Ma-V: Steel Magnolia

 

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On Saturday evening, Wolf’s mom has left her diseased earthly body, exchanging it for her angel wings.  Her pain is finally over.  Yes, the doctors said three to six months, but the reality of the situation was, that today marks nineteen days since Wolf shared his mother’s diagnosis with me.  How sick she was before then, I do not know, nor did I ask.  The news in itself was awful enough.

While she was Mom to Wolf, she was an unofficial mother to many of his friends too.  Her name was Verona, or as I sometimes referred to her, Ma-V.  I was fascinated by her name, and only a while after having met her, did I find out Verona is a town in Italy.  Verona and I often talked about our dreams – both of us wanting to tour Europe, having even gone so far to get the brochures, check out the tours and make plans – only to never execute them, because we were always too busy with the things our lives threw at us.

She often said that she wanted me to write her life story.  I thought she was being flippant, but it turns out her desire for me to tell her story was genuine.  I feel dreadful about not taking her seriously.  I said to Wolf I would write it posthumously, but he said there is so much even he doesn’t know, and if I’m honest with myself, I would be doing it for the wrong reason:  guilt.  And I know Verona well enough to know she wouldn’t have wanted it that way.

I have fond memories of her.  Our first meeting – an unplanned New Year’s party at Wolf’s house, where a few of us, Elizabeth included, shared a concoction of booze out of a giant wine glass, while we laughed at Wolf who decided the best outfit for the occasion was his late Gran’s bathing costume.

I spent some time with her and Uncle Jannie, who I endearingly refer to as Oom Brombeer (Oom Grumpy Bear).  For the first while of that holiday, I spent time with them in their little home in Queenstown, where I learned that wild spinach or umfino is an edible weed.  It was a cold night and we sat at the little kitchen table, each with a little tipple and she made pancakes for us.  She tried to teach me to make them, but alas, I am not made for such delicate kitchen ventures.  That same trip she ran me a bath after a phone call to my parents that had left me particularly upset.  She even went to the trouble of lighting a few kombuis-kerse  – “for effect, Koeks”.

During that same visit, I convinced her that she and I needed a spa day.  She had never done something that indulgent, Koeks, but she eventually conceded defeat and made the appointment.  Not wanting to scar her for life during her first visit by taking her for a therapy that required any kind of undress, we opted for Indian head massages.  While she said that she had “loved it, Koeks,” she couldn’t wait to get home fast enough, so she could wash the oil out of her hair.  I tried to explain that the longer she left the oil on her hair, the more relaxed she’d feel, but she was having none of it.

We left Oom Brombeer in Queenstown and headed off to East London where he would join us later that week.  With no real plans, we took a slow drive, turning off at a sign that said “Thomas River”, which is a historical hamlet with a population of less than ten residents.  We had a ball there, taking pictures and chatting to one of the gentlemen in the restaurant/bar.  It was amazing to be in a place that time had literally forgotten about.

That weekend, Wolf and his dad joined us and we went out for a seafood dinner.  What. A. Night.  She still talked about it the very last time I saw her, which I will get to shortly.  We happened to walk into someone that she and Oom Brombeer did business with, and well, the man did think he was the last Adonis.  He passed some remark and without missing a beat I replied with something that had him opening and closing his mouth wordlessly, like a fish out of water.  A while later, the waiter brought a bottle of wine, “compliments of the gentleman at that table,” he said, pointing at the Guppy Man.  Nodding our thanks, we proceeded to savour that bottle of wine and regale tales of all sorts which had all of us laughing to the point of losing our breaths.  That night I really began to wish Wolf had made different decisions about his life and having me in it on a more permanent basis, but it wasn’t meant to be.  I wanted to pay the bill, given that I had spent almost a fortnight with them, but when I took my credit card out, there was a scuffle, some confusion and my deceptive ears heard, the bill had been settled, so I hooked my ‘skoonma’ (Afrikaans colloquialism for Mother-in-Law) into my arm and we headed off to the car, quite loud and cheery, mind you.  Imagine our surprise when the waiter came charging after us to tell us the bill hadn’t been paid.  We had unintentionally bilked, but I sorted it out quickly enough.

