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

My Dream House.

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This picture has been on my laptop for some time now. It’s my dream house. Knowing myself, I would probably change the outside wall colours to something more natural and neutral.

I so miss living out in the country-side. I grew up living mostly on the most beautiful plots as we call them here in South Africa.  When my hubby and I broke the news to my family that we will be living out in the country again, we had many emails and phone calls advising us otherwise due to safety.  I have never felt as safe as I do, living out in the country. In all our years living on plots, we were only ever robbed once. My sons quad motorbike was stolen but hear this – it was lifted over our cars and taken out of our garage without setting any alarms off. We woke to our concrete wall knocked out. My son noticed footprints in the sand that my husband followed. To our luck, we found it, hidden in the bushes of the near by veld (open field of long grass). My husband was watched by two men sitting near by as he threw the branches off the bike and pushed it back home.  There were a few attempts on the thieving of the quad. To the point, I joked about just leaving it out on the driveway with a huge ribbon. It was after-all insured and I felt our lives were worth far more than this quad bike.  Needless to say – after the third attempt, they gave up trying.

Below I have included photos of the garden of our country side home. I sure miss it so much.

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ImageSpot our house peeping out the top right there 🙂

Our back yard, so to speak, was a private golf course. What’s the point of rolling lawn without a real purpose. We had plenty ‘golf days’ with family and friends. It’s here and because of this, that my now 6 year old took to golfing. By age two, he put most people we knew to shame with his accurate swing. For his second Christmas, we invested in a real, proper child size golf set. Sadly in November of last year – it ‘vanished’ off the removal truck while relocating.  He was devastated.

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Plenty memories flowing through my pretty little head while looking at these. Copious amounts of picnics, crab fishing, frog searching at night, treasure hunts, Easter egg hunts, sunset strolls, snakes visiting  etc took place here.

As for our dream house, hubby and I love thatch, country cottage style living. We both agree my dream house is something suitable to our characters, style and family. Who knows what the future holds 🙂

Beautiful, isn’t it?

Snow . . . in Johannesburg !!

They last time Joburg had a little snow fall was back in 1981. This however is much debatable between hubby and I as I have a photo of my Gramps in the garden of his Joburg home having built a snow man. That photo I’m seem to think is from 1987. Needless to say – the scales are leaning towards hubbys year as I am yet to have a single friend agree with me on my date. Sigh (as she smiles)

The 7th of August 2012 it snowed for the first time since. No blizzards as we see in the UK or USA. In fact I had a little giggle at everyone’s over the top excitement when these tiny tiny little specks of ice fell from the sky, melting seconds after landing.

The boys were so excited at this wee event. As the day went by the snow fell more and more. Nope, still no blizzard. Reports on the news spread fast as the snow fell more and more in various areas. The photos began popping up, snow angels, snow men, snow ball throwing etc. Everyone was on a high for life. We had our share eventually where the boys ran outside and bounced barefoot on the trampoline catching the snow in their mouths.

The weirdest thing though – the sky would open, the sun would shine in between and the snow would stop. And so it carried on throughout the day.
For us here in South Africa – it really is a very rare occasion to have a little snow so yes, it was a big deal 🙂

How awesome is snow – we loved it.