Dying is a lonely journey. Not only for the sick person but also for the family. As hard as we may try to avoid death, the truth is that we do a lousy job of it. Science and medicine will certainly postpone it, even staying healthy might seem to delay it, but the harsh reality is that death does not wait for you, it does not ask you, and it does not listen to you. Death ignores your feelings and wants; you do not matter to death…Death is the only certainty in life! We need to remember that our existence here is fragile, and we never have as much time with people as we think we do. If there is someone or someones out there that you love, don’t neglect that and don’t put off engaging with them because waits for no-one… Vic's Journey ended on 18 January 2013 at 10:35. She was the most courageous person in the world and has inspired thousands of people all over the world. Vic's two boys are monuments of her existence. She was an amazing mother, daughter, sister and friend. I will miss you today, tomorrow and forever my Angle Child.
I am so grateful that I am no longer young. I received this in an email and thought I should share it!!As I’ve aged, I’ve become kinder to myself, and less critical of myself.
I’ve become my own friend.
I have seen too many dear friends leave this world, too soon; before they understood the great freedom that comes with aging.
Whose business is it, if I choose to read, or play, on the computer, until 4 AM, or sleep until noon? I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 50, 60 &70 ‘s, and if I, at the same time, wish to weep over a lost love, I will.
I will walk the beach, in a swim suit that is stretched over a bulging body, and will dive into the waves, with abandon, if I choose to, despite the pitying glances from the jet set. They, too, will get old.
I know I am sometimes forgetful. But there again, some of life is just as well forgotten. And, I eventually remember the important things.
Sure, over the years, my heart has been broken. How can your heart not break, when you lose a loved one, or when a child suffers, or even when somebody’s beloved pet gets hit by a car? But, broken hearts are what give us strength, and understanding, and compassion. A heart never broken, is pristine, and sterile, and will never know the joy of being imperfect.
I am so blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair turning grey, and to have my youthful laughs be forever etched into deep grooves on my face. So many have never laughed, and so many have died before their hair could turn silver. As you get older, it is easier to be positive. You care less about what other people think. I don’t question myself anymore. I’ve even earned the right to be wrong. So, to answer your question, I like being old. It has set me free. I like the person I have become. I am not going to live forever, but while I am still here, I will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or worrying about what will be. And I shall eat dessert every single day (if I feel like it).
I read this lovely post that truly brought a smile to my face. – Thank you Kate! This post brought a smile to my face and a lovely memory moment to my heart. I am not going to spoil this funny post by telling you what it is about as I would encourage you to pop over and read it personally. I cannot do it justice. http://kateswaffer.com/2013/05/28/tuesday-humour-is-god-a-woman/
For one or other reason this post reminded me of a funny incident when Vic was in Gr 2 at a Convent.
Vic was a very bright little girl and a natural-born leader. She was an excellent little speller. Vic was never allowed to participate in any Physical Training lessons at school. The poor little poppet had to sit and watch her little friends running around, honing their developmental skills through exercise.
It is not clear what the reason was, but one of her little friends decided that she would join Vic on the benches – just watching. Maybe she forgot her PT clothes at home, maybe she wanted to keep Vic company – who knows? Mrs Bowling was the PT teacher. The kids were pretty scared of her… She had a booming voice and intimidating stature.
When I arrived at school that afternoon I was taken aside by Vic’s class teacher, Sr Norbitt. In a hushed tone she told me that I had to see the principal… There had been an “incident”. Dear Sr Norbitt’s face had a disapproving scowl on it, but she did assure me that Vicky was not ill or hurt…
I was asked to take a seat in the principal’s office. I was really very concerned that something serious had happened.
Mother Superior proceeded to tell me that Vic’s little friend had presented a letter to Mrs Bowling excusing her from PT. She took out the note and I immediately recognised Vic’s baby handwriting…big, perfectly rounded letters saying…
“Dear Mrs BowlingMirella can not do PT. She is sick. She has X-RaysMirella Mommy”
When the girls were confronted with this very obvious forgery, they admitted that Vic had written the letter because she was the best speller in the class and knew about diseases because she was always sick… Vic wanted to really impress the girls but the only “sick” word she could spell was….. X-Rays!
