Super Mom

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2nd Chemo

I knew what to expect. Which made the thought of the second chemo much easier. It’s just that it takes so long!

We drive into the parking lot, when Tommie said “There is Dion.” Now, Tommie knows everyone in town, or so it feels. Dion, could be any one of the many people he knows. As I was focused on getting everything in the bag for chemo, I didn’t really listen. Then he said “There’s Christel!”, that’s when I listened.

I got out of the car and there was Stel and Dion. How? We live 200km away… Here just to keep me company during chemo? I was sooo happy!

We just sat down and caught up with news from their new Northern Cape friends, when Liesl came in with coffee! More of us! By the time I was settled with drips and all, my mom, Dad and Jason also joined us.

There was not a moment that I was alone. Not a moment to think how much longer it will take the poisen to flow through my veins.

We laughed, entertained nurses and hopefully put a smile on some patients faces.

Stel, Dion… Thank you. Your support and the visit all day. You kept me smiling. Thank you for that.

Stel, thank you for being my person.


I’m gonna love you through it

I remember when I went for my mammogram and sonar thereafter. I was waiting in the doctor’s office. Alone. I didn’t have to be alone. My mom badly wanted to go with me but I wanted to face it alone. I remember sending my mom a message “The doctor thinks it is cancer”

I cannot image what she must have thought. She wanted to drive to the doctor’s office but I said that I was fine.

I remember going for the biopsy. Alone. I didn’t want anyone else to worry or go through that.

I went back to the doctor when he got the results. Alone.

Again, not because I had to but because I handle tough situations like that.

I was alone when the doctor said he had bad news. That it was cancer. I was calm. Listened to his thoughts and what we needed to do next.

I walked out of his office and saw my dad in the waiting room. We know that lady who works there and he phoned her to hear what the results were.

All of a sudden I wasn’t alone and I didn’t want to be. My daddy was there.

I’m a proud person and I don’t think that is such a good personality trait to have. I needed to see my dad there.

I have since learned that so many people want to be there. So many people want to love me through this.

Tommie takes time of from work to go to appointments with me. The children go way and beyond. My brothers, sisters (in-law). My friends. People who I hardly knew have fast become close friends. People want to help.

They want to love me through this.

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I heard this song and cried. My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer about two weeks ago.

I want to love her through this. I understand now how important it is for me to allow others to love me through this.

Mom, I can’t fix this. I can’t make it better. I can’t take it away but I can love you through this.


I took control

I have a sweet but also very honest oncologist. She told me exactly how I will feel during chemo and what will happen. For example that my hair will fall out. 10-14 days and my hair will start falling out. I have had long hair for ages. Last time I had short hair was in matric. The boys only know me with long hair. I always joke that “I may be fat but at least I have great hair”. Well, soon, no more. So I made the decision to cut it short and donate my hair to cancer..ironic I know. So today was the day. A day I thought would be emotional though, turned out special. Our hairdresser (aka friend aka angel) has supported and helped me non-stop throughout this while thing. Finally the day came that I was going to cut my hair. We got there and it turned into such a beautiful, emotional, special morning. My mom and I were treated with gifts, flowers, cupcakes, shampagne. The whole works. A toast to us, our path ahead. I wish I had thought of taking a photo. To all our friends there, this meant so much to us. You have no idea. Thank you for your support and prayers. You are amazing.


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There is a reason why people get married when they are young

Oh my soul.  People should get married before they are 40.

That is what I thought yesterday as I battled to carry the bags to the car after an amazing, fun, crazy wedding on Saturday.

They got married at a venue that had enough place for most of the guest to sleep over.  We turned it into a week-end affair by staying there Friday and Saturday night.  However, I have last walked up and downhill like that when I hiked with my Dad!  I was stiff and sore even before the wedding and all the dancing that came with it.

And boy did we dance.  Hahaha I didn’t know Tommie could dance.  We had so much fun.  Went to bed WAY too late.

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I made barely made it to bed on Sunday and then slept most of the afternoon.

I tell you, weddings are not meant for people over 40.

Of course this morning more than one child (and an adult) remarked that they didn’t want today to be a school day.


Another first

Happy Easter everyone!

Can’t believe its Easter again. Time flies.

Too quickly. Every Easter the kids are a year older. More grown-up but still enjoying the magic of the Easter bunny. Even though Quintus and Jason doesn’t believe in him, there is no reason not to enjoy the fun of it.

