One Father, One Nation - Our Tata, Our Madiba.

I cry at the thought, some legends are meant to live forever – united we prayer for his healing, we cling to hope. 100 is a glorious number Madiba, God willing for we have been blessed at 94.

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Celebrate, It’s Your Birthday!

Yesterday my hubby came full circle to add yet another candle to his cake which is fast running out of space. I think number candles will do for next years cake.

I’m not sure how as a child my husband celebrated birthdays as in his adult years, he seems to dread the day and the build up to it. I’ve learnt over the years that even though he says there are to be no presents or cake, he actually really wants to be spoilt. Who doesn’t! One year – I left his birthday, didn’t arrange anything as per his request. Geewizz, to this day he has not let me forget. I have learnt from that that regardless of his huffs and puffs, I always make his day a special one and he is clearly appreciative of it. My mother tells me it’s a ‘man’ thing. No mom, I know my husbands love languages. Having said that – upon his arrival home to a tribe of excited children, we spoilt him with his long awaited mountain bike, espresso machine and yummy chocolate cake before dinner! The evening routine was whacked but worth it.

So a the big 36 arrived yesterday. Where have the years gone! They seem to fly faster as we age more. We seem to appreciate life more and more as we realise just how short, fast and fragile life really is. We no longer take the simple things like health and time foregranted either.

I raise my glass in celebration of a fantastic husband and father, who has held my hand, although at times a little tighter, as we walk through this journey we share. As I put it to friends – we have good months and bad days but love covers all our sins.  Here’s to many blessed, wild and happy years ahead. Happy Birthday my McDreamy, you rock my world.

I Met A Dying Man.

AIDS Awareness

AIDS Awareness

In July I ventured into a new industry, while out on course, I met and made friends with new faces. One person in particular I found to be so much like me, easy to laugh, talkative, funny and friendly. Needless to say, when we were given a practical we seemed naturally to group together. After the course we stayed in contact and have developed a friendship. Early August she called me up to say she was visiting her father who lived down the road from where I stayed. Quick arrangements and there I stood knocking on her door.

When I went in, I received such a warm welcome from all her family. In the kitchen were a group of young boys washing dishes, drying, packing away, laughing and chatting. After I introduced myself I joked about how I think my eldest son could learn from them as he refuses to was a single dish – ever !!

I then met her father along with all the other family. Her father was frail, weak and very thin. He was just back from yet another stay in the hospital. I asked her what was ‘wrong’ with her father. ‘He has AIDS‘ she replied. I got such a lump in my throat. He didn’t just have AIDS – he was dying.

It’s the second time in my life I have been in the presence of a dying person. When I say dying – I mean literally on their last days. I was familiar with Cancer and lost a handful of friends and family to that. I know AIDS is of huge concern here in Africa but this was only the second time I had met someone this close to the end.

I watched him in the corner of my eye while chatting away with my friend across the room. He was happy, every minute to him was a blessing and he knew it …. he just knew. He watched his grandchildren playing with a gently smile on his face and his thoughts drifting. Times like this you realise just how short, fragile, delicate and precious life really is. How we really do sweat so much of the small stuff. I’ve learnt far too young in my life just how unpredictable and short life can really be. 

I wondered yet again as I often do with regards to my own mother. Is knowing better than not knowing. I know enough to know that when you know you are dying – you seem to live your life differently. Appreciation for all things that surround us, takes on a whole new level.

I said good-bye and shook his hand. I knew in my heart I would probably never see him again. I cried driving home that night. I just wanted a cure. So many broken families, child parents and a nasty rejection stigma attached to people dying of AIDS among some cultures in our country.

My friend called me two weeks back – ‘My father is back in hospital, he is hallucinating’  she said while laughing and telling me about these spirits he claims to be visiting his room’. I listened and shared a reserved laughter with her. After which I said, ‘He is dying, treasure your hospital visits and maybe if you want, record his last conversations with you’ I explained my journey through losing my loved ones and every time this point was reached, within a couple of days – they were gone.

A few days later one mid-afternoon, she called, ‘my dad is gone, he died this morning’ I was so sad for her, for him – to die so young, to be robbed of his life and time with his children & grandchildren. It just isn’t fair.

Our govt claims TB is the number one killer in our country. Personally I say this is a blatant lie. The true stats I’m sure would probably scare one. Most, if not all AIDS sufferers die after contracting the likes of pneumonia or TB. It’s a symptom not the cause. Far too often then the death certificate will say TB being the cause and that is what the statistics will reflect. AIDS is a big taboo in most cultures. One day I will blog about the politics of it but for now – my heart is heavy. A family is mourning, they have lost their rock. I will never forget this man who left me reflecting on life, angry at how unfair it can be yet reflecting on my blessings. RIP, no more pain or suffering.

