Impossible Love


 

 Nelson Mandela: Is it time for South Africa to let him go?

By Pumza FihlaniBBC News, Johannesburg

Many people still see Nelson Mandela as the antidote to current social ills.

Photo Credit: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-22845268

Photo Credit: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-22845268

So deep is the affection in South Africa for the country’s first black President, Nelson Mandela, that the thought of his passing seems incomprehensible.

But deep down the millions who adore him know that that day is inevitable.

Following a string of health scares in the recent past, South Africans are beginning to come to terms with the mortality of their 94-year-old icon.

Still, this in an uncomfortable topic here.

Somadoda Fikeni, head of the South African Heritage Resources Agency (Sahra), puts it this way: “We no longer have an icon on his level, not only here in South Africa but in the world.

“People see him as the antidote to the current social ills we are faced with. That is why people are still holding on to him.”

According to Isintu – traditional South African culture – the very sick do not die unless the family ‘releases’ them spiritually”

South Africans see Mr Mandela as the glue that is holding the country together and believe that the social challenges of crime, poverty, corruption and unemployment can only be overcome if they have him to inspire the country’s leaders to greatness.

It might be too high an aspiration to place on one individual, but in the eyes of many here, Mr Mandela is no mere individual.

Nevertheless, for the first time it seems that the tone surrounding Mr Mandela’s increasingly frail health is beginning to change.

The Sunday Times newspaper at the weekend led with the headline: “It’s time to let him go.”

A blunt phrase bound to cause discomfort for the family and indeed many others in South Africa.

 

 

The usual response to Nelson Mandela’s illnesses is a call to prayer

But these were not the words of someone who is nonchalant about what Mr Mandela represents to this country. These were the words of a dear friend and fellow Robben Island prisoner, Andrew Mlangeni, upon hearing that Mr Mandela had again been admitted to hospital.

“The family must release him so that God may have his own way with him… once the family releases him, the people of South Africa will follow,” Mr Mlangeni was quoted as saying.

Many are fully aware of Mr Mandela’s poor health and advanced age, but almost in the same breath they say they want him to live for many more years.

It’s an extraordinary relationship, an impossible love.

It may be that squabbling within his family is troubling him and that needs to be addressed while he is still here. He may not be well received on the other side until these issues have been resolved”

Somadoda FikeniSouth African Heritage Resources Agency

At dinner tables South Africans talk about the Nobel Laureate’s need to rest but none utter the phrase that could change it all: “Siyakukhulula tata” – Xhosa for “We release you, father”.

According to Isintu – traditional South African culture – the very sick do not die unless the family “releases” them spiritually – only then will they be at peace in surrendering to death.

Culturally, this practice is seen as “permission” to die and this permission needs to be given by the family; it is reassurance from loved ones that they will be fine.

Mr Fikeni says that the other reason a person fights death is because they have unfinished business.

“It may be that squabbling within his family is troubling him and that needs to be addressed while he is still here. He may not be well received on the other side until these issues have been resolved.”

This may be a reference to a recent court case which has seen an attempt by Mr Mandela’s daughters, Makaziwe and Zenani, to oust three of his aides from companies linked to him.

It is not easy to get people to speak about Mr Mandela’s passing.

The BBC contacted three other cultural experts who refused to comment for fear of a backlash from the family or indeed fellow South Africans.

The press has been less fearful. Local and international media have reported on his four hospital visits since late last year. They camp outside hospitals for days eager to get an update on his health.

During the periods of his illness, the common theme in headlines is to call on South Africans to pray for his speedy recovery – further testimony that many are not ready to lose him.

But Mr Mandela’s visits to hospital have become lengthier and his care more specialised.

President Jacob Zuma and a number of top officials from the governing African National Congress visited him at his Houghton home in Johannesburg shortly after his last release in April. Mr Mandela was seen sitting on a beige couch with a blanket on his legs.

He had a blank expression on his face. On his cheeks, the marks of where a hospital oxygen mask had been. The images were widely criticised.

This time around all we know is that he is in intensive care, and he is being treated for a recurring lung infection.