Another time I visited them in East London, I had big plans to cook mussels in garlic and white wine as a treat for them.  I had just got the sauce simmering on the stove when the electricity blacked out.  Verona was looking way too forward to that meal so she delegated Uncle Jannie to find the gas bottle so I could finish cooking that way.  It is probably a good time to mention that I am shit scared of anything that remotely has to do with a gas bottle, and that, as a really short person, I most often, when forced to use this means of heat, have to either stand on a chair, or have the cooker on the floor so that I can see into the pot.  This time was no different.  The gas bottle stood on the floor with the pot gently bubbling on top of it.  Every so often I would flick on the torch to see that the food wasn’t being scorched by the scary blue flames.  Oom Brombeer pulled the car close to the verandah, popped on the headlights , opened the doors and put the radio on and the three of us danced on the stoep, like we were the only people in the world.  We were brought back to reality quite quickly though because when I passed the kitchen on the way to the loo, I happened to notice thick, white sauce – all over the kitchen floor.  I was horrified, but Verona laughed it off and set to quickly mopping the gross, garlicky mess up.  I don’t remember what, if anything, we ate that night, but I remember laughter, fun and smiles.

I used to also send her and Oom Brombeer a care-package every so often – in the days when I could actually afford to.  One time I packed them a box with all sorts of goodies, including a bottle of home-made ginger beer.  As there were also fragile items in the box, I filled the box with polystyrene chips to protect the goods.  This was in the time that Verona still drove the Fiat Kangoo panel van.  I will never forget that phone call as long as I live!  “Koeks,” came the panicky voice, “the entire panel van is covered in polystyrene chips!  Something exploded in the box.  Good thing I wasn’t in the car.”  Realizing what had happened, trying not to laugh, despite the ridiculous picture I had in my head of the scene, I mentioned that there was a bottle of ginger beer in the box and that I hadn’t thought it would “go kaboom”.  Later than night she sent me a message telling me that now that she was sitting down with the little bit of ginger beer that hadn’t made it out of the bottle, she was roaring with laughter at the memory.

Later she and Oom Brombeer adopted a little girl, Kerry.  That is also something I will always remember about Verona – how she had always said she’d wanted a daughter, and how, by an unplanned turn of events,  she had been fortunate enough to have that one desire of her heart.  One thing about Verona is that she was a great mother, not only to her own flesh and blood, Wolf, but to little Kerry too.  She was a great second mom to me too, even though as life happened, and we didn’t get to see as much of each other as we would have liked, we still stayed in touch.
The last time I physically saw her was about two years ago, when she, Oom Brombeer and Kerry were here on holiday.  Oom Brombeer took Kerry to the water slides and Verona joined me for a spot of tea, in my flat.  It wasn’t a long visit, and had  I known it would be the last time I would ever see her alive, I would have told her more important things, than just the mundane.

There are many more memories I have of Verona, but I think for now, I’ve shared enough.

Ma-V, thank-you for setting such an incredible example to so many of us about tolerance of hardships, gentleness during perseverance, faithfulness in times of hopelessness and loneliness, and for being such an inspiration to so many, myself included.  I promise that one day, if I am ever fortunate enough to visit Italy that I will go to Verona, and find a quiet spot somewhere there to tell you all about it, because I know you will be listening.

Thank-you too for the happy film reel that will continue to play on in the hearts of all the people that you touched with your gentle, open and ever-joyful character – You will not be forgotten because your spirit lives on in your family who is left behind.  You are the epitome of the term, steel magnolia, Ma-V.

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Elation and Heartbreak … at the Same Time

I have many best friends.  And they’re all besties for different reasons.  There’s Elizabeth who has dried my tears and hated my ex-boyfriends for me even before they became exes to begin with.  There’s Keira, from Jozi, who even though more than 1000 Km’s (over 580 miles) separates us, when we see each other, it’s like no time whatsoever has passed.  There’s Theresa, Harriet, James, Carmen, Eliza, Steve, and many more.  But there are two in particular I want to share with you about today, and how I am torn between them, because they both need me, and it is breaking my heart.

There’s Shayla-Rae who has been my best friend since we were 9.  That’s a whole 29 years this year.  We were thick as thieves at school, lost contact for a while and when we finally did reconnect after more than a decade, the bond forged in fire, stood the test, and strengthened even more after her dad passed a little over two years ago.  She and her husband are expecting.  Their first.  A petite girl who will be named Lily.  Shayla-Rae asked me to be the little flower’s godmother, which both scared and exhilarated me at the same time.  She is going to bloom very soon as the due date according to the gynae is this coming Tuesday, the 30th.  I am almost as excited as the Mamma bear herself.

