“Amare et fovere” to love and cherish…


I have never consciously given thought to the difference between the words “love” and “cherish.”

Today I did.

The definition of love is as follows:

An intense feeling of deep affection: “their love for their country”.
Feel a deep romantic or sexual attachment to (someone): “do you love me?”.
noun. affection – fondness – darling – passion
verb. like – be fond of – fancy – adore

The definition of cher•ish is as follows:
Protect and care for (someone) lovingly: “he cherished me in his heart”.
Hold (something) dear.

nurse – nourish – foster

The Latin phrase for Cherish is Alo (alui Altum), Alo (alui Altum) is defined as: nourish, cherish, support, sustain, maintain, keep.

To cherish someone means to treat them with affection and tenderness, to hold them dear – close to our hearts. To me “cherish” implies gentleness, tenderness, respect and friendship; purity of emotion….

We feel cherished when we feel precious….Feelings of being cherished takes me back to my childhood. When my parents loved me unconditionally and I was ensconced in this amazing feeling of being treasured, protected, cared for….safe. 

We all crave to be cherished by our friends, family and loved ones. When we are cherished we have a warm, “safe” feeling within the relationship.

It explained to me why I felt safe in some friendships… There are relationships where I feel loved and then there are relationships where I feel cherished. I am tough. A friend once said I was as strong as the rock of Gibraltar. Little did he know how vulnerable I was at that stage of my life….
I suppose we feel loved by the ones who do not necessarily look out for us and protect us and cherished by those who go the extra mile and have our backs.

Love is easy. We love family because we are bound by blood, DNA of the heart, memories, intellectual and physical attraction. We love our car, our homes, our pets… We cherish our children, some friends, our memories…

Yet there are many people who will not allow others to cherish them —for example, someone who exhausts herself helping others, but when she needs help herself quickly says, “No thank you, I’m fine.”

The irony is that often these people experience a kind of elemental disbelief when they feel uncherished and think someone has let them down. “Oh no! It can’t be! Why am I not loved?” A sense of loss, a basic anxiety, grips them. 

I know that I will move the world for my loved ones. Yet I find it hard to allow people close enough to me, to “cherish” me…I am a do-er. I get embarrassed when people “do” things for me…

I recall once Lani wanted to give me a hand massage…I was too embarrassed to allow it…. I stayed busy to avoid the intimacy of being cherished by someone I love dearly…

There is a difference between cherish and love.  I find it hard to allow people to cherish me because that means I have to trust them with my heart and soul.  Love is less intimidating…

I am grateful that I am able to love and cherish.  I am grateful that people have patiently hacked away at my defences and love and cherish me…

Today I miss my precious child whom I love and cherish and who loved and cherished me….

I will not close down my blog

559940_412504292172338_2020785244_nThis is a very emotional time in all our lives.  It is 8 weeks and 2 days since Vic died.  We have all lived on our nerves for a long time and although we thought it would be a relief that Vic’s suffering was over, the grief has been overwhelming.  Not only for the boys and I but also others that loved Vic…

I know the family is concerned about me.  I know their concern stems from love.

I however need to blog.  I need to hear from other bereaved parents that I am not going mad.  That my grief is normal and that it is okay to grieve for my beautiful child.

I have subscribed to several blogs or sites for bereaved parents and it is not working for me.  It is other parents words.

I will however borrow these words from another grieving parent

Dear Clueless

I would like to share with you my pain but that isn’t possible unless you have lost a child yourself and that I wouldn’t want you to have to experience. So with that being said, I would like to say this. I will try to my best to understand you if you try to understand me. I lost my child. My life will never be the same. I will never be the same again. I will be different from now on. I no longer have the same feelings about anything. Everything in my life has changed from the moment my child left to go to heaven. I will, on some days be very sad and nothing you say will changes that so don’t feel like it is your job to make me feel better on those days, just allow me to be where I am. 

When you lose a child you not only lose your reason for living, you lose the motivation to go on. You also lose your sense of self. It takes a long time to come to some kind of understanding for why this has happened, if ever. Of course we who have lost children know we have to go on but we don’t want to hear someone else tell us too. Especially from someone who has not lost a child. It makes me and anyone who has lost a child want to say who are you to tell me that? Did you bury your child? I don’t want this to sound like I don’t appreciate everything you say because I know you mean well, but I just want you to appreciate where I am coming from too. I want you to understand that some of the things you say hurt me and others like me without you really knowing it. I know it must be pretty hard to talk to people like myself, not knowing what to say. That is why I am writing this letter. 

If you don’t know what to say, say nothing or just say I’m sorry. That always works for me. If you want to talk ad say my child’s name feel free I would love to hear his name anytime. You not saying his name didn’t make me forget it, or what happened to him. So by all means say his name. When special dates come or holidays come please forgive me if I’m not myself. I just can’t keep it up on those days. I may wish to be by myself so I can think about my child without putting on a front. Most of all I want you to know I’m having a hard time with the death of my child and I am trying my very best to get back into life again. Some days it may look like I have accomplished that, and other days like I am at square one.

This will happen the rest of my life periodically. There are just no words to explain the living hell this feels like. There are no words that could ever do it justice. So please bear with me and give me time and don’t put your own timetable on my grief and let me be the person I am now and not have to live up to the person you think I should be. Allow me my space and time and accept me for me. I will try my best to understand you. 

