Not Even Death can Kill a Forever Love

I’m in a philosophical mood, a little melancholy too.  Chalk it down to conversations I’ve been having-, or the books I’ve been reading of late, being a little tired again, the chill of winter, or simply because my brain needs something to think about.

I saw Harriet on Friday after work.  We spoke about a few things and somehow Paul came up.  I haven’t spoken about him in a very long time, literally years.  It was bittersweet to reminisce about the memories I had made with him. I still listen to Leonard Cohen’s music, Hallelujah in particular, and a memory will escape from my eyes down my cheek.  I know we would never have ended up together, but as I spoke, I wondered what he’d be doing now if Death hadn’t come to take him.

I went to the farm on Saturday to spend some time with Shayla-Rae, her husband (who is jokingly referred to as my skelmpie – which loosely translated implies that we’re having an affair), my precious Godchild, Lily-Rose, and SR’s mum.  SR’s dad exchanged this world for Another four years ago, yet when here mum talks about him, it’s clear that her heart aches still for him.  They were together for forty-seven years. That’s longer than I’ve been alive!

SR’s grandmother, Granny Wood, who turns 100 in October this year (yes, she will be a centenarian!) also remembers her late husband with fond tears and smiles.  She regales tales of their time together with crystal clarity, despite her mind being addled by dementia that is setting in.

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Now, in SR’s mum and Gran’s case, they married young (as was custom) so I’m not sure if they’d had the opportunities to meet more than the one or two men they did before they settled down into marriage if they would have said they experienced love more than once.  For them it was a case of One Great Love, their Forever Love.

I’ve not dated many blokes either (my track record with the opposite sex has been nothing short of disastrous!), but I’ve loved more than once, and I mean greatly loved.  The sad thing though is that as boundless as I can love, it never seems to be enough.

I know that just because it’s what I feel, doesn’t make it true, but it’s on my mind and I’m getting it out because topping (overthinking) about my worth to others (which is a huge thing for me) is not going to do me any good in this state of mind.

In the meantime, I’ll console myself that not even death’s sting can conquer forever love.

Oh, and just a side note, my brain is getting food tonight… Elena and I are going for sushi!

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Who knows what this Misfit’s fed brain will come up with next?

I guess y’all just have to wait and see 😉

Deathly, not Deadly Thoughts…and Fish

I’ve been thinking about suicide a lot this past week.  Murder too.  And no, I’m not planning on taking my own life, nor that of someone else (although I’ll admit, as a wannabe writer, I’ve come up with some plausible, but not-yet-perfect ways to get away with it).

My curiosity stems from excessive screen time over the Easter weekend.  I have to push my limits a little, and I think I did fairly well, considering.

I spent some time with my folks.  The Bean was watching a movie called A Father’s Nightmare which I only caught the last fifteen minutes of but was able to pretty much piece the story together without much background info.

This was followed by Bird Box, starring Sandra Bullock (who at 54 could still pull off the role of a pregnant woman).  Now, I hate spoiler alerts, so I’m not going to be a tell-all and ruin the movie for those of you who may want to watch it.  All I’m going to say is that it’s not the best movie to watch if you’re on medication that may exacerbate suicidal tendencies nor if you’re prone to overthinking.  I’m still wondering why some people became zombie-like, immune to the unseen force that drove others to kill themselves. Despite being in both categories, I quite enjoyed it.  My rating is 7.2/10

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On Monday I saw Chanté for a quick cup of Chai.  She asked about The Sperm Donor and what I’d done the weekend.  Turns out her hubby also wishes she’d change the channel off Crime and Investigation; she reckons she’s becoming clever.  We’re both in agreement on one thing:  We believe everyone has a breaking point where they can snap and commit murder.

The same evening, I saw Martha for dinner.  We didn’t discuss murder or suicide.  Damn pity, because she often has a very logical take on things so it would have been an interesting debate.  She did tell me about a book she’s reading about people’s near-death-experiences.