I woke up crying this morning. I wept for my child, my motherless grandsons, Izak, who has gone to a forever home, my blogger friend Julie @ http://jmgoyder.wordpress.com/ who is going through a dreadful time; Len @ http://myownheart.me/ who still counts the days since her precious Klysta died, Morgan’s Mom…Sandra @ http://thedrsays.org/ dying from congenital heart failure… I did not want to get out of bed.
Well, I eventually did and found this wonderful email from my friend, Christelle. It brought a smile to my face, and I decided that I MUST share it with all of you… I hope it brings a smile to your face too…
Life isn’t about how to survive the storm,
but how to dance in the rain.
If you are having a bad day, remember it could be worse…..
I am starting to forget Vic’s pain, the relentless nausea, intestinal obstructions, cramping. I have blocked all the excursions to doctors, Radiology and Pathology Departments…the countless “Bad News” meeting with doctors. I now focus on my longing for her. The good and funny times…
I am unable to remain angry for a long time. Well, at least with people I love. I forgive easily. Life is too short, and negative energy drains me. Danie, my husband, believes I have a split personality. If, or rather when we have an argument, I will say what I want to say. I play the ball and not the man. I don’t get personal nor do I generalise. Within minutes of the argument I would have forgotten I am angry and start chatting again as if nothing ever happened. Danie will sulk and stay angry for days…
When I have been harmed by malicious people, I forget. They no longer “exist” in my life, but I don’t walk around with anger in me. I will remain civil. I just don’t care anymore.
The bad thing about this wonderful brain of mine is that it also blocks out the good parts of bad memories… As I no longer have a daughter to cure I Googled my own “symptoms” and found the following information http://io9.com/5952297/two-ways-to-forget-bad-memories-according-to-a-new-scientific-study “One mechanism, directsuppression, disengages episodic retrieval through the systemic inhibition of hippocampal processing that originates from right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (PFC). The opposite mechanism, thought substitution, instead engages retrieval processes to occupy the limited focus of awareness with a substitute memory. It is mediated by interactions between left caudal and midventrolateral PFC that support the selective retrieval of substitutes in the context of prepotent, unwanted memories.”
Specifically, individuals could remember what caused the event, but were able to forget what happened and how it made them feel. Co-author Professor MacLeod said: ‘The capacity to engage in this kind of intentional forgetting may be critical to our ability to maintain coherent images about who we are and what we are like.’
It was a horrible time of our lives when Vic started going to the Pain Clinic. Her pain was out of control – or so I thought. It was actually just “preparation school” for what was yet to come…. I was mortified that she was on 600 mg of morphine, a week…. When Hospice accepted Vic onto the program, she was already on 600mg of morphine, twice per day.
Vic needed to consult with an anaesthetist, specialising in pain control, on a monthly basis to examined, her pain evaluated and to get a new prescription for the morphine. It was one of those dreadful experimental phases of her life. But, bad things lead to great things…
The Pain Clinic was in an élite part of our city. It was a schlep to get to it and took hours out of a day.
This particular day Vic was in terrible pain, and it was difficult moving her from the car into the wheelchair. Her beautiful eyes were dark from pain and filled with tears. I remember thinking “How tiny and sad she looks”…
We stood at the elevator for what felt like a lifetime. All I wanted to do was get Vic into the consulting rooms so she could get an injection for pain… I was getting quite impatient with the delay of the lift when it started moving down. I noticed quite a build-up of people on the outer periphery but did not pay too much attention to it.
The door opened. Two tall men, wearing sunglasses, walked out. There was an audible gasp in the hall. The greatest statesman in the world, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, stood behind them. He was so tall!
In total awe I moved Vic’s wheelchair back clearing the way for this amazing man.
He walked out of the lift and came towards us. He stood in front of Vic, stuck out his hand, and said “Hello my dear. How are you?”
