Luck Love

I love the movie UP!
Such a beautiful love story, I find those silent tears visit at every viewing.
I enjoy chatting to ‘old people, often strangers I meet as I’m so talkative in queues etc.
I miss my grandparents so very much that I regret not spending more time with them than I did. I should have listened closely and more intently at their wonderful stories of their life’s journey.

It’s sad to see so many of the youth ignore their elders or find them annoying. How they hold so much history not only of your family tree but of life itself, world events and more.

Kudos to China on the introduction of their new law ‘forcing face to face weekly time with their elders.
Remember – time itself is a gift, use yours wisely.

I love my imperfect man completely, how could I not for I myself am not perfect.

Counting Blessings

Over the weekend my husband and I went to one of the government hospital here in Johannesburg South Africa called Leratong. It was an hours drive which isn’t much in our huge city. We personally have private health care as it can be a matter of life or death when the time comes and I say this as far too many people we have known personally have not survived  past recovery after an operation in a government hospital – Like I said, I’m speaking of my own experiences here. That would include the death of my grandfather, grandmother, aunt and family friend after surgeries in such a hospital where they then contracted septicemia and died. 

Arriving at Lerateng it was packed. Our car was searched upon entry and dropping my mother off at the main entrance proved to annoy the security guard who was quick to tell us to move. The sign was a drop off zone. Keep in mind my mother has advanced stages of COPD, it may explain why I used the drop off option.

We then parked our car a good walk away but we are young and healthy so a little walk is no biggy. When we finally made our way into the hospital building, it was packed. Visiting hours has just begun. Some corridors were empty with broken hospital beds and abandoned, broken equipment finding their homes there. We made our way to the packed ward we were visiting. Not the most helpful or friendly nurses but really helpful and polite security staff within the building. What – I was shocked to see there are actual hospital beds WITH LINEN, not handcuffed to the walls as per some of my friends experiences at other such hospitals. And we didn’t have to bring food for the patient we were visiting. It was optional. We were told to watch what gifts we brought in as theft was very high when patients slept or went to bath. That would include simple things like a magazine or chocolate bar in your draw, never mind cellphones then.

What we experienced compared to our usual private hospitals was warmth. Everyone was talking and sharing. Priests and nuns came in to visit random patients filling the wards and hallways with singing, joy and laughter. That sort of fellowship just doesn’t happen in a private hospital. Most private hospitals seem to have patients being all secluded with private single wards, private stocked mini fridge, personal tv and remote and private bathrooms. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with that – just an observation of the two. Private health care in our country does not come cheap, trust me. 

My hubby and I were at the main entrance again when an ambulance arrived. The doors opened and I glanced up to see a woman laying there. OMGosh I said to my hubby. I think she is dying. Seriously dying. I don’t know why I thought this but I think she had something terminal. She was so fragile, a human skeleton with the flesh hanging onto her bones. I had never in my life seen someone so so skinny. Her eyes were so sad and she was too weak to even speak. I wanted to hold her hand. They wheeled her away to admissions as I just stood there with a heavy heart. I looked towards my husband but he knew it upset me so just held me. We are so blessed to be healthy, I said, we must keep her in our prayers tonight.

Time was up and off I went to the car. While sitting in the car queuing to exit a pastor walked past me. He was tall and clung to his Bible as he walked. He had such sadness on his face, almost as if he was crying silent tears. I don’t know what he saw in the hospital that day but I know it left a mark on his heart. I realized a hospital isn’t just for those on the mend but full of dying people too. So often the dying don’t even have family or friends visiting. Some are there on their own – dying. His purpose to be at the hospital was not for laughter, singing or joy. He was there to pray for the dying. A heavy job I’d think. 

I can’t be walking up to strangers and hugging them even though my heart tells me to. My head tells me we live in a world where that’s ‘weird’, borderline freak. When my hubby got in the car and we began our long journey home, I mentioned this pastor. He said, ‘I saw him in the corridors too, I wanted to give him a messages but didn’t’ I left it at that – I knew what my hubby meant. I felt good knowing I wasn’t so ‘weird’ after-all. 

A bitter sweet place a hospital is I guess. Happy to report our patients operation went well and so far no septicemia or complications to report. This may be the turning point for my experience of a government hospital, who might I add, have some of the most experienced and brilliant doctors in the world, the facilities are always going to be a challenge I guess but they are run on budgets and I’m yet to meet a paying patient for all the treatment they receive. Upon exit – our car was searched again. They have their reasons for doing so I guess.

