How do you want to be commemorated?
What do you want your children, friends and family to remember you?
What impact will your life have on them?
Three months ago I gave my 86 year old mother a book to complete.
Grandma, tell me a story.
A chance for her to share her stories and answer questions about the best memories of her life.
Three weeks ago she passed away.
It was sudden, but she was at peace as she held the hand of her husband of 63 years and closed her eyes.
At her funeral we sent her off in a bright red coffin to the sound of Coronation street. A programme she adored.
She leaves a legacy for her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
The book is an absolute treasure, filled with wisdom, honesty and happy memories in words and pictures.
It took her a month to complete the book and her time had come.
Never a dull moment
My mum had a sense of humour.
For mum and dad’s first date they decided to go the movies.
Mum agreed to buy the tickets as dad was on night shift.
As they were driving to the picture theatre she told him that she had purchased the tickets, but there had been a problem.
She had not been able to get two tickets seated together.
It wasn’t all bad news however, as she had managed to get them seated either side of the aisle. They would still be able to see each other.
Dad started thinking that this was one of the dumbest woman he had ever dated. This date was going to be a complete waste of time.
When they arrived at the theatre, to his surprise, they were actually seated together.
After 63 years of marriage, on her deathbed, Mum said to Dad, “I have to tell you something.”
“Those fawn trousers, those ratty ones that you use for gardening. I’ve hidden them. And you will never find them.”
Dad went mad and said “I need them and I want them. It doesn’t matter if the hems are frayed because they are hidden inside my gumboots.”
Mum said, “I’m not going to tell you where they are. I will tell Lynne (her daughter).”
Then before she had time to tell Lynne, she closed her eyes and went to sleep…
And Mum was a battler.
For nearly 50 years she suffered from the pain and disfigurement of rheumatoid arthritis.
This didn’t stop her. She always kept herself busy.
In her book ‘Grandma tell me your story’ she tells it like it is.
Grandma, when you were little, what was bedtime like in your family? Did your parents ever read stories or sing to you?
“They were too busy to spend time reading to us and we would just go to bed and talk and then sleep. We had jobs to do; washing floors and door steps. We would also wait on tables at lunchtime and tea time.”
Grandma, what are the things you value most in life?
“We had great friends and neighbours. We would help each other out with the children.
“We had the most amazing holidays together with friends and family and I am extremely grateful and love them all so very much.”
Grandma, what’s an important lesson your parents taught you – something you’ve tried to live by and share with your own kids?
“Never tell lies and treat your elders with respect.”
Grandma, what are the secrets of staying young at heart?
“Keeping yourself busy working at what you can do well.”
I will always remember my mum for the one month of her life she dedicated to completing this book.
She will be remembered as a Proverbs 31:10-12 woman.
A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
Wayne worked in the media for more than 30 years before leaving to follow a call to set up The Daily Encourager, a values based media showcasing the best of New Zealand society. He has a passion for Jesus, enjoys walking, ball sports, the arts and song writing.