Last night I had hake in coconut cream, with salad, sweet potato fries and rice.

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The friend, Esmeralda (whom I dragged out in attempt to make her feel better about a crap situation) had pizza.  I obviously can’t go into detail as to what said shit-storm entails, but she did say I am so tired of it; that (wo)man is going to drive me to suicide.  I don’t think I’ve ever heard her utter the word suicide in the fifteen-plus years I’ve known her.  She kind of changed when the situation started, but every time I see her, she seems more emotional, whether angry, sad, or frustrated.  Like me, I don’t think she’d ever put action to her words, but as her friend I feel helpless as I watch her fall deeper into a fit of self-doubt.

One thing I do know is if she had to commit murder I’d probably be the one she’d call to help her bury the body, like Gabby did with Bree and Lynette, because at the rate we’re both going, we are our own brand of Desperate Housewives, living in our very own Wisteria Lane.

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Gracious Old Soul

I have a few photos on my fridge; Happy Memories – Carmen & Ewan’s wedding invitation, Mary and Martin’s too. Sandra in her bikini on the one day years ago in December that I ventured out to the waterpark with her (and learning that I’m not as young as I thought I was!), Jack and I when I still had my braces (at 28!), an outing to a local wildlife ranch ages ago with The Bean and Aunty Carol one Mother’s Day (when The Toppie was still working); Lesley was with us that day, having lost her mother shortly before, so there is a photo of the two of us too, and another photo of Charlie and I, taken last year at the same place.  There are photos too of Aunty Carol, Uncle Barry, The Toppie, The Bean and I taken while we waited to board a passenger liner for a holiday, one of Elizabeth and her two sisters taken at Lesley’s wedding (which was on my 33rd birthday), Emma, Nathan and I at his 40th, and one of my precious little Mouse (which is the nickname I have given to my beautiful godchild, Lily-Rose).

Now, I see these photos every day, but honestly, I don’t notice them anymore. Except this morning I did, and my Mouse’s smiling face transported me back to the day she was christened, December 10th, 2017 – and the message the minister gave that day:  What’s in a Name?  Your Name…

I’ve thought a while about putting my real name here, and for the sake of this entry being authentic, I’ve decided to do so.

Hello World, my name is Priscilla Anne.  If The Bean had had her way I would have been Avril.

I never liked my name, until I realized that its meaning is spot on – Priscilla means “Of Olden Times” and Anne means “Grace”.  Avril means “Opening buds of Spring; born in April”.  The Bean sent my biological father (aka The Sperm Donor) to register me, and he came back telling her, “her name’s Priscilla Anne”.  For the record I was born in September, on the Equinox, so Avril clearly was never meant to be, although I doubt The Sperm Donor had the savvy to research any name meanings.   Avril though to me is worse, because in my warped mind I hear a tinny-airport-announcer-intercom-voice saying, “Ladies and gentlemen, please fasten your seatbelts as we prepare our descent.  Thank you for flying Avril airlines.

When I decided to start this blog years ago, Reflections of a Misfit just popped into my head and it stuck.  I still have difficulty sometimes accepting that people see me differently (and I mean that in the most positive sense) than I do when I see my reflection in the mirror.  I’m the piece of the puzzle that doesn’t quite fit, quite literally a Misfit, but my given names are perfectly suited to the person I am – I am an Old Soul, who has Grace with everyone, often at the expense of myself (but I’m working on that as part of my therapy).

Thinking back to Lily-Rose’s christening, the reading was Isaiah 43:1.

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The minister explained that each of us have a name (some of us even the same one), but that our given names have meaning and speak to who we are, and that God knew what our names would be, long before our parents even knew of our existence, referring to Jeremiah 1:5.

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Today when I looked at how happy little Mouse is in the photo on my fridge, it stirred something within me, and that is that this Gracious Old Soul is loved and cared for, not only by the earthly angels that I am surrounded by, but by God too.

