acacia blossoms

acacia blossoms

Friday, January 28, 2011

a lovely thing

K and I are both orphans at this stage in our lives.  K's mum was the last parent to slip through the portal.
She was a tiny feisty woman with the daintiest hands and feet i have ever ever seen. She always walked tall and was always elegant and beautifully presented.  Apart from her sons, she loved nothing more than to drive endlessly through elephant country viewing these mighty creatures in their home fields.  She loved to talk and socialise, but she was always silent in the elephant fields drinking it all in.

After one of her last visits, she left a beautiful card thanking us and enclosing an amount of Rands to spend on something we would both enjoy.  We found it after she was on the plane back home.

Years have passed but the card and its enclosed gift had been kept safely for some special event - a dinner or trip or something.  I moved it from place to place to keep it safe, and now and again it would resurface reminding me.

This week we took the card and booked into Shingwedzi camp in Kruger National Park for the night.  We drove slowly through the elephant fields and spent time with giant bull elephants as they rested, or fed, or travelled, or jostled with their mates. We had dinner in the restaurant and breakfast the next day at Mopani camp overlooking a huge rainfilled dam.   We felt her presence with us all the way and it was a day she would have loved.

I keep thinking, how wonderful to leave a small something, that can be treasured and enjoyed long after you have shuffled off the mortal scene. Something that is not a Will  or a legacy  - a simple gift that says so much and keeps the connection alive and real.

Thank you Dot - and yes I will refresh the card for another date



Angela said...

That makes me cry. What a lovely, lovely idea!
I remember that you have always talked highly of her, and somehow it had made me want to meet her. I am so glad you used her gift for something she would have enjoyed, too! If there is a hereafter at all, she was with you!
I must remember this idea.

Bonnie Zieman, M.Ed. said...

Lovely in every way Val - especially as a tender tribute to someone you loved - and who loved the elephants as much as you.

Lori ann said...

that was so lovely indeed val and made me tear up too. dot sounds like a special woman. anyone that loves a day gazing at the elephants is a good soul.

the word orphan always makes me sad and want to immediatly adopt you both.

i'm really glad you and k (and surely dot) had such a wonderful time at shingwedzi and mopani, you so deserve it.


Anonymous said...

OMG Val I had shivers of happiness reading this.

Always jealous to read when you go 2dabusch and am so glad to know you so I can have virtual trips

Dorothy - that's my third name (ejdw) and I also love ellies. Happy rumblings Dot


Fire Byrd said...

Wat a lovely tribute to Dot, to see her beloved elephants and enjoy a lovely night away. No wonder she was with you on the trip.

Amanda Summer said...

this is so beautiful val. i'd never heard of such a thing, but yet it makes so much sense. to leave a gift behind for someone to enjoy something they loved and you love. what a brilliant way to maintain contact with someone who has passed through that portal -- this just makes the portal that much thinner, and fills it with love.


Anonymous said...

That was a very nice gesture worth so much more than just the act itself. A gift of love and a message of love that lasts. Wonderful.

Ashley Ashbee said...

Dear Val,

I think it was so meaningful and important to put this card in context. I love cards/letters and I'm glad you appreciated this so much.

You seem to have lived such a wonderful life. Thanks for sharing. I'll be back!


karen said...

This is so lovely! I was here earlier, but for some reason could not leave a comment.

Loved the Soul Food post earlier, too of course!!

Friko said...

A truly thoughtful thing to do. She must have been a lovely lady, very few people have the sensitivity this gift shows.

Val said...

Angela - i love this idea too. must try to remember it.

Bonnie - it was a perfect day in Dots memory

Lori - yes she was a force of nature. She was so tiny and yet she loved elephants so much

Janet - happy rumblings to you too - maybe it is in the name?

Val said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Val said...

Fire Byrd - it was a perfect Dot day

Amanda - yes indeed. the portal felt very thin that day

lgsquirrel - somehow i dont think she expected us to wait so long for the treat though :)

Ashley - hello and welcome. I cant remember when i last hand wrote a card or letter - and yet these really are the best. I must get back to it.

Karen - hi there. I have been battling to leave comments here myself. So glad you persevered!

Friko - yes she was.

Thank you all for your messages. Sorry it has taken so long for me to respond but somehow it just never worked.
thanks for hanging in


Cheryl Cato said...

Val, the trip you & K took to visit the elephants was the perfect choice. Dot sounds like a wonderful woman. It seems every "Dot or Dorothy" I've known has been an exceptional person. My dearest aunt was Dot.
This post is a beautiful tribute to her.

Val said...

Lizzy F - thats so true about all the Dorothys and Dots - remember the one with the ruby slippers too?

mermaid gallery said...

so true....Dot knew....wise women do.....a gesture like that means more than anything .....keeping her memory alive and vital. Making that a tradition is a way to take it even further.....something to ponder, Susan

Anil P said...

Such a touching guesture, and a warm one.

Like you rightly said towards the end, connections remain alive in so many ways.

And to read about her is to reaffirm that even though we must all pass that way once, the moments leading up to it is enriched by people who're a blessing to know and share our lives with.

Kate said...

Lovely elephant...they're my favorite!

e said...

What a lovely thing for her to do and an even lovelier way for you to remember her. Thanks for sharing this.