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TEA IN THE GARDEN WITH MY "OUMA"

My Mom’s Laughter

As a single child, during family get together’, I spent many of those days under our dining room table feeding my baby dolls, I used to hear the clink of cups against saucers, but mostly I heard the laughter of my mom.

Visits from my grandma, I called Ouma Daleen, who was living in South-Africa with my Grandpa, Andre, I called him Oupa, mom and dad only visited him once in South-Africa when I was a newborn but I heard his voice when they phoned and sang to me on my birthdays and on Christmas days. My entire young life in Dublin usually involved tea. Tea with “Ouma”, in our garden, and playing with a new doll ouma had made for me, there was lots of laughter and hugs.Those were my fondest memories of her.

No matter where we we went, I was always able to easily distinguish my mother’s laughter from all the rest.

In bed, one day, with sorrow camouflaged as a cold, I tried to hide my tears when my mom brought me a cup of tea. I couldn’t stop crying over the death of my cat. I felt horrible that I was crying more now than I did at my great-grandmother’s funeral. Mom sat on the edge of my bed, that day, she leant forward and tucked my favorite doll under my arm, and shared my cup of tea.

Later that morning, washed in early morning light, with teacup in hand, my mom bent over the newspaper in her faded pink robe and a head of wild, brown tresses. She glanced up and smiled when I stumbled into the kitchen with my goody-bag slung over my shoulder. She immediately stood up and began to make me breakfast, and I just new that things would be okay.

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