We’re on holiday in sunny Kwazulu Natal, South Africa at the moment and therefore not celebrating a traditional American Thanksgiving with friends. Spending quality time with Greg’s parents reminds me how thankful I am to have such wonderful parents and parents in law, so I’d like to dedicate this post to them. 

I won the lottery with my parents in law. I have known them for many years and every year I’m more in awe of their wonderful attitude to life. Their get-on-with-it attitude, entrepreneurial spirit, and incredible work ethic made them successful in the businesses that they started and ran together. They are positive, humble and generous, and laugh a lot every day. They are truly role models to Greg and me.

Tuppy, who is in her seventies, has the energy of an active youngster. She’ll run circles around you with a smile on her face and a wicked dry sense of humour. I love the way Tuppy appreciates the smallest things. She is the best host: thoughtful, sensitive and gentle. An excellent listener who is completely engaged when you speak to her. Her quiet confidence and tenacity inspire me no end

Gerald is extremely extraverted and can strike up a rapport with anyone. It’s quite amazing to see him in action. He has an incredible eye for detail, is a talented artist, and can’t help but get excited about whatever it is that you’re excited about. I love his genuine enthusiasm.

Gerald and Tuppy celebrated their 54th wedding anniversary last week. Here’s a photo of them back in the early ‘60s in Harare.

Gerry & Tuppy

My Papa is an absolute sweetheart and a very charming man. He’s gentle, worldly, intelligent, conscientious, generous, and has the best bellowing laugh. A chartered accountant by profession, he doesn’t miss a trick when it comes to numbers. Since my mother passed away 14 years ago he has lived in his hometown in the Netherlands. I am extremely grateful that he manages so well on his own at age 83. He is the most independent, hardy and resourceful man I know. We speak on the phone daily since Mama’s passing, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

My Mama, who you may have met through my annual Mother’s Day posts, is the person responsible for my interest in fashion and style. Like my Papa, she was a survivor, and it’s ironic that she passed away at age 59 after overcoming much childhood adversity. But her life improved dramatically after she met my Papa, which warms my heart each time I think about it. Mama had many great qualities, but it’s her unconditional love and tigress protection for those she loved that tops them all. Without a doubt, she would go through fire for her children and dogs. Here’s a photo of my Mum and Dad soon after they were engaged back in Hong Kong, also in the early ‘60s.

Jaap & Yvonne

Tuppy, Gerald, Papa and Mama, thank you for being our role models. I am thinking extra hard of you today and love you very much.

We at YLF wish you a happy and peaceful Thanksgiving weekend.