In Memory of Mom Lily

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Avatar for Amoryarte
2 years ago

Lily, the eldest of 8 children, was born on the farm Aasvoel near Humansdorp in the Eastern Cape, South Africa, where her father worked.

Lily's caring nature came to the fore at a young age when she had to take care of her youngest baby sister Doreen at night while her mother was in hospital with rheumatic fever. Her father's sister took care of the baby during the day, but Doreen sadly passed away after contracting gastroenteritis leaving the family heartbroken; they often spoke of baby Doreen.

The family moved to Richmond Hill in Port Elizabeth where they lived for many years.
Lily went to Mackie School and had a thirst for learning; loved the violin and took violin lessons, but as it was the depression years, she had to stop the lessons and leave school in Standard 6 to find work and help the family survive.
It made her endlessly sad that she never finished her schooling as she was a bright lass, but she loved listening to the violin, often with a tear or two in her eyes.

Lily found work at Kodak Photographic Studio where she was trained to colour in black and white photos with a painting technique as there was no colour photography back then.
The photo below is a good example and actually is Mom Lily and Dad Malan on their wedding day.

Their love of music brought them together as Malan played in a band with her father; he caught her hook, line and sinker with his guitar playing; they all became keen fishermen!

Lily's talented siblings all had great respect and fondness for their 'big' sister whose heart of gold, great sense of humour and cheeky attitude won over many people throughout the 90 years that she graced this earth; her circle of friends ranged from all walks of life and everyone were treated with the same respect and caring nature.

Lily excelled at cooking and baking just like her mother, loved walking and keeping fit, was a keen fisherwoman; always looked for an excuse to paint, not portraits; no, this little lady would climb the ladder and paint the walls in the most beautiful shades and even spruced up their church kitchen with the paintbrush!

Her great-granddaughter 10-year-old Mia-Lily also inherited her namesake's cheeky attitude and is already baking at this tender age!

Malan & Lily had 5 children; sadly lost two tragically and unexpectedly many years ago, leaving only three surviving children.

Family meant everything to Lily and she unselfishly sacrificed much to make her family comfortable.
Lily did voluntary work at Sizanani Academy of Sewing and Design during the period after Malan's retirement when he became the church's handyman until his unexpected death in September 2002.

They were living in their dream granny cottage which my husband designed with input from both Malan & Lily; she stayed there on her own for 8 years after Malan's death but moved in with us until her death.
The cottage has now become a successful BnB called Lily's Cottage.

Lily had been living with a benign brain tumour for many years which caused a balance problem, but on 2 January, the pressure of the tumour on her brain stem caused a severe seizure that left her with speech, swallowing and breathing problems, plus she lost her mobility.

The family gathered one last time so Ouma Lily got to see them all together.
She had one request, which we eventually worked out was wine, obviously wanting one last toast as it was her son's birthday.
A sweet Hanepoot was bought, diluted with a little water, and given to her in a 10ml syringe as that was the only way she could take liquids in. She likely only managed to swallow 5ml, but that was her way of wanting to be part of the togetherness and give us a good chuckle, even though she was suffering and only holding out till everyone departed the next morning.

Mom Lily left this world quietly the next day; leaving behind 2 siblings, 3 children, 8 grandchildren, 8 great-grandchildren all of who had a special place in her heart.

Lily made a huge impact on many lives and has left a huge hole in the lives of many, but will remain in our hearts forever.

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