FAMILY. MORE THAN A NAME OR FLESH AND BLOOD

family.

Hello

It’s been a while. Ok, let’s be honest, it’s been a long while since I have blogged and there are just so many reasons for this. The most important reason is Life… life happens. As I’m sitting here typing this, I just want the world to stop for just a few minutes so that I can take a breather. I’m struggling to come to terms with the fact that it is already May. May! How did that happen?

So much has happened since I last blogged and I wouldn’t know where to start and quite frankly, I don’t want to go back and re hash the last 2 years.

I am however finding myself getting anxious and I’m a worry – wort by nature so I find myself even more stressed and worried and I decided that I need to get some things off my mind so that I can get less anxious. Once its written down, it almost feels like I am freeing my mind a little – leaving some space for more worries and other thoughts- it’s a vicious circle I tell you.

So what brought this post on?

Let me put you in the picture.

Yolandi’s father passed away in June last year. This was devastating to me- he was like my other father. My heart broke into thousands of pieces and it felt like losing my dad all over again.

He was the breadwinner of the family and you will recall that my godchildren stayed with him and Yolandi’s mom. They take care of the children. He got very sick last year and it turned out to be cancer.

I worried myself half to death over what will happen to the family, and I still have sleepless nights. I think that in evitably they may have to move in with me. I would not mind but I know that Yolandi’s mom likes her independence. There is funds for now but I know that it will not last forever – this is all a story for another day.

My god daughter is best friends with my nephew and she has been going on about changing her surname to ours.  (The kids don’t have a great relationship with their father and should something happen to Yolandi’s mom they will come live with me and not their dad.)

I thought the reason that she wanted to change her surname was mainly because of her father and because of my nephew.

On Saturday, she told me that she cant wait to change her surname. I asked her why.

Her reply: “It’s because I want to be your daughter”.

My heart in pieces. This little girl has never known her mother. She only knows her grandmother as a mother figure.

I hugged her as hard as I could and told her that she is my daughter and it doesn’t  matter what surname she has, that will never change the fact that she is my daughter and I love her like my own. I am proud to call her my daughter.

And I mean every word of it. I would go to the ends of the earth, to hell and back for those kids. They may not be biologically mine and they may not live with me but I will kill for them.

I never thought I would have to answer the hard questions. D asked me why God had to take his mother and his grandfather. His mom had promised that they were going to go to Disneyland and travel the world together. He was going to fishing with his grandfather-  why did God have to take them? Did God not know how much he needed them?

How do I answer these questions for a teen when I myself can’t answer the same questions for myself. When I ask the same questions daily? All I could say was that his mom and grandfather are so very proud of him and that they would want him to be happy and go travel the world and do the things that they wanted to do. Because that would make them happy to see him happy.

I see so much of myself in him. He carries the world on his shoulders at such a young age and all I want to do is just hug and to tell him to give me all his worries, I will shoulder that burden so that he can just be a teen.

These kids. We don’t share a name. We don’t share the same genes but my love for them knows no bounds and when they hurt, all I want to do is make the world right again for them, take away that pain.

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Life Lately

For the last few months, I have not really been blogging for a number of reasons which in itself may seem mutually exclusive of itself.

I have simply not had the time. Work has been exceptionally busy and for some reason, come August, the workload just seems to increase and I have no time for myself until the holidays in December.

I have also been working on my little business and filling my time with websites, logos, company registrations and all those wonderful little things. Every time I want to sit down and start typing a blog post, I think of all the productive things that I can be doing with my time; like work, building my little business, spending time with my family and friends and the one thing that I cannot ever seem to do- SLEEP. I either feel guilty for then wanting to blog or even read a blog or just decide that I don’t have the energy to string any words together that may make any sense at all.

I have also been trying to spend more time offline. I must be honest and say that I have really been enjoying this. The more time I spend offline, the less time I want to spend online. I simply don’t feel the need to record everything that may or may not be going on in my life anymore.

On the other hand, I will honestly say that I do miss interacting with everybody and reading your blogs and what is going on in your lives. I miss being able to give encouragement and in returns receiving encouragement on a particularly bad day. Blogging also helps to clear my mind and helps to relax me.

I have also spent the last two months deciding whether I still want to blog in light of the fact that I have not being blogging for a while. I am debating whether to make my blog private so that it there to return to when I feel like blogging again or whether I should delete it entirely. I can’t seem to make up my mind because deep down I don’t think that I want to get rid of this little blog.

The last few months have had its fair share of ups and downs for me. I have to go and see a specialist about a recurring infection which he is concerned about, especially after the possible, common, causes have been eliminated.

My mother’s RAF trial is to proceed in October and after watching Carte Blanche’s expose on the RAF (the video link is no longer available- sorry), I am not feeling very hopeful. As time passes, the brain damage really becomes more apparent.

My one brother has been retrenched after 10 years with his company. He was the main source of income. It was already difficult for me to support two households and the giant stress ball that I usually am is even more wound up and stressed. I am holding thumbs that he will find work soon but being a white, male in South Africa, work is scarce. And this economy is not doing anyone any favours.

