Long snow-white hair pinned in a bun,
Dear face lined and wrinkled,
Slight and slim, and yet she seemed
So tall; blue eyes whose corners crinkled
When she smiled; visage that beamed
Warm greeting when she saw us,
And there was nothing for us
More looked forward to
Than for us to be
On the road to Grandma’s in the summer.
Our days were filled with love and laughter.
The Christmas puddings on the rafter
Were a sign of things to come
When all her kin would gather
Packed into Grandma’s home.
We children played all day
In the yard and by the bay.
Twelve we were together,
The kinder of Grandmother.
She was busy all day long,
And her voice in song
Would carry as she baked,
Or in the garden raked
Up leaves in early morning.
I rejoiced when I would waken
To hear the sound of raking
Up of mulberry leaves, and Grandma’s voice
Singing softly some sweet verse.
Joy would fill my heart,
For I’d know it was the start
Of another golden day
With my cousins by the bay,
Wrapped in Grandma’s precious care.
Every waking hour would seem
Like a love-filled golden dream
In Paradise with Grandma Annie,
Underneath the frangipani,
Outdoors when we were able.
We’d sit around the table,
Or on the deck, when it was wet,
Playing cards, or even yet
Monopoly for days on end –
To be continued – Grandma would send
Out food to keep us going,
Knowing we would all be so intent
On the game that we spent
All our time at it and we forgot
Even to eat, ‘cept on the spot
Of what Grandma would bake,
Biscuits, scones and cake,
Or sometimes she would make
Sandwiches to take us through the day
While we would play.
Fortunes were won and lost
At little cost,
As the rain came pouring down,
But at last it would pass,
And the sun would come out,
And so would we.
We played fiddlesticks and rummy of an evening,
Or Grandma would tell a story.
With us gathered round in wonder
She was in her greatest glory.
But Grandma could be stern
If one of us did something wrong.
It was from her that I learned too
To be honest, loyal and strong.
I learned love and devotion
Are boundless, free as ocean,
To love my sister and my brothers,
My kin, with depth and passion,
To love freely, love all others,
To love without possession.
I learnt independence,
To live life as I chose,
Taking in stride all obstacles
And joys through life’s ebbs and flows.
She taught me to take chances,
To risk all for a dream,
To chase my rainbow to the end,
However hard the journey seemed,
And that the end of journey,
With love both lost and won,
Is the happiest part of living,
For which our life began.