Grew up with Robbie through primary and high school. the only kid on the block who was nice enough to talk to me. did not meet Jocelyn till early adulthood, but was always comfortable. (my second mother) She always showed interest in what I was doing. and was never short of tea. Robbie is my oldest friend - bar none. Jocylin family is always gentle and kind. only good memories here.
A dear friend I've valued my whole life. Love Julia
Dear Megan, Katie, Lew, Lee and Adele Your mum (and grandmah) was always really special. It has brought back wonderful memories of her, reading your thoughts. Lewis's especially, because that's when I had most dealings with Jocelyn. She had such a beautiful pixie-face, full of kindness and, as Megan pointed out, she loved babies.She was so happy when Lewis arrived; she was always there to help out, whether for pickups or drop offs from the ABC or just to mind Lew. She greeted everyone with a kind, caring smile and was very gentle. She was always there when needed. And she gained so much joy from you all. It is lovely reading about how much she loved her garden; it helped flesh out the picture of her life. I am so sorry for you all that she is no longer there, at her home. You must all be missing her deeply. I will always think of Jocelyn as someone really special. All our family sends our condolences and love - David, Jack, Remi as well as me. Jo xxx
Dear Megan, Katie , Lew, Lee, Adele and family, Thank you for posting these tributes to your wonderful mum and grandmar. I found them very moving and it confirmed my memories of Jocelyn and padded out her story for me. I especially loved Lew's poem and Adele's email. Last time we were together was house hunting for Megan. Jocelyn was forever coming up with good practical suggestions and so easy to relate to, more like having a sister or a good friend with you than a mum. I can clearly see why Jocelyn will be so deeply missed by all who knew her but especially all of you. Super photos there, Megan and Katie I can see you both in that beautiful B&W portrait. My deep affection and sympathy to you all. Love Renate xxx
Take a large portion of love and blend it gently with the finest passion for living. Make a comfortable home for yourself and share it with your growing family. Be sure to shower them with your generosity, your hugs and your kisses. Encourage and nurture your family in all their interests, dreams and passions, no matter how crazy they may seem. Support them with the greatest patience and all the help that you can. Surround your life with great friends and relations, and let them know, as often as you can.. just how important their friendship and love really is. Be sure your days and nights are filled with fine music, favourite stories and lots of laughter, because these things make great companions and will enrich your life greatly. Around your life grow a beautiful garden, so you can share your great love of nature. If it seems like hard work on your own, ask others to help you, so they too can share in the timeless joy of watching things grow. Take many photos and collect interesting newspaper cuttings. Use these to decorate your home, and share with others just what it is that inspires you. Choose to be optimistic and show great bravery, compassion and forgiveness even when things don’t go the way they should. Always remember birthdays and special occasions. Celebrate them with odes, cards & fun times, because these make the best memories. Look to each day with enduring energy and share your insights into all things, no matter how small, so that those around you will see things from your perspective. Be there to listen to those, who have become so use to your desire to hear from them. They will want to share with you, and in doing so, let you know what going on in their lives. This recipe may not get you a place on “Master Chief” but it will nourish you, and all those you love. If you finish before the others around you, just excuse yourself politely before you leave. It’s nice to offer to help with the cleaning up, but we understand if you can’t stick around too long. We will always be grateful, for sharing with us, your happy life. Thanks Mum.
