Tribute To Gran


I've just turned on my computer and put some music on. The first song said "You can have all this world, but give me Jesus"

Gran's gone to be with Jesus. I'm going too one day, hope it's not too long.
Tim rang at 2:15 this morning to say she was in hospital. I got up early, on Tuesday mornings we have prayer and breakfast together as a team. Ben was leading the devotions and spoke about death. He quoted St Ignacious and someone else, I wasn't really listening. The phrase I remember was "Death is just the final exam, after that you are perfect".

Gran just passed the final exam.

I don't think there was much left for God to do to make her perfect. Gran has been a perfect Grandma ever since I can remember. Trips to the shops, swinging on the swings, always buying a few lollies, playing in Snowdens bush, playing golf, playing in the creek and always a loving Grandma, Humphrey the HUGE cat, knitting jerseys, Yorkshire pudding.

Gran was the sort that would make thick gravy for Tim and runny gravy for Grandad because that was how they both liked it. I never once heard Grandma complain or speak harshly. She was a gracious example of a Godly woman. She was selfless and loved to help. Gran had learned many lessons from the olden days (how to be frugal etc) but she didn't remain there. Her appreciation and encouragement of young people was amazing.

She never stopped writing to me. Even when her handwriting was so bad Aunty Jan had to rewrite a couple words and it must have hurt to write, she kept on.

She reminded me every time to "Keep looking up".

I wish I was more like my Grandma. I wish I had stuck to her advice more often.

When Tim rang the second time, I already knew she was gone and I was ready and I was going to be tough and not cry, but I just burst into tears. Not sure exactly why. I know that she is in a better place with no pain, I know she lived a long good life. I know that now her and Grandad are together again. She never ever complained about being left alone these last 11 years.

Grandma was very generous and very careful. Her and Grandad never had heaps but always had something to share. For the few years I lived in Brightwater I was always welcome there. Whether it was 5:00 am in 1990 to watch world cup soccer matches, or a meal to eat if the rest of the family was away, or just a visit to say hello (you could never go without eating and drinking something), and Gran's fruit juice drinks were the best.

I don't feel that I have carefully thought about this, I've more or less written just as I thought.

there is so much to say about Gran. I think right now I'm really seeing the benefit of family.

Over here in Ukraine many families are not together or supportive. So many young people have wounds and emotional scars of broken families. I thank God for my Grandma's faith and prayers. I know I will miss her prayers.

I also thank God for faith in Jesus and the hope it gives us.

Just yesterday I joined the funeral procession for my neighbours' Grandfather who just passed away. There seemed no hope. No sure certainty of resurrection and life in heaven. Just the wish that they did the right things to send him to the right place.

Praise God that Jesus is alive, he rose from the dead and we can laugh at death and say you have no power over us. It is merely the final exam and we who believe in Jesus are assured of passing this exam before we even sit it.

Gran just passed the final exam

She has made it home

I want to go there too

Love Jono

Keep looking up (thanks Gran, its mine now)


My Grandma died today.

Aged 93 she has passed her final exam and gone to the land of no more exams.

I know she was a devout Christian, converted from the C of E largely through the witness of my dad and his sister as youngsters.

Her story is a fascinating one.

Born in England in 1911, she entered her teenage years in the 20s. She and her friend were avid dance fans and into the 30s used to go to dance halls and the cinemas regularly. Her friend was actually the pianist at the silent movies and grandma was an usher.

She met grandad and double dated him with her friend and her date to a dance. Only the two girls actually asked two boys each. Grandad was none too happy by all accounts, but obviously he mpressed more than the other date because she chose him. They married and in 1940 my Dad was born in Brighton. Grandad was working as a mechanic in Hove, not far from Brighton. One day during the war a lone Stuka divebomber chased my grandmother with its machine guns up the main street of Hove while she was pushing Dad in his pram. Must have been an absolutely terrifying experience.

Whether for that reason or economic ones after the war, they emigrated to New Zealand in 1948 with Dad and his sister.

I lived with Grandad and Grandma for 1 1/2 years at the age of 18 while starting tertiary studies. Grandma used to do all sorts of funny things that I remember particularly well. Like Thursdays was the fishman day and so I would get home and find her deboning the fish that she had bought - for the cat. Wednesdays the butcher came and if I was early enough I would catch her feeding the choicest pieces to the cat. Humphrey was fed better than Grandad and I and to that the rest of the family can testify. He even had his own lounge chair.

Grandma was also an excellent moderator. She always looked to make the peace. Whether it was grandad and I locking horns over economic theory that I had brought home from tech or the grandkids arguing over who sat where. She was renowned for her sayings. "Keep looking up" is a favorite along with "whatever you do, do it well".

Click for large view of card Recently written to us on the birth of our latest daughter on a card I will cherish is her name in the familiar scrunched up writing. She had battled with arthritis in her fingers for the last 30 odd years.

The funniest thing I remember about grandma was her "mistakes". These were cooking experiments that in her words were mistakes. We thought they were the yummiest things ever made.

I will miss my Grandma, but I know she has gone to be where she was destined to go long before the day she chose to accept the salvation offered to her.

Click for large view of photo This is the last photo I have of my grandma with me - and the last time I saw her (September- October 2000).

My Grandma

This is an ode to my Gran
A woman of stature
She raised two fine kids
My Dad and my Aunty Jan

Aunty Jan always writes prose
At family occasions
Gran was always appreciative
She also grew the finest rose

A green thumb had my Gran
A garden full of life
She had a husband to help
Grandad Thomas was her man

Grandad was an engineer
He could fix anything
My car, my bike, the kitchen stove
Where Gran cooked awesome fare

Her meals were fantastic
Each an elaborate work of art
An echo of her heart
They always dd the trick

Gran played mean scrabble
Not mean as in nasty
The sharpest pencil
She rose above the rabble

She loved all, was kind to each
Adored her cat
Friends with everyone
Life lessons to me she'd teach

And now her teaching days are done
Her final exam passed
Yet her legacy lives on
And will do long after she has gone