My grannie turned 80 last week. We went to Groblersdal to celebrate. We saw family members that we haven't seen in years. Some of the cousins are also Pretoria inhabitants but our lives are so different that we are basically blood-strangers. It saddens me sometimes. These people I grew up with.
But the day was about her. This incredible woman whom I love so much. I love her big personality - her loud laughs, her tears, her stories, her stubbornness, her white-white hair, the way in which she sends me beautiful text messages and the way in which I disappear in her big soft body when she hugs me.
I fondly remember the farm days: her kitchen, the dark dining room with the lazy susan, her baking, my grandpa's bottle of rooibos tea she made him every morning, the fly screens on the windows, the donkey (water heater) we had to fire up every evening so that we could have hot water, the red soil, the naartjie grove. I remember our bath times when I had to wash her back and how I made her guess the pictures I drew with soap.
My grandpa was clearly missed at the celebration. I felt an emptiness when I thought about him - how he would just quietly sit and observe the festivities and how he would say or do something funny, just to tease my grandma. I miss his kind spirit more often as I get older.
The girls of the family. I was the only female cousin for 13 years until Monet and then Ria-Marie came along (left). Back right and middle: my mom and her sister
This is two-thirds of the whole bunch. Even though a bit blurry, I absolutely adore this photo. My brothers. My beautiful cousins. My family.

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