----- Original Message ----- From: Adele Moore To: email@example.com Sent: Saturday, July 24, 2010 10:41 PM hi grandma, you might not get this but im going to send it anyway i miss you. So much i love you and you have been the best grandma anyone could ever be you took care of me and were so nice to me so i just want too say thank you.i love you grandma. and i always will. -- delexxxxxx
An Ode to Grandma This poem is for Grandma, the greatest there ever could be From your loving grandchildren, Lewis, Adele and Lee You were always there beside us, your wisdom helped us see And when my mum went away for work, you took care of me My mum flew to America, for a month she was away ‘Who will take care of Lewis?’ ‘I will’ you said, ‘Hooray!’ My mum was thrilled, no sleep would drive her crazy But just for that special time, I was your special baby You took me across the harbour on the old Manly ferry You bought me lots of ice cream, on top there was a cherry You pushed me up those hills, I was rather lazy But if ever there was trouble, you’d be there to save me You took me to the cemetery, with angels I would play You spoilt me with presents, for my happiness each birthday But then my mum came back, and had to take me away You were so sad, you wanted me every single day You took care of all of us, you gave us great baked dinners When you had us over we always felt like winners You gave us hugs and kisses, to you, we were the best You just wanted more babies to come back to your nest You helped my mum and dad, whenever they were late You hurried us home, telling us, the bus driver wouldn’t wait You loved your family dearly, especially grandchildren, us three But then the time came when we would have to travel across the sea Too see us would be dangerous, but you simply didn’t care An experience of a lifetime, you would simply have to share You had too much passion in your heart, too much love to give us It didn’t matter where we were, you couldn’t bare not to be with us So we thank you for you kindness and you generosity We thank you for your spirit, our hearts that you set free We thank you for your passion, of that we will never tire We thank you for your love, your beautiful warming fire We thank you for being there, when we needed you most We thank you for your nourishment, your boiled eggs and toast We thank you for holding us in the sun, in the rocking chair We thank you for keeping us well (you always dried our hair) We thank you for touching our lives, in every single way We thank you for cherishing us, every single day We thank you for your lessons, your hugs and all your kisses We thank you for the memories, giving us your best wishes Our darling Grandmar, in your beautiful spirit we trust We know you have not left us and you are watching over us You were my nursery rhyme, my fairy tale, my special horse and cart And I will remember and love you, forever, with every bit of my heart
In the last few days, the word people have used most often to describe our mother, is ‘loving’. Not the trite kind of loving, Jocelyn’s love was open-hearted, joyous and never, ever judgmental. You could see that firstly in the things she loved: how she equally appreciated fine arts and everyday suburban joys. She loved and knew classical music, but also got great pleasure from a $1 Hungry Jack’s ice cream with caramel sauce. She loved Pre-Raphaelite paintings but also a freshly-mended and ironed Opp-shop T-shirt. She loved grand landscapes (be it Blue Mountains or Britain) but was just as thrilled with her latest crop of marigolds. She could be equally consumed by great literature as mentally re-styling the hair of every passenger on her ferry. She could converse deeply with friends about the nature of life, but equally enjoy engaging shop assistants and bus drivers in happy chatter. And in the people she loved too. In her greatest love of all, babies, she never discriminated. It would have been impossible for any of her 5 children to think she had even the hint of a favourite, even long after we stopped being babies. So too with her grandchildren …and she extended that warmth to just about any small children who happened to cross her path- whether they invited her attentions or not. About the only things in life she didn’t like were unreliable public transport, and later in life, uneven footpaths and… and that’s it: I can’t even make the traditional list of 3. Although, I could add she was not fond of eating fish – declaring it, in a manner that would have done Winnie the Pooh proud, far ‘too fishy’. On such pet peeves, she did regularly expound, but these did not define her character – rather, it was those many people and things she loved. Gardens great, gardens small, she loved them all. We upgraded her garden at 61 a few years ago, ahead of many things that needed doing in the house – simply because the garden gave her much more pleasure than a repainted living room. Perhaps that was because to her, the garden represented the people she loved – there was her sister Jarcie’s daisy, Jarcie’s daughter Meron’s daisy, the rose bush her father had planted decades before, Katie’s gardenias and so on, including friends and neighbours. She appreciated a single perfect flower like a Zen master, but she found equal beauty in an interestingly-patterned autumn leaf that others trod underfoot. She felt compelled to pick them up, adding them to the collections of cluttered beauty at home or sending them to one of us. Leaves and flowers were hall marks of her letters. Often, as you opened the envelope adorned with her copperplate loops, you could catch their fading fragrance–and that would take you home, whether you were Europe, Melbourne, Malaysia…even in the sensorily-challenged Jakarta. Her knowledge of the arts, history and literature was extensive for someone