I am excited about my little business venture but also so stressed. I am a perfectionist and also worry about not being good enough. I worry whether I am making a good decision. I keep asking myself what if it flops. Every time that thought enters my head, I repeat this little saying:

Image from http://oldnavyprintablecoupons.biz/tag/what-if-i-fall-oh-but-my-darling-what-if-you-fly-by-cardsandcanvas-
Image from http://oldnavyprintablecoupons.biz/tag/what-if-i-fall-oh-but-my-darling-what-if-you-fly-by-cardsandcanvas-

There is no success unless you take the risk first. And then I tell myself that Thomas Edison failed 1000 times before he created the lightbulb. Okay- I really hope that I don’t fail that many times. On the side note, I am not leaving my day job- I do love what I do – on most days. I just want to try make some extra income so that I can stop stressing about my family and well , hopefully create a job or two.

Other than that, I am celebrating the little things in life and how blessed I am. There are new and exciting times ahead and I am really looking forward to it.

Everyone has a Story

Humans of New York- click on image for link
Humans of New York- click on image for link

I follow a Facebook page called Humans of New York – it is actually a Tumblr blog. The Author is a photographer who set out to take pictures of the inhabitants of New  York and plot their photos on a map. Whilst taking these photos, he started collecting quotes and short stories from the people that he met and he started sharing their pictures and snippets of their lives on the blog.

Last night I came across the story of Omar Samra, an Egyptian who has climbed the tallest mountain on every continent and tells the shattering story of how his wife died a few days after giving birth to their daughter, only having held her once (the story is in four parts on the blog.)

The story took me back to five years and four months ago, to another mother who never even saw her baby, let alone hold her and my heart just broke all over again.

Again I am reminded that everyone that I meet has a story to tell; everyone that I meet has had their lives marred  by some sort of tragedy or loss or hurt.

Every life, every story, has a valuable lesson – life is short, life is precious, time is promised to no- one and if there was one thing that we could wish for ultimately, it would not be for money or material things, but for one more minute with the people that we have lost.

And yet we take those living for granted every day.

Everyone has a story to tell so be kind as your one kind act could be the difference that they need in their life that day (as my mother would say.)

 

Life and other things

Between the load shedding of Eskom and almost no internet connection from Telkom, I am not sure how people manage to work, let alone blog.

For the last week (and generally the last week of every month), Telkom must have the “end of the month blues” because I simply cannot get an internet connection. Some pages will load fast while others (more especially the blogs I follow) simply don’t want to load at all. My comments fail and even my “Blog Post of the Week” did not want to post. It feels like forever since I have connected with you all – I miss reading your blogs and daily adventures- which is a welcome break to the chaos that is usually my day. Luckily for me, Easter weekend is coming up and I hope to catch up then.

I cannot believe that March is over – the first quarter of the year gone. I have been so very busy at work. I have two possible new business ventures coming up which I am quite excited about so I am going to be even more busy.

The last few weekends have also been busy with friends and family and the next few weekends include house-warmings and birthday parties. I am trying to work as hard as possible in the week so that my weekends are free to just relax and have fun.

J-L broke her leg on Friday evening. The first thing that she said to me when I phoned her was “my brother broke my leg.”

It was an accident- they were playing and D would never hurt her – she is his life. I have seen how he spends his birthday and other money on her first, how he looks after her. Needless to say D feels bad about the accident and J-L is quite the drama queen.

I sent a message to Yolandi’s mom to see how J-L and D were doing. I got the following response: “… She just doesn’t want to walk with crutches, but she is coming right with them. She’s enjoying the fact that she sits on the couch and orders everyone around. If we don’t do what she wants, she cries and says her leg is really paining and will only come right if we do what she wants…” J-L just knows just how to wrap them around her finger and get her own way. I can only imagine the fights her and Yolandi would have had. Like mother, like daughter.

I hope that you all have a wonderful Easter and if you are going away, safe travels.

*Now to see how long this post takes to upload*

 

Gatvol …

… which means “fed-up” for my non- South African followers; is how I feel today.

I am tired and grumpy and I just feel under appreciated. I have demands being thrown at me from all directions. If it was just from work- that would be great because I get paid to deal with other people’s demands and problems.

I am tired of being made to feel bad when I cannot give in to the demands being made.

In addition to this, my one brother lost his job- a simple “we don’t need you anymore.” He does not want to take them to the CCMA as that may cause problems for my cousin who also worked with him.

This has put me under some financial strain as I have been helping my family financially as it is. But take away a salary- no matter how small- and there is a shortfall that has to be covered somehow. Cue Me.

I love my family and I don’t mind helping and I am not complaining about helping and I know that they appreciate it but I am just so tired of all the stress and constant worry.

Thankfully my brother has found a new job so hopefully by the end of March things will start looking up for them.

My laptop is making a very funny noise- which means one thing- it is on its way out. My laptop is my LIFE! So just another problem on my list of problems to deal with.