There’s comfort in that 🙂

 

 

 

Direction = Up!

I watched an episode of NCIS: Los Angeles on Sunday at Harriet’s place.  It was about a cult called The Church of the Unlocked Mind.  I’ve been told that watching TV is not conducive to my recovery, but I didn’t think forty-five minutes would do much harm. Well, I had nightmares the entire night about being held captive- and attempted to be brainwashed by an inescapable sect that I was quite exhausted when I woke up on Monday morning.  I decided that reading is a more suitable pastime.

Today marks my one-month anniversary since I was discharged from the hospital.  For the most part, I’m feeling better and I’ve been likening myself to a Phoenix.  I even had Elena do my nails in the theme.

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I’ve shed many tears the past thirty days, but I remember in the second Harry Potter book that Professor Dumbledore told Harry that Phoenix tears having healing properties.  My own tears have contributed to my rise from the ashes; granted, crying isn’t the only thing that’s been a catalyst to the improvement of my mental health, I’ve also changed my ringtone to Katy Perry’s Rise.  But that too isn’t all:  It’s a combination of factors – the medication, going to sleep with the fowls and people respecting my boundaries.  At some stage I will make a concerted effort to get back in the gym, but not to become obsessed like I did the first time I did my nut.

I’ve also reached a point of tossing my hands in the air with a screw-this-I’m-over-itattitude if things beyond my control start to get me down.  Sometimes it takes a day, sometimes a week, sometimes a month and sometimes it takes literal years, but it happens.  When it happens, it is like something within me awakens and I have an urgent need to do something that will enhance my self-esteem or better me in some way.  I think that makes me human?

One thing that is a clear indicator of me being on the mend is that I’m starting to get excited about things again and I’m planning.  I love planning – whether it’s a meal, an outing, a party or a trip.  One of my colleagues has a milestone birthday coming up, in August, and I’m already thinking of something special that can be done to surprise her.  I’m also making photobooth props so that everyone in attendance can join in the fun and I’ll make a nice collage for her as a keepsake.  No, I’m not letting the cat out the bag here, because I know she doesn’t read my blog.

There are also plans in the pipeline to attend a bachelor auction at the end of May (I won’t be bidding on any would-be suitors though because the tickets are a bit steep), but it’s for a good cause and it’s a proper formal affair, and a night out on the town with my girl friends will do me good.  Shayla-Rae and Rowena have both hauled out formal dresses for me to try on, so I’m spoilt for choice.  I forgot home much fun playing dress-up can be.  I also realize that I look amazing in the colour green.  Maybe there’ll be more opportunities to wear evening dresses down the line, who knows?

In short, if I look back at where I am now vs where I was a month ago, renewal is clear and that’s good news.  One step at a time…

Weekend Wins; Healing’s (Slowly) Happening

I very seldom check emails on a weekend, so when I got into work today, I quickly scanned through my inbox, noticing that someone had commented on my previous post.  I haven’t had this person comment before, but I was deeply touched by his/her kind words, because it confirmed that my putting my feelings out there did help – maybe not someone else, I don’t know, but it helped me, even though I didn’t realize it at the time.

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It also inspired me to write about where I am vs where I was last week.

It’s been a week since I spoke up about my relapse.  In that time, as short as a week is, there has been improvement.  The only thing not going as well as I’d hoped is sleep restoration; whether the meds are not working as they should, or I’m going to bed too early I’m not sure, but most nights, before 21:00 I’m exhausted and so I sleep.  0300 I’m awake again and I try to force myself back to sleep, telling myself stop thinking about whatever you are.  It’s three in the morning!  Even if you could do something about it, now is not the time!  Sometimes it’s easy. Most times it’s not.

Yesterday was the first time since my relapse that I didn’t cry.  In my book, that’s a win.  I’m not discounting the cathartic properties of tears – I’m just tired of bawling my eyes out at a song on the radio, a mere sentence in a book or during my morning shower because the prospect of another day is simply too daunting.

