Judith’s Tribute to Grandma
Mum was a gentle, mild-mannered person. She was not a judgemental person. She took everything in her stride and never lost her temper. She certainly never swore. I remember after I got my driver’s licence and one day was driving with her in my car I swore at something some other driver did and she said she was glad she never learned to drive if it meant she would swear like Barbara and me.
She loved her grandchildren. I was always amazed at her relationship with all her grandchildren. I recall my relationship with my grandmother which was not good, but Mum was great with her grandchildren, and they loved her equally as much. She waited a long time for great grandchildren and often would say that her sisters and friends had great grandchildren and it didn’t seem as though she would ever have any and then they arrived one after the other and in seven years there were seven of them.
Like most young marrieds Mum didn’t have any mod cons. She did all the washing for a family of five by hand and didn’t have a washing machine until David was born when we were 14, 12 and 10. We didn’t have a fridge until then as well. For many years she cooked on a coal range.
Most of her married life we lived in the country so there were no shops handy. We didn’t have a car and she had to rely on friends to take her to town to shop. Although in those days the butcher and the baker made deliveries to our home.
She made all Barbara and my dresses until well into our teens. She made a great job of each dress. In latter years we found out she hated sewing, but did it because she had to.
Mum was a great baker and cook. She was still trying out new recipes right up until she became ill at the age of 90 years and had to go into a rest home. A lot of her recipes have been handed down and the grandchildren are now using them. Her gingerbread, fudge and porridge biscuits were legendary.
She was a great walker and used to walk for miles and at a fast pace. Until she was well into her 80s she walked into the city which would take her about 40 minutes. Depending on what time the buses came some times she would walk home as well.
We had a lovely celebration to mark her 90th birthday. The whole family were together for the first time for many years. She really looked forward to it and I took her shopping to buy a new dress. She couldn’t make up her mind between a dress and a suit, so bought both. We also went shopping for new shoes and I was instructed to buy her a new handbag. We have some lovely photos to mark that wonderfully happy occasion.
My Saturdays have not been the same since Mum was moved out of Christchurch following the February 22nd earthquake. There has been a big gap in my life.
Our mother was a great lady and we are certainly going to miss her.