Remembering Margery with a Memory Tree tui
For Laura Bakker, making a donation to Cranford's Kōwhai Memory Tree was the right thing to do at the right time. But making a Tui tribute had special significance.
Margery loved the Tuis that visit the gardens in their Havelock North home every winter. For years Margery would open her bedroom window first thing in the morning to better hear their bird song. In the last few months of Margery's life, Tuis seemed to be around the trees outside her bedroom a lot more than usual and their presence became very noticeable and vocal.
"We came into contact with Cranford soon after she was diagnosed in July 2011," said Laura. "We were told she had an aggressive form of breast cancer but we didn't really know what that meant. She went through chemotherapy, had a mastectomy and rounds of radiation before we were told it was terminal in March 2012."
Laura says Margery was a private person who didn't tell many people about her illness. She was stoic, determined and full of drive right up until the end. "It's part of what kept her going," said Laura. "When we went out the front door, as sick as she might have felt, the sickness was left here at home."
While she fought against the cancer, continuing her work in the community as long as she could, acceptance did come to Margery. Two days before she died, she asked her daughter and Laura if they could wash their hands together in a bowl in an act of cleansing and acceptance. Laura says there was closure in this gesture although her good friend's death still seems quite surreal.
"That she's not here still seems weird. It seems like she has gone on holiday and will be back soon. Then I realise she is not coming back."
Laura is partially deaf and has poor vision. She says that as well as working her way through the grief process, she is learning to live as independently as her limited vision will allow. "I am blind with a little bit of sight. I do not have total blindness; however the sight I have is not useful."
Laura says she knew nothing about the Cranford Memory Tree until the time came when it felt right to make a donation to Cranford. A staff member told her about this way of donating, and the Tui, the tree and Margery all fitted together as a perfect tribute to her dear friend's life, while at the same time being a great way to support Cranford.
Pictured: Laura Bakker (right) chose a Tui tribute on the Kōwhai Memory Tree as a way to remember her dear friend Margery Staunton-Deane.
Take the opportunity to leave a tribute and/or a photo of a loved one on our Kōwhai Memory Tree.
For a donation of $50 or more you can pin a permanent memory flower on our website Memory Tree. For a donation of $500 or more, a bee can be put on the tree, and for $1000 or more a Tui can be put on the tree. Memory tributes stay on the website tree forever.