Next door Nana

Today we will lay Next door Nana to rest. She was 97 years old and a story book grandma – petite in build, silver hair, alert eyes and a slightly mischievous smile.

You could always see her at the big bay window … her face pressed against the pane as she waved at passers by.  She had her meals by that window – and the ‘walkers’ would pause to exchange a greeting.

Sometimes she would venture out to get ‘up close and personal’ 🙂

I think I first met her on one such occasion when, bored with standing there, she came to my doorway, curious to see what her neighbour was up to.

I was just about to invite her in when the helper appeared, alarmed that ‘nona’ (Sinhalese for Lady) had wandered over.  Assuring them I would take her back, I invited her in to watch me work in the garden.  I think she enjoyed the break.

It was the beginning of a few such encounters. In the beginning, she would wander over to keep me company whilst I did my chores.  I would put some music on and she would watch me or walk around around till it was time for lunch or someone came to fetch her.

The ‘someone’ was one of the many helpers hired by her daughter who lived in Australia but maintained a home here for her mother.  When she started getting on in age, Rosemarie and son-in law Mike would take turns with one spending time here whilst the other remained in Sydney with their children and grandchildren.  They would then ‘switch’ – meeting up in either country to be together a week or two before exchanging locations.  I have never seen such commitment from a daughter – or for that matter a son-in-law,  for Mike took on the role of the son that Nana lost at an early age.

When Mike passed on unexpectedly about five years ago, there was no one to ‘switch’ with Rosemarie.   Nana had longer spells of being alone.   But despite the financial toll, and pain of separation from her grand-children, Rosemarie would make two or three trips a year to be with her Mum (all because the Australian government just did not have the humanity in them to allow Nana to join her daughter.  Incredibly, they did not even grant her a holiday visa – such is the ‘heart’ of a big nation).

Rosemarie was due on 20th November.  Her Mum had been in reasonably good health when she was last here in August.  Nana had fallen a couple of times but had recovered and was not on any medication.  Rosemarie planned to spend Christmas with her mum.

Sadly, Nana took ill unexpectedly on Tuesday.  She joined her Maker early on Wednesday morning.

By the grace of God,  something nudged me to drop in on Monday.  Nana was watching TV.   She had developed a fever and was looking a bit under the weather.  At lunch time, we assisted her to the dining table. On an unexplained impulse – for I had not taken one with her before – I took a selfie.

Next door Nana

Next door Nana – the last picture.

Again, something,  I know not what, made me inform our priest that he should visit soon. House visitations are normally on Fridays but again providentially he said he would drop in next morning.

When I went in to wait for him, Nana’s fever had unexpectedly taken a turn for the worse.  I held her hand and sang to her, hymns of comfort and the Our Father.  She smiled once at something in the distance and I thought she was slipping away but she continued to hold my hand.  My sister joined me.  Our priest Fr. Anton Saman annointed her and gave her Holy Communion.

The Doctors visited but she was too weak to respond to medication.  She was reunited with her Creator later that night.  A peaceful, serene death with no suffering nor pain except slight difficulty in breathing.  A grace-filled death for a graceful lady.

I am thankful for the mercy that sent me there, to allow me to get the priest and comfort her in some small way although I am sad that circumstances did not permit me to be with her in her final hours.

But I will cherish the time spent together and the memories of a lively, lovely gentle lady who was alert enough to remind me if I was being careless 🙂

I had the habit of dropping in ‘garage to garage‘ a couple of times for a quick hello and she would always offer me a cup of tea or persuade me to join her for  lunch.   One day, I said I would have to be quick as I had not locked up.   After that, she would check with me if anyone was home or if I had locked up.  I rarely did as these were impromptu visits so I used to tell her I would sit at her seat by the window and keep watch on the street.

She also always inquired about my mum – whether she was staying with me or my sister, and on at least two occasions berated me for parking my car on the road with a curious ‘Why don’t you put it in the garage?’  

That’s a good question Nana.  Why don’t I?  I said I would, but truth is, I need to get my garage door fixed!

When I used to take her to church some time back, she would always want the page turned and attempt to sing and follow the service  – or ‘pretend’ the way little children do 🙂   They,  the children just adored this picture book grandma.

Sadly she will not be around  for them or for the passers by on Lake Road.  It will take some time to get used to an empty window at 329/124.  But the big bay window will be a reminder to all that there once  was a little lady who, as our priest said, stood there and gave everyone what she could:  a cheery smile and a wave that brought joy to all.

Rest in eternal joy with your Maker, sweet and gentle lady – Madam Doreen Webster.

Note:   This post was begun on 7th November but I had another bereavement in the family … a beloved Uncle who was the same age 96!  It has been a melancholy two weeks with the loss of two wonderful nonagenarians – a gracious lady and a true gentleman and scholar about whom I can write volumes.  Maybe soon… 

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The Power of No

Quote on No

The Power of NO!

NO to the extra shirt, or pants, or blouse or household gadget,

NO to lavish and extra packaging … and the extra plastic bag.

NO to keeping up with the ‘Joneses’ with a consumer oriented materialistic lifestyle and

NO to the craving for speciality food from across the seas;

NO to driving short distances instead of walking or cycling,

NO to taking the elevator instead of the stairs.

NO to putting the air-conditioner on all night and

NO to that extra light I can do without.

NO to a manicured lawn in lieu of trees.

NO to throwing what I can recycle or reuse.

Would you imagine that these simple ‘NO’S” of mine, if said often enough will reduce my carbon footprint and alter the course of history?

I invite you to look around, be aware and alert, check the many ways your personal NO can alter the course of history.

And share them here if you like so that together we can care for our planet.

It is OUR World.  OUR Responsibility.

