Don’t Wait!

Four years ago, I got a phone call in the afternoon, after a completely normal, even pleasant day.
I was told that my six year old nephew, with whom I had a deep bond, had been killed in a car accident.
I didn’t stop crying for days. It still seems surreal. It still seems too incredible that I will never again hear his voice or talk to him.
I know that a part of the reason I still feel his loss and his absence so keenly, is because I allowed the anger and bitterness I feel towards his guardians to prevent me from at least talking to him on a regular basis. I regret it. I wish I could change it. I wish I could honour his memory and his nature with love and forgiveness.

In the preparation for his memorial service, we were looking for pictures of him through the many we had. Pictures of him with his father, him with his cousins, him with us, and I found lots of wonderful pictures of him with my knucklehead, and even a few with him and I together. I wished there were more. Those pictures are my treasures.

I realised with a start, during that exercise, that I had maybe a handful of pictures of my knucklehead and I together, and he was already a grown up! I had mostly been behind the camera while he was growing up, taking the pictures, but as is typical of many women – I had avoided the camera because I was too fat, had no make up on, was taking the picture… Whatever. And now it was too late to take those pictures.
I wish I had taken those pictures, or had someone take pictures of me with my boy. Pictures with bot of our faces in them.
Now I take a selfie with my son, or I hand my phone-slash-camera to someone else, every time I see him. I love these pictures.

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I also take selfies with my family when I see them – my mom and dad, my sisters, my gran… To me the pictures are very special. I know not everyone sees photos as all that important, preferring to make memories rather than take pictures, but my pictures are a part of my memories and I look at them often.

I never part company with my son, or my husband, or my parents and siblings, without telling them I love them. I never want to feel the heartache I feel now because I didn’t talk to them enough.

Don’t wait to take pictures of you and your children together. Selfies are fun. Play silly buggers in a photobooth. Celebrate special occasions. Don’t wait till you’ve done your hair or you’re better dressed.

You can’t go back.

My Granny Darling and Me

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My Granny darling passed away just after midnight on Sunday January 3rd. She was almost 91 years old, and she was ready to join my Grampa darling in heaven. Granny Sheila died peacefully, falling asleep as she listened to a bible reading, her faith rock solid as always.

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I was blessed in that I got to spend a lot of time with my Granny. I got to visit her a couple of times after she moved to KZN too, and I am going to miss her a lot.
There are things that will forever remind me of my granny Sheila, like giggling till we can’t talk anymore, and Sunday buffets. Doing crosswords in waiting rooms, and drinking dry white wine with our fish and chips in Wimpy. And lemon curd.

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Thank you, my Granny Gran.
You didn’t try, you did.
You didn’t talk, you acted.
You didn’t bully, and you weren’t a pushover.
You didn’t butt in, but you didn’t keep quiet either.
Your love for your family and your faith unwavering.
I love you lots.
I miss you.

A Galaxy Far, Far Away…

Okay, okay. They’re not going to another galaxy, but my parents are moving.

I have never lived more than about 25 minutes from my parents, and that was only for the last 7 years or so. Until then I lived not even 5 minutes away.
Being a single mom I knew that living so close to my parents was invaluable. They were my support structure, my backup, my babysitters, my please-come-to-this-school-meeting-with-me. Changing jobs and moving away wasn’t an option because my son and I needed our family.
They were always there for me, and I got to spend pretty much every family occasion with my parents.

Now my mommy and daddy darling are both retired, they’ve sold the house we moved into when I started high school, and they’re moving into a cottage being built for them on my sister C’s property.
My daddy darling’s health isn’t spectacular and they want to spend their time in each other’s company, and I am so very glad for them both, that they will be able to spend their golden years together. And its a smaller house than the one they were in for nearly 28 years so its easier to maintain, and of course- their precious pooches are going along with them.

They’ve spent the last few months – since the house was sold – packing up boxes and giving things away in order to fit into their new house. We’ve all been given all kinds of things from clothing to crockery, and I have several antique pieces I’m going to try and sell for my folks as well.

The packing and sorting and preparation has made the last few weeks very busy, which has kinda helped…

I no longer need a babysitter, or someone to accompany me to school meetings, but when I think about just how far away my parents are moving it makes me want to cry.

And I know its ridiculous. I’m still going to see them. I’m still going to visit. But they’re not going to be round the corner anymore.

Songs from My Childhood

I grew up with music playing all the time.

Thanks to my darling parents the soundtrack to my childhood included Uriah Heep, Jethro Tull, The Stones, Led Zeppelin, Elton John, Cliff Richard, The Beatles, The Who, Steppenwolf, The Small Faces, The Monkees, Janis Joplin, The Carpenters, Boston, Neil Diamond, Jesus Christ Superstar… My mommy darling also loved Motown so my musical education was vast and diverse.
The list of artists I grew up listening to is a long one, as was my mom and dad’s vinyl collection and we played it to death.

My grandad also played several instruments including the mouth organ, so family occasions often turned into sing-a-longs with Christmas hymns, big band classics like I’ve Got a Gal in Kalamazoo, Chattanooga Choo Choo, and wartime songs like Wish Me Luck, Begin the Beguine and You Are My Sunshine.

And then there is a collection of children’s songs my mom sang to us, that I sang to my son as he was growing up. Here are a few of my favourites (I can’t find the versions I grew up with, but these are close)…




Did you grow up with music?

Do you sing to your children?

One On One…

I got to spend some one-on-one time with my mommy and daddy darling this weekend past.
My Glugster had a bit of a social get together and a meeting with his hunting club, so I grabbed the chance and got him to drop me off at my folk’s place.

I can’t tell you when last I had the opportunity to do so, and it was so good to do it again. My mom and I strolled around a mall, did a little shopping, laughed a lot. We had lunch with my daddy darling, window shopped some more, giggled together.
The afternoon was spent setting up my mommy darling’s new phone, looking at photos, and listening to music.

It was glorious.

And I am truly blessed that I am still able to do things like that.