who left school at the equivalent of year 10. She could list the Monarchs of Britain from Tudors till today, explain the Hundred Years’ War, the War of the Roses (they are not the same, by the way) and the causes of the French Revolution. She also taught us her favourite quotes, from Shakespeare through Dickens to Omar Khayyam and, as noted on the order of service, the understated genius of AA Milne. Music too: she’d challenge us to ‘name that classical tune’. ‘Who composed this?’ she’d ask, conducting an imaginary orchestra; was it Brahms or Beethoven, Schubert or Shuman? Radio was her constant companion and from her we learned the joys of everything from the absurd comedy of the Goons to the excellence of interviewing a la Ellis Blain. I remember too how her attachment to radio melded with another near-obsession during the late nights of our childhood. Just as the last of us headed to bed, she’s put on 2FC (later, ABC Classic FM), pull down the ironing board and begin on the daily pile. I’m not sure whether it was the pleasure of Chopin or the pride she took knowing we’d all look respectable at school the next day (something we ungrateful wretches of course failed to appreciate) but the combination transformed a domestic drudgery into often her most peaceful time of the day. Having 3 children I can now appreciate how little peace there must have been keeping a household of 5 children even slightly on the rails, especially in a 2 bedroom bungalow. In fact, her life was never an easy one. Her mother died when she was 6 and she was sent off to boarding school with her beloved big sister Jacqueline (who became her life-long protector and confidant). Holidays were spent either with aunts at Mt Irvine or at Drummoyne with their wise and warm Scottish Grandmother: a relationship that primed her for a strong bond with my children when they came along. Her father died in his late 30s, our eldest brother died tragically at 25 and soon after she and our father separated in unhappy circumstances. All these events took their toll at the time and added to her becoming anxious later in life – a kind of minor but chronic post-traumatic stress disorder is how I thought of it - which made her, in turn, worry about all of us more than she should have. Yet that was not her primary disposition. She approached the world with an open heart and intrinsic happiness. And the sorrows and setbacks also gave her a remarkable strength in dealing with our life changes. She accepted decisions to move cities or countries without criticism. As relationships began and ended, she never passed judgment on who was at fault. She was brave in the face of death too: whether it was nursing an injured pet or attending, without hesitation, to a bloodied accident victim on the dangerous corner outside our family home. She was with our father as he had his final heart attack, holding him in her arms and telling him in all sincerity, despite all the pain of the separation years before, that she still loved him. Her ability to rise above, to see the big picture, albeit through moderately rosy glasses, remained to the end. We took her to see an Ophthalmologist a few weeks ago, after my brother Robbie noticed her sight had deteriorated and linked this to her increasingly-frequent falls and breaks. Sure enough, she had a grade 2.2 (and they only go up to 4) cataract on her one good eye. Towards the end of the appointment, the Ophthalmologist asked her ‘how is your health generally’? She replied ‘I’m really very well, thank you’. It wasn’t just an automatic response, she meant it. I had to point out that on top of the broken ribs from the recent fall, she had bad osteoporosis, emphysema, a serious heart condition and early Alzheimer’s. But mum saw these as things she could live with, not things that would end her life. She has gone too suddenly and too soon. We knew serious health problems were accumulating but – a bit like her answer to the Ophthalmologist, I guess - we thought she would leave us later, rather than sooner. So when she had the stroke last Saturday morning, life without her, our one family home without her, or her not waving down the front till we drove out of sight, the Manly hop-skip bus, even Hungry Jack’s without her, all seemed unthinkable. It was unthinkable that she left us before the trip we’d planned to visit her sister in Ballarat in October. Before the spring wattle is out, or the Christmas gardenias or the next autumn leaves fall. Unthinkable that she won’t see her eldest grandchild Lewis go to University, nor her second grandson Lee go on his Spanish exchange later this year, nor her granddaughter Adele finish primary school, let alone any of them one day give her the next generation of those precious babies. It will take us all some time to cope with the great hole her absence leaves in our lives. But she died while still living quite independently (with our brother Mike’s unfailing support, of course), while still able to really enjoy conversations, correspondence and happy get-togethers, and she died, it seems, with no pain or suffering. These are all blessings she would have appreciated. Our mother never held a significant paying job, the odes she wrote to mark family birthdays, Christmases and even her grandson Lee’s chin stitches while we lived in Jakarta - they were not quite ready for publishing, the sketches and water-colours she did in the Blue Mountains rarely made it to the wall at home. But the simple happiness-es she shared with others, her non-judgmental readiness to accept and enjoy people as they are, the deep, refreshing, life-sustaining pleasure she took in so many things made our lives richer and made her an important person. The world may not know it, but it’s a colder place for her passing. Our brother Robbie would like to speak next..