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On the other side there’s Wolf.  Wolf and I have been friends for about 13 years now and had it not been for life happening and our respective responses to those events, we could very easily have got hitched.  I could have been writing my bestsellers while he tended to the garden and cooked amazing meals.  I love him, and he knows it, but alas, we’re just two star-crossed lovers, fated to either be with other people, or as is more preferable to us, alone.  I met his parents when they were holidaying here one year and we just hit it off.  I refer to them as Mom and Dad, and in an unofficial capacity, they will always be my in-laws.  It broke my heart when Wolf let me know less two weeks ago that Mom had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, Stage 4B.  For those of you not familiar with what I mean – Stage 4A = localised cancer, in the pancreas only, Stage 4B means that it has spread.  In Mom’s case to her liver and her kidneys.  She wanted to see me, and once again, because of life happening, I was forced to put it off. He was (still is) willing to fork out the fortune for me to fly to East London via Johannesburg for me to fulfil one of his mother’s dying wishes. I let him know the soonest I could be there was the first weekend in July.  I was thinking the first weekend in June, but explained to him that I wanted to be here for the birth of my god-child (she may make an early/late appearance), the following week we have customers visiting from overseas and because I am the Account Manager for that specific customer, I have to be here.  The following week I am alone in the office and the week after I am writing exams.  He was fine with it.  After all, the doctors said her prognosis was 3-6 months.

But, they are not God.  They do not know He plans to call Mom home.  Wolf called me just after lunch to let me know that Mom is in a deep sleep now and it is not likely that she will wake up.  His words to me, were, “Be strong.  I’m okay.”

Goodbye April! Things are already better in May…

Inspiration.  It comes from the strangest of places sometimes most times.  More often than not, it isn’t really subtle either…

Today, the Giggling Gourmet, @Jenny Morris, whom I follow on Facebook posted a quote by Marilyn Vos Savant:

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If you read my previous post, you will be more than aware of how defeated I felt, how close I was to tossing it all in the fuck-it-bucket and having a pity party of epic proportions.  Giving up really did look like a promising option.  Not only because of my flooded flat, which more than two weeks later has still not been assessed by the insurance for damages, but because of the struggles my parents have faced of late.

Mom still mourns Marley daily, and their living conditions leave a lot to be desired, but, with that said, acceptance of- or resignation to the fact that this is how things may be for the foreseeable future, has made things a little easier to deal with.  I still hate having to see my parents live in an industrial area where all sorts of noxious fumes are the order of the day, especially with Mom’s propensity to bronchitis and asthma.  The confined space that she and Dad have to share is also not ideal because he is frustrated to the point of physical aggression.  Just yesterday, he tried to hang a shelf which he spent hours making.  A piece of the wood split when he drilled it into the wall and he almost smashed the thing to pieces with the hammer.  It worries me a great deal.  I wish there was something I could do, but short of holding a gun to their heads, forcing them to come and live with me, my hands are tied.

Then of course, there are the tired expressions, such as, “this too shall pass”, or “it could be worse”, or “count your blessings, not your problems”, which I will admit, are all true.  Hearing these platitudes from people who actually are in my- and my parents’ life is acceptable, but I have to muster every last bit of self-control not to tell other people who know us, but prefer to live in happy obliviousness in their ivory towers, to shut the hell up.

Before I get lynched, I have the greatest respect for the trials we all have to face, but no two situations are the same.  Your wife leaving you for another man is regrettable and tragic, but so is my parents’ loss of almost everything they worked hard to build up.  I could go on like a long-playing record, but I would rather not rant more than is necessary.

In between all of this drama, I had to still find time to complete my second assignment before my upcoming exams in June.  I finished and handed in by the deadline, but part of me feels that had things been a bit calmer, I could have done more.  I anxiously await the results.

Since last week I have received incredible support from not only my friends and my colleagues.  Elizabeth and her parents put me up for a few nights, feeding me well (she still makes the best chicken pie in the whole world!) and allowing me to enjoy a glass of wine in the evenings.  The restlessness of living out of a suitcase got to me though and I opted to take a colleague and his wife up on their offer of staying in the granny flat on their property until such time that my flat is habitable again.  At first I was hesitant, but after arriving, and seeing a beautiful bunch of proteas on the table to welcome me, I immediately felt at home.

