It was July the 1st, a normal school day, my siblings and I got ready to go to school, at the time we were living in Waima. The school bus arrived at our driveway, we hoped on the bus. Minutes later we all arrived at school. Hours flew by and it was lunch time, my school got a phone call from my dad saying “can you give a note to my kids to tell us to get our stuff together because he would be here to pick us up any minute.”
He arrived at our school to pick us up,as we got into the car we asked “why we were leaving so early from school?” He replied to us, “Nan is unwell and your mum is gone to Rawene hospital with her.”
Minutes after we all arrived at Rawene Mum and Nana were hopping into a helicopter. Dad drove us back to Waima and called my uncle (dad’s brother)saying “there's something with mum I'm dropping Tawhiti and Brittney off at home, can you come and look after them while me and Alex head down to Whangarei”.
We arrived at Whangarei but by then it was too late, no one got to say their final goodbyes and love you’s apart from mum. I felt like a strike of lightning struck my heart. Mum said to us “she took her last breathe just before they landed in Whangarei. No one knew she was sick as she was one of those stubborn people.” One of the doctors came in and told us how Nan had died, “she had pneumonia” said the doctor. So many questions were asked. I couldn’t feel anything apart from nervousness crawling down my spine. Family all gathered together at the hospital and loved each other. I rang Brittney to tell her the sad news, no words were spoken just tears.
My eyes closed gently and thought about all the good,annoying things my nana did for me. I had always been nana’s girl so I was in so much of shock that she had been taken so early at the age of 56. That was a lesson to many of us to always get a check up.
A day later community and family gathered all together in the marae, I looked around and tears falling down so many familiar faces. I looked to my sister and she was in such of shock with tears rolling down, I crawled over to her and just squeezed her. Hours shot passed, people came and went.
It was the final night that I would spend with her, the toko toko went around and many voices spoke about the memories they shared together. I was thinking and realized it was my birthday tomorrow. I wished no one knew because I didn’t want the day to be about me. I just had one regret and that was that I didn’t acknowledge my nan enough for what she did for all of us.
The sun rose, I wasn’t ready for this day. Songs were sang, but it was time I had to say my last goodbye, it was hard and emotional. Thoughts were flying around my head. But it was time we laid her to rest.