This past weekend I ventured out of The Cave (which is what I affectionately call my flat, because it doesn’t get much light and when going into the back rooms, the lights must be switched on) and attempted to be part of social activities with group dynamics.

I was off on Friday, so made plans with Harriet for lunch.  In my half-awake state, I got the time wrong and ended up at the mall an hour early.  I walked through every single shop in the mall before I met up with her.  I was a bit nervous because of all the people milling about, but I didn’t do my nut, like I did in the pharmacy the day I was discharged from the hospital.  I had a healthy meal – admittedly I couldn’t finish it.  The meds suppress my appetite, so I took what I didn’t eat home and ate it later.

Chicken Salad

Warren and his wife, Lara, are visiting from their new home which is 1100 Km (683 miles) away.  As they’re only visiting a few days, and have many friends here, the plan was to meet at a local restaurant on Friday night and catch up.  There were quite a few people at the table when I arrived, but being the amazing people they are, they did the rounds to chat with everyone.  I had told Warren I wouldn’t stay long and sent him my previous post to outline why.  He understood.  I lasted a little more than ninety minutes before the noise and people got too much for me to handle and my hands started to shake.  I felt overwhelmed and anxious and made a beeline for the exit.  I’m not sorry I went; it was great to see them both, the view of the Bay at night was breathtaking and I pushed my limits a little.

MSB by night

Saturday morning, I popped in at Carmen for a quick cup of tea.  It wasn’t a long visit because she and Ewan had plans, as did I with Harriet.  When Harriet arrived at The Cave, we took a walk to the local church fête, but by the time we got there (both of us were slow out of the blocks that morning) all that was left to buy was second-hand books.  Not a problem for either of us, because we are total book sluts.  And at R2 (US $0.15) a book, we went a little overboard.  Afterwards we stopped at the vetkoek (a South African food made from deep-fried dough and filled with anything from curried mince to cheese to jam to marmite to chicken-mayo and anything in between!) and went down to the beach where we sat on a bench watching the people taking in the summer sunshine.

Beach

The rest of the day I spent in The Cave, on the couch with The Little Old Lady Who Broke All the Rules by Catharina Ingelman-Sundberg, which I’d started the afternoon before.  I read until my eyes felt like the entire beach had been blown into them.  The book is so funny in parts that I laughed out loud – for the first time in a long while.

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Yesterday I took my folks out for lunch to a place that’s been around for yonks, but that we’ve never been to.  Rustic, but with fabulous fare.  I got a little sunburnt too, because we sat outside, but the warmth on my skin did me well.  A little calcipherol never hurt anyone, now did it?  It also did them good to get out of their flat a bit, because they’re quite isolated where they live.  An old friend, Stan, also happened to be in town for the night on business, so I popped by one of the beach bars and we had a quick drink – well he did, I had club soda.  We haven’t seen each other in going-on four years, but both of us were knackered, so the visit was quick.  I finished the book last night, intent on finding another one in the series.  Laughter is good, cheap medicine.

Tonight I’m going to the gym, but not to train.  I am not in that frame of mind yet.  I’m just having a fat percentage test done because I’m a little concerned that I’m melting away.  I haven’t needed to wear a belt in ages to keep my jeans up, and now it’s on the furthest hole from the buckle…BUT I’d rather have that, than pick up a huge amount of weight like I did the last time.  My appetite will eventually come back.  I just have to keep eating, albeit like a bird.

I’m not sure when I’ll post again because I am trying to focus on me and my recovery.  All I can say at this stage is thank-you to each one of you that reads my ramblings.

Until next time…

A Randomly Obscure Subject: #RestroomSelfies

I’m not big on #selfies.  Of any kind.  I almost always look like a jaundiced bullfrog who had an extra helping of flies from the Lily-Pond-buffet.  On the odd occasion, I’ve taken one and though Oh. My. Word. Is that me?! But for the most part it’s Holy Crap! and then some other scary thought.