The stability of a “home-away-from-home” without distractions, has afforded me the opportunity to begin revision for my final exam.  Heaven knows, I want to get this subject over and done with.  Having failed twice, many years ago, I’m hoping that the third time will indeed be a charm, otherwise I will forfeit all the credits I have obtained to date, and then have to do the entire year over, which is something I cannot afford.  So, putting the positive vibes out there – when I receive the notification that I have passed my Diploma in International Trade (Exports) exam, I will be celebrating with something bubbly – even if it is just sparkling mineral water.

The messages of care from friends far and wide have been a comfort in a time that has been so dark for my parents and I.  A surprise visit from a Capetonian friend last weekend also did a lot to lift our spirits, as did a visit with Aunty Carol, Uncle Barry and some friends.  Speaking of Uncle Barry – he worked incredibly hard to get dad’s car running again, which we are all so grateful for.  Dad can now get to work every day without hassles or stressing about rapturous steam billowing out of the bonnet.  Eliza and Nicholas have invited me to eat with them in the evenings (as they are very close to where I am residing for the interim), so I don’t have to cook.  Yay!

To every single one of you, who has, despite your own storms, blessed my parents and I with words of encouragement, a loan to keep the bank from taking my car back, a pot of soup, a bed to sleep in, an ear to listen, a long, flaming-hot shower, a back & neck destress massage or who did a load (more like a mountain!) of washing.  Thank you.  You know who you are.  You are the people that I will roll a boulder out of the way for.

So yes, things are not ideal, but they are 100% more ideal than they were in April.  And for that, I’m grateful, because while we’ve been defeated, we’re a long shot from giving up.

 

Dear April 2017,

Do me a favour . Fuck. Right. Off!!!!  How much more do you expect my parents and I to endure?  Really?!  Just how fucking much?!  In my short, almost-38 years on this earth, I have never had to deal with so much pain as I have in the past almost-30 days.  Nor have my parents, who are all I actually have in this world.

First you had the bank nearly repossess my car, forcing me to give my only heirloom as collateral for a loan to get the payment up to date.  When my parents are gone, that ring is most likely the only thing I will have that will remind me of my parents, you sonofabitch!

Staying with the subject of wheels , you knocked my parents with the breakdown of their car.   In my opinion, a piece of crap, but a car, nevertheless.  Not only did you decide to allow the water pump to die, you killed the pistons and warped the cylinder head too, just for good measure.  Where on God’s green earth did you expect them to come up with the amount of money needed to repair that?  They are pensioners!  There is no amount of thanks I can relay to Uncle Barry for his help with the repair and to my amazing friend, Kayla, in Johannesburg, who lent me some money to help them, without even batting an eyelid, when her own child had to go to hospital.  Even a colleague, Charlie, helped me with a few bob, because he sees the strain I am taking.  These are the people that will help me give you the finger, you goddamn awful month.  Do you hear me?!

Sure, my Toppie got to celebrate his 70th birthday, but at what cost?  That nice braai cost my parents money that they couldn’t afford, but we, as a family, couldn’t allow a milestone like that to pass.  Something had to be done, even though it lacked the lustre of a real celebration.  One thing you couldn’t take away from us that night was our spirit of fun, but you eventually got your revenge.   This past weekend, all of us had to say goodbye to the home that has been ours for countless years.   We have had to box so many memories and my parents have had to move.  From a comfortable, three-bedroom, 860 square meter property to a three-roomed place, totaling maybe 60 squares in an industrial area, because that is all that they can afford.  Well played, April 2017, well played.  I am breaking my back to help where I can, but I can’t support two families on my salary, and my parents don’t want to stay with me because they don’t want to be a burden.  I don’t see it like that, but they do.  Yes, they could be in a safer area, with people around, closer to civilization.  But no… they’ve been reduced to living like this, because, amongst other things, the Rand has zero value and many of the people closest to them are blissfully ignorant to the true gravity of the situation.

Then you decided to add a little more spice to the mix.  You saw to it that a pipe burst in my bathroom, resulting in the flooding of my flat.  So, even if my parents had wanted to stay with me, you saw to it that it wouldn’t be possible.  Fuck you, April.   Just fuck you!  I’m displaced as a result, having to rely on my friends to house me, because my parents can’t.  I can sleep on their couch, sure, but it’s with my head in the kitchen and my body in the lounge.  It’s fine for a weekend, but long-term?  But, you know what, April 2017?  I don’t really care about the trouble in the flat.  I have great land-people who understand the inconvenience, and who, as a result, are willing to meet me halfway. I also have incredible friends who are willing to help me out, even if it means living between them like a nomad.  So, I’m giving you the finger here.  Look, you doos, do you see that bird I’m throwing you?  Hmmmm, do you!?

