On December 4, Greg’s Mum passed away. Her given name was Maureen, but everyone called her Tuppy. The loss is immense, and we are deeply saddened that she’s no longer with us. This post is my tribute to a woman that I have known since I was 17, and has been like a mother to me since my own mother died almost twenty years ago.
I won the lottery when I married Greg. And part of the winnings was getting the best Mother-in-Law of them all. Tuppy was modest and reserved, but the more you got to know her, the more you realized how fabulous she was. Kind, wise, confident and very down to earth. Tough and strong, yet soft and gentle. Extremely sensitive, kind, loyal, and generous. So, so grateful and appreciative of the smallest things in life. Always full of compliments, and awfully gracious. She saw the best in people, and made the most of every situation. In the 32 years that I knew her, I never heard her raise her voice or say an unkind word. Her wicked sense of humour and glorious mischievousness were the cherries on top.
I have high energy levels, but they were no match for Super Tuppy. She was a bookkeeper by profession, but also a tenacious and hard-working entrepreneur who, together with husband Gerald, successfully started and operated several small businesses, while raising two children and running the home. She was the rock of the family, loved and respected by all, and an incredible role model to me.
There was no end to Tuppy’s talents. She could cook, sew, knit and garden with the best of them. But she could also lay concrete, draw electrical wiring diagrams, weld metal, and she had her skipper’s license. She could do arithmetic faster than you could use a calculator. She loved games of all descriptions, and kept Greg on his toes at long distance as they played iPhone games like Words with Friends and Letterpress while living on different continents.
Tuppy’s favourite colour was yellow. She loved tea and cake. The pets in her life were treated like royalty. So it’s no wonder that we got on like a house on fire. We enjoyed the same types of food, music and movies, and both loved to travel. I loved to spend time with her, because she was so fun to be with. We enjoyed so much laughter together and she was a wonderful listener. She made you feel like you mattered.
May the sweetest, most selfless person I know rest in peace. I’m privileged to have known her, and to have meant something to her. I loved her very dearly, and will hold my fond memories of her close to my heart. I will miss her precious, incomparable presence in my life.
This is a photo of Tuppy back in Cape Town in 1960, just after she got engaged to Greg’s Dad, Gerald. It captures her quiet, strong beauty, both inside and out.