Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Blog for Mom

"The worst feature of a new baby is its mother's singing."

Kin Hubbard

Ok, so after many “requests” (I won’t say nagging, but that is what I’m thinking), I am doing a blog for my mom. It follows on from mom’s blog about her mom and granny, and of course her lovely and wonderful daughter (oh why yes, that is me! How kind of you to say!). Now I’m sure mom will be able to corroborate that I am not exactly the most touchy-feely-sharey-emtionsie type person, so this will probably not be in the same vein as mom’s writings. But I’ll do my best.

As per most of mom’s blogs I have included a quote, it is not inspirational, but it does “sing” true for my mom. Oh the times I have asked her (politely) to stop singing… and oh the times I have covered my ears and ASKED her to stop singing, bless her but mom was not born to be a singer, although I’m sure her hopes to be reincarnated as a cabaret star will come true, just not in this lifetime. Despite mom’s somewhat limited ability to sing, she was born to be loads else, first and foremost among those she was born to be the world’s best mom.

And I do not say that lightly, as I have witnessed other people’s moms, and mine is by far the best. Although saying that, I wouldn’t mind being awoken to crumpets for breakfast everyday… *hint hint ;) * I’ve so often had people say to me “I wish I had a mom like yours,” to which I normally just nod sympathetically at their misfortune. Mom is the mommiest mom ever, she’s lovely and wonderful and always there for us.

(Now it is time to relate some amusing tales of mom’s momminess - *ahem*)

The last time I laughed so hard my sides hurt was with mom, I forget what it was about, probably she had done something silly which made me giggle – i.e. the time she was approached by some stranger in Pick’n’Pay, and before he could even utter a word, she said with complete conviction “you think you know me, but you don’t”, to which he looked startled, then embarrassed before turning on his heel and fleeing the scene. I think I was standing there in mute amazement, before saying something along the lines of “WTF”, and bursting out into laughter. “You think you know me, but you don’t”, sorry what?!

Mom is sometimes ridiculously silly, which makes us all laugh like loons, but that I think is amazing, that she can be so ridiculous and still be able to be serious caring mom at other times. Much to my annoyance, sometimes mom just knows when something’s wrong, no matter how much I try to hide it and want to be left alone. She will always know and try and make things better; sometimes all it takes is a cup of hot chocolate or a warm bath. Mom I think is one of the most giving people; I know sometimes I can be… well let’s just say I’m not the friendliest person in the world, but no matter what I’ve done or said mom will still be right there when I need her. Thanks mommy-wommy.

I’m not sure what else to say, simply I do not want to risk this becoming soppy, because then I will be forced to delete everything and just put in amusing anecdotes, I hope I have the right balance so far. So to mommy, who does all the chores without complaint (unlike me, I complain a lot… a whole lot), who looks after everyone whether they need it or not, who makes us giggle, who gives us everything she can, who says ridiculously wonderful things to random people like “is this your boyfriend?” “No, this is my friend EMMA”. I love you lots mom, and I appreciate you so much, and despite what I might say, I do kinda miss you… a little bit… ;)

Lots of Love,


365 Days, Day 294

If the family were a container, it would be a nest, an enduring nest, loosely woven, expansive and open.

If the family were a fruit, it would be an orange, a circle of sections, held together but separable – each segment distinct.

If the family were a boat, it would be a canoe that makes no progress unless everyone paddles.

If the family were a building, it would be an old but solid structure that contains human history, and appeals to those who see the carved moldings under all the plaster, the wide plank floors under all the linoleum, the possibilities

(Letty Cottin Pogrebin)

I am so blessed to have such a wonderful extended family. Each and every member of my family has a special place in my heart filled with memories of things we have done together.

At the end of our retreat we had a Loving Kindness session, which was a meditation where we silently wished Loving Kindness to specific people in our lives. I dedicate this blog to all my immediate and extended family and wish each one – in a quiet moment* – Loving Kindness: I wish you Kindness to yourself - give yourself permission to be kind to yourself; and I wish you thoughts heavy with Love; love yourself unreservedly [you are wonderful]; I send you my unconditional love.

Thank you to each and every one of you for the Love and the Kindness you have shown me.

With much love


*I can hear the birds singing outside, distant traffic, the sound of mom chopping something in the kitchen, my breath, the quiet hum of the pc…

P.S. In the photo is from left: Kayla, Aileen and moi (in new hat, and the apron that mom made for my birthday present! And yes I was washing the dishes attired like this.)

Monday, March 28, 2011

365 Days, Day 293

Grandmothers hold our tiny hands for a little while, but our hearts forever (Unknown)

The history of our grandparents is remembered not with rose petals but in the laughter and tears of their children and their children’s children. It is into us that the lives of our grandparents have gone. It is in us that their history becomes a future (Charles and Ann Morse)

The second page spread of my fabric journal, entitled The Girls is Iris’s page.

I was born on Iris’s birthday – how special to share a birthday with your grandmother.

I think I share her love of colour (although, I tend to be more conservative than her in my colour co-ordination). Nan used to combine a very eclectic array of colours in her clothing.