The presidency is juggling the need to inform South Africans and the world, while respecting the family’s request for privacy. It is an unenviable task.

“The best way to honour him will be to carry on his values of tolerance and conversation”

Anyone who has loved a father or grandfather can attest to wanting that person to live forever – people here see Mr Mandela as the greatest father there ever was.

He after all averted civil war, many South Africans believe, when he called on black and white people to reconcile amid marked racial tension, a time when South Africa seemed on the brink of collapse, destined to descend into anarchy like so many fellow African countries.

But the country still faces division; racism rears its head every so often, the ANC is more divided now than it has ever been.

A culture of tribalism is slowly creeping into the fibre of the new South Africa – some experts say this is due to a lack of firm leadership from the liberation movement.

These divisions are forcing South Africans to take a closer look at Nelson Mandela’s dream of the “rainbow nation” and ask whether it is still alive – and whether it will live on after him.

Some still believe South Africa can surmount its challenges.

“It’s a shared idea that what we have now is better than what he had in the past. All we need to do is hold on to this shared vision of a better South Africa,” says political analyst, Ralph Mathekga.

Fears that Mr Mandela’s passing will lead to anarchy are “unrealistic”, he says, adding that South Africans need to focus on how they can continue the legacy.

“The best way to honour him will be to carry on his values of tolerance and conversation,” says Mr Mathekga.

 

 

 

It’s time to let him go….


1030577_850997“I am fundamentally an optimist. Whether that comes from nature or nurture, I cannot say. Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward. There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. That way lays defeat and death.”
― Nelson MandelaLong Walk to Freedom: Autobiography of Nelson Mandela

“When someone is dying, everyone has to wait. It takes time. All of us have a different timetable. Some wait mere hours. Some drag on for days, others, weeks. It is a lesson in patience.” Uma Girish – http://grammarofgrief.wordpress.com/2013/06/06/being-with-the-dying/

Today, in South Africa, Gracia Machel, is sitting vigil next to her beloved husband’s bed.  I have no doubt that she is holding his hand, waiting, praying…  Maybe she too feels that the time has come for Madiba to keep his head pointed to the sun and his feet moving forward to eternal peace and rest.

I wonder whether Madiba fears death? I have no doubt that he has fears for his family, his country…  He once said “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

In this morning Sunday Times Newspaper the headline was “It’s Time to let him go”.  http://www.timeslive.co.za/sundaytimes/  It is an appeal by Andrew Mlangeni, a longtime friend of Nelson Mandela, to his family.  No doubt it will be controversial and elicit a lot of discussion and criticism.

I agree with Andrew Mlangeni, it is time to let Madiba go…  There can be very little joy in his life.  This man has suffered so much in his life – it is time for his suffering to come to an end.

“There is no easy walk to freedom anywhere, and many of us will have to pass through the valley of the shadow of death again and again before we reach the mountaintop of our desires.”  Nelson Mandela

 

Nelson Mandela’s condition is serious but stable…


 

Photo Credit http://mg.co.za/
Photo Credit http://mg.co.za/

Spokesperson Mac Maharaj said Mandela’s situation was serious but stable.

Maharaj told eNCA on Saturday that doctors had confirmed Mandela was breathing on his own.

“That is a good sign, I think,” Maharaj said.

“This morning at about 1.30am his condition deteriorated and he was transferred to a Pretoria hospital,” presidency spokesperson Mac Maharaj said in a statement.

“He remains in a serious but stable condition.”

Maharaj said doctors were doing everything they could to make Mandela “better and comfortable”.

“President Jacob Zuma, on behalf ofgovernment and the nation, wishes Madiba a speedy recovery and requests the media and the public to respect the privacy of Madiba and his family,” Maharaj said. 

Mandela’s wife, Graca Machel, has been by his side since being admitted tohospital.

On April 6, Mandela was discharged fromhospital after spending nine days receiving treatment for a recurring lung infection. The Nobel Peace Prize laureate has suffered lung ailments before and has been in and out ofhospital.