One of my secretaries is ill which means that she is not coming in today. TODAY of all days when I actually need her to be at the office. I know a person’s health comes first so I will have to put on my big girl panties and deal with whatever needs to get done today.

My furkid had another epileptic fit yesterday. They are now becoming more frequent so he will have to go onto medication.

Add to this the fact that my sinuses are killing me. Stress or sinus will still be the death of me.

These are just some of the things – so yes, I am tired, I am grumpy and just plain gatvol.

Feel Good Friday: The Power of Love

I absolutely love this rendition of the Power of Love by the Willis Clan. There are 12 children who are musicians, singers and dancers. Kudos, to that woman for firstly having been pregnant so many times and then having to raise them. Many people go insane with just one child.

They sang this song On the 2014 season of America’s Got Talent.

Grade 1: Some advice on your first day.

Dear A

Today you start grade 1 and I honestly cannot believe that this day is here. When did our little boy grow up so fast?

Today is such an exciting day and the start of twelve years of schooling that will be over in a blink of an eye.

Today is the first day of you becoming whatever you want to be in life.

Today I want to tell you a few things that I hope that you will carry with you through school and hopefully university; a few things that I wish someone had told me when I first started school. I know that as you grow up, you will get to the age where you think you know better and ignore any advice given, but I really hope that you will take heed (a word you will learn – hopefully) of my words.

1.  Be yourself – there is no-one like you and your are special and unique in every way.

2.  Not everyone is going to like you and you are not going to like everyone and that is okay. However, be kind and respectful of everyone you meet, regardless of whether you like them or not and regardless of whether they like you.

3.  Be a man of your word. If you say you are going to do something – do it. Never make promises that you cannot keep.

4. The one thing that will follow you through life and that you cannot escape is reputation so make sure that it is a good one. In fact, the saying goes that “reputation precedes (another word you will learn) you” – people know you by your reputation before they have even met you which is why you need to make sure it is a good reputation.

5. Dream big! Never give up on your dreams. Something Granny taught me and trust me, dreams do come true. That being said, you need  to work at making your dreams come true- it will not just fall in your lap.

6. Work hard and faithfully – nothing in life is free.

7.  Stay a child for as long as you can. Don’t wish your childhood away. It is the shortest part of your life and you will be an adult soon enough with all the responsibilities that come with it.

8.  Never take anything for granted. Time is precious, so spend it wisely.

9.  Find true friends, even if it is just one or two. Those are the friends that will stick by you through the good and the bad, the happy and the sad.

10.  Tell your friends and family that you love them as often as you can; there will come a time when you no longer can.

11.Never quit or give up or say that “you can’t”. You can do anything that you set your mind to.

12. Laugh as often as you can. You have such a wonderful laugh.

13. Be proud of your achievements but stay humble.

14.  Never be a bully.

15. Your friends will not know everything so do not follow them blindly.

16. Actions have consequences and if you do something, you will have to take responsibility for the consequence of those actions, whether good or bad. so choose wisely.

17. Learn to say no. It is okay to say NO – especially to things that are not good for you and even if saying “No” is “uncool.”

18. Life is hard but is worth it.

19. Listen to your father. Trust me- he has done whatever mischief or trouble you will plan to do in your life and has suffered the consequences. He does know what he is talking about.

We are all so proud of you and love you with our everything.

May your first day of grade one be as wonderful as you are.

On This Day

Today is my mom’s birthday.

She has a love-hate relationship with her birthday (and it has nothing to do with the fact that she is a year older).

Almost every birthday that my mom has something bad happens. My mother can give you a long list and I can name at least two things which I remember. I was about 11 when I cut my finger open eating a peach. I had cut the vein and needed stitches. My mother was in the peach tree picking peaches with my dad and nearly fell out of the tree when she heard me (finally) scream. We had the best peaches and every year my dad would take bags and bags of peaches to his colleagues at work, my mom would make jars of peach jam and canned peaches. This is one of my favourite memories – the peaches, that is – not the stitches.

Yolandi’s funeral was on my mom’s birthday. Needless to say her birthday was mostly forgotten and we did not feel in the mood to celebrate. Also I got her the biggest chocolate something (forgive me for not remembering- my mind was on Yolandi’s funeral)- it melted in the car.

My eldest brother seems to share the same luck with my mother when it comes to birthdays – my mom’s uncle died on his birthday and my dad was cremated on his birthday ( it was the only time that they were doing the cremations). There have been other things that my brother can give you a long list of.

But on this day, and despite all the bad things that happen on my mom’s birthday, the best thing ever happened -My MOTHER was born.

On this day, the Lord blessed this earth with the most loving, most kind, most selfless person I have ever known.

On this day, he blessed me with a woman that I am proud to call my mother, a woman that has taught and shown me what a true mother is and what it means to be a mother.

My mother has taught me what it means to love, without condition. She has taught me how to forgive and the value of hard work. She has to taught me to stare adversity in the face and to overcome. She has taught me to believe in myself and never give up. She has shown and taught me strength.

I am who I am today because SHE is my mother.

I love you mom.