Eulogy – For my Grandparents

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When I think about my Grandparents, I am instantly drawn back to my childhood.

So many memories.  Drum kits under the bed, electric helicopters, the piano, so many green bottles on the wall! The boat they named after me – Jodine. The new Kent fire. Those two Retro chairs.  The Army hut in the back yard where I got up to mischief.  The original Hibiscus Coast Taxi – a beautiful white Chevrolet that was to become the symbol of family pride. Poisonous berries on the way to the front door…I thought about eating them sometimes just to see what would happen.

So many memories.  Being with my Grandparents saved my life.  I spent every chance I had with them and their energy.  My home away from home.  I played dress-ups, created pottery, made string kaleidoscopes, learned how to draw, listened to Johnny Cash and Demis Roussous and learned how to sing.  I learned how to be independent… and how to access the Red paint from under the house!

So many memories of driving up North to the Bach at Omamari Beach in the Great White Chev, always looking for the road markers along the way: Three Furlongs Tavern at Kaiwaka on the way to the Brynderwyns.  Playing Eye Spy and  “Are we there yet” all the way, completely winding them both up till we spied the Toka Toka hill (thinking it was some sort of magic mountain pacifier) . I remember learning to drive the Chev too but I preferred the yellow Beach buggy, taking it out every chance I got to speed along the beach by myself – bliss.

So many memories of wild west coast surf, Tussock grass, sunburn, cliffs, caves, rock pools, the Kai Iwi Lakes, Contiki’s, Kahawai, Toheroa’s, Tua Tua fritters and heading up to Bluff for fresh Green-lipped Mussels off the rocks. My world was full of good old-fashioned love.  My Grandparents taught me how to believe in myself too.  I now know what it means to follow my dreams and remain true to myself no matter what other people might say, think, speculate or fabricate.  To this day I still remain free-spirited.  I live a very full, open, creative, exotic and vibrant life.  I will not be told to shut up.  I will not be put in my ‘so-called’ place.  My voice will no longer be silenced.

My Grandparents were my whole world back then and now that Nana is with Grandpop, I can once again see them sitting side by side, their bones warmed by the fire, looking out onto the world they helped create – for me, for us.  My Grandparents will always be my happy place.  I even have a fond memory of Nana’s tea that was more like soup with cheese and pickled onion sandwiches.  My Grandparents were my first love.  Nothing or no one can take these memories away from me.  I was there for it all and I thank them both for loving me.

© Copyright 2013, Jodine Derena Butler.  All Rights Reserved

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