A collaborative attempt at a tribute to my late grandmother.
We know you never liked a fuss
But now you’re gone, it’s up to us
You lived a humble, simple life
Devoted mum and faithful wife.
Your father was hoping for a son
But when you were born, he had none
He had daughters, Winnie and Joan
So as Peter, you were known.
Your nature made you born to teach
A goal you knew that you could reach.
Those who knew you could have guessed,
You’d change young lives for the best
And while you studied hard at college
To satisfy your thirst for knowledge
You still found time to go explore,
A grand adventure was in store.
You rode on bikes with just one gear,
To Milford Tunnel with no fear.
You and Lynn had no beds
You found your shelter in haysheds.
And then this girl whom you befriended
Brought to you, your intended.
Her sibling was an engineer,
Who liked to play with wood veneer.
The two of you tied the knot,
And Mangakino was the spot
That you first chose to work and stay,
Until you had to move away.
Taupo was your next location
And motherhood your new vocation
John arrived in all his glory,
The beginning of your family story.
Soon you had to relocate,
To Wellington beside Cook Strait.
Graeme arrived, a little brother,
And you were now a busy mother.
Your Dad and Errol built a home
You no longer had to roam.
Your sons grew up and both found wives,
And started independent lives.
A love for tools Errol had shown,
Sometimes choosing to craft his own.
Though often not the cheapest option,
They were a quality concoction.
Then your family got extended,
With grandchildren that you found splendid.
You nurtured them and helped them read.
The teacher in you saw a need.
Now both retired with time to spare,
Errol made you clothes to wear.
And for tramping trips you trained each day
You carried backpacks full of clay.
Your clever husband took up art
And created sketches very smart.
But when a less than perfect nude appeared,
That brought an end to this career.
When you stamped thrice on the floor,
We all knew what was in store.
It meant we had to come and eat
You always called us with your feet.
The two of you helped all of us,
With firm resolve and without fuss.
You helped with building and with painting
Up a ladder without fainting.
You grew vegetables and flowers
Pottering in your garden for hours.
Your strawberries were your pride and joy,
The birds would threaten to destroy.
You loved to go off for a walk,
The neighbours stopped by for a talk.
Sometimes friendly cats would visit,
And you were sure to never miss it.
Then once again your family grew,
With great-grandbabies brand new
And although now you’ve gone away,
Your legacy is here to stay.
You played many parts throughout your life;
Daughter, sister, aunt and wife
Teacher, friend, and loving mother,
Devoted carer of two brothers.
Your spell as great-granny, although slight,
Clearly brought you great delight
But I think your best role, by far,
Was the time you spent as our Grandma.