Archive for the ‘Writings’ Category

Cherubs

Posted: May 30, 2014 in Friends, Personal, Writings
Tags: , , , , , ,

A poem for my friends…
Their loss so great, their presence not forgotten.

(Permission granted to post)

***

Mother of dragons you aren’t
Beauty and wonder far more you own
Sometimes you shan’t ever understand
Why you feel so incredibly alone

Such a gift you were given
As swiftly taken away
To walk among the living
Was for them a few weeks of play

Destined for greatness elsewhere
You were the perfect host
How cruel