19 May 2017

Ouma Trudie

One year ago, we lost two important members of our family. …one lost we expected…the other came so suddenly that it shocked us.  And we are still struggling to find our feet and trying to learn how to live without them.

One year ago on 19 May 2016 we lost my grandmother, Ouma Trudie.

My grandmother was born on 6 October 1923.  She lived with her parents, brother and sister in Calitzdorp.  From the stories she told us it seemed she had a great childhood.  She went to study for a gym teacher and once again she had great stories. Unfortunately I never wrote them down and now I cannot remember the details.  She got married to my grandfather and they lived in Summerset East and later moved to the family farm “Groenfontein.  Soon they had a son but at about 18 months old he passed away.  They then had three more children… my mother and her two brothers.  In October 1979 her husband, my grandfather, passed away.

1. My first photo with Ouma Trudie in 1980
2. At my brother's christening in 1982
3. With her 2nd husband in 1984
4. At home in 2005
Family photo, Christmas 2000
On 4 October 1980, almost exactly one year after my grandfather’s death, I was born.  Ouma Trudie and I always shared a special bond because of this.

After a few years my grandmother married again and she and Oupa Boet lived in Tarkastad.  I loved visiting Ouma Trudie in Tarkastad.  I remember playing on the stoep…Swimming in the street after a cloud burst left streams of water…Ouma dressed as Santa and driving through the town waving at all the kids... Fresh “koekies” (cookies) and “beskuit” (rusks)... Visiting the retirement home across the street from her house…and walking in the street with arms linked singing.

1. Playing canasta...and winning
2. On the quad bike with her son, my uncle
3. Swimming at age 82
4. Playing scrabble with my mom
Me, Ouma Trudie, my mom and my sistes in 2008 at my cousins wedding
After Oupa Boet passed away she married a third time and moved to Hartenbos. I was very excited because this was a lot closer to our home and we could visit more.  But yet again after a few years she lost her husband.  For years she lived alone in Hartenbos.  She had lots of friends and made extra money by baking for the local shop.  Her best seller was her “hertzoggies”.  She helped me get a vacation job in Hartenbos and for four years I stayed with her during the summer holiday while working.

With my mom and Ouma Trudie at my wedding in 2012
Ouma Trudie meeting my son JW in 2014
He was her 7th great grandchild
The last few years she lived in the retirement home in Hartenbos and she struggled with dementia.

She loved reading…playing canasta and scrabble… swimming in the ocean…music…going for walks. She loved people and trusted so easily.

She loved God and the church.

And chocolate.  Ouma Trudie loved chocolate.

Ouma Trudie passed away on 19 May 2016 at the age of 92 after a full live.  And, although we expected this (she was sick and in hospital), it was hard to say goodbye.  On 26 May 2016 the family (her 3 children, 8 grand children and 9 great grand children) gathered in Hartenbos to say goodbye.

Family photo at Ouma Trudie's funeral

I can still remember walking in the streets of Tarkastad, arms linked, singing:

“We all went to the shop
To shelter from the rain
We all took a lick
From a raspberry stick
And we all went on again”


Ek is lief vir Ouma en mis Ouma.

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