This too shall pass

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Winston (Kapoo)

People walk into your life for a season, a reason or a lifetime. Each person has an influence or an impact on your character and your personality. Some help to mold you into the person you become and some are a sign post for who you want to be. I have had the pleasure of encountering so many beautiful souls who have made a lasting impression on me and who have crawled beneath my skin to become more than just ‘friends’…they have become family.

My life has been blessed. Each step I took along a path which seemed unclear and shrouded by darkness, these wonderful souls helped to light the way with their kindness, love and comfort.

I would not call myself religious. I am a spiritual being trying to make sense of this crazy world. I’m simply trying to connect with like minded individuals who I believe are part of my ‘soul group’. We are able to speak the same language effortlessly and easily without disdain, intolerance or sheer ignorance. We are connected by a higher power and even though we are not on the same journey, we are all on the same path of higher level of understanding.

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Carol and Bryan (Nanny and Grandad)

As I lay in my bed last night doing a little meditation, I had a brief flashback to a time merely 3 months ago when I held the hand of a man I grew to call my step dad….

I was roused out of my sleep at 3am by the nurse who told me to come quickly because my step dad was on his final ascent to the heavens. I remember feeling a huge burden of relief knowing that this was it…he was finally out of his misery. 2 years of pain and 6 months of absolute suffering was coming to an end, and for that I was indeed thankful.

As I walked into the room and I sat on the bed, I held his hand and rubbed his face. He was moaning so loudly with this blank expression on his face. He was looking at me as if he was trying to talk to me…but couldn’t. I kept telling him we would be Ok. Everything was going to be Ok. He needed to stop worrying and walk into the Light and allow the pain to diminish. It was a bizarre 20 mins or so as the moaning ceased, he closed his eyes and started to breathe rapidly. I was unsure if this was the actual end or simply a passing phase caused by the sickness.

It wasn’t until the nurse told me he was gone that I suddenly felt shell-shocked. He couldn’t be gone, I thought. He was only holding his breath. He would soon look at me and give me his usual reply when I asked how he was doing, “never better”. But it was not to be so, because this time, there was no reply…there was just deafening silence.

This wonderful, upstanding, kindhearted gentleman was my mothers partner for 19 years. He loved her with all his heart and soul…and in turn he loved me and my daughter with every fiber of his being. He was a man of few words and a man of even less affection…but his little Chloe was the apple of his eye and reduced him to a big soft-hearted giant. Even though he was a workaholic by nature, he made an effort to rush home every evening so he could see her before she went to bed. Chloe was a blessing for him. He knew that she was a little slice of the woman he loved so dearly, and for that reason he cherished her as if she was his own flesh and blood.

I never properly allowed myself to grieve and mourn his passing. I have spent my time trying to follow in his footsteps keeping everything going. I have ‘manned’ up to the situation and become the breadwinner. I have put my own womanly feelings aside and immersed myself in work and daily chores in an effort to keep my mind off my loss. Last night I was reminded that its not been 3 years…its only been 3 months…and its Ok to feel tired. Its Ok to feel alone. Its Ok to feel lost and confused. Its Ok to cry every time someone mentions his name. I guess I squashed my emotions when my mum died because I was pregnant, and now I’m doing the same thing because I refuse to allow myself to appear helpless.

I have had so many people rally around me offering support…some I have ignored, some I have thanked graciously and some I have opened up to. Weird thing is, no one will ever understand the deep pain and the fresh wound that I try to bandage each day. I meditate, I breathe it out, I release the thoughts and energy into the universe, I burn incense and I pray. I pray everyday for strength. I pray everyday that I make it to the next day. I pray that I can remain calm and unnerved. I pray for peace of mind and determination. Above all, I pray that I will be ok.

I thank God that Winston walked into our lives all those years ago, and I thank Life for blessing me and Chloe with the most amazing man who was our lighthouse in the dark. Unfortunately that lighthouse glow is now diminished…and as I sit in this boat bobbing on the ocean of Life, I try hard to steer me and my daughter to safety and away from the treacherous obstacles. I sit in the boat and I reminisce about all the people I have loved and lost, those who have been my rock when I needed it the most, and those who continue to offer a dim glow which remains as constant as the stars in the sky.

I know that my feelings of distress and loneliness are but fleeting because… “this too shall pass”.

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The moment my repping days came to an end.

mummyYesterday made 6 years that my mummy passed away. She succumbed to her illness at approximately 11.30pm on April 23rd 2009. Today, I figured it would only be right to dedicate this blog in her memory, since my blog profile picture is her at the age of 10.

My mummy is my inspiration in everything I do, say and think. It was with her support and her encouragement that I was able to accept every challenge and obstacle in my life with grace and poise. It is because of her why I am who I am, and it is because of her love of the creative why I have started blogging.