Regular hospital stays
Early in March, he was admitted to a Pretoria hospital for a scheduled check-up and was discharged the following day.In December last year, Mandela underwent an operation to remove gallstones and treat the recurring lung infection. He was discharged after an 18-day stay and placed under home-based high care at his Houghton home in Johannesburg.

In January, the presidency said Mandela had made a full recovery from surgery and continued to improve. In February last year he was admitted tohospital for a stomach ailment.

At the time, the presidency said Mandela underwent a diagnostic procedure to investigate the cause of a long-standing abdominal complaint.

In January 2011, Mandela was taken to Milpark Hospital for routine tests relating to respiratory problems.

Mandela’s last major public appearance was in July 2010, at the final of the Fifa World Cup at Soccer City stadium in Johannesburg.

 Since then he had spent his time between Johannesburg and his ancestral village of Qunu in the Eastern Cape.  http://www.iol.co.za/news/special-features/nelson-mandela/well-wishes-for-madiba

When the world’s greatest statesman is admitted to a hospital at 1.30 in the morning he is very ill…  If his wife has not left his bedside – he is very ill…  If the doctors are making him comfortable – he is very ill…

Nelson Mandela has a world-class medical team with world-class equipment in his Houghton home…  For him to be admitted to a hospital in the early hours of the morning says it all…

I love and admire Nelson Mandela.  I pray that his suffering will end.  I pray for stability in my country when he dies.  I pray that the lessons he taught the world will be remembered.  I pray that his children and the country will bring honour to his legacy after his passing…

I think an icon’s death may be imminent.

Love you Madiba!

 

 

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela


How we forget things… even great things!

The brain is a marvellous thing.  Let me rephrase that – my brain is a marvellous thing!  It shuts out bad memories…

Photo Credit:  http://sadderbutwiser.wordpress.com/
Photo Credit:

http://sadderbutwiser.wordpress.com/

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.

IMG-20130306-WA000

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, direct suppression, 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.’

The research, which was funded by the British Academy, is published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and CognitionHttp://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2162606/People-trained-forget-bad-memories-potential-breakthrough-emotional-disorders.html#ixzz2USqbrFM2

In one of my posts, https://tersiaburger.com/2013/05/25/most-influential-blogger-award/, I wrote that I would like to meet Nelson Mandela.  A blogger friend commented on it and it triggered something in my mind.  I HAVE met Nelson Mandela.  I should have articulated it differently – I should have said I would like to talk to him.

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.

I digress.

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 am fine thank you Mr President,” Vic said

“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.

Photo Credit:  http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2013/02/01/mpr_news_presents

"Oh Mr President, my mom is your biggest fan ever..."
“Oh Mr President, my mom is your biggest fan ever…”

Most Influential Blogger Award


   

Most Influential Blogger Award
Most Influential Blogger Award

 Thank you so much to http://theseeker57.wordpress.com and my dear friend Shaun @ prayingforoneday for this wonderful award.  It is an honour to be nominated by fellow bloggers that I follow and greatly admire.

I would like to dedicate this award to my beautiful child whose bravery and suffering have influenced hundreds of people all over the world.  Vic was the person who influenced me most in my life.  This award is for you Angel Child.

THE RULES:

1-Display the award logo on your blog.

2-Link back to the person who nominated you.

3-Answer 7 questions.

4-Nominate ( no limit of nominations ) other bloggers for this award and link back to them.

5-Notify those bloggers of the award requirements.

The 7 Questions (Can you all please answer the same questions) Thanks 

THE 7 QUESTIONS:

1-If you could create your planet what would it look like? – no hunger, hardship or war.

2-If you could visit one nation you have never visited before, what nation would that be? – Russia – It is on my bucket-list.

3-Have you ever taken a long distance train trip? – No,

4-What is something you would collectively change about humanity? – Dishonesty, incompetence and Greed,

5-What is your favorite song?

NEVER ALONE – LADY ANNABELLA AND JIM BRICKMAN

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lnNK4Alwbsw

Never alone

6-If you could meet one person who is still alive who would you choose to meet? – Nelson Mandela

7-If you could choose one symbol to represent you, what would that symbol be and why? –  Symbol of Peace

I now nominate some bloggers, the limit can be 1 or 100, your choice.

