My Nan was a unique, one of a kind, salt of the earth sort who just told things the way they were. A smile comes to my face when I hear her in my mind calling me "duck" or telling me that I look like I'd put on a bit of fat! (I've lost the fat so I can laugh about it now!)
I remember Nan telling us every Christmas when I was young that we needed to have it at her house as she might not be around next year. I loved those Christmases. Cousins everywhere, Pop handing out the presents that Nan had selected. One of my favourites was a pair of HUGE white frilly undies that I received when I was about 14. I looked at them and wondered when I was ever going to fit into them and then wondered how I'd been so "lucky". All the other girl cousins my age - Lania, Lisa, Tammy, Rebecca and Konnie all had gift boxed soaps and powder sets or something similar. I may not have appreciated the gift much at the time, but now I have a fun memory to tell my kids and bring a smile to my face. At Christmas I also loved the chatter of the women in the kitchen as they cleaned up, with Nan right in the middle of it all.
Like everyone, I loved Nan's sponge cakes. I remember how Nan and Pop welcomed everyone into their home and loved to share a meal. There is something about sharing a meal that brings people together. This is a tradition that Chris and I are trying to establish in our own home.
Chris and I got married in the Cardson, Alberta Temple in Canada in 2003. Nan and Pop were not able to attend because it was so far away. But, they were there when I took out my endowments at the Sydney Temple in 1995. My cousins Lisa and Jared and Lisa's husband Aaron also went though for the first time that day. I took out my endowments a long time before I got married, but I'm glad I did so that Nan and Pop could be there. I also remember them falling asleep during the sessions! :-)
Nan had a stroke in January 2009. She was left unable to write or speak. She had sent me a Christmas card that never arrived just a few weeks before. A couple of months after her stroke someone in our neighbourhood dropped by with her card. She'd put the wrong address on it and they had been away. It was so nice to get that card. It was chatty, she wrote about her garden and the weather and getting ready for Christmas. She always loved her flower gardens.
Nan's funeral was on Tuesday. I was not able to come for Pop's and so it was an opportunity in some ways for me to say goodbye to both of them. I'm glad that I came, even though flying half way round the world may seem too far to come. There were lots of flowers at the funeral - she would have loved that. And all the grandchildren and great grandchildren present sang "I am a child of God".
I'm so proud of Nan and Pop and the family that I come from. I've been fortunate to travel and live in many different places. The more I see the more I realize how special and fantastic my family is and no matter where in the world I live there will always be a special place in Tasmania, Australia that I will tell my children and grandchildren about. And I will tell them about two people - Harry and Sheila Triffitt, how they were humble, hardworking folk who put their faith in God and God made them great.