“I hope you feel better soon,” he said in his beautiful, raspy yet gentle voice.
He greeted me, still holding her hand. I will never forget his gentle eyes. He had an aura of greatness. Two great warriors were locked in a moment of kinship.
“Goodbye” he said and walked away.
Death is however closing in on this amazing man. This year, by the Grace of God, our country and the rest of the world will celebrate this great man’s 95th birthday. Given his poor health and advanced age, it is to be expected that he will die not too far in the future. It will be a sad day for South Africa and the rest of the world.
I know that he will meet Vic again in Heaven. I believe that the two brave souls will recognise one another. This time there will be enough time for them to linger and chat. The people they are- it will be about their loved ones, the grace they experienced in their lives… I know they will not discuss the hardship, pain or suffering.
Two incredible people… Nelson Rohihlahla Mandela and Vicky Bruce. Hero’s of many… two people who have made a difference, lead by example.
I hardly received any 2013 New Year’s wishes. Normally I would receive so many beautiful wishes but this year I received messages for a” peaceful New Year’s Eve filled with laughter and good memories…”
Jared went a friend’s home; Danie went to bed early – he is coming down with flu; Vic was asleep so that left Jon-Daniel and I. We watched Comedy Central and had some good laughs waiting for 2012 to end.
Jon-Daniel loves making his Mommy laugh. In a way I suppose he uses humour as a coping mechanism.
“I think we should wake Mom up at 12” I said
“Okay…Let’s sing Happy Birthday to Mom….” He said with a twinkle in his eyes.
As the hooters and sirens started going Jon-Daniel and I sneaked into Vic’s room and sang “Happy Birthday to you…” Vic opened her eyes and said “What is happening?” and immediately fell asleep again.
The joke was on us.
Today was a quiet day. The boys spend some wonderful quality time with their Mom. Danie remained in bed until almost 4pm as he is feeling lousy from the flu. We all drifted in and out Vic’s room. In the afternoon Jared went for a swim. Vic went outside and spoke to him.
Jared had some questions and she patiently explained to him what an “Executor’s” duties are. She explained why Leon and I were the Executors of her will and the Trustees of their Trust. (I got some lovely photos of Vic chatting to the boys!) Vic tried to show Jared that she could whistle through an acorn… Jon-Daniel taught her! As much as she tried she could not get a sound out of the acorn. To everybody’s laughter she said “But I can do it!”
We convinced her that she should get onto the inflated lilo. The cold water would reduce her body temperature and the sun would be good for the jaundice. Very reluctantly she got onto the “non- life-saving inflatable device”. I got into the pool with Vic.
Esther and Yuri arrived and she made a dash for her camera… later Leon and Henk arrived. The boys swam and laughed and played…
It was a wonderful day filled with glorious memories. We laughed and joked and eventually ate. Esther lay with Vic and they spoke about where Vic was in her journey.
It was a special day.
I think friends and family don’t know what to wish us…How do you say “Happy New Year” to a household where death is knocking on the door? I would not know what to say to us if I wasn’t me…
But from our home to yours: We wish you a great 2013. We hope that 2013 is filled with laughter, good health, abundance and time to do some good every day. We thank you for your love and support. Thank you for your prayers and words of encouragement. You have been such an amazing source of comfort to us.
Thank you Hospice for giving us the means to have these special memories! Thank you to the manufacturers of Morphine, Pethidine, Stemitil and Buscopan…
Today has been a very, very bad day. Sr Siza was here when Vic had a violent vomiting spell. Yesterday Vic fractured a vertebra again. Her pain is out of control. Her breathing was shallow.
“I don’t want Jon-Daniel to see me now Mommy. It freaks him out when I can’t breathe” Vic pleaded
I lay behind her back, gently holding her whilst the tears wracked through her little body.
