I'm sitting here, crying as I read all the lovely memories and thoughs everyone has. I am struggling to thing of words to convey how proud I am to have had such an amazing woman to call "Nanna". I am so glad I could be on the end of the phone and be a part of the service and thanks to my Mum, Marie, for reading a poem "Halfway Down" by A.A Milne which I fondly remember Nanna reading to us as children. It meant a lot. There are so many wonderful memories I don't know where to start. I think all I can say right now, is; Nanna, I miss you and I hope you are happy and safe where ever you are. I love you. Halfway down the stairs is a stair where i sit. there isn't any other stair quite like it. i'm not at the bottom, i'm not at the top; so this is the stair where I always stop. Halfway up the stairs Isn't up And it isn't down. It isn't in the nursery, It isn't in town. And all sorts of funny thoughts Run round my head. It isn't really Anywhere! It's somewhere else Instead!
A tribute to Aunty Diana by Lenore Hodgkinson (nee Savage) Aunty Diana was my God Mother and took her God Motherly duties very seriously. She gave me Bible story books when I was a child and gave me an Anglican Prayer Book when I was confirmed at age 12 years. She continued to take a great interest in my spiritual development and was very happy I showed a keen interest in going to church and following the Christian faith from a young age and have continued to do so all my adult life. She has also taken a great interest in my husband Ken and his church involvement and lay preaching activities. She showed much love and affection for our family and was always keen to encourage us with wise counsel especially after my parents died and she took over that parent and grandparent role Out two adult children Paul and Carleen (Durand – nee Hodgkinson) were also encouraged and nurtured by Aunty Diana and Carleen has her own tributes on this site. Paul is also very fond of his Aunty Diana and she always took a keen interest in him. She even took an interest in Carleen's husband Jonathan and his brother Paul who had emigrated from Zimbabwe to New Zealand. She extended her love to a broad network of family connections who were touched by her love and generosity. It was wonderful being able to spend some time with her on the Saturday before she died at the home of David and Marie in the house where she was born. Her body was frail and she said she was very tired. The last words I said to her were " I'm praying for you" She replied " I will need it". I thought it a little strange that she did not just say " I need it" but putting it in the future tense I think she knew she was on her way to be with God and was referring to her passing that was indeed imminent. She was then helped into the car to return to the nursing home and I kissed her goodbye once again wondering if I would indeed see her again here on earth. She had a lovely time at the party though she was at times uncomfortable in her wheel chair and asked to be transferred to a chair and she had no sooner been transferred to the chair and she asked to be put back in the wheel chair. At that point the family decided she was indeed tired and needed to be taken back to the nursing home for a rest. She did however enjoy her last party on earth. She will now be part of a greater celebration in heaven with the others who have gone before her. Her funeral was a wonderful celebration of her life and a fitting tribute to such a fine Christian lady who loved her children and grandchildren, loved her extended family of nieces and nephews and their families, loved her wide circle of friends from many different organizations she was involved with over her life, and last but not least loved her Saviour and Lord Jesus Christ and her church family. She will be sadly missed by all.
Aunty Diana was always someone who I could go to and get very wise advice from and she provided it in such a genuine and kind way. She loved life, her Lord and her family was very important to her. She was always interested in what we were all doing and when I wasn't well she knew exactly what to say and do. I will never forget the times I was going to go off and do something stupid, but she always directed me back in that kind spirited way she had. Everyone felt that they had a special relationship with her because she always made you feel like the important one. She never lost her wit and humour and she loved everyone in their own way, even those who others did not consider lovable...yes we all know she was considered the Matriarch of the family and she did a very good job I might add, but through that tough exterior was a woman with an absolutely beautiful and genuine heart with a wonderfully sweet and kind nature who would do anything for anyone. Thank-you Aunty Diana for all the times we shared and for including us as part of your family and treating me with a Nana mentality, you became someone very special to me as the years have gone by. Your wisdom, generosity and kind thoughts have been taken on board every time. Thank-you also for your spiritual guidance! I know you are now with your Lord who you loved so much. We celebrate that you are now in a much better place without suffering or pain and you will be looking down on us with that lovely smile. You always gave me words of encouragement, support and help when asked and I am so grateful that you always brought all our conversations back to the Lord and what he would do. You were a very special lady and will be sadly missed. With Love Always, Carleen (and Jonathan) xxx ooo
I remember all the special times that Aunty Diana and I shared together when I was growing up right through to the present time (on the phone due to being in NZ now). Every time she could see a direct path through the issue, whatever we were talking about. She was kind and loving in what she said and was really interested in how I was doing (she was always interested in others). Aunty Diana was wise in what she said and even though she was always direct in the way she addressed issues, her genuine love for me and others always shone through! She always was thoughtful in her actions and really understood what was going on with everyone....if she didn't understand why or what was wrong she always asked the right questions, gave me the advice and always finished the conversation or visit with a kind thought to ponder over. Aunty Diana, you may have been the 'Matriarch' of the family, but that's what keep us going, you had a knack of keeping the family together. High standards that we all respected and addressed accordingly, but inside that was an absolutely beautiful soft heart that could fill your spirit full to the brim with love and kindness in seconds after hearing a word from her. A very rare genuine kindness that would do anything for anyone if and where she could and always tried to lift your spirits, especially when you were feeling down. Her spiritual guidance was also always very well received and she will be very sadly missed. We celebrate though that she is now in a much better place with her Lord that she loved so much and looking down and watching over each and every one of us! Thank-you for all the wonderful times Aunty Diana. You may have gone to another place for now but we will see you again in Heaven. You will never be forgotten in our hearts. Lots of love, Carleen (and Jonathan)
During the funeral Karen linked my phone to her cousins Sarah and Clare in London. This enabled Diana's granddaughters Sarah and Clare to 'be there'. Thank you Karen, it has meant a lot to me and even more to them. Aunty Diana, Nanna and Mum. She had a great send off and I'm glad you were all there. I won't forget it and I hope everyone celebrated Mums remarkable life that day as much as I did. David-Dad
For as long as I can remember, when Tim and I had to be on our absolute-best-behaviour (dressed nicely, quietly spoken, peacefully sitting on a couch and constantly vigilant not to actually behave like children), we were informed by Mum and Dad to be on our Aunty Diana Behaviour. I have no memory of when this started - or why - but it's cross-generational now. When two year old Brooke needs to be perfectly behaved, we tell her to be on her 'Aunty Diana Behaviour'. While driving our matriarch around the suburbs to inspect Christmas lights a couple of years ago, we enlightened her about this quirky phrase. She thought it was hilarious. “Imagine having to be on your best behaviour for ME???!” I think secretly she was quite touched by it though.