Thank you for sharing your beautiful speech with us.
One afternoon, way back in the early nineties I decided to play a prank on my Grandmother. The old lady was 64 65 at the time. I forget now exactly how old she was.
So I pick up the phone and I dial the house. My granny picks up and says “Hello, this is Ellen” And I’m like “Good Day Ellen, could I please speak to Lee Roebeck” And my gran replies “My grandson is not here at the moment, he is at his aunt’s place in Riverlea. Is there any way I can help you? Then I said “My name is Jeffrey and I’m calling you from Simba, your grandson has entered a competition, and he stands in line to win a brand spanking new Toyota Conquest. I just need him to roar three times like a Lion and then he will become the lucky new owner of that Toyota Conquest”. “Oh wow that’s fantastic news, but like I said Sir – Lee is not here, but if it’s okay with you I can try and roar like a Lion if it will help him win this competition”. Now I mean, honestly, come on – How sweet was my granny right?! I would never roar like a Lion for my grandson, hell I won’t even roar like a Lion for myself.
So I say to her “Ellen this not usually how we do things but I am willing to accept your roar in this one instance… Let me just get the tape recorder ready and then you can have a go, I’ll let you know when to start”. So I let about 30 seconds pass, and then I say “Ellen are you ready” And she says “Yes I am” And I’m like “Now please go ahead and give me 3 of your very best roars”.
Then my gran gave me something that definitely didn’t sound like any Lion that I’ve ever heard before – ROAAAARRRRRR, ROAAAARRRRRR & ROAAAARRRRRR.
I had the mouthpiece covered on the other end, and I was in stitches. Look, God bless my Granny’s beautiful soul, she really was a lovely, lovely woman and I miss her. But truth be told my gran sounded nothing like a Lion. She sounded more like Err mmm… She sounded more like a Hyena who had been sucking on some helium. But ja shame, that was my gran for you, she would do anything in the world for me.
Believe it or not – I actually got her to roar 3 more times by telling her that I never managed to get her first try on my imaginary tape recorder
She was really one of a kind – The Queen of my Heart.
Let me tell you another story which proves what a beautiful heart my gran had.
One Saturday in late 1995 I popped in by my granny’s flat in Coronationville to see how she was doing. A few months before that Saturday she had been diagnosed with Cancer of the oesophagus, you know the food pipe. On that particular day when I visited her, the cancer was at an advanced stage and as a result she couldn’t swallow any food. So she was feeding herself liquidized food, through a pipe that found its way into her stomach through a hole in her flesh.
When I walked in I said “Hello Ma”. And she said “Hello boy, how you doing?” And I said “I’m fine thanks Ma”. “How you feeling Ma?” She said “Ag I’m okay” You know she was never one to complain or bother anyone else with her pain. Then she asked me where I was off to and I said “Ma I’m going to a dance matinee in town”. Then she said something that I will never forget! She said “Can I make you something to eat quickly?”
Now let’s just step back to gain some perspective here – Here is my gran right, who could not eat normally or EVEN taste her food yet here she was offering to make ME something to eat. I mean let’s just think about that one for a moment, imagine that that was you – “You cannot eat because your food pipe is blocked by a cancerous tumour right, and you don’t have the simple joy of tasting your food like everyone else.” Would you still be concerned as to whether or not I had eaten? I don’t think you would be, that takes a really special person.
Now that story, in my mind at least, demonstrates the depth of my Ouma’s selfless love.
Her heart was just something else.
She really was and always will be the Queen of My Heart.