Friday, May 4, 2012

Guest Post from Israel - Bronwyn

Dearest Karyn Christeen,

Happy Birthday; 50 years of grace shining in you!

I love you and miss you so much today! I know it will be a very special one, and we will all be with you in heart, mind, and thought. And will have a triple-chocolate cake in your honour too!!!!! With candles. (Not 50! Ha!!!)

This is a very special day as I think of a mother looking at her baby girl for the first time; a devoted father smiling with intense pride that no doubt made him pace up and down a bit! I think of wonderful grandparents and the joy that must have burst from them, as Gumba held you for the first time, and Nana smiled at you.

I think of the years, the friends - starting in Bombay with the birthday party where you won an embroidered picture of a lady's head! And swimming at Breach Candy pool, where the echoes were so loud! 

I think of Coonoor and water beetles and baby crabs and verbena flowers with their shiny black berries, and short school uniforms and scratchy legs through the tea bushes, and the beautiful creamy white tea flower.

"I'm here, God's here; Now we can start"
I think of Latin and French, and Science with Mr Lloyd of the twitchy eyelids. I think of Hebron senior and Grassroots dorm and Janet Tozer and Susie Kukathas and Maynard and Virgil and Paul Smith and Paul Martin and Alasdair Ferry and Miriam Dartnall-Smith and Danny Sinclair and Brian Moffat. I think of "I'm here, God's here, Now we can start!" and Fiddler on the Roof, and Shakespeare and sports like field hockey.

I think of Bangalore and kites on the rooftop with glass string to cut others' down, and music ringing out from the piano while you read a novel, and Hekiho and Yehoshi and Nair and Haupi and Padma and Snehalatha and the Cherians and the Chellis and the Franks. I think of Baldwin's school Christmas programme, and Aubrey and the Hongals and a bike trip to Kumbalgood.
I bought all the six Malory Towers books in Bangalore
I think of Dad preaching, a halo round his head in the old chapel where the Joshuas lived at the back. I think of Mrs. Float's cottage and Pixie and Cookie who lived over the wall!! (Could have been character names from an Enid Blyton storybook!) Speaking of which, I think of Malory Towers and St. Clare's, and pretending our bikes were horses, or being "stewardesses" in a "bedsit" and I think of midnight feasts with pudina sandwiches that sadly became stale when we couldn't wake up for a night or two. 

I think of Liza, and of Joyce (Joyce. Rose. Angeline!) and Susie (Sushila) and walks on the Lamb's Rock Road and safety pins and needles hiding under the first layer of the ironing board, and "your side of the room" and "mine" and the blue dress with the lace ruffle at the neck that you wore when you were 12. 

I think of glasses and haircuts and glamorous up-dos for the Muslim wedding, and high-heeled red shoes to wear back to Canada, and then staying in the bunkhouse where sweetpeas and raspberries grew outside the door. I think of the blue glasses and rose-pink china dishes of Nana's house there, and Bapa's fiddle, and Uncle Gordon's steady walk and unfailing jokes! I think of the old black stove and the horses and the long, empty road.

I think of Three Hills and the mobile court and our little home with the red carpet that Brian Walsh used to visit. And the swimming pool, outdoor, and popsicles in the winter just before we left Castor when we were six and five. I think of poppy wreaths at the cenotaph. And of Andy and the tea house and the big start-up party and all the ups and downs but the ongoing sense of party that continues, so filled with love there, and the warmth and coziness. And your home upstairs, and refuge in the time of storm. And the visit to India when you hid in the back seat for a surprise, matching the kinds of surprises Dad would give us when he'd come up to Coonoor a day early! And Welcome Home signs. And Happy Birthday sign and cards and cakes and kisses.
I believe this was the last Welcome Home sign Mum made,
when I returned from South Africa ...
And I wish I was there to give you some of those today, and big hugs, and lots of love ... but I'm in the Holy Land, and that's one place that all the love and stories started anyway, so at the heart of it I am there with you. And of course the Holy Land and all its stories were at the heart of the love of our family. The very heart. And so, in Jesus, our shared Lord and Saviour, whom we all need desperately and love more each and every year, I send you all my love, Karyn Darling. 

Happy Birthday, from your sister far away but near at heart. With all my love, today and steadfastly for always,

Bronwyn xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo Past the sky!!!  (And much love to Dad, who gave you life, and thanks to Mum, without whom none of this would be true.) I love you! Much love to the others as well, the sisters and Allan. Happy party! All our love, Paul, Bronwyn, Elliot and Oliver xxxxooooxxxx
I miss you guys!


  1. Could I borrow the books sometime, please? :)

  2. What great memories. What a wonderful life!

  3. Such wonderful insight and hope for a life well lived. Karyn we all truly love you and pray for peaceful, rich years step at a time!

  4. The Lord gave a little blessing to your parents many years ago and over your life the blessing has been shared with MANY people around you! So glad that the Lord brought you into our lives and that you're part of our "forever" family:). Love and Prayers!

  5. Thank you Bronwyn for sharing such wonderful memories of your sister Karyn with us all....It is lovely to witness the genuine love that the Ironside family have for each other. You are all such a credit to your parents xx


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