When Tragedy Strikes

I have such a heavy heart today, I can’t begin to imagine the emotional rollercoaster my friend *Tammy must be going through. I blogged about her father who passed due to AIDS mid 2012.

Today when I gave her a call to catch up now that the Christmas season is over, Tammy tells me her Christmas was not good. Why? I ask. Her reply ‘my husband was murdered on thursday.’ I went cold – why? how? what on earth !!!

He was shot and killed due to a mugging. Words…  fail me. He was young, newly wed. Tammy is young and they have a little daughter. WHY ?? Why murder – take the goods but why then murder and destroy families and lives. 

Times like these, I can only offer my presence, my shoulder, my ears. Nothing I could possible say would take her hurt away.

God Bless my friend, I’m here for you – always.

 

Advertisements

Living In No Mans Land.

Currently we are in the early stages of our immigration process. It is not a quick simple fill out a form, submit and dash kinda process. It is however a lengthy and expensive one to say the least.

I love life in Africa, it runs in my blood and leaving I know was not an easy decision taken lightly. My life is here, my history, my family. So why then, is probably what you are thinking.

For many personal reasons but first and foremost, my sons. My husbands immediate family left some 7 or so years ago. The crime states were released this morning and I won’t deny, even though there is an apparent decrease, we have great concern for the level of violent crime in our country, House robbery, murder and rape were particularly worrying for hubby and I. Most house robberies include murder and rape so the link is pretty obvious as to these particular three being highest on the list.

Such figures are not a shock anymore. Sadly, it’s become the norm is a sordid way. Not a single family, including my own, have not been victims or affected by violent crime in our lives.

I’m not saying the grass is greener on the other side, but my in-laws have assured us it is far safer. My sons will have an equal opportunity in the work force too. Half my family have immigrated already too. Going over the pond, I too will have some family which is a huge deal when relocating your entire life as you know it. My husband has a really good bond with his father whom he hasn’t seen in 9 years. We since have 2 more sons ‘gramps’ has never met. Family is important. My father in law knows time is a given in life. Almost a decade lost already.  He prayers and dreams of the day he will finally be able to see his son, my hubby – in the flesh. I’m very sure it will be a very emotional day indeed.

So with all this being the process, our lives are on hold. I feel like we are living in no mans land. Until we know the outcome of our applications, we can’t move forward. Buying a house is on hold, a new car to accommodate our little big family is on hold, schools, retirement blah blah blah. We have our own home based business too, so do we continue to grow it or hold back for now. Like I said – pfft. I have continued with my swimming instructors course which is almost complete as I hope to go into that field in our possible new country.

My mother who immigrated with my brother to the UK has advised me that it will be very hard at first but to stick it out for the first 2 years as home sickness will kick in, along with many other ways of life missed. But to be open to change and acceptance of a new way of living and culture. My mom is terminal and I really miss her so so much. Skype sure is a blessing but never quiet the same.

With all that said, we continue our lifes journey, whatever may be. As I always say to my hubby – As long as you hold my hand, no matter where life takes us, we will be okay.

It’s Criminal For Sure.

I popped out later yesterday afternoon at our local Pick ‘n Pay store to grab a few odds and ends I needed for last nights dinner. Here in South Africa we have what’s called ‘car-guards’. A car guard is a person who hangs about the parking lot ‘watching’ your car while you shop. Upon your return one is expected to ‘tip’ the car guard. To me personally – this is a fake & utter nonsense of a so called job.

For one, our car insurance is pretty high in our country. Should my car be hi-jacked, stolen or involved in an accident, it is more than covered.  I have often watch women in particular being intimidated, obligated and pretty much harassed into not only ‘paying’ a tip but one the car guard deems acceptable. When out with my sister on a particular day – she had tipped the car guard a R5 where an average tip is R2, before we knew what was happening, he threw the tip back at her and demanded more as he forced half his body through her window yelling. To tip a car guard is something done out of kindness. Needless to say, we drove off rather fast and reeling in shock. This is not always the case but I can definitely say that when I am with my husband, the car guards don’t attempt such nonsense. More often than not, a car guard will see you approaching your car with your trolly and meet up with you to push it and unpack your shopping into your boot, then assist you in reversing. To me, this service is worthy of a tip. The stages of the month generally determine the amount tipped as well as how long I was away. Month end/pay day hubby would tip R10 or R20. Keep in mind R5 for every stop you make adds up. I’m sure we spend on average R400 plus on car guard tips alone in a month.

Back to my point of yesterday – while reversing after my shop, it was rather odd that the car guard hadn’t come harassing me for his tip before I even got my key in the ignition. After reversing extra slowing as I knew he would appear sooner than later. BAAM, he came running but seemed hesitant t leave the car he was at and hasty approached me. I asked him what was wrong. SHOCK, HORROR – he explained to me how he was scared to leave the car further up as there was a baby in it !! The mother decided to just leave her baby to sleep while she went on shopping. This is a criminal offence in our country and if the media got hold of it – trust me, her baby would have been taken away and herself arrested.

Lets not even mention the possible child kidnapping or a stolen car scenario of this.  I had my own baby in my car with the babysitter waiting for me back home with my other two as it was her home time.  So in my rush I sadly did nothing. In hindsight, I should have taken photos and called the police. This is probably the second time at this particular mall that I have witnessed such an incident this year. A third incident made it all over the news & social media. The mother was arrested and the baby placed in the husbands care pending the outcome of her court appearance. Sadly, she really didn’t fathom what the fuss was about.

I tossed and turned the whole night last night questioning myself as to why on earth I just drove off !! That is just so not like me. I’ve had a go at people in traffic driving with their toddlers or babies unstrapped, standing on the front passenger seat.  Or worse – yes, I have seen babies being breast fed while the mother is driving during peek traffic hour.

This morning I sent an email to the managing office at the mall, emphasising how car guards need to  report such cases to security so that action may be taken in future. I haven’t had a reply as yet but I do take comfort in having voiced my concerns and bringing such an incident to their attention.

What would you have done?

Disturbed.

Last year while taking a few children including my own to the local park to feed the geese, I noticed a man holding up his cellphone in the direction of the children. I watched him as I was instantly suspicious. I realized he was infact filming the children and taking photos. He did it in such a way that he made himself look as if he was taking random footage of trees, clouds, geese etc. I was furious to say the least and NEVER hold back when it comes to protecting my children. I shouted very loudly as I wanted the crowd to notice what I had noticed. ‘Why are you filming these children? You have no right – are you some kind of paedophile or potential child kidnapper’ People started to stare and I was okay with that. I shouted for security as I wanted his phone investigated by the police – he did after all have images of my children and others that were with me. Before security or the police could arrive, that horrid individual ran off. I say it all the time to my friends, don’t be fooled thinking your children are safe while at child friendly public places. It is these very places sick monsters hang out too. Lurking, watching, filming and photographing your children. I was sick to my stomach when reading an article by a mom who said even though her certain social media profile settings are strictly private, photo’s of her child were ‘hacked’ and used on a child porn site. It was a photo of her child leaning against her legs, looking up at her as she took the shot. This photo was photo-edited to make the child look like it has something disgusting in the mouth.

I tossed and turned all night after reading this. Knowing I blog and have photos of my own on here. How do you share with people you feel comfortable with and meet new bloggers without having to block or totally privatise your blog. Can you and if so, please email me how – can I make my photos visible only to followers I approve. Is this doable?

If not, I will have no choice but to remove my photos for this very concern and reason. Wouldn’t you as a parent feel the same. Safe, responsible blogging.