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.