What can we say about 2016, except that it was a rather horrendous (no exaggeration) year, for most people. Headlines dictated tragedy after tragedy and these tragedies also occurred, privately and very close to home….
Whilst contemplating all that has happened in this past year, sitting in the exact same place – at the beautiful lodge our dad has blessed us with the opportunity of being able to visit – I could not have imagined and still cannot even begin to get my head around all the absolutely dreadful things we have been through this year. BUT then I look at each of these things as I list them below and realise that after each thunderstorm there followed a rainbow – God has always, and will always keep His promise to us.
Nothing is ever perfect but He does love us perfectly and that makes life pretty much perfection to me.
On an evening game drive I saw a cloud with a perfect silver lining another promise that though troubles will befall us, sometimes we just have to look for that glimmer of hope, that silver lining and then – everything will be alright (thanks Bob).
Rounding up 2016 in as small a nutshell as I can – it was a year filled with major changes and chaos…. We survived stronger than ever and far more blessed than so many others out there.
We started a year with my pops retiring – a difficult thing for an ex springbok OCD, ADD, always busy and successful businessman… WELL he has learnt to sew: p and has sanded and re-sanded furniture all year (concerning at first ) yet he has learnt so much about us girls and how to relax and laugh with us … happiness is having a dad like him.
My darling angel sister Debs, who beat a rare and deadly Cancer after an 11 year battle of fighting for her life, losing many body parts (we are slightly concerned about the cape town wind blowing her and our Chihuahuas away – yes we laugh at these things). This was followed by remission for 18 years, where she still struggled with major operations to reconstruct, remove foreign bodies and keep her tiny body functioning perfectly … and then in Feb the dreaded relapse, two months of absolute agony and strife as she fought the hardest battle yet and the only time we thought we would lose this angel .. tears stream down my cheeks …..BUT again she beat the dreaded C and is healthy and well she is just a superhero really.
The family moved to Cape Town straight after this ordeal , to join my oldest sister her hubby and my adorable nephews, rather exhausted and stressed after 160 trips to Sunninghill hospital. Then after unpacking and living with the folks again at 34 and 38 (not ideal even though we love each other dearly, strong minds make for pretty ferocious arguments) we found out my folks oldest and best friend Dave Ferguson, lovingly known as Fergi and husband to Barbs – the couple my folks would enjoy their retirement with – had stage 4 oesophageal and lymph cancer… we visited we loved, and as his strong body kept him alive in hospice we waited for this amazing man to take his final breath. He did and we all miss him dearly BUT he managed to see his son Nicholas get married to his beloved Nandi as they changed their wedding plans and had a small and intimate wedding in Simons Town before their major celebration in Johannesburg.
Living with the folks was still proving pretty stressful AGAIN I STRESS we adore each other but after the year we had had, debs and I decided we needed to move out. So we did and found a lovely house to rent which was built in 1905 so mostly held together with paint and hope. AND THEN after searching and me making a faux pas sending hearts to an estate agent, ever the blonde I am, we sold our home in Johannesburg and have brought the most magnificent piece of land to build on in Cape Town. With mountain and ocean views.. and well close enough to where my folks are building so we can still pop in to “buy” groceries and have dinner with our amazing parents whom we are now closer to then ever.
Cape Town is beautiful but at times I have felt is can be like a beautiful person with only looks and no soul… heartless, cold, sordid and odd. It has the potential to suck (I nearly succumbed) one into a world of want and need and more and more and nothing is ever enough.. It has the power to induce a lack of self-confidence and a feeling of failure even if one is successful.. AND YET I am thankful that after my life’s experiences my values are so different and money although nice to have and as a family we are blessed with enough, my dad ensured we would all be self-sufficient even though he helps plenty, I AM GROUNDED and envy no one except those who don’t feel love and empathy for others. I am happy with me and what I have because I have so much! And so now I can love Cape Town’s beauty in the form of its outdoor activities, beautiful views and most people’s love of dogs as well as time with my oldesr sis and best nephews.
In the last few months, moms car was stolen, dad crashed his, we have all battled PSTD and YET we are happy ….
This post is short and not as ‘deep’ as my usual writing but WOW I have beaten my writers block which makes me so happy. I can finally write Debs book and help others… AND most of all I can pursue my passion of writing.Showing people that although my life looks a little bit of perfect on social media (I call it fakebook and Instantfilteredgram for a reason) I am just an ordinary girl who wants to share my small but extraordinary experiences good or bad with others going through these same things….
Love to you and May God Bless you in 2017