This year though Quintus wasn’t here to be the first to spot a chocolate egg. To be able to reach those high up. To be part of the magic and excitement for Zander.

He is spending Easter weekend with one of his closest friends at sun city.

I am glad that he turning into such a confident young man. Independent. I am proud of the young man he is turning into.

” we missed you today. We kept your chocolates though, don’t worry!”

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Standing tall

Last Thursday, Quintus showed maturity beyond his age.  Maybe not for the first in his life but this time it was different.  He stepped up and offered  support  at a time when most adults don’t know what to say.

Last Thursday an awesome man, dad and husband passed away. Taken away by cancer. He was that good guy that should never have been taken so early, so young.

Quintus has known him for more than half of his life. Practically grown up in front of him. Spent many a night keeping him awake over weekends, I am sure. Yet he was there for his friend. Even though he has also lost someone close to him, he chose to be there for his friend. To stand next to him. Cry with him. Laugh with him. Share memories with him.

I stand in awe of my son.

“Quintus, the support you have offered this past week, will never be forgotten. Jacques will remember this time as a time of hurt, feeling lost but also knowing that he had his best friend right there next to him. Helping him.

I am proud of you beyond words.  I am so proud to call you my son. So thankful.

I love you.”


Hallo leads to goodbye

I love saying hallo.  I love catching up.  I love having someone back in my life, that’s been gone too long. 

We LOVED having my mom’s Australian sister friend here.  The 7 weeks felt like a day.

But saying goodbye…. I don’t like saying goodbye.  I just don’t.

My little Zander was heartbroken when he said goodbye to her this morning.  Absolutely heartbroken.

Aunty Kez come back soon.  We miss you tons already.

 

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Friends

You know you are true friends, when you can pitch up at your friends house, with semi-wet hair, slippers, no makeup and a bad cough.
When in return you get cappuccino, pills, a movie to watch and a blanket to keep you warm.

Feeling loved.
Just saying


Hallo

We have come to realize that Quintus’ friends have found my blog and it seems they are having a great time going back to old posts and reading about him.

He kept on telling me what they have read and photos they’ve seen.  I first thought it was on Facebook but then remembered that I have a “closed” account.

So to all Quintus’ school friends.  Welcome.

Tannie weet nie of ek vir julle in Afrikaans of in Engels moet tik nie, maar aangesien die blog nog altyd Engels was en die Engelse lees julle goed sal doen, sal ek maar aangaan om in Engels te tik.

I think it’s cool that the kids are getting to an age where they can go onto the internet.  Explore and find their friends …. or the mom’s blog!  Scary too, since it’s a unknown “world” and more dangerous than kids understand. Maar welkom in elk geval.

I asked Quintus if he wanted me to password protect posts about him and he was “ag no! I don’t mind.  It’s like you always say Mom – If you do or say it, I’m going to blog it” lol  That’s my boy.

So kids. for now, stop reading and go study.  You can catch up after exams are over.

Sterkte met die eksamen.  Ek weet julle is almal cool en leer hard ….. ne’?

 

MelanySBird


Goodbye’s

It’s one thing when friends move to another town but when they move to another country, it’s just so much worse.

Quintus has been friends with this little boy since they were 3.  Sleep-overs and midnight “I want to go home” happened on many many weekends.  We became friends with his mom and dad and eventually Jason started playing with his younger brother.  Saturdays we would stand next to the rugby field … me shouting and taking photos and them …. well being more proper than me.

This weekend we said goodbye.  I was fine, until Jardel got tears in his eyes.  Seeing that 11 year old fight back tears broke my heart. 

I know they are going to be very happy.  They’ve been wanting to go for years now.  This has been a very long and not-so-easy process.

It doesn’t make the goodbye’s any easier.

The three best friends (taken last year).  Jacque on the left, Quintus and then Jardel on the right.

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The group of friends at the farewell braai this weekend.

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Saying goodbye to Melinda (on the left)

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We’ll miss you guys! …. thank goodness for Skype and such

(and I’ll still battle to support the All Blacks when he plays for them)


Parcel – from over the sea!!!

Today we got a parcel, that was sent to us in September already!!!  It was sent all the way from Poland.

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From a very special, sweet, amazing friend of mine, who made this by hand!