Realizing that you struck out with your attempt at a mini-tsunami, you decided to kill my mother today.  And that, you goddamn bastard, was the last straw!  How.  Dare.  You!?!  You took away the only company she had in the day.  Her precious Marley…her little grey meadow. That cockatiel is not ever going to be replaceable, you hear me?  Not. Ever!  She is so devastated.  In my lifetime, I have never seen my mother wracked with sobs telling me she has nothing to live for anymore.  My heart broke a million times for her today.  I can’t bear to see her so soulfully unhappy.  I can’t!!  How much more heartbroken do you need us as a family to be before you relent?  How?  Much?  More?!  We’re beyond worn-out; we’re almost dead.  Are you waiting for me to be driven to prostitution?  Because right now, I actually empathise with ladies of the night, because while it may be the oldest profession in the world, it is driven by desperation.  A desperation with which I can identify.

The problem is:  You know me.  You know the compassionate, involved being I am, but right now, I can’t take this anymore.

So April 2017, I ask you again.  Do me a favour.  Fuck. Right. Off!  Because if you don’t soon, I may be an orphan…  And honestly,  I’m not ready to lose my parents yet.   I’m not! 😦

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Where Were You? At Nyaru!

I have posted this entry on Tripadvisor, as well as my Niume blog, but the photos are not necessarily the same as the one in this post.

Many private game/nature reserves often lean towards being just a touch pretentious.  This is not the case with Nyaru.  The place is a tranquil, family-friendly getaway, about a half hour from Mossel Bay.  Two Saturdays ago my parents and I visited the reserve, just to have some much-needed down-time.  We weren’t really sure what to expect, because after all, we’re not really bush people.  But…it was close enough from home for us, and as we didn’t have to travel far, we were able to use the money we would have spent on fuel, on a game viewing experience.

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When making the booking, the process was handled quickly and efficiently, by a lady named Sarah, who followed up with a printable copy of the confirmation.  I made a special request for an early check-in, which was met with special consideration.  The check-in process was also dealt with quickly and we were showed to our accommodation by a young, friendly member of staff named Lauren.  Not long after we had unpacked, Sarah came to personally check on us, to see if everything was to our satisfaction.

The facility offers various accommodation options – The Nightjar Retreat, which is the only option that offers a bath and shower.  All other rooms, be they villas or chalets, have showers only.  The balcony not only overlooks the dam, but gives the occupants a 180-degree view of the reserve.  If you’re a keen game-, or bird watcher, don’t forget to pack in a pair of binoculars.

We stayed in one of the villas, which, like the chalets, are self-catering units.  Each villa has large sliding doors which open onto a small verandah, overlooking the pool and the mountains, giving the illusion of space and airiness.

While all the villas are furnished to the same design, each villa is unique in its selection of furnishings.  The one we stayed in had two large vintage-like wingback chairs, African artwork-, and a large wall clock made out of a barrel. It had a large double bed, with two bedside lamps.  The other villa, which I viewed for comparison in this review had two leather single-seater couches, twin beds, a single bedside lamp, abstractly-modern art- and a large silver clock on the wall.

Both villas were equipped with flat screen televisions, a sleeper couch (for a third guest) and selected satellite TV channels (although with the breath-taking surroundings, I am not sure one really needs TV).

I am quite the advocate of a small kitchenette in any room, because when I’m away, I don’t want to be dictated to by meal times, or schedules.  I had enough of that in boarding school!  The kitchenette is well-equipped with crockery, cutlery, an induction hot-plate, the requisite pots to us on the hot-plate, airtight-containers for left-overs and a fridge/freezer.

There are a few small things that need attention in the villa we stayed in, which did not at all negatively impact our overall experience.  We did mention these ‘snags’ upon our departure and Sarah assured us that our comments have been noted and that the required action will be taken to rectify these issues.

Only my parents and I were booked for the 16:30 game viewing experience, which made it a special family affair.  Our outgoing guide, Natasja, answered all our questions and shared her knowledge with us.  Her love of bird-watching was also evident as she pointed out many ground-, and tree-dwelling birds to us.  It must be mentioned though, that if you’re looking to see the Big-5, then this may not be the lodge for you.  There are many species of antelope to be seen, as well as giraffe, ostriches and zebra, to name but a few.