My mum was a lawyer by profession, but as the years passed she morphed and changed like a caterpillar into a butterfly (several times). She was an author, a certified reiki practitioner, a mediator, a yoga enthusiast and fluent in french. Above all, she was a best friend, a confidante, a motivator, a hero…a mother!

She allowed me to soar high like an eagle, and if there were times my wings failed, she was always there to catch me. She always stood in my corner, ready to help me fight any battle – especially if she knew I was right. She gave me free reign to express myself and to grow freely like a beanstalk. She told me once – “Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you can’t do something. You can do anything once you set your mind to it”. She had a loving hug and a listening ear for every one of my friends – and all of them were known as “sweetie” and “sweetheart” as far as she was concerned.

The day she died it felt like the rug had been pulled from under me. It felt like I was free falling in an abyss with no sign of hitting the ground. I felt like I was in a dream which had suddenly turned into a nightmare. I felt hopelessly alone while surrounded by so many people. I did everything in an expressionless daze, totally unaware of the harsh reality that I was presented with. That was the precise moment my holiday repping days were over for good.

Every time I would close my eyes I hoped my mother was going to walk through the door. I had actually made myself believe that she had only gone for a little holiday and she would be back very soon. 6 years later…and she still hasn’t come back from her little holiday. I guess I’ve had to make peace with the fact that she’s never coming back.

I have framed pictures of her all over my house so that I can be reminded of her beautiful smile every day. Her smile could light up the darkest night, and it is her smile that I remember the most. It’s weird – as the time passes, the memory of her starts to fade…but her smile is what stays with me. I can no longer hear her laughter, or smell her perfume. I can barely see her face in my head, or remember the tales she would tell. Everything seems to be faraway memory…so faint…almost unreal.

My daughter did not get a chance to know her grandma – and for that reason I live forever in a state of sadness. My mum wanted grandchildren so badly. She used to tease me that I was going to have 10 and all of them would love her and call me ‘mean mummy’. (*smile*). I would throw back my head in fits of hysterics at the thought of 10 children, and I would say, “That’s absolutely fine. You can keep them! I don’t want 10 children anyway”. I didn’t know I was pregnant when I sat by my mother’s death bed. I never found out until after she was gone. If she had known would she have fought a little harder? Would she have stuck around a little longer? Would she have recovered completely? These thoughts are just ‘what if’s’ that float around my mind – I am fully aware that I will never know.

We didn’t always see eye to eye – but who does as a teenager? I really couldn’t stand her though, and I used to wish she was dead. As far as I was concerned my life would have been easier without her in it! Stupid teenager I was! – wishing my mother dead because she said I couldn’t go to some dumb party. Looking back, I’m appalled that those thoughts even came into my head. How could I have been so callous and unloving? What could have been so bad? As a teenager you never think your parents are going to die…they’re invincible. In your 20’s you never think your parents get sick…they’re unstoppable. So you can imagine the shock and the horror when you receive a phone call from halfway across the other side of the world, in a totally different time zone, and hear the immortal words – “whatever I say…don’t panic!”.

I remember the day like it was yesterday. I was working in Fuerteventura (the Canary Island), and the phone rang. It was my mum. She sounded a little weak, but nothing to get overly concerned about. She made casual conversation, and then said,

“I wasn’t planning on saying anything. I would have preferred if you found out after I was gone. I’m sick. I have breast cancer. Its stage 4 and there’s nothing they can do. I was told I had to tell you – but I didn’t want to”.

Nothingness is probably the only word I can use to describe the emotion I felt in that moment. I didn’t know what to say, do or think. This was in the February – I had just left in January after spending 2 months with her. I didn’t notice anything strange then and she definitely didn’t say anything. What on earth happened in the space of a month? Why was she telling me this now? Was this a sick cruel joke – if it was, it wasn’t funny.

I flew back home March 2009, when the company could finally release me, and I will admit wholeheartedly I ignored what I had been told. I saw her lying in the bed looking frail, but 2 months prior she and I were driving and behaving as if nothing was wrong. Who was that person lying in the bed pretending to be sick. I had convinced myself it was a joke…and she would jump up and go “GOTCHA!”. The only “gotcha” I got was when the doctor called to tell me she had passed away, just after a week of being admitted into hospital for dehydration. I guess she got her wish in the end – I got that final phone call from a stranger after all.

Just when I think I have cried all the tears I have left – a fresh wave of tears trickle slowly down my face. I could write and say that this time of year is especially hard – but I’m made of stronger stuff. I could say that some days I don’t want to face being a mother or an employee. I could say that there are moments when I want to run… to run fast and far away. But I can’t say any of that.  Because my mother is – and always will be- my inspiration. Her tenacity for life, her youthful demeanor and her positive outlook, is what gets me through my darkest days – and when all else fails – I remember that smile… that smile that could light up the darkest room

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