Reflections of Granny

Oh wow, I was looking back on some old blogs and I came upon this one. I remember this moment…

Friday 15th June 2012


This is a post I just want to write and not necessarily post for public view. It’s about a few special moments I spent with Granny this evening. Earlier in the day I had spoken to Monique at Riana’s and she had mentioned she didn’t know how I did it. I have had several people say this kind of thing. It has got me thinking that with all the nursing I did years ago, perhaps God took me that route “for such a time as this.” What an amazing thought, that God could give me training in nursing so that almost 30 years later, I could care for my frail mother-in-law. This evening as I helped her get ready for bed. As she sat on the bed, I sat next to her and thanked her for allowing me to take care of her. As she can’t speak much, she didn’t say anything to that, but as I put my arm around her and drew her to me in a warm embrace, she seemed to try to say she appreciated me. She certainly enjoyed the hug. I held onto her, with her head against my chest, like I would a child. She lapped it up trying to say ‘this is lovely!’ As I sat there for a few moments, the warmth of the heater filled the room and as I felt it, I imagined it, not as warmth from the heater, but the warmth of the Holy Spirit.

I finished off the routine of tucking her in, putting her clothes away, kissing her good night. As I left her room, feeling a little emotional, I felt again that this is so right. It’s the right thing for us to be caring for her. She’s in the safest possible place. It’s not perfect, but it’s the very best that we can manage. It reminds me of the fragility of life, caring for her….how frail the body & mind can become. It reminds me of how God uses all circumstances to strengthen us, to teach us, to make us more like Him. To embrace His strength, His grace. It’s in those moments, seen by no one, except the Lord Himself, not captured on film, that are imprinted in my mind. A frail old lady in the arms of a younger one, enjoying the feeling of human touch, of the warmth of another human being, of the security of arms around her, of feeling safe, of feeling accepted, of feeling loved. I don’t know how long Granny will last, but I do know that the sacrifices Mike & I are making are worth it.

1 Corinthians 1:27 “But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.”


Granny went to be with the Lord on 7-Oct-2013, 16 months after I wrote the above. Towards the end of 2012, I began to realise that she was needing greater care. It was in early 2013 that we managed to get a room for her in the Ladies Christian Home and she spent the last 7 months of her life there. Granny, whose name was Eve Estelle van Niekerk (born 7-Aug-1924) moved from East London to her little cottage in our back garden in February 2002. In July 2009 she broke her hip and so after surgery and recovery she lived with us until March  2013. They were not always easy days but I loved taking care of her. I used to look at her and know that one day she would not be here and that I would look back on those days with some nostalgia. I was right. She went from active to frail and eventually was wheelchair bound.

But wherever she was, no matter how frail she was, she always loved flowers…

Life goes by so swiftly, we hardly realise it. We need to embrace these days, the good ones, the difficult ones, the busy ones and those that are quiet. Learn to breath in the day and enjoy stopping to smell the roses.

#311 of my 1000 thanks is for the joy of happy memories of Granny.

These are the days.

Keep the smile going.

So firmly in His grip,

Helga xx 🙂

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