  1. http://thedrsays.org/
  2. http://myjourneysinsight.com/
  3. http://allinthedayofme.com/
  4. http://buckwheatsrisk.com/
  5. http://kellieelmore.com/
  6. http://onethousandsingledays.com
  7. http://livingwithfibroblog.com/
  8. http://cristianmihai.net/
  9. http://walking-on-eggshells.com/
  10. http://doilooksick.wordpress.com
  11. http://cobbies69.wordpress.com/
  12. http://connectivetissuedisorders.wordpress.com/
  13. http://hastywords.wordpress.com/
  14. http://smilescavenger.wordpress.com/
  15. http://idealisticrebel.wordpress.com/

 

Well done all 15…  Please accept and give to 15 others blogs

Love and well wishes

Tersia

 

 

Sweet 16


On the 26th of December 1996 Jared Colin Sadie was born. He was a beautiful, healthy baby boy.  I cried with joy when I first saw him and that first “rush of love” hit me.

Baby Jared
Baby Jared

Vic fell pregnant 6 weeks after she got married.  When the kids asked us whether they could get married I had a LONG talk to them about NOT having babies.  They both said “We know…”  I explained the dangers of passing the Osteogenesis gene onto a next generation of innocent children.

I will never forget that dreadful Sunday night when they told us that Vic was pregnant.  My heart stopped.  I sobbed in the shower.  For the first time in her life I feared for Vic’s life.

Vicky refused flat out to have an abortion.  She said the baby a gift from God.  And so he was….

Jared is an amazing young man.  According to our government he is now old enough to vote, get his learners licence for a motor bike and work…  I look at him and I see a little boy who was going to be a stuntman;  a young child helping his Mommy cook;  get out of bed; walk down stairs…

Both Jared and Jon-Daniel are loving, compassionate monuments of Vic love and mothering.

Jared is a “computer nerd” with a wonderful personality.  He has a keen sense of humour and wise beyond his years.  He is fiercely protective of his mother.  A very dear Saudi friend of mine says Jared has a “white heart”.  (Albak Abyad” an Egyptian expression that indicates a person with a good heart. It’s literal translation to English is “You have a white heart” as opposed to being a bad person with a black heart).

Vic, once again, managed to get out of bed.  She was falling asleep in her chair, but managed to visit with most of the guests who came, ate something and left.  Laughter and joy reverberated through the house.  Vic was the proud mother. It was a happy home for the day…

The boys have a hard time coming to terms with the stage that Vic’s illness is at.  Jared’s first words when he comes back into the house after Siza leaves is “What did Hospice say?”.  He researches every symptom and sends me links on liver and renal failure.  He is an expert on Osteogenesis Imperfecta and was 9 years old when he spoke about his Mommy at a Public Speaking lesson at school.  The subject was “My Hero“.  We all expected him to speak of Nelson Mandela, but he chose to speak about his Mom.  (His brother followed suit two years later)

He said that his mom is his hero because despite the fact that she is so ill she still looks after them…

Jared and his Mommy
Jared and his Mommy

Jared had a wonderful 16th birthday.  He was absolutely thrilled with the Docking Station Vic had bought for him. As soon as he gets his license we will buy him a motorbike.

She ain't heavy - she is my mother
She ain’t heavy – she is my mother

Yesterday was a milestone in Vic’s life.  I fear it may be the last she will reach.  It is clear that Italy will not be possible.

I was so tired last night that I slept through Vic’s 23:31 and 03:00 “Vomiting” text messages…. Vic refuses to use the intercom!  She feels it is “disrespectful”.

Mother and Son
Mother and Son

As much as Vic resents the fact I may have to bring in a night nurse.

I remember Vic’s 16th as if it was yesterday.  Now she is a grown woman with two teenage sons – nearing the end of her tenure on earth

https://tersiaburger.com/2012/08/27/kidney-stones-on-the-move/

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