I am up here representing the grandchildren today. It is very difficult to put into words how much our nana will be missed. She had a special relationship with each of us; she was a friend and had so much love to give. She really was one of the most important people in the world to us.
While some grandparents would expect a postcard from their grandchildren abroad, my grandmother would often make the effort to come and visit. In her later years she visited us in Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, and Tanzania. I remember particularly fondly her visit to the village where I was living in Tanzania in 2000, having traveled there with Hilary and my mother. It wasn’t an easy destination for most rugged travelers, Nana never complained about the lack of western bathroom while we were on a safari. She was an adventurer who loved new places and new ideas. African culture greatly respects the elderly and my ‘bibi’ was the most exciting visitor to the small town in the Kilimanjaro highlands for some time. Throughout her visit villagers would gather round waiting to be introduced to her. My grandmother was never one for fuss but they didn’t often receive 80-year-old Western women visitors in their remote village. In fact I doubt many of the villagers had met anyone quite like her! She had an incredible ability to stay current and keep connected to the world and her community.
She wasn’t only a wonderful grandmother to Eileen, Dave, Hilary, Tierra and I but also to her extended grandchildren- Catherine, Gregory, Christina and Anita. She had a big heart open to all new members of her expanding family.
She will be remembered for her brilliant smile and continuous laughter, her giving nature, her adventurous spirit and her beautiful soul. She desired not to be in the center of attention but made everyone here feel loved and appreciated. No one was more treasured to us than her, but I know today would make her just a little embarrassed. I can imagine her blushing now.
Margot Kilgour is Marjorie’s granddaughter