“I don’t want to die Mommy. If only I can live for another year….. But I am so tired!” Vic softly cried
“Do you think we will be able to do Italy Mommy?” she asked after a long silence
“I hope so Baby. I think we must take the boys with us…” I replied
“Oh Mommy, can we? We don’t have to go for a long time…” Vic said
We lay quietly for a while. Vic trying to breathe through her nausea and pain and I contemplating how I am going to pull off this Italy thing… Just imagine flying with a caseload of injections and a litre of morphine syrup…
“Mommy, I don’t care what you do with my ashes… It was so hard putting my father’s ashes into that wall of remembrance! Are you going to be okay Mommy?” Vic cried
My heart stopped. This was so out of the blue… “You will always be with me. I will not put you into any wall” I said
“I will be your guardian angel.” Vic said
“I know but remember I will need some privacy… “I said
“Don’t worry Mommy! I will make sure my father doesn’t peep as well” Vic laughed through her tears
As we progress into 2013, I want to thank you for your educational e-mails
over the past year. I am totally screwed up now and have little chance of recovery.
I can no longer open a bathroom door without using a paper towel,
nor let the waitress put lemon slices in my ice water without worrying
about the bacteria on the lemon peel.
I can’t sit down on a hotel bedspread because I can only imagine
what has happened on it since it was last washed.
I have trouble shaking hands with someone who has been driving
because the number one pastime while driving alone is picking one’s nose.
Eating a little snack sends me on a guilt trip because I can only
imagine how many gallons of trans fats I have consumed over the years.
I can’t touch any woman’s handbag for fear she has placed it on
the floor of a public toilet.
I must send my special thanks for the email about rat poo
in the glue on envelopes because I now have to use a wet sponge with
every envelope that needs sealing.
ALSO, now I have to scrub the top of every can I open for the same reason.
I can’t have a drink in a bar because I fear I’ll wake up in a bathtub
full of ice with my kidneys gone.
I can’t eat at KFC because their chickens are actually horrible mutant
freaks with no eyes, feet or feathers.
I can’t use cancer-causing deodorants even though I smell like a
water buffalo on a hot day.
Thanks to you I have learned that my prayers only get answered
if I forward an e-mail to seven of my friends and make a wish within five minutes.
Because of your concern , I no longer drink Coca Cola because
it can remove toilet stains.
I no longer buy fuel without taking someone along to watch the car,
so a serial killer doesn’t crawl in my back seat when I’m filling up.
I no longer use Cling Wrap in the microwave because it causes
seven different types of cancer.
And thanks for letting me know I can’t boil a cup of water
in the microwave anymore because it will blow up in my face, disfiguring
me for life.
I no longer go to the cinema because I could be pricked with a
needle infected with AIDS when I sit down.
I no longer go to shopping centers because someone will drug
me with a perfume sample and rob me..
And I no longer answer the phone because someone will ask
me to dial a number for which I will get a huge phone bill with calls to
Jamaica , Uganda , Singapore and Uzbekistan ..
Thanks to you I can’t use anyone’s toilet but mine because a
big black snake could be lurking under the seat and cause me instant
death when it bites my butt.
And thanks to your great advice I can’t ever pick up a
dime coin dropped in the car park because it was probably placed
there by a sex molester waiting to grab me as I bend over.
I can’t do any gardening because I’m afraid I’ll get bitten by the
Violin Spider and my hand will fall off.
If you don’t send this e-mail to at least 144,000 people in
the next 70 minutes, a large dove with diarrhea will land
on your head at 5:00 p.m. tomorrow afternoon, and the
fleas from 120 camels will infest your back, causing you
to grow a hairy hump. I know this will occur because it
actually happened to a friend of my next door neighbor’s
ex mother-in-law’s second husband’s cousin’s best friend’s
Oh, and by the way…
A German scientist from Argentina , after a lengthy study,
has discovered that people with insufficient brain activity
read their e-mails with their hand on the mouse
Don’t bother taking it off now, it’s too late.
P. S. I now keep my toothbrush in the living room, because
I was told by e-mail that water splashes over 6 ft. out of the toilet..
NOW YOU HAVE YOURSELF A VERY GOOD DAY…