- Lusi Austin
REMEMBERING MY NAU
I found this piece of writing today. It was a post I'd written 3 years ago and I share it here because I don't want to lose it.
Yesterday afternoon I got the heart breaking news that my beloved Nau had passed away. She was the Matriarch of our family who taught us all so much. It’s not heart breaking news in that it was unexpected or that she was so young. I guess it’s just heart breaking to let someone go who has made such an incredible impact upon your life.
She showed me what love and acceptance looked like. We didn’t really have family here in Australia so when we’d go back to Fiji as kids for holidays you can imagine how incredible it was to be surrounded by the love of an entire community. She and Pupu set the tone for that. They loved and accepted us kids, never looked down on us, never made fun of us as we tried to communicate in broken English/Fijian, as we’d try and learn customs. She and Pupu welcomed us with open arms and open hearts. They were affectionate, gracious and understanding.
Nau was so wise in ways of Fijian medicine, in delivering babies, in raising a large family in years long before mod cons like electricity and running water were available in the village. She loving served her family and her God with a dedication that is rarely seen in our day and age. Her sage wisdom made me want to sit and listen to her. Even a few years ago, I watched her then 87 year old body rocking a little baby to sleep as she tenderly sung a Fijian lullaby. The most compassionate, thoughtful, gentle heart. She had the funniest sense of humour and always made jokes in the years after my Pupu had passed about us bringing her another husband who was hiding in the hire car instead of the spare tyre. This always made us laugh.
She played card games, worked hard, told stories to me and let me paint her nails.
She saw 8 of her 9 children reach adulthood and have their own families, buried 2 of them in the past few years, has over 40 grandchildren, around 70 great grand children and 5 great great grandchildren. What an incredible legacy Nau and Pupu left behind.
I’ll miss calling and when I say, “Au lomani i’o Nau” (I love you Nau) hearing her say back to me “Au lomani i’o viroqa” (and I love you back too).
Take and Pio and everyone in the village, thank you so much for looking after Nau in the past nearly 20 years since Pupu passed away. Your devotion to care for her is amazing and we honour you.
And to all my cousins, aunties, uncles, extended family and friends in Fiji, we are with you in spirit as we grieve the loss of our beautiful Nau. We are thinking of you all. The world will never feel the same for me knowing that Nau is no longer in it but I rejoice in the hope we share of a better more perfect place and the hope of resurrection.
Love you all. Rest In Peace my beautiful Nau. I’ll miss you forever. X