I remember being so small that I recognised you by your knees in the airport, because they were the first thing I saw.
I remember you being appalled that I didn’t eat a mango every day, and that my skin burned in the sun.
I remember being terrified of the border security dogs because you stuffed my suitcase (you always said ‘port’) with mangoes to bring home to my mum.
I remember how much you loved Grandad. Even though you called him ‘Silly bugger” and ‘Stupid Old Man’, you did it while holding his hand, or making his cup of tea and looking at him like he was anything but silly.
Your beautiful eyes never missed a thing. Not ever.
I remember that one time you tried to teach me to make marshmallow to enter in ‘The Show’. We set fire to the kitchen. We fed three batches to the dogs. I’m pretty sure you remade it when I was finally asleep. But I remember how freaking proud I was of that first place ribbon.
I remember how little you became at the same rate I became big. How small your hands became against my growing ones.
I remember your music.
Your tremendous cooking skills and
Your enormous capacity for friendship.
I remember so much about your strength. You were bad-ass before it was cool to be bad-ass.
You probably wouldn’t like me saying ‘ass’ though. You were a proper country lady, after all.
Everything was your canvas.Canvasses were your canvas. But so were notebooks, paper, recycled boxes, tree bark and rocks.
We were your canvasses. You created such wonderful things with your family. We weren’t raised. We were crafted. With love, and attention to detail.
You were an artist in it’s truest sense. In life, and as a painter, who through the virtue of imagination, talent, skill and passion was able to draw together, sculpt, shape and develop a family of the deepest value and love for you.
I will miss you more than I can even articulate.