My Dear Mum.

Yesterday I said goodbye to my wonderful Mother. At 87 years she had lived a full and fabulous life. These are the words I shared on behalf of my brother and sister at her funeral.

Mother, Carer, Friend, Homemaker, Child of God, Example to follow and Strong support.

These are just some of the roles that Mum fulfilled in our lives.

Where do we begin when you lose someone that has always been the central rock of your life?

Mum’s ability for listening to, thinking about, praying about, advising – then leaving the problem in her Lord’s capable hands, was truly a God given gift and an example to us all.  In fact, her amazingly long daily prayer and devotion times are famous within our family.  And you, like us, should be a little concerned that your daily life may falter somewhat without her prayers!

Everyday life has changed forever for us.

No more daily 10am phone calls or weather reports.  No more weekly trips to and from church.  No more fortnightly grocery shopping trips.  And most importantly, no more sport updates concerning her beloved All Blacks, Black Caps, Breakers, Silver Ferns, Warriors, Roger Federer etc etc.

Mum loved to travel and enjoyed many trips to QLD to visit Mandy, Adrian & the boys.  She also loved to return to her home town of Tarrington in Victoria, to catch up with neighbours and friends from her younger days and we feel very grateful that two of these lifelong friends have joined us today.

In 2014, Jan & Mandy were blessed to have their very first mother/daughter trip away together.  We travelled to Fiji and had the pleasure of taking Mum for her very last ocean swims.  There can be no doubt that the laughter could be heard all the way back in New Zealand, as the waves washed Mum backwards and forwards, with us girls becoming anchors to prevent the addition of Beryl to the America’s Cup fleet!

It was only in September last year that Jan & Ray took Mum on a first-time adventure to Queenstown and surrounding areas.  She marvelled at God’s handiwork of mountains, snow and the beautiful blossoms, and enjoyed the wine of the region.

Mum always accepted Jacque, Ray & Adrian in exactly the same way she did her own children.  She was a Mum to us all and loved us all.  Only Ray knows the content of the top-secret meetings that took place under the pretence of working on his hot rod that was kept stored in her garage!  We were so thankful to have Mum’s guiding hands available when our babies came along.  Never obtrusive but always supportive.  Jacque & Peter were especially blessed to be able to share twice over when their grandchildren and Mum’s great grandchildren came along.  She always felt so privileged to be included.

Family weddings were another highlight in Mum’s life and not just an excuse to dress up – not that she needed an excuse for that!  Always dressed beautifully, colour and makeup just right, with just the right amount of bling and a spritz of perfume.  There was nothing Mum loved more than celebrating with her family … and a glass of bubbles, of course.

Something that many of you will not know is that Mum was actually something of a medical expert!!  Yes, 42 yrs of being employed as housekeeper at the Hillsborough Medical Centre added to the years of rehab put in after a double knee replacement & a shoulder reconstruction after a fall at the age of 70.  She continued her training by caring & supporting our dear Dad through his painful last years, as well as seeing Mandy through the long cancer journey of her husband, Adrian.  Then of course there was her go to home medical encyclopaedia from which she gleaned insight and knowledge.  Surely, this must add up to a well earned doctorate?

Now to Mum’s second family – her church.  To you, she was mother, nana, provider, confidant, encourager and prayer for all!  YOU WERE ON HER LIST!  Every bible study or craft group she attended; every phone call she made; every card she sent; every letter she wrote; every song she sang; every Baptism Candle she decorated; every cake or biscuit she baked; every meal she shared with you, was laced with both her love and God’s love.

So it is with joy and thanksgiving that we are able to leave our dear Mum in God’s loving hands because that is right where she knew she was always going to be.

Photo ©Anand Jala
  1. So beautifully written Mandy. Seeing these photos of my Aunty Beryl bought a smile to my face. Life will never be the same dear cousin’s, however, wonderful precious memories of your Mum, will remain forevermore. Much love to all. X Glee.

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