Sustainable Development ExtraCarbon

Source: ExtraCarbon, Pinterest

Plastic – something to think about.

“Plastic should be a high value material… [It] should be in products that last a long time, and at the end of the life, you recycle it. To take oil or natural gas that took millions of years to produce and then to make a disposable product that last minutes or seconds, and then to just discard it–I think that’s not a good way of using this resource. (Robert Haley)”
Susan Freinkel, Plastic: A Toxic Love Story

Remembering my Dad ..

Today is my Dad’s birthday.  He would have been 95.

Mum and Dad

Dad with the love of his life – Mum !

I had started my memoirs when he was with us and had posted a few of the most vivid memories onto this blog,  but need to complete it so the next generation will know the wonderful legacy that he has left us.

Meanwhile ….this blog has been named after a cherished memory.  My very first post replicated below describes this.

Thank you my Darling Dad for leaving me with such a beautiful memory that has stayed with me from my infancy.  May the Angels play you sweet lullaby’s as you rest safe in the heart of your Maker, our God.

……..(My first post) ….

It’s been a long idyllic break since I left the confines of the commercial world and it is time to start my “ramblings”.

Unfortunately,  Rambling Rose,  my dad’s name for me, has been taken by many servers so I’ve settled instead for ‘wondering rose’ which is closely linked.  I ramble because I wonder and many are my ‘wonderings’.  I wonder about this and I wonder about that till I sometimes drive the family round the bend.   I am sure my Dad had no idea how I would turn out when he sang this lullaby to me, in a voice almost as glorious to me as Nat King Cole:

Ramblin’ rose, ramblin’ rose
Why you ramble, no one knows
Wild and wind-blown, that’s how you’ve grown
Who can cling to a ramblin’ rose?

Ramble on, ramble on
When your ramblin’ days are gone
Who will love you with a love true
When your ramblin’ days are through?

I can’t promise that anyone is going to love me or my ramblings but the Rose goes where it must – where the sun draws it …. and so too must I go … wherever The Son draws me.

When the curtain falls for the last time …

At the height of my professional career, I came across a verse by an unknown author that had a profound impact on me.   The verse that I typed and pinned onto my bedroom door has long since withered, but I came across a copy today which I would like to share.

I am often dramatic

I think it was perhaps it was this daily reminder of   Continue reading

Who is this “I” ?

A strange question indeed.  It is not the same as asking “Who am I?” for which an answer can be readily given.  This one is more complex .  So see if you can answer the following without any hesitation 🙂  … or whether you agree with the answers.

“Am I my thoughts, the thoughts that I am thinking?  No.  Thoughts come and go; I am not my thoughts.

Am I my body?  They tell us that millions of cells in our body are changing or are Continue reading

Does your space influence your praying?

I’ve been waking up around 3.00 am these days, as my body adjusts to effects of a trans-Atlantic trip.  I have been going to bed late hoping  I would sleep right through.  However I find myself awake in a couple of hours, trying to figure out how to while away the time till the dawn.

So I wander around a bit, pet the dog, pick up a book and put it down again for my eyes are too tired to concentrate.  I switch on the TV.   More of the same stuff – Trump and his trip, Trump and Continue reading

The New Covenant – sealed with the blood of the Lamb

I’ve searched long for answers to the explanation of the Cross being a bloody and brutal sacrifice of the Son, willed by a merciless Father.  I’ve pondered on it, questioned it, written about it and prayed about it.

I have read and reflected before … and recognised the parallel between the old Passover and the ‘new’,  but these words I read today answered so many questions I had on ‘Why the Cross?”,  because it started from a point that I was and took me through to this one statement that was like an eureka moment of greater clarity.

Here is what I read : Continue reading

The terrible thing about religion

“…. The fact is that you’re surrounded by God and you don’t see God, because you “know” about God. The final barrier to the vision of God is your God concept.   You miss God because you think you know. That’s the terrible thing about religion.

That’s what the gospels were saying, that religious people “knew,” so they got rid of Jesus.

The highest knowledge of God is to know God as unknowable. There is far too much God talk; the world is sick of it. There is too little awareness, too little love, too little happiness, but let’s not use those words either. There’s too little dropping of illusions, dropping of errors, dropping of attachments and cruelty, too little awareness. That’s what the world is suffering from, not from a lack of religion. Religion is supposed to be about a lack of awareness, of waking up. Look what we’ve degenerated into. …”      Extract from : The Anthony deMello Institute Goa: Awareness – 57

One World, One love, One heart …

In a reflective poem titled Passport Privilege (response to the Daily Post prompt – Passport,) Ginger has drawn our hearts to the terrible plight of refugees who do not have passports :

Yet some people will never have one
invaded by a super power
they are only issued a flimsy piece of paper
that cannot be used for travel

Exiled from their homelands
their invaders ensure that nobody recognises them
unless they acquiesce to their demands!
Can you even begin to imagine life without yours?

and to the plight also of citizens from troubled lands – and  developing countries like ours  – who are always viewed with suspicion.

Others may have a passport from a troubled country
Suspicion aroused wherever they go
checked too often and regarded with fear

and continues with a clarion call

“Only global citizenship will allow free travel!

So no more flag and no more borders!
Recognise that there is only one human race
with many different tribes  …”

echoing words spoken by my father so many many years ago to which alas I paid no heed, blind to his dream of no flags, no borders …. and there definitely can be no walls if  we ‘open to each other with warm embrace? ”   Is this not the Kingdom of God on earth that our Saviour spoke of?

Let us resolve to actively live, and work and pray for that day, when the dream of One World, One  Love, One Heart is realised.   A Video of another enlightened human – Bob Marley singing prophetically ‘One Love’ attached for listening pleasure and inspiration.