Wednesday, June 13, 2012


I've been posting updates from our recent travels which were curtailed in early May when we rushed
back from Western Australia to see my Mum who had become suddenly ill and sadly passed away a few days after our return. She was 88 and had lived a full and mostly happy life. We miss her greatly. 

I don't think I ever told her but in a round about way she was one of the main reasons I became interested in birds and subsequently, nature in general. You see, she and Dad loved their cuppas and one day she tried out a brand of leaf tea that came with an Australian bird card to collect. A beautiful illustration on one side and some pertinent facts on the other. None of my siblings were remotely interested but I was and she must have noticed my interest. That was her tea of choice from then on and over the years as a young boy I collected three albums of these wonderful gems. I still have them over 40 years later. Thanks Mum!  

Grietje Kooistra 1923 - 2012

I wrote this poem as a tribute to my beloved Mother.


It’s hard to say in words
Our feelings for you Mum
You know that we loved you
And now this day has come

We remember you with fondness
Your loud and hearty laugh
The smile that brightened up the room
Even when times were rough

Tough as nails you were too
And stubborn as a mule
You said it like you saw it
And did not suffer fools

You didn’t mind a smoke or two
And really enjoyed a party
Days of Our Lives your favourite show
Nothing too arty-farty

You often craved your sweet treats
And loved your bikkies and tea
Baked your famous honeycake
To share with everybody

 You were such a house-proud mother
Worked hard to raise six kids
Stood by Dad through thick and thin
Loved us no matter what we did

The family were your pride and joy
You nurtured us for years
And helped us through our lives
With all our hopes and fears

You suffered many torments Mum
Dementia, depression and cancer
But your humour always shone through
It seems you had the answer

Maybe you were down to earth
But we know you believed in heaven
Your faith in God was very strong
You’ll be with him, that’s a given

It’s time for us to let you go
May your spirit soar high and free
We know you’ll be in a peaceful place
That we cannot yet see 

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