Of course, I have friends that are the Queens of selfies; particularly of the restroom variety.  Two come to mind.  I won’t mention names, but the first always shares a selfie from a restroom when she travels, whether it’s to a local retreat, or to The City of Gold or even Beyond Borders.  And she always looks so good.  She’s modest, so will tell me it’s the exquisite light reflected off the bathroom mirror, but we both know it’s because she’s a gorgeous soul, both in and out.  She can wear a paper bag and still look like a million bucks – a million bucks even looks good with hand sanitizer and beige-doors-that-don’t-go-all-the-way-to-the-ceiling-nor-floor in the background.

Then there is another friend, closer-than-blood who I believe on some level is a soul-mate.  She almost always knows when to drop me a text or some random picture of me that she’s edited with I ❤ U written on it.  Shit, when I typed that, I thought that sounds stalker-like but it’s not.  She’s married to an amazing man, but she and I have shared a great deal.

We are both on a constant journey to rid ourselves of the few extra fat cells that cling to our waists, so to motivate each other, images of healthy meals fly through cyberspace faster than plates from the kitchen to the table during a Gordon Ramsay dinner service.  When there is progress with Operation-Flatten-Muffin-Top, she will send me a selfie of her, with her tummy exposed, and I think I have got to eat more protein!

When she was a few days from being a Missus, she sent a group of us a picture of her in some obscure roadside gas station toilet, on the throne, with a rather descriptive caption.  I found myself think I hope she’s squatting, and that her handbag is not touching the floor

Today has not been a good day, yet like a ray of sunshine I just got a selfie from her, characteristic white public loo tiles in the background, smiling like a Cheshire Cat, captioned “I’m peeing”.  My first thought is Really, Sweetpea? but I will admit, I laughed.  Loudly!  Her randomness brought such a smile to my face.

I guess when you’ve been friends for as long as we have, the weirdest things can bring a guffaw from within.  Who would have thought restroom selfies too could bring some joy?

Creative Writing: It was a Dark and Stormy Night

As I cranked up my 1988 Compaq SLT/286 laptop to write a piece for this week’s writing theme, “It was a dark and stormy night…” I gave a wide, lazy yawn. “Really! A dark and stormy night? How original!”  I’m 39 years old.  I’ve seen enough B-Grade horror movies to know that the only time anything happens to some horny teenagers is during a dark and stormy night – as if their hormones are only supercharged during such climatic weather occurrences.  Watching Jason Voorhees pick off teenagers at Camp Crystal Lake for the umpteenth time wasn’t doing much for my mood either, but it was way better than having to listen to Bella cruelly drone on and on about her pending nuptials, as if James leaving me two months ago wasn’t pain enough.

Getting up to make myself a cup of soothing Earl Grey, my routine when writing, I was reminded whilst filling the kettle that I really needed to get the kitchen tap fixed; the constant drip-drip-ddrrriiippp was driving me crazy.  My life was arduous to say the least, without still having to deal with Chinese water torture on top of it. I also needed to get myself a brand new Apple Mac when I got the refund on the honeymoon flight tickets.  I didn’t care how hard James had hunted to find that vintage laptop; it had to go!  I was keeping the Louboutins though.  My ancient feline companion, Gerry (short for Geriatric) purred in agreement as if reading my thoughts.

Teenage screams bounced off the walls as Friday the 13th continued to play to nobody in particular while I washed my hands repeatedly under ice-cold water; rubbing, no, scrubbing between my fingers, under my nails, rinsing and repeating the process until the kettle finally whistled.  I’d never had any kind of obsessive compulsion before, but ever since James left me standing in a church full of witnesses, I needed to wash my hands. Damn him! And damn her!  That hourglass shaped redhead with the emerald green eyes.  Jessica I think he said her name was. Or was it Janice?  Or Juliet? No!  It was Julietta – “like the car, just spelt differently”.  I supposed it was apt considering the first place he’d decided to have sex with her was in the backseat of a car – the very Lincoln Continental that had taken me to the church that fateful afternoon.