Nan was always full of fun; we would always have a good laugh about something when with Nan. I remember one year when I went to Drakensberg for a holiday with [Auntie] Pam, [Uncle] Ronne, [cousins] Sue, Carol and Rene, as well as Nan and Stan. We were off on a horse-riding expedition (more like a horse-walking expedition). We all mounted our ‘trusty’ old steeds and waited for Nan to clamber onto her old stallion. She hoiked herself up onto its back and somehow managed to slide off the other side onto the ground. Much mirth and squealing from very concerned albeit very amused granddaughters ensued as we all put Nan back onto her horse.

Iris had the reputation of being somewhat of a rebel in her youth, she liked fast cars and bikes. Don’t we all?! I am not quite sure exactly how she got the repute of rebel; I don’t know all the details… I do know she was loved by all of her children and grandchildren, and some of the great-grandchildren who were fortunate enough to have met her.

Iris was the matriarch of our family: family functions took place at Nan’s house. Parties, Christmases when we were younger, Boxing Days, New Years Days, family get-togethers when the Durban family came up, and parties happened at Nan’s house. I remember being a little girl at some of those parties, sitting on Nan’s lap with my head against her chest, playing with the soft loose skin on her elbows, and falling asleep like this.

Memories of playing in Nan’s garden with Sue, Carol and Rene: swinging on the swing on the porch, tearing around the garden playing witches, collecting bits and bobs from Nan’s garden for our witches’ broth.

Memories of being out by the pool with the extended family, swimming, playing ball games, loads of talking and laughing, and lying in the SUN! Nan loved the sun: she was always very tanned.

When we were saying our final goodbyes to Nan, I remember holding her hands and stroking them, and marvelling at her exquisite fingers – so long and slender and beautifully shaped.

Beautiful memories of my Nan.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

365 Days, Day 292

Mothers of daughters are daughters of mothers, and have remained so, in circles joined to circles, since time began (Signe Hammer)

What I wanted most for my daughter was that she be able to soar confidently in her own sky, wherever that may be (Helen Claes)

The third page spread of my fabric journal, entitled The Girls is Ariél’s page.

Dear Ariél,

You are My Precious.

You were lent to me to be my teacher, my inspiration, my personal stylist, my source of entertainment, my source of pride and joy, my source of concern (I am getting better at this, by letting go), my source of fun and laughter.

My dearest wish for you is that you are happy and fulfilled. You have so much to give, you have so much to receive, and you have so much potential.

Believe in yourself. You are beautiful (both outside and from within); you are wise – bringing wisdom from your rich tapestry of past lives; you are extremely intelligent with insight beyond your tender age; you are talented in so many delightful ways – and even though you may not always acknowledge your creative skills, you are an artist!

And my Little One, your body is gorgeous - use it in oh-so-many ways. Love your body; live through it, use it to express yourself (no, I am not just talking about sex here, but yes, that too: enjoy your sensuality). Dance. Try different styles – be uninhibited and free.

You are a Princess, always expect people to treat you as one; BUT treat others with the same respect that you would expect from them. Smile. With your eyes and your heart.

I will always be waiting ‘backstage’ for you, cheering you on, but always ready to support you when you need it.

I will always be the Keeper of your Secrets.

With All my Love, Always


Saturday, March 26, 2011

365 Days, Day 291

God could not be everywhere so He created mothers (Jewish proverb)

It was when I had my first child that I understood how much my mother loved me (Unknown)

My first fabric journal, entitled The Girls.

Page one is Shirley’s page.

Shirley is my mother, my friend, my confidante, my inspiration, my mentor. She has inner reserves of strength that keep her going - being wife, friend and nurse to my father through all his illnesses. She is self-effacing about her many talents; but has always had some creative activity on the go, from dressmaking to cake decorating to flower arranging, to calligraphy, to making the most beautiful hand-made cards for each of us on very many occasions, to exquisite watercolour paintings, to hand-made, hand-painted pottery and ceramics.

She has always had her own inimitable style in her appearance. I can remember being fascinated as a young child watching her get ready to out: putting on her make-up (false eyelashes too!), carefully tweaking the elaborate hairstyles (with artfully arranged hairpieces!), slipping into sequinned mini dresses with filmy chiffon layers or long dresses with diaphanous sleeves, and matching or co-ordinating shoes.

She is an inspiration to us - her children, in her devotion to dad. It is delightful to see mom and dad still holding hands when they go walking (to be honest though, these days it is probably because dad needs extra support and refuses to use a walking stick! *chuckle*). On a holiday a few years ago, it made me feel warm inside to watch them holding hands and helping each other over the rocks on the beach – not for support but just because they are still in love…

Mom has always been there for me when I have needed her. I remember her arriving at my house while I was sitting on the floor crying with a howling twin in each arm. She came in and calmly took a baby from me and helped put the “wheels” back on. She did this effortlessly without ever giving the impression that she was ‘taking-over’.

I have learned so many things from my wonderful mother. We have laughed together and cried together. A lot. We enjoy each other’s company and while I am sure I drive her to distraction with my ‘not normal’ unusual ways, she never shows any disapproval. I have always felt nurtured, loved and adored by my mom.

Thank you my little mommy: I love you very very much.