Counting my blessing for I have my health, when you see just how many South Africans live below the bread line, how big the gap is between the rich and poor, and how desperate people are for basic services – makes me furious to be a tax payer when millions of our tax money is often ‘misused, misplaced or frankly disappeared’ 

My gran once said to me before she died, ‘I wish I could have one day, just one day, that I can be pain free’ Don’t take your health for-granted for without it – what do you really have?

  

Prayers For Oklahoma.

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Twitter never sleeps and is always the social media that has the breaking news on the hour in the hour. Anderson Coopers tweets got me to turn of the telly at midnight South African time. A tornado had passed through Oklahoma moments before and no news of fatalities had yet to be reported. I had such a heavy heart when watching the CNN footage of the elementary school. Where is the school?, what is left of it?. Please tell me there were no children inside – were my thoughts. Please God, send your angels, they are needed there.

Being late here, having fallen asleep a few times on the couch, I eventually went off to bed. Prayers for Oklahoma. I woke this morning and flipped the channel between BBC and CNN. 91 souls lost to count. 20 of which – children. Mother Nature showing her cruel side and just how fragile life is. 

Prayers for all in Oklahoma, RIP to all the souls lost. My sincere condolences to their families and friends at this devastating time.

 

My little first grader attends an american education based school here in sunny South Africa. Run very differently to the government schools (thanks goodness) using the Rocket-ship syllabus. I’m not 100% how american schools are run for first graders but here our little ones attend school from 7h45 – 16h00. A very long day for a 6/7 year old, in fact – a longer day than University students. Arriving home with homework too. Every hour is structured learning so there is no ‘waste’ on sports which I strongly feel is a very important part of a childs development. Of course they have daily active ed in a lesson period. Being a new school having only opened in January of 2013, perhaps a little down the line they will introduce sports as we are very much a sports mad nation. 

I began my volunteer canteen duty yesterday with a bunch of excited kids chatting to their friends mom! Going against all the canteen rules of put your hand up if you want to ask or say something when talking to an adult. I love children and enjoy working with them but talking with food in your mouth is a no go zone for me. Spit food flying from open mouths. I eventually said, ‘we can’t talk and eat because it’s bad manners firstly and how about eating everyone’s spit food’ Instant silence followed by a big EEEEWWWWWW and lemon faces. It was amusing to say the least but the thought got the children to willingly practice this particular table manner.

After canteen duty I popped down to the office to assist with a few things the teachers leave there on their parent help list. I was chatting to the schools owner who asked if I survived canteen duty, I said: When I was a teacher to a class of 30 2/3 year olds, we had 30 minutes to get them all through snack and lunch times. Slow eaters and picky eaters is where most your time was spent and that’s fine. Children are just that – children. Can’t say I miss those days though, long hours and disgusting pay. Let’s not mention just how much hard work goes into a class of 30 potty training, tantrum throwing age little people. I still enjoy working with children and still do but now as a qualified swimming instructor, different ball game altogether yet just as rewarding.

I will be back every Monday reporting for canteen duty and Thursdays for class help. I think every parent should be involved in some way or another with their child’s school. To a certain degree though, I know of some mothers who are just busy bodies with their nose in everything. 

To all the hard working moms out there raising families, bringing in an income and still managing a little volunteer time – Kudos to us for we are phenomenal woman.

Have a fantastic day.

 

 

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 Am Here . . .

Wow, it’s been ages since I last posted. Much to do with my laptop deciding after years of service it was time to pack up, nothing lasts forever after all.

So much to blog about yet I sit here really just catching up on the posts I’ve missed from my readers and followers. Life sure does go on and I love most to see the world and different places through your eyes.

It’s autumn here in Africa – Southern Africa to be exact. I adore autumn, why I never married in autumn I will never know. Such beautiful rich colours, plenty falling, messy yet fun leaves to kick up, sit on, roll in and toss in the air as I play with my little ones. Nothing like a good book as I laze in the gently sun warming up. Our winters in general never really get cold but cold enough for Africa that’s for sure, I always joke with family in the UK how their summer is no better than our winter. However, it did ‘snow’ here last year. Something of a phenomenon really for Johannesburg. I mean – the tiny speckles falling from the sky melted moments after touch down. It didn’t stop me dancing in the snow or the boys jumping on their trampoline in the snow. Happy moments.

So with autumn drawing to a close and winter fast on her heels, I say yet again a good bye to a season come and gone *sigh*.  What is it that once you reach 35 the years seem to fly. I really appreciate every moment of everyday as we should for to be here today – we are blessed to be and share something great.