At last the laptop had booted up, and I opened the internal word-processor to type my tale of stereotypical mayhem when I heard thunder in the distance.  Odd for this time of the year, but still a welcome sign of much needed rain.  The wind also started to howl round the corners.  Clearly the Universe was trying to get me in the mood. Clicking on the keyboard, I began my story: It was a dark and stormy night…

Another clap of thunder hit, and the antique telephone rang at the same time.  Sighing, I rose to pick it up.

“Hello,” I said, trying not to sound exasperated, given the lateness of the hour, “Kim speaking.” The connection was crackly, no doubt a result of the looming storm. “Hello, I can’t hear you, the line is bad. Hello?  Hellooo?” Click. Silence. Shrugging my shoulders and giving Gerry an ear-scratching before I returned to the couch, the phone jangled again. “Hello, Kim speaking.  I hope you can hear me now,“ I said less-than-friendly.

“You shouldn’t be watching horror movies on dark, stormy nights, MISS Winters.” The voice on the other side was raspy, breathless and mechanical, almost like someone was using a device to alter their speech, or like Jason’s underneath his hockey mask just before he slashed another oversexed adolescent.

“Who is this?” I asked, failing abysmally to hide the terror in my voice. “Answer me, damnit!” Click. Silence again.

The phone chimed a third time, and as I picked up with “Listen here, you creep…” lighting struck and the house was plunged into velvet darkness, save for the few green words on my aged laptop’s screen:  It was a dark and stormy night.

Blood pumping through my veins, heartbeat audible in my ears, I picked up the phone receiver and listened; the alien voice was gone, but I could hear the wind in the background.  The caller was obviously mobile.  Could he be close? I needed to call for help, but I didn’t want to hang up.  The landline was my only way of knowing where, to some extent, the caller was.  I reached for my handbag, worse than a witch’s wardrobe at the best of times and located my cellphone.  The battery was dead. Sugar!  Ever since James had chosen her above me, I tore myself apart wondering what I could have done differently.  Losing the sailor’s mouth seemed like a good start, although in this situation, four letter words would be more appropriate.

Glass shattered, but with the inclement weather, and disorientating darkness, I couldn’t be sure where.  My adrenalin was in overdrive, my fight response stronger than my flight one, but granted, I didn’t know who I was up against.

Thankfully the Glock I’d inherited from my dad was in its trusty hiding place.  I opened the bread box as quietly as I could, locating the cold weapon, “I’ve got a gun, and I’m not scared to use it!” I shouted, hoping that my mock-bravado would do something to give my assailant second thoughts.

“Did you honestly think I wouldn’t bring a weapon of my own?” I heard a familiar voice call out.  I spun round in the eerie blackness, stepping on Gerry’s tail.  He screeched and disappeared with a hiss.  “Miss Winters, come out, come out wherever you are…”

If I could just get to the basement cellar, I could lock the door from the inside and climb through the window and get help.  I had to, or I quite possibly would end up dead. And I didn’t want to die on the eve of a new decade.

Trying not to breathe heavily for fear of being caught, I crawled towards the cellar door.  Yanking it open, I rushed inside, but the lock jammed as I turned the key.  “Oh, Miss Winters…Kimmy…I just want to play…”

“Leave me alone,” I screamed, “I will shoot you if I must!”

My nostrils filled with the smell of mildew as I took the rickety wooden steps with trepidation.  One gave way and I tumbled to the bottom, hitting my head on the concrete floor. “So this is how I die, I thought to myself, “in a dark basement, a lonely unpublished wannabe author with unworn Louboutins.” I blacked out, swallowed by the cold darkness.

The next time I saw the light, I was being strapped to a stretcher by Basil and Adrian, two paramedics I worked with.

