful lady who had bucket loads of character.
I have vague recollection of her and Pop living in the house on the farm – they moved from there when I was four so I guess vague is doing ok. I do remember Nan enjoying being close to the farm action. I remember days of cutting up sheep and packing meat trays with Nan and enjoying it as much as she did. I also have memories of her dissapearing into her dark (really dark) pantry to retrieve some old dusty bottle of medicine for some ailment that someone was complaining of. I think amateur medicine with out-of-date drugs was one of her favourite pastimes.
Most of my memories though come from when Nan and Pop lived at 4 Park Rd and Gnowangerup. They made their big shift there away from the farm – a full 13kms! I remember we used to visit there often on the way home from town or after church to have lunch with the other rellies. Nan always had the outside fridge full of cool drinks and a lolly jar full of lollies. She took her role of spoiling the grandchildren ery seriously and did a great job. She was always ready on sunday afternoons to give us a dollar so we could go and buy popping bubble gum from the roadhouse and never complained when we made blanket forts in the “good” lounge room. Her cooking was always good too – never one too shy away from butter cream or salt it always tasted good. I remember when I stayed there for a week while I did work experience in town that she cooked Bacon and eggs for me each morning and did and all round good job of spoiling me. If you were ever there around 5:30 you could bet that the TV would be on so they could both watch “wheel of fortune” and “sale of the century” at 7… all while Nan was knitting something for someone.
She was a Nan who had plenty of spark, loved a chat (maybe even some gossip!), was cheeky and loved to love those who lacked close family. There are many to whom she was an important person. She loved being the centre of attention and to know that people where enjoying themselves in her company – I think this continued in the nursing home too!
Most of all though she loved God, and her family. She was a faithful attender of church and was an presnt member for many decades at Gnowangerup Baptist. Everyone knew that she thought her husband was amazing – I remember her often taking about him in adoring tones and then missing him dearly when he passed away. Everyone also knew how much she loved her family – as my Aunty just emailed me “she was pretty good at loving her own”. She would gush about her family and achievements of her grandchildren and try at every opportunity to show generosity (with cash!) to them :-). In the last few years, if you visited and could manage to leave with less than $50 pressed into your hand you were doing well.
Apparently she left without fear, knowing that the time had come and that a better future was waiting for her. Nan, we will miss you but know you are finally enjoying time in the presence of God and reunited with Pop.
I thought I would at least like to post this song – The old rugged cross. I think it was her favourite, at least this is the song that was her Dads favourite hymn and I remember as a little kid seeing her sing this out in church with tears streaming down her face. What a lesson in emotion, love and remembering those who are important to you.