Posts Tagged ‘mom’

My life has been a tapestry of rich and royal hue:

An ever-lasting vision of the ever-changing view.

She sat by the window in the sun. The cloth draped across her knee and the sheen of the thread glimmered in the fading light. She held the linen up once more and examined the stitch she had just worked into the pattern. The thread was running out and she picked up her tiny silver embroidery scissors with the duck- head handles. The creamy rich thread was measured and cut and the scissors slipped back into the embroidered pouch. Safely stored for the next time she would need to snip the cotton. She held the thread up to the light as she carefully pushed it through the tiny hole of the needle. Gently the needle and thread went back into the fine pattern that was beginning to take shape. She pulled off the thimble and placed the square across her lap. Her hand stroked across the pattern as she checked for imperfections.

A smile broke across her face as she held it up towards me.

“What do you think?”

Hand embroidered designs adorned our gifts.

Hand embroidered designs adorned our gifts.

Time seemed to stand still when mom did her handwork. She would sit on the sofa with a cup of tea and her basket at her feet. Usually there would be a dog or cat curled up with her too. When no one was around, her creativity would allow her to go into her own world. It was there that she was able to think about her family near and far. I used to watch her as she lovingly created articles for us all.  Many hours went into the deliberation over the choice of colours and materials. Before too long her experienced hand had produced yet another fine handmade article.


Colourful rugs...

Colourful rugs…

It had all started when we were children. I remember my Scottish outfit with the plaid waistcoat. She had stitched a matching one for my older sister. I can so remember my protestations of having to wear the same ‘hand me down’ outfit for a few seasons. I must have been about eight but I was conscious of what I wore even then! The bright yellow sundress with the appliqué tulips around the hem was one of my favourites. But the best of all were the evening dresses mom turned out for her girls. I felt like a princess at my school leaver’s dance. Mom had recreated a fine paisley corduroy Doctor Zhivago cape. She had made the long coordinating dress too, but the cape was what really thrilled me. It brought back scenes from the movie ……the Russian landscape and Lara rushing through the snow. Oh I loved that film! Mom knew how to satisfy my romantic fantasies.

Mom indulged me with my romantic fantasies....

Mom indulged me with my romantic fantasies….

As I walk from room to room around my home I feel my mom’s presence. Mom’s handwork reflects the love she felt for her family. I am surrounded by her quilts, blankets, cushions, scarves and paintings. I selfishly miss her not being here with us but know she is safe and at peace.


A wondrous woven magic in bits of blue and gold.

A tapestry to feel and see, impossible to hold…..

The Morkel christening robe.......

The Morkel christening robe…….

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Mom will always be young and strong in our eyes.




My mom has a special birthday today. She has seen 88 summers! Her voice came through clear and strong as we spoke. She was up on her bed having her ‘hour’s compulsory’ and we were just getting out of ours on the other side of the world. The calls need to be orchestrated when you live in another time zone, so that we don’t catch her napping. “I am 58, no 78….” Her mischievous voice joked with her grandsons.

‘They don’t make them like that anymore’  has been said of the caliber of people like my mom. Is it because they lived through a World War? They learnt to make do and to appreciate the small and important things in life. Whatever it is that has made her this way, she is a star!

She has so many talents …… She can cook a tasty feast to feed the extended family of mainly ravenous boys and men. These culinary skills  appear effortless apart from all the washing up that she generates for us ‘washer uppers!’ But we have to forgive her as the food is so delicious! Her paintings grace the walls in our home and her amazing handwork is known all over Stellenbosch. She puts her hand to everything from quilting to embroidery.

In her quiet moments I know she misses our Dad, her dashing pilot. Hopefully her memories and her children comfort her. I know that her 8 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren bring her much joy too.

Mom, you have been an example to us all on how to be tenacious, loving and loyal. I can fully understand why Dad chose you as his wife! You have not only been a devoted partner but you have loved all of us so unselfishly.

Happy birthday!

Your loving daughter



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It takes quite a bit to shut me up, so I am told, but there are times when I grow quiet and just sit alone with my thoughts. As it is Mother’s Day coming up, allow me to indulge myself and to think aloud about my 3 sons.…..

These three boys, who are genetically from the same parents, are so different. They have inherited so many wonderful traits from their dad but today I am going to reflect on the part that I have played in making them special human beings. They all have that strength of definition in the shape of their faces with a strong chin. This is obviously derived from their dad’s genes, but with that strength comes a softness too. I notice this at certain times in the expression on their faces and in the curve of their smile. That look presents itself when they tend our household pets or engage in conversation with a child. I like to think that I had a part to play in those mannerisms.

They all love music albeit that their taste varies considerably. They play it in the car, strum guitars when they ponder their own thoughts or don earphones and allow the rhythm to obliterate the outside world. It all started way back in their car seats when we traveled long distances to do the monthly shop. Even my youngest son was ‘my city car kid’ as we traveled backwards and forwards to the sport commitments of ‘the brothers.’ They would bob to the beat while their mother kept time with her hands on the steering wheel. This would later become a great source of embarrassment to them as I sang and tapped to the music. I was severely reprimanded as it was not cool for a mom to display such behaviour. But as little one’s they thought it was grand! And so the seed was planted to enjoy music in any form.

 Where did dinosaurs come from? There were endless questions that had to be answered. The older two were borne in the ‘the pre internet stage’. I often resorted to seeking the answers in the local library, as it soon became apparent that my field of knowledge did not stretch that far. How do you explain evolution to a four year old? He eventually explained it to his mother with the use of pictures! I do still pride myself that my boys were encouraged to question, to seek knowledge and to analyse the facts. As an older mom, I was thankful to have the use of the internet when my youngest son began the ‘stage of questions.’ I had the added bonus that he would run and look up the answers for himself, as he was more computer literate than I was at the time. But I must add that I was involved with the discussion that ensued afterwards!

One of the joys of having sons is that over the years partners will be added to the extended family. If they are blessed with offspring, I will take great delight in observing small traits that could possibly have come down the line from me. Of course I will not take ownership for any possible ‘streke’ that might present themselves!

Jumping for joy with my boys!







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