“Trust Kimberley Winters to make an entrance that would wreck her own surprise party and bash her head in,” laughed my best friend and colleague, Susan. “Do you have any idea how much planning went into getting everyone down here?  Good think I swapped out your gun, or you’d have shot our dear old amateur drama student (and Pastor), Harold. Well, it’s past midnight, so Happy Birthday, Hun.  We’ll have you blow out your candles at the hospital.”

And that is how my forties started, not a word of a lie – with a concussion and the fanfare of ambulance sirens and flashing red lights.

 

 

 

 

 

Friends – The Real Family

Cousin Lola always used to tell me when I was younger, “God lets you choose your friends, because you can’t choose your family.” I’ve been thinking about this more and more lately, especially since The Toppie lost his job at the beginning of the month.  Family are nowhere to be seen – and yes, I’ll concede that some of them are estranged because of bad attitudes, stupid feuds and stubbornness.  I keep coming back to the adage “blood is thicker than water”.  I don’t see much of my family, and to me it’s not really a big deal – there is no animosity between any of us (well almost any), it’s just that we move in different circles, and we have virtually nothing in common.  These family members are those that I don’t ask for anything, nor they from me.  It works.

But then…let’s face it – we all have someone with whom our DNA is interwoven that quite frankly we’d rather not be related to.  Others unfortunately join the ranks through marriage.  The upside of this is that the feeling is usually mutual and as a result paths don’t cross that often.  These people are the ones that you might bump into at a wedding, or a funeral. In my experience it’s usually the latter.  I could chalk it up to paying respects, but sometimes attendance is merely to say I’m still around, Fam-i-ly, just in case… you know, my name might be appearing in late Uncle Joe’s will.  I always did love that landscape painting by Obscure Artist that hung in his dining room.  What my hypothetical Wannabe Art Collector doesn’t know is the good ol’ Uncle Joe ended up on the bones of his arse and worked himself into his grave to keep his wife safe and cared for as he promised her a lifetime ago in front of many of the people at this very funeral. It doesn’t say much for my Wannabe Art Collector, but it does speak to the kind of person Uncle Joe was.

Moving away from hypothetically dearly departed Uncle Joe, and back to the reality at hand…

The past three months have been hell for my parents.  The Toppie had a tough time at work (more than that I am not allowed to say at this stage), and he was let go four days into 2019, tensions were (still are!) high because of rising costs and the place they’re living is in an industrial area, so human contact is almost non-existent.  I’ve tried my best to get them to come and stay with me (as hard as the adjustment would be for all of us, and they’ve declined), and they’re both still competent, so I cannot force the issue.  I’ve tried too to get even a little help from some family members who should as far as I’m concerned have a moral duty, but with no success.  It’s disillusioning to say the least. I hate seeing the two people I care about most in this world have to suffer as they are, when there are people that knew where my parents were when a hand or Rands were needed. The only thing I have to console myself is not everyone thinks like-, nor were they raised like me.  Add to that, that God doesn’t sleep and I do feel a little better about things.

But, as I have learned in an attempt to become more enlightened, I look to what I can be grateful for in this situation – and it is for friends.  From the ones that travelled from Cape Town in September last year and brought my parents a crate of non-perishables and some meat, to the one that baked them some biscuits, so that they’d have something nice to nibble on over Christmas, to the one that drew money out of her bond to loan to me so they could pay their car (and yes it’s a loan to me, which is to be paid back), to the ones that gave The Toppie a painting job so the rent could be paid, to the ones that are sharing a post I’ve put on Facebook to try and help The Toppie find a job to keep him busy and bring some money in, to the one that lets me travel with her to work, so that I can help my folks out with some things they need, to the one that sent me money to take The Bean and The Toppie out for their anniversary.  These people have zero obligation to help at all, but they care about me, and by extension about The Toppie and The Bean.

You know who you are, and I just want you all to know that everything you all do for me (no matter how big or small), is valued and appreciated.  I’m grateful to each one of you, and I’m proud to call you all family.

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