Old habits die hard….

Yuri and his beloved aunt Vic
Yuri and his beloved aunt Vic

Today we had our first real family get together after Vic’s memorial service.  It was Esther’s birthday on the 20th of February.

I was uncertain about how the boys and I would handle it.  It was our first family get together without Vic.

I was amazed at how much less time the cooking and baking took….not because there was one person less to cook for, but because there was no interruptions….I was always up and down the passage checking on Vic, helping her go to the bathroom, giving her meds or injections, cleaning up vomit… Sometimes I would check on her and we would just end up chatting or watching Cake Boss….

Vic always tried to help…poor little poppet!  She would ask over and over again “How can I help Mommy?”  If the truth be known she only got in my way but I loved the “us” time… Sometimes I would ask her to add the cheese to the cheese sauce whilst I stirred…  She would take great pleasure in telling everyone that we baked or cooked….

Jared and I went off to Driving School this morning.  I would get home just in time for the boys to set the tables under the trees in the garden and for me to finish off the meal.

Everyone arrived and the house was filled with happy, excited voices and the sound of children running around.  It was a perfect summer day.  For the first time in a long time lunch was ready, not a single dish burnt or spoilt…. My grandchildren are ALL fussy eaters.  For once they ate all their food and went back for seconds and even thirds…

Esther told us that Yuri (6 years old), my youngest grandson, had a show and tell at school.  He spoke about his family.  He showed the class a photo of his mom, dad and brother.  He also showed them a camping photo of him and his daddy.  He told his class he was so lucky to have three grans and two granddads… His “gran number 3 is cool because she builds armoured vehicles and gives him lots of sweets”.  I am gran number 3….He showed his class a photo of Vic and told them that she was his “beloved” aunt Vic who is already in Heaven with Jesus…  Apparently the class of pre-schoolers all appropriately “ooh-ed and Aaah-ed”…

I cried a quiet tear.

Kari and Simone individually came up and hugged me.  “How are you Ouma?” they asked with real concern…All the grandchildren are sleeping over tonight.  The house is alive with their youthful enthusiasm and energy.

It was a lovely day and a wonderful evening.  I missed Vic so much – at times I walked away because I had teared up again… It will always be great to be with loved ones, but it has changed forever.

There was an extra setting at the table and an empty seat….The boys unthinkingly set a place for their mom….Old habits die-hard!

I missed you so much my Angle Child!!


Saying Goodbye

Chloe and Georgia in their Oumie’s bed…
Time is closing in on us
Quicker than I would have wanted it to
I tried to make the moments last
But still they slip away
Day by dayHour by hour
Minute by minute
Our time together lessens
With each tick of the clock
The day,
The moment I have feared
For months now
Continues to draw closer
Soon I will be saying

Saying good-bye
To someone I love
With every inch of my soul
Watching you leave
As I stand crying
There is nothing more I can do
No more time I can savor
No more hugs to drag out
Nothing left
Except time
And distance
A long and lonely stretch of highway
That separates our love

Now it is summer
and I must wait
I count each day
until the moment.
Where I can see your face again
and feel your little arms wrapped around me
as we sleep
Together as one
Saying good-bye is never easy
but one must always remember
that good-bye
does not mean forever
and there will come a time
when again we can say

Terrorists and angels

I have come to the conclusion that life is about missing people.

When I am in South Africa I miss the UK girls and when I am in the UK I miss the South African grandchildren…

I am having a wonderful time.  The girls are amazing.  Michaela has very aptly nicknamed Georgia, the middle girl, Osama… and Chloe the eldest “Bin Laden”….. Georgia (Osama) has the face of an angel…  She also has a mind of her own.  She knows what she wants and will not compromise!  When Georgia says “Me wants…” she means it!  She is fiercely independent and very bright!  She idolizes her daddy and wants her mommy to put her to bed and lie with her at night!  She falls asleep in the naughty corner…

Osama in disguise!

Chloe (Bin Laden) is heartbreakingly beautiful!  She is 4 years 10 months and just started Big School.  She knows her alphabet and numbers, she can write her own name, identify and read words!  Chloe has a “boyfriend” and she writes him letters “Freddy I love you”….  Chloe remembers South Africa and says she wants to go back home with me.  She has packed a bag and it is standing at the bottom of the staircase!

Bin Laden at rest!

Chloe is a daddy’s Girl.  She challenges her mommy all the time and is stubborn!  She will not apologize if she believes she is in the right!

The family Angel

Mackenzie is an angel!  I think God knew Danie and Michaela needed a break after the first two terrorists!  Her smile reaches her eyes.   Her sisters absolutely adore her.  She is fed-up with her bottle and is ready to switch to a cup like her sisters!

Two more sleeps and the girls go back to their own beds and I go back to missing them!

I am happy to report that Vic is doing well!  I think I am having a mild “separation anxiety” attack but I quickly drowned it in ice-cream!


UK Arrival

Mackenzie, Chloe and Georgia
Tears welled up in Vic’s eyes when I said goodbye.  “Have a wonderful time Mommy.  Give my love to my brother, Mac and the girls…”

“We will Skype every day angel”  I promised

“Bring our cuzzies back in your suitcase Oumie”  Jared said

And then we were on our way to the airport.  It took every ounce of my strength not to stay.  I kept seeing Vic’s tear filled eyes….

It was a wonderful flight.  I literally slept from Johannesburg to London.  I had a cup of tea at the airport and caught the coach to Coventry.  I slept from Heathrow to Coventry….

It was so great seeing Michaela again.  We had lots of tea and chatted non-stop.  Mackenzie, the one-year old baby cried and would not sit with me.  We pull faces at her and chat on Skype but that is so different to real life.  She will warm to her Oumie!

At 3pm we first collected Georgia from Nursery School.  She was quietly sitting on the carpet in her class and when she saw me she just mouthed “Oumie…”  We hugged and kissed and she held onto me as if to say “Don’t go…”

At 3.15pm Chloe’s classroom doors opened.  Chloe was sitting next to a little boy and did not notice me at first.  Her teacher called out her name and she got up to walk out of her classroom.  Her blue eyes connected with mine and disbelief spread over her little face.  She went from walking to flying!

We spent a wonderful afternoon playing and chatting.  I got to help with the girls bathing.  Mackenzie no longer cries when I come near her and her sister wanted to sleep in my bed with me….

I am such a blessed woman.  I am surrounded by love.