Janet Jackson wrote this song for her friends who had passed – It’s my song for my sister Debbie who past. Can never listen to it without breaking down. Beautiful words.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9QTK-4C0UnI&feature=related

Remember yesterday, Live for today and ALWAYS hope for tomorrow.

xxx

A Captivating Story

After receiving a ‘like’ from a certain reader, I always click on the avatar to learn a bit about my readers. I began reading a fellow bloggers blog and was so taken in by her story and her journey honouring her father during his time serving in WW2. You have to follow her and read her blog for yourself to grasp the emotion of her storytelling. Join me for her Thursday blog on http://www.notsofancynancy.wordpress.com I don’t normally promote blogs this way but Nancy captivated me as I had a grandfather who served in WW2 and don’t have much info about his journey then. Just really nice to read someone else’s story. Happy blogging @notsofancynancy – thank you for sharing.

When One Is Out-Numbered.

Image

My boys, how blessed am I.

Being a proud mother raising three gorgeous sons and one very funny, young at heart husband, I guess it’s safe to say I am by far … out numbered. As my hubby puts it – There is after-all only space for one princess in this house. However being the only princess does have it’s downfalls.

I chuckle almost daily as I dash through the mornings household chores which occasionally reveal just how much of a ‘boys’ home our house actually is.  I find myself thinking out aloud as I note the things guys just don’t do.  Here is a short list of the most common of these giveaways.

  • Empty water jug in the fridge – I mean, when you have used the last of the water, what possesses these mars creatures to simply slip it back in the fridge door EMPTY. 
  • Loo paper – we have all had the ‘Mommmmmm, please bring me some toilet paper’ call. Why when you finished the roll did you not replace it? It’s unheard of that a mars creature actually carry out such a task. 
  • The empty water jug rings true of the milk carton too. How an empty carton can’t make it to the bin all of 3 steps to the side still baffles me. I’ve learnt not to be presumptuous when it comes to sight.
  • The grocery cupboard is no different with empty cereal boxes and the likes.
  • Yes, that black stuff on the kitchen towel is grease. Working on their bicycles or helping dad in the garage always leaves a fingerprint trail.
  • There is no such thing as a lid. Not on the toothpaste, jam jar or butter. Frankly if it’s not a flip top – it gets lost, dropped or forgotten.
  • What do you mean eat over a plate? ‘but mom, it means less dishes in the wash up’
  • No matter how many lessons on how to load or unpack the dishwasher – everyone seems to have amnesia the next day.
  • When there is a new bottle of sauce, regardless of how much is left of the unfinished bottle – it’s old now and ‘finished’ The only way around this is to either hide the new bottle or wait until the existing bottle is completely finished before the replacement makes it’s way on the shopping list. This is especially true of tomato sauce & mayonnaise.

This list for any mom with sons could go on and on but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I treasure these days for I know they will pass and faster than I care to take the time to admit. Knowing that there is always something to wake up to – everyday is a new day, so use the blessings of time to create new memories and strengthen family bonds.

Happy Belated Mothers Day to all the wonderful mothers of the world. I never really did grasp the term ‘A mothers job is never done’ until I became a mother myself. 

Hugs

SunshineMac

You Are My Sunshine.

ImageI was conceived one romantic valentines day back in the 70’s to a much older soon to be father of 5 and my very beautiful and rather young mother. Born their second daughter but not the second child between them. Either way I am the middle child. With nine siblings altogether or three daughters between them, the result remains the same.

I recall my father being away a lot as he was a soldier during the Rhodesian war. A civil war is no place for a single mother with five children. My mother eventually got us over the border and into a safer South Africa days after the sun set on Rhodesia and rose as Zimbabwe. I recall celebrating my sixth birthday in South Africa – which was to be one of many RSA birthdays.

My father was in the mining industry. Often he would take us down the mine shaft and into tunnels to show us what it was like underground. It was musky, dark somewhat moist. The air seemed thick and dusty. We enjoyed these adventures with my dad though. Always wearing a hard hat that didn’t quiet fit. Back home on school days come sunset we would wait for my dad to return home where we would run and greet him at the gardens gate, then fight over whose turn it was to pull off his smelly boots. It was an event with much laughter getting dads boots off.  Gardening some weekends, my Dad would hide money in the purple flowers of the creeper that grew up the side of the house and onto the roof.  My eldest sister Charmaine and I would trick Kerry – our baby sister, into swapping her ‘paper’ money for our real coin money  – crafty I guess. Either way when we went to the candy store, it didn’t matter what the bill was – we all gave my Dad our coins and he paid the balance without us knowing.

These small memories I hang onto of my younger childhood with my Dad. I would go on only to see him on one occasion  after our arrival in RSA while at my brothers funeral.  I was due to go back to Zimbabwe after my Senior School year but he sadly died during my final year due to a heart attack caused by a blood clot triggered from a car accident he survived a few days prior. The 11th April 2012 marked the nineteenth year of his passing. My childhood nickname was Sunshine – hence SunshineMac. RIP Dad, seen in this photo with my elder brother as a baby.

All we have is precious time – use it well, Hugs.

SunshineMac