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She is worth her weight in gold

I missed the deadline for the Pick ‘n Pay Inspirational Women competition, but here is the post I would have entered:

My grandmother has always been an inspiration to me. I’ve been posed the challenge to try and put this into words and a challenge it will be.

My grandmother has always been a woman of faith, a god fearing woman. When she was a young woman she sang as a soprano soloist in our church choir. She was the first soprano soloist to be recorded for our first church record. She was offered a contract by the SABC, but she rejected the offer saying that she received her gift from God and that she will use it only for him. She is still highly revered for her beautiful singing voice, even though she can no longer use it. Not long after she turned 60 her doctor told her that she had developed nodules on her vocal chords and that she should no longer sing.

To say my mother was ill-equipped when she had me would be an understatement. She had only just turned 18 and to this day has not grown up or learned to take responsibility. Enter the angel.

The fondest memories I have of my childhood involve my grandparents. My grandmother is so gentle and caring. She would do little things that I still treasure the memories of today. In the winter she would put my towel and pyjamas in the tumble dryer so that they would be warm when I put them on after my bath. She would iron my bed so that it was warm when I got into it. She would rub Vicks on my chest, back and under my feet when I was sick. She was always there with a hug when you needed one. She would gladly put ‘red stuff’ on your scraped knee and a plaster if you felt you needed it. She would blow dry my hair for church and listen to my whining about her brushing my ears. Every Sunday after church she would take me to the shop and buy me a meringue, then would stand over the stove for hours to cook a roast. I remember how we would always have to wait for the potatoes to finish roasting. I could never understand why the potatoes took so long. She’d help me get dressed and tell me to hold the sleeves of my vest so they wouldn’t roll up. I used to hate doing it, but finally see the method in her madness. She would help me with my homework and always be proud of me for the way I did it.

As the years passed time took it’s toll on her body. She developed problems with her back and required surgery (probably from scrubbing the floors on her hands and knees for years). They put steel pins in her spine. To this day she can’t walk upright. She can’t walk more than a few steps without suffering a lot of pain. When she goes grocery shopping she leans on the trolley to give her some support, which helps alleviate it. Despite all this and other problems that have come with age she is still a dedicated wife, mother, grandmother and great grandmother.

Two years ago my grandfather, her husband of 48 years, was diagnosed with cancer. She has stood by him through chemo, through countless doctor’s appointments, his depression and his final diagnosis. The doctor’s have decided they can no longer do anything for the love of her life. She waits on him hand and foot, no matter how much pain she might be in that day. She will bend down and cut his toe nails even if it means she has to take extra pain medication. He may demand anything he wants to eat at any time of the day, as long as he is eating something. She’ll drive to the shop, more than once if need be, to get him what he needs or wants.

When she found out she was going to be a great grandmother, she immediately started knitting cardigans, booties, caps and anything else my heart desired for her first great grandchild. Whenever we visit, she offers a meal and a warm cup of tea. My husband has learnt that my grandmother’s house is a good place to go if you’re hungry.

She constantly worries about her family and how everyone is doing. She will give you her last crust of bread. She is the most incredible woman I know and I would be lucky to be half the woman she is…one day when I grow up 🙂