Wednesday, 1 May 2013

In memory of my mum

Johanna Zwaga 1-05-1923
I am trying to remember my very first conscious memory I have of my mum. Sure I realise she was always THERE, but when do those memories become fact. When is the first real vivid live memory. I remember many events and happenings - and am now trying hard to be more specific.

Memories are popping up like:
- the carpet being beaten outside, with dust clouds filling the air
- lapping my milk off a saucer. I had seen a kitten do that with it's small pink tongue. I wanted to try that too.
- walking to the greengrocer on the way to kindergarten. I was mesmerized by the potato scraping machine. Round and round those potatoes went in a centrifuge type machine.
- biking to the woods at the end of our street
- getting an ice-cream at Jamin and a visit to my dad at his post by the railways
- french toast and bread pudding. Using up bread that had aged to beyond sandwich status.
- being weary after a hard day keeping 4 children and a household afloat.

The more I make the effort the easier te memories appear. No I am under no misconception that it was always easy of happy families. There will have been te necessary squables, re-occuring requests to do some chore or another, plasters on bleeding knees, a pile of washing on the bathroom floor.

My dad worked shifts as he worked for the railway. I am sure mum filled the role of mum and dad on many occasions in his absence. Especially in moments when we struggled with childhood ailments like measles, chickenpox and mumps.

For years I was privileged to have a mum who also worked hard at being a good and loving oma. That she sometimes struggled or disagreed with the changes in behaviour in society and ways of doing things was understandable. I tried to be a listening ear and give her somewhere to air her views. Times were a changing and she didn't always think they changed for the better.

And, when she, dad and Paul came to stay, the first thing she packed into the boot of the car was her sewing machine.

I remember fondly all the festive moments we shared. The birthdays, anniversaries, Christmasses and New Years with me and my children. The ' spoil you'  breakfasts Toni organised unexpectedly once she was independent. Reece taking over some of the heavier garden tasks for dad when it became too much for him. Steve loving her chocolate drinks and playing Rummikup with her. When we ' Three Muskateers"  gave their home a huge clean up - from roof to lawn-  when they were absent,  just to relieve them of the heavy tasks and show we cared.

I think back to my KeriKeri visits with Steve whilst in New Zealand and also with Leen (in 2005). How beautiful her surroundings were.

I think about her struggle and emotional time when she left the Netherlands and all those she loved when she and dad moved to New Zealand to start a new life. I think about how sadness at having to part with her husband after a marriage of 53 and 1/2 years. I think about her pride and joys with her grand and great grandchildren.

Birth notice Johanna Zwaga.
I think about motherhood.

Simply, I think about my mum.

Everyday, but today in a more special way, her 90th birthdate!

No comments:

Post a Comment