|Nana Winsome on her 80th birthday|
As we flew across the Pacific, landed in a rainy Auckland, and drove the windy roads to mum and dad's we were excited. It was so exciting to be back in New Zealand with little Callum. We wanted him to meet his whanau so badly!
Those first few moments with the family were so bittersweet. We were filled with smiles and hugs and laughs as Callum met everyone. However, in the back of everyone's mind was that we were missing Nana.
Her body lay to rest there at home with Jason's family. This is traditional for New Zealand families. The body stays with the family until it is buried. Nana looked so peaceful in her casket. Her body had suffered greatly in her final months. There was comfort knowing that she was now with her husband in a place of rest.
The night before the funeral we gathered as a family around her body. We sang songs and spoke of the memories and lessons we hold onto of Nana.
My first impression of Nana was how beautiful and charming she was. The first time I met her she was dressed in a beautiful dress. I remember she had a clutch with glitter all over it. She looked like a movie star! I was introduced to her as Jason's American girlfriend. She told me t that I was a pretty and slim girl in her very proper New Zealand accent.
On another occasion we made Nana dinner at her beach side condo in Orewa. I was excited to see that Nana collected the same china as my grandmother. She had a whole set of Old Country Rose by Royal Albert. It made me so happy to see that they shared that common interest.
Nana's funeral service was beautiful. The room was jam packed with family who traveled from all over the world. There were only a few grandkids and great grandkids missing. Callum was the 21st and final great grandchild of Nana. She will have many more in coming years.
|Jason and his 5 brothers had the privilege of carrying Nana's casket|
|Jason 2nd on left|
|the 6 brothers lowering Nana's casket|
|Nana's mother and father next to her|