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It represents me (the tree who gave life to the boys and help them grow) and the boys.  The red – Quintus.  The yellowish – Jason.  The light brown – Zander.  The colours are based on the colour of their hair.

Isn’t it just so special!?

She sent many other things but something very special to me, is Christmas tree decorations.  It’s  the very same as those I bought 8 years ago in Poland.

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Felt like Christmas today!


Good things come to good people

Good things come to good people, said my sweet friend Heather, after offering a mid-week holiday away to us.

She couldn’t go and didn’t want it to go to waste. 
Well, I am not so sure about the ‘good people, part but… Thank you again, Heather 🙂

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We miss Tommie (obviously).  We almost brought a friend and her two kids with and I’m glad I decided against it.  The boys are spending quality time together.  Enjoying each other’s company. 

I get to spend special time with them.  Talk to them and play games….oh and beat them at some as well :)  

We are having a great time.

I am so glad we got to go away!


School concerts

I am probably not well but I just LOVE school concerts.

Yesterday I went to watch the Grade R concert at school. Our friend’s little daughter is in Grade R and asked me so nicely to go.  Ag it’s so cute.  I loved it.  Smiled for a whole hour straight.

I also took photos at Zander’s school concert yesterday.  Well, the concert is only on Saturday but they had a dress rehearsal yesterday and I always get to take photos then.

It’s going to be cute.  I cannot wait to see the real thing in on Saturday 🙂


Rustenburg makes me sick

Okay, Rustenburg doesn’t really make me sick but every single time we go, one of us come back sick.  This time it was me, who ended up with a small case of sunstroke.  I was so sick all of Sunday and even till today I’m not feeling well.

We have some real good friends who live there.  We’ve been friends since forever.   This weekend we were there and went boat riding.  SO much fun.  The first time the boys were on a boat and pulled on a tube.  They loved it and so did I!

Yes we did have sunblock on (100 % nogal) but I somehow didn’t think I had to put some right at the top of my head!

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I just love that dam.  Love how it’s grass….sand…then water.  No yucky, gross, wonder-what-I’m-stepping-in feeling.

I love how much the boys enjoyed it.

I love how we got to share lots of laughter with our friends.

I love great memories 🙂


Exam protocol

Quintus is starting his exams tomorrow.  Two weeks off writing exams every single day.  This is when I’m hugely thankful that for these two weeks, I can work half-day to help him study.  It isn’t going to be easy!!

This is not the point of my post though.  We have friends, who are well aware of Quintus’ exams.  Their children aren’t writing exams yet.

Now I don’t mind a small visit.  Coffee break en so but Quintus is very easily distracted and obviously with friends coming over, he won’t be able to study.  They came yesterday and again today and I almost feel like I want to ask them to leave.  I hint about Quintus needing to study and still they stay.

Unfortunately by the time they left it was late.  Well, late for Quintus.  He can’t study at night.  He just can’t.  So next time I’ll have to tell them to please leave.  That Quintus needs to study.

I can’t remember from when we were kids but I can’t remember my parents having friends over during exam time. 


Gone fishing ….

 

The boys finally got to go on their first fishing outing.  Our very good friend took our boys and his son.  Spent the whole day just helping them.

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I’m not sure what she was thinking here but I think it was something along the lines that they aren’t well.

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Zander totally loved it.  I can’t believe how he just sat in his little chair, so patiently. 

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Waiting ….

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Choosing some new bait ….

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He tried so hard ….

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Our friend took SO much time to show the boys what to do ….

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So they waited …. caught nothing …. but patiently waited.

At the end of the day, they said it was awesome, even though they did catch a single fish.    🙂


Being nice

What a difference saying ‘thank you’ makes.

I helped out a friend yesterday.  I didn’t even think anything of it.  Was nothing major and didn’t take much time.  Being in my line of work, it was easy.  No problem.

Later in the afternoon she phoned to thank me.  Like right from the bottom of her heart thank you. 

Something that was just a tiny little thing for me, made a huge difference to her. 

Can’t we all just be nice?


Friends

In just one weekend, I had two people mention how they don’t have friends. 

This got me thinking about how our lives are so rushed, that we don’t even have time to connect with others.  We see so many people, yet there is no time to work on a relationship.

We say, “Hallo, how are you” and really hope they will answer with “Good thanks”, without further conversation as we rush to the next appointment, homework, sport or whatever.

