As I mentioned in my post yesterday I went to visit my gran – and my heart is just broken.

My gran is now in her late 70s and moved into an old age home a few years ago. (The place is somewhere between a rock and nowhere and the closest family is more than 60km away. I am 350km away.) She was doing quite well surrounded by peers and her sister until she broke her leg last week.

If her leg was the only issue, then maybe it wouldn’t have been so bad. She is also struggling with water that is pushing up over her heart and lungs and her kidneys are not optimal, plus diabetes. Combine all of this with the fact that she will never get up again or move from that room… this brings only one ending, painful end of life.

She is in so much pain and discomfort that on the one hand I wish she could just go, but selfishly I want her to stay forever.

My grannie is a remarkable woman that raised 6 children on a farm in the far north. She was born a De Bruin/Steenekamp with her family from France and the Netherlands. When she and her new husband moved onto their farm she still had a piece of vine that came over from the old country. She planted this vine and it grew into a 20m long roof that carried so many grapes and under which so many family gatherings happened.

What I loved most was the private library she had when still living on the farm. She had so many Afrikaans books and I read them all. She gave me a lot of slack from chores because of my love for reading.

She painted with oils from her late 50s. She knitted, crocheted and tried her hand at every craft fad under the sun. She could run a farm kitchen like nothing and feed 23 of us in one sitting – and then rope all the grand children into washing dishes.

How many people will she leave behind that loves her – 6 children, 15 grand children, 10 great grand children, 1 brother and 1 sister. I will be the last Susanna Deysel when she leaves.




Susann is a travel, parenting, beauty and lifestyle blogger in Johannesburg, South Africa.

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