The resident meerkat and warthog are huge hits and are happy to pose for a photo with the guests.

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After our drive, Natasja was kind enough to show me the chalets as well.  The little thatched units are cosy and depending on the number of guests, can house 3, or 5 people.  Each chalet also has its own verandah but includes a braai area.  The chalets are also located much closer to the main reception/dining area than the Nightjar Retreat and the villas.  If you’re looking for a bit more privacy, I would recommend the villas rather than the chalets.  Both sets of accommodation have a small pool close by to cool off.

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We opted not to have a formal sit down dinner at the restaurant, but rather a picnic.  The selection of food blew us away!  While we were on our game drive, the staff set up the food at a small sheltered ‘lapa’ overlooking the entire reserve.  A true ‘dinner with a view’.  We did have an unexpected guest too.

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Ironically we were tuckered out from a day of fresh air and relaxation and retired to our clean, crisp, comfortable beds for a good night’s rest.  The following morning, after a steaming hot shower, we went to the restaurant for breakfast.  Many of the reviews I had read on Tripadvisor prior to booking stated the breakfast as rather ‘basic’.  I guess it depends on the guests’ expectations.  To me, a selection 2 juices, 3 cereals, fruit salad, cheeses, yoghurt, croissants, muffins, cheese and preserves and the option of a full hot breakfast of bacon, eggs (to preference), sausage, baked beans, hashbrown, tomato and toast, seem more than sufficient.  The only thing that I did miss at breakfast was filter coffee and hot milk (for both cereal and coffee).  The hot breakfast was served quickly, on a heated plate (big thumbs up), and again, it was a meal with a view.

We were quite sad to have to leave, because while we arrived as strangers, we left as friends.  We will definitely be back.  After all, this soul-restoring hidden gem, is literally, right on our doorstep.

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God is Never Late and He is ALWAYS Faithful

I’m officially a student again.  I never had the real student experience though – uni, tech or the like.  I studied after hours, through correspondence for 7 years to obtain the Import and Export Qualifications I have.  Year 7 was a year of doing the same subject twice (and having to pay for it!) and still not completing my Diploma.  One subject, just one subject is all that stood in my way of having an NQF 6 qualification, which while in South Africa is notequivalent to a university  degree, it is in other countries of the world, and, even if it wasn’t – it is an internationally accredited qualification.

I’m a little apprehensive.  After all, it has been 11 years since I last opened a text book.  But, with age comes wisdom (apparently), so maybe this time round I’ll be more grounded in applying what I learn and not just parrot-spewing the words I thought to memorize.  Minor terror aside, I am so grateful for the opportunity to actually be able to complete my studies – without the help of some very special people, I would not have been able to do so.  As I said to my friend, Simon, the other day, International Trade isn’t my first love (writing is), but it is a challenging line of work to be in and it affords me the opportunity to utilize my education.

I was chatting to Cassey, my colleague the other day.  She’s extremely spiritual and has a close walk with God.  I told her that when I started working in 1998, for a company that was just starting up, my boss at the time trusted me enough to leave me alone at the factory after only a few months.  During his absence, documents arrived for an import and I have no idea what to do.  Thankfully I got a call from a customs broker who told me they were looking for said documents, which I obviously sent off.

Upon my boss’s return to the office he told me that for a long while I wasn’t really going to be busy with work – my job at the time pretty much entailed answering the phone, running errands, making coffee and doing a bit of admin – so he would pay for me to study.  Anything I wanted.  Any. Thing.  I opted for something to do with Imports and Exports, because that was what the gist of my work was going to be in the end.  It didn’t seem fair to use his money to study writing or drama.  I can tell you one thing – I didn’t for one minute think I would be working in Imports and Exports 19 years later (granted I’ve changed jobs twice since then).  God knew, even if I didn’t.

In recent weeks I’ve had a very emotional time.  I can’t say too much because many of you who read my blog know my family and I personally, and well, some things are not to be shared on public domain.  Suffice to say though that with this rollercoaster of emotion, a great deal of hopelessness found its way into our lives and it’s in such times that faith is tested.  Really tested.

Today though, after everything, there is good news.  There is hope.  God knows what He’s doing, and to put it in the words of my friend, Marilyn, “He’s never late”.  Everything is working out as it should, as promised in Romans 8:28. 

I’m off to hit the textbooks soon, but not before saying “thank-you” to every person I know was praying for us, and to Him for being so faithful.  The next prayer chain will be for my exams…