Grandma, my musical confidante


You, with your gorgeous fiery red hair and a wit and temperament to match. But always stylish, poised with such grace. Well spoken, with the elocution of a well-trained singer. Except when you got angry…then your words were bawdy, but always brilliantly executed.

Thank you for always sharing with me the joy of singing at the top of your lungs; the sheer pleasure of listening to a symphony or an opera. I loved playing music for you. I will miss your presence by the piano but I will always try to imagine you there, at my side, when I play Chopin, Beethoven or Billie Holiday, or when I compose my own songs. I’ll still sing for you; I’ll even try to perfect “Stormy Weather.”

Such a talented seamstress, you sewed all sorts of wonderful outfits over the years, prodding and poking various bodies, helping them to look like movie stars. For myself, you created the majority of the gorgeous dresses I wore during my girlhood days and knitted me my beloved Elvis sweater that I still wear to this day. You brought to life the outlandish PVC goth ensembles I designed in my late-adolescence (you thought it was such a strange fabric); my Lizard Queen ball gown. You even made alterations to my op-shop finds (I used to giggle when you called them “opportunity shops”) so that they fit me perfectly. I’m sorry that I didn’t keep up the sewing lessons with you, I could have learnt so much.

Thank you for sending me that card that said ‘I know you will be very happy.’ Our last piece of correspondence. It means more than you know.

An exceptional human, a dedicated Wife, Mother, Grandmother, Great-Grandmother and Mother-in-law. An eternally beautiful bride, nature girl and a passionate dancer. You were all these things and so much more. I barely scratched the surface of who you were, but the person I knew was so very wonderful.

Netta Poppy Milne



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