Uit Mammie se dagboek. #2

‘Word oud met grasie.’ Wat vir ‘n klomp twak is dit? Daar is niks jollie omtrent oud word nie.

Vat my nou byvoorbeeld. Was nooit n skoonheid nie maar… Daar n swart WALLE onder my oë. Kepe langs die mondhoeke. Eienaardige ken.. Dun lippies gekry (Rensch se TEKEN groter lippe!) En die kalkoennek!!!! Middel (watter middel?) ‘n omvang wat ek nie wil weet nie. My bene .. my gekreukelde voete! Nee mens!

My dierbaarste Pappie het gesê ‘Ouderdom is niks. Maar die lelik word!’ En toe trek hy al by 85!

Nou moenie die pyne en skete vergeet nie. Ek het altyd gedink oumense kan darem kla!

En nou, ‘back at the ranch’ staan ek my plek vol in die klae afdeling! Nie vir sissies nie!

Dad Alex and my Mammie Yvonne

The Funeral Dress

My father was not the most reliable man. Much like our Liam James who may go out to buy milk and see you in a week because the opportunity to go to the coast (ten hours away) came up between home and the buying of said milk. It sounded like a plan and off he went only to return in a few days, fresh as a daisy. I would have had Liam chipped if that was legal. My Mammie says my father was a Liam. No ocean too deep, no mountain too high.

A car accident took the life of a 30-year-old, white male at 19h00 on 14 December 1984  – my father.

My eleven-year-old self did not believe my father actually died. An assortment of visitors began arriving. Non-stop people. He was clearly loved. So many tears. In my mind, my father may disappear for a while, but he always comes back! It never felt him not being there was something to forgive. My dear Mammie never hinted at anything negative about his behaviour or him as a man and neither did my Oupa Mike and Ouma Chrissie who raised me. If the love of Christ was people, they were my Grandparents. Nothing was too much to forgive.

Oupa Mike, ME & Pappie
Oupa Mike, ME & my father.

Leading up to the funeral on 19 December 1984, a lot happened. It was very confusing. My Mammie was broken in a million little pieces. I had rarely seen her without model makeup so when I was faced with her white, ghost-like, gaunt appearance, it made a huge impression on me.

At some point, we had to go and buy clothes for my sister and me for the funeral. It was not a time to push your likes and dislikes. I guess my Mammie chose my dress. It was white with small purple flowers around the front. I had not developed my love for purple as yet but it seems fitting. Apparently purple was a suitable funeral colour. I know it had a bow around the waist. It was a fine dress, however, it was my reasoning that it was a funeral dress. The dress I would wear to my fathers funeral. Never to be worn again.

There is great detail in my mind regarding the day they buried my father. I don’t want to go into that today, except to say that I was stung by a bee…. and I hated all the fake flower arrangements in those domes. I’m sure the people gave them in love, I remember thinking my father can already not breathe and now you cover him with flowers that can’t breathe either. It was like toilet covers in the Afrikaans community I grew up in. Uncomfortable and bloody unnecessary.

Fresh from the platteland, a few months later I was now living in the City with my Mammie and my sister. There was an occasion for which I needed a dress. I remember my dear Mammie telling me to just wear the white one. For most of my life, I had only seen my Mammie on weekends so I was quite weary. That lady takes no prisoners. Except, there was no way I would wear that funeral dress again. I don’t remember what happened but I never saw the white dress with the purple detail around the front again.


Today, I adore my Mammie. Having been a single Mom, I too, take no prisoners. You did good Mammie. So good. I love you so very much. My gratitude and respect are unending.

I’m 46 years old now. I am still waiting for my father to come back. He remains dead.

It’s tricky.

  • Imagine I’m your mother. 🙈 Bloody hell. It must be difficult but I’m loved.

  • I currently have two children in Germany, not in the same town.
  • One in the UK and God best save them and the Queen.
  • I try so bloody hard to be respectful of privacy. I fail often but I honestly try.
  • I have another child who works long hours, for good people. Determination, no-fail attitude in that one is strong!
  • One child visited over the weekend. A physical child to hug is a treasure at this point.
  • Three children, I don’t have news on.
  • Okay – that counts 8 young souls. Not even including the partners!
  • The husband works hard and that is a good thing because this is Africa people, let us give thanks.
  • To be honest, these above souls hold my happy and sad in the palm of their hands.
  • #LeSigh
  • As for me… I’ve had the sad on and off, but only for moments. Total win. Beats planning suicide. This is not a joke people. Bipolar is a Mistress that is never satisfied.

Okay, so that was tricky.


Uit my Mammie se dagboek. #1

Nou ja, na vele navrae, 🙂 die nuutste om die plotrotte. Staan ek mos op met n kop vol grys hare aan my en onmiddellik gryp ek na Spicey Brown. (Vervaardiger onbekend). Verander my kroon toe na n lieflike PIENK op die wortels… Sweetheart was, vir eens, sprakeloos.

Tay (goed opgevoede kind wat sy is) seg net ‘… en wat nou oumie?’

Het ek met Pappie loop beraadslaag daar waar hulle tydelik skuins lê teen n boks gemerk (allerlei).

Mmm.. sê my alles. Nee wat Vonnie! Steady steady steady! Jy beter regkom voor jou Ma jou sien!’

Maak ek toe maar weer die seil toe. Ek mis julle sê ek. Ek MIS julle…

– – – 💜 – – –

As ek huis toe verlang… deel ek so bietjie van my Mammie, Yvonne sê woorde oor die jare. Van diep lag tot hardop huil, julle gaan haar geniet.

Have a day. #YNWA

My eldest son Kev and dearest girlfriend, Max left SA to live in the UK just over 6 weeks ago.

Kev is a physically solid guy, with big shoulders. I miss his hugs, although they never last long. I miss our chats and Kev telling me to just “have a day” when I feel the world is heavy.

Since Kev was very little Liverpool Football Club was life. “It is not a game Mom, it is a religion” he said round his 13th birthday. Kev has a tattooed sleeve that any true #LFC supporter would envy.

He visited Anfield recently and wrote it was the best day of his life. His love, commitment and loyalty to the beautiful game and the team, has encouraged strength within me, trusting all will be well.

It is unbelievable the places where one reaches when you need a branch to hold onto.

I watch because somewhere in the world my son is watching. He’ll never walk alone because wherever we are, “This is Anfield”.

I love you. ♥️