It’s sad.  Friendship is so important.  It is so important to have someone outside the family to share emotions with.   To go for a cup of coffee that turns into lunch.

There is just no time for that.

I’m going to make a point of trying to make time for these two people.  I don’t know when or how but I’ll try. 

Thank goodness for text messages.  Better than nothing right?!


Lifetime friends

You get best friends.  Pick-me-up friends.  Party friends.  Cry-over-the-phone friends.

Sometimes if you are very very lucky, you get a friend that you have had all your life.

Quintus and his friend Michael, have been friends since they could realize there is such a thing as friends.  They went to the same day mom, started pre-school on the same day and have slept over at each other’s homes when they were still in nappies.

Just amazing friends.

They went to different primary schools though and we thought that in the end they would just grow apart.  This has not happened though.  Even though they don’t see near enough of each other, when they DO see each other, it’s as though there has never been any time lost.

They are lucky.  Even though they are only 9, they have a life-long friendship.

The two of them not even three years old yet

The two of them not even three years old yet

This was taken on Monday night when we went out for Quintus' birthday

This was taken on Monday night when we went out for Quintus' birthday


Family holiday … or not

We love doing this.  We start of the holiday season thinking we”ll be spending it at home and at the drop of the hat it all changes and off on holiday we go.

This one is long overdue.  Even though I’ll be working when I’m there, I’m hugely thankful that we are able to go.  My boys deserve a proper holiday before the new school year starts.  I’m sure Tommie will enjoy the sun, sea and blue skies as well. 

We are going camping.  We’ve been camping before but that was in the middle in the desert Kalahari or for long weekends.  This will be our first camping holiday by the sea.  We are all looking forward to it so much.  Especially after I got the boys worked up and excited by having to guess where we were going.  Subtle and sometime less subtle tips and riddles were given.  They loved it.

Then…I got the news.  Tommie invited one of his friends and his two children to join us.  Did I mention the boy child is naughty.  Soos in baie.  Did I mention that they will be sharing our camping site.  As in all of us together in a very tiny space?  

Some days I wonder about my husband.


Yes…all that way

As we were leaving our friend’s home (170 km from our own), Dion’s mom turned to me and asked if we drove all the way there, just for the braai.

Yes I said but it’s so much more than that.  We drive that distance of just under 2 hours with a smile on our faces.  So excited about seeing them when we drive there and happy that we had such a great time on our way back.

One cannot put any money on friendship.  No distance. 

It would have been easier if they lived just around the corner though!


What friends?

24 September we celebrate National Braai day.  Us South Africans are big on a tjop and dop.  We love to give it a bit of a braai (barbecue but not quite the same).  I think it’s really nice that there is now a day that we celebrate this culture of us.

I saw Tommie earlier this morning and asked him if we will be doing something for Braai day. 

Like what .

Me starting to laugh.  Like a braai.  With our friends. 

What friends, he asks?

Man that is either very sad or very funny! hahahhahaha  I had to remind him that we actually DO have friend…even mutual friends.  However friends from either side of our marriage will also be allowed.

So Braai Day it is.


Jumping high

Every year the boys play rugby that is held at a holiday resort about 2 hours from us. The play against different schools than the rest of the year. Almost ALL the little rugby boys and girls come and the parents make a long weekend out of it.

This year we decided to take an extra day, so we got here today already. The boys are loving it. Unfortunately I have to work. At least it’s not at home right! And I do take long breaks, to go play putt-putt or jump on the trampolines with the boys. Tomorrow we will probably hit the hot water pools. Oh yeah!

Thing is though. We are sharing our one bedroom place with a friend of ours. A male friend. One bedroom. One bathroom. The ‘living’ area has the kitchen, tiny dining room table and two beds. This is where he sleeps. Still okay all of that but he is anal about keeping things neat. In place. Clean. Orderly.

I have three boys. Who dig things out of their bags and leave it as it. Who eats chips and leaves it there. Who messes. Leaves their shoes around. I’m not talking about them being any different from any other child on holiday. He walks behind my kids and clean up. He wipes around the table where I’m working. I am too scared to put something down or do something wrong. In our own place? (We invited him after we found out he could not book a place) and I feel out of place. Like I have someone watching over my shoulder all the time…oh wait. I do.

BUT once I have all the work done (hopefully by tomorrow night) I will relax and enjoy our time here. Every single moment. With my kids and with my husband. Not him and the friend outside and me and the kids inside.