Love, Your Friend in Grief  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Whispers-from-Heaven/604565892890783

So, if you are going to read my blog read it through my eyes and see my heart.  If you are unable to handle the rawness of my words know that you are reading my soul.  Remember that I don’t easily verbalize my emotions and this blog is my coping mechanism.

I have found hundreds of notes and journal entries in a file called “Our Story.”  Vic loved my blog and wanted me to share “Our Story”.  It was her wish.  I will continue to do so.

So, love me in my time of sorrow and allow me to cope whichever way I can….  I love you too and appreciate your caring.


A change of Heart

Thirteen years ago, we celebrated Tienie, Vic’s father’s, birthday at his memorial service.  Since the 29th of October Vic has relived every second of her father’s final journey.  It has been indelibly burnt into her memory, her being, and her life.

Thirteen years ago Vic stood up in front of hundreds of Tienie’s friends, family, colleagues, lovers, ex-lovers, ex-wives and delivered a beautiful and moving eulogy!  She honored her father by talking about what he represented in everyone’s lives.  How giving he was…

Tienie gave his family and friends love, laughter, friendship and joy, and we knew he would want to give someone else the opportunity to have a better life.  Vic made the brave decision to honor her father’s unwritten wishes.  She gave permission for Tienie’s organs to be harvested and donated.

As we said our goodbyes we were able to celebrate his generosity.  He had given men and women a heart, lungs, kidneys, retina, bone, pancreas, and skin…  For one or other reason his liver was not used.  Up to today we joke and say that he used up his own liver…

Vic received letters from grateful families thanking her for the gift of life that they had received from her daddy.

I often wonder about the fortunate person who received Tienie’s heart.   I wonder whether elements of a person’s character – or even their soul – are transplanted along with a heart.   CLAIRE SYLVIA, a divorced mother of one, was 47 and dying from a disease called primary pulmonary hypertension when, in 1988, she had a pioneering heart-lung transplant in America.  She was given the organs of an 18-year-old boy who had been killed in a motorcycle accident near his home in Maine.

Claire, a former professional dancer, then made an astonishing discovery: she seemed to be acquiring the characteristics, and cravings (beer and KFC), of the donor.  Claire catalogued her journey by writing a book called A Change Of Heart.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-558256/I-given-young-mans-heart—started-craving-beer-Kentucky-Fried-Chicken-My-daughter-said-I-walked-like-man.html#ixzz2BrWBPp7G 

The recipient of Tienie’s heart could take on a couple of beautiful characteristics; develop a love for beer, whiskey and women…  He/she would also prefer vegetables to meat, be honest to the core of his/her soul…. He/she would not cry… Party hard and work even harder.  He/she would have a wonderful, mischievous sense of humor  be very tidy and lose their ability to dance…

Today I miss my first love.  I miss the father of my child.  I am grateful that he does not have to go through the hell of Vic’s disease.  I thank God for the child he fathered.  I am grateful that he and Danie got on well.

By writing this post I do not want to detract from the wonderful marriage that I have.  I am so grateful for the second chance I had at love and happiness.  I thank God for the wonderful husband He gave me, the Dad that Vic was given.  I thank God for Danie.  He is an amazing Dad to Vic.  Tienie will always be her father but Danie is her Dad.  Danie is the greatest gift I received from God and I love my life with him.  I love Danie with every fiber of my body.  I will ALWAYS love Danie.

But today I miss my first love, my friend, the father of my child.

Happy birthday Tienie.





Life is good, life is great!

My beautiful husband and child

The most beautiful man in the world….

I have traveled to 50 odd countries.  I have filled up quite a few passports.  I am a seasoned traveler   I suffer from airport rage.  I hate the “hurry up and wait” part of travelling.  I hate queues and I HATE sitting so close to other people!

I have spent more hours that I care to remember sitting at airports.  I love watching families reunite, lovers melting into one another’s arms, fragile old people being wheeled out in wheelchairs to meet their loved ones.  I recognize the detached “I am on a business trip” air that the professional travelers have surrounding them.

I have spent a lot of time waiting to be collected, or for coaches, buses and trains.  I have seen thousands of loved ones being met with “Welcome” balloons and bouquets of flowers.  I do not have a romantic bone in my body.  I am quite a serious person who loves deeply without conditions or expectations.  I have never been met with flowers or balloons only my name on a hotel ID Board.

This morning when I disembarked the aircraft it was a glorious sunshine day in South Africa.  I was one of the first off the aircraft and went through passport control within minutes.  I could not believe my luck when I got to the carousal and my luggage was already there!  Customs was a breeze.  I walked out of Terminal A and no Danie….  I knew he was minutes away from the airport when we landed because I phoned him to tell him I had landed…. He was minutes away from the airport….

I phoned him and there was no reply….  I phoned him three more times and still no reply.  I shut my mind down.  I did not want to think what could have happened in the 30 minutes since I had last spoken to him.  I phoned him again and left a message….  I kept glancing around.  A couple of taxi drivers started offering their services.

Then I saw him.  My beautiful, handsome husband carrying this huge, beautiful bouquet of flowers!   My unromantic heart was touched by this beautiful gesture.  It was great feeling his arms around him and hearing him say “I really missed you”.

Vic is looking great.  Her pain control is optimal!  She is enjoying the pain free time she has been given by Hospice.  I missed her so much!  I am at peace being home. Image

Despite the fearful trauma and pain of Vic’s journey we are happy as a family!  I cannot imagine going through this painful journey without Danie and his beautiful, wonderful children and our grandchildren.   We are a family of love.

Life is good.  Life is great.