Margie, Gina and Carly Wilson have been part of the fabric of the Bulawayo Community for as long as I can remember. We met when our girls were at junior school together, many many years ago. Sadly I never knew Fred, the legendary father of the family.
I quote from Gina's always upbeat Facebook page posted a week or so ago.
'Today is a big day for our family. For the first time in 3 generations (c.100 years) there is no immediate family living in Zimbabwe anymore. Our mum has made the move to South Africa. Our childhood home - the only one both of us kids have ever known - is sold. The dog has a new happy home. Our family sentimental items are en route to SA. And today is my late Granny's birthday.
Last night I felt immensely nostalgic. My sister - the incredible, caring ninja that she is - has been with my mom for the last 72 hours finalising everything in Zim. It's been heavy lifting. Emotions at every corner. Exhaustion. Sadness. Excitement for the future. What a wild ride. Thank you for doing this Chomps - I love you x
Our house has held so many of our friends and family in its bosom. The parties. The laughter. The arguments. The tears. Broken hearts, shared stories, so many many photos. I feel bereft. It wasn't meant to go like this. 12 Tenby was meant to be our North Star forever.
Some of my favourite memories of that house in no particular order:
- Birthday dinners with my granny and gramps
- Watching black and white tv sneakily after bedtime from the passage when I thought my mum didn't know I was there (yeah right!)
- Sharing a room in bunk beds with my sister when we first moved in (and then getting my own room many years later when my mum was able to do renovations)
- All the pets over the years - Pushkin, Puddy, Tat, Sylvester, Monty, Toots, Tilly and a rescue cat whose name escapes me!
- Hours and hours of laughter with the Twins and Noddy in that lounge - the smell of coconut hair oil wafting in the air
- Coming home from petrol queues of 24 hours to our safe haven
- The constant ringing of the landline at decibel 10 - the whole road knew the phone was ringing! (And the best phone number in the world decades ago - 71710)
- The amazing renovations my mom did over the years. We moved into a 2 bed, 1 bathroom semi detached. And moved out of a 3 bed, 2 bath with office addition semi detached - well done Mama Bear!
- Neighbours. The people who lived in that road over the course of my lifetime. Trav and Wes Calder, Anne from next door, Wendy and Sandy, Cheryl Vickery my horse riding teacher, Peter and Denise Botwright, Granny Helen Walker. So many loved people.
- My darling friend Duncan who rode into the gate like a bat out of hell on his mountain bike with regularity - I miss those visits my friend x
- The never-ending stream of visitors - for a small house there was always space to stay.
- Locko singing 'dem bottles dem bottles' all those moons ago (miss him Goonie x )
- My sister climbing through the inside window that used to be in my mom's main bedroom to check out what Santa had bought us - how mom never heard us I will never know..maybe she did!!
- Santa footprints for Fred and Finn on the lounge carpet
- Our Nuna. Nettie Mlambo. Our second mom. Our constant shadow when we were young. MHDSRIP. We miss you Nuns x
- The laundry basket in the bathroom - where hours were spent chatting to whoever was in the bath. When you live in a house of girls there is no such thing as privacy!!
- My gramps arriving with his purchases from Greenvale Suoermarket every Sunday - the Pavli family are an institution x
- Watching the Mayor's Christmas cheer show on ZTV with Mags Kriel as the hostess - what a legend!
- Veezy - my mom's carer and dearest shamwari for the last 15 years - so much care and love x
- Lindsay Armstrong and my mum cutting out patterns and material to make outfits for us on Saturday afternoons on the lounge floor - cigarettes in hand and a glass of coke at the ready!
- My mom baking scones and cheese puffs and cheese straws for her Friday afternoon teas with Angie Hodges and Margo Snook and Penny Robinson.
- Bacon and egg roll Friday nights with the Halsted and Lemon families - combined with back tickling in a row and Maelstrom - those were the days for sure!
- That Tobes my legend of a BIL got to spend time with us in that home and to experience our lives there - you fitted in well x
- Bombing around town and being dropped off by my wonderful cousin and long time growing up accomplice Matthew Love in his black morris minor! With roll bars nogal!
I could go on but the lump in the back of my throat is just too big. And as for my memories of Zim - my cup over runneth x
The thing I remember the most about that house is the LOVE. Always in abundance. Always space for one more. Probably the single best thing about my mum and that house - she filled it with welcoming love for anyone who came through its doors.
I can't imagine not sleeping in my childhood bedroom ever again. And yet I am thrilled for my mum's next chapter - close to family and her grandkids for her golden years.
Thank you 12 Tenby for showing me that there is always space for one more at the table. What a grand lesson for the ages.'
This little Family is indeed reminiscent of Louisa May Alcott's book 'Little Women'!! They will be very sadly missed in our Community.
Gina Zim - Facebook