Tourettes, car guards and candle braais.

She spent years teaching my brothers and I how not to sit on the fence. She believes that we should stand for something or fall for everything.

She was always the loudest at all of the sports games. To the embarrassment of my brothers and I.

She used to get more nervous than we did for parent/teacher night. I think because she still felt the way we did at school.  Authority sucked.

She helped me forge her signature so she didn’t have to write excuse letters for me at physical education lessons every week.

And when I got caught out by the PE teacher, she stormed into school and demanded the teacher apologise to me, even though she knew I was guilty but believed that the humiliation I got weekly outweighed the forgery.

She has lived the philosophy that she could discipline or criticise her children, but god help anyone else who tried.

During rough times, she’d make sure we ate before she did to ensure we never went to bed hungry and that there was always enough food in our bellies.  For a long time we were vegetarians because meat was too expensive, and so when my eldest brother was really pining for meat, she came home with one piece of boerewors and helped him braai it over a candle.

She stood up at my first disco when I was 14 years old and embarrassed the hell out of me by doing all the moves to Greece with my friend Travis’ mom on the dance floor.

When she was training to be a beauty therapist she forced me to be her guinea pig and managed to cock up waxing my eyebrows so badly she removed one half of my eyebrow entirely.


Also, when she was learning how to do permanent make up, no one was brave enough to volunteer to be guinea pig, so she learnt on herself, and managed to tattoo her own eyeball.  Such is the bravery of her.


She was the world’s proudest, happiest, caring, granny. To not only Kiera, but to Abu the monkey, Pixel and Elvis the cats, and all of Baboo’s dogs over the years.


When I ever felt sad or down, she would go out of her way to make me feel happier, even if it meant she had to throw away her dignity and put on an accent.  One day, not even that much long ago, we were driving behind a taxi who had cut me off and she pretended she had tourettes and screamed, shouted and swore in a high pitched voice at the taxi until we were crying with laughter.

She stood at my wedding and BEAMED.  The entire day.  In fact, the morning of, we stopped at a shopping center to grab photo print outs and coffee and she managed to yell into the parking lot and tell everyone, including the car guard, cashier at Pick n Pay and the photo print-out dude, that her daughter was getting married.


Growing up I absolutely hated being told I looked and acted just like her.  Now, I wish I looked more like her and I embrace opening my mouth and hearing her words spill out of me.

Today, it’s her 49th 25th birthday.

She’s beautiful, funny, completely insane and more loving than anyone on earth I know.

Happy birthday, mommabear.

I’m so glad you chose me.

I love you more than I ever have, and less than I will tomorrow.

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  1. cath says:

    Way to make the sob at desk happen.

    Your mama is incredible. Fact.

    “She has lived the philosophy that she could discipline or criticise her children, but god help anyone else who tried”


  2. Gina says:

    Happy birthday MommaBear!!

    Did you know the first time I met your mom I thought she was your sister. She can totally pass for 25!!

  3. Momma Bear says:

    Sheenie. Finding emo. You make me sound so cool and I love and thank you for that. I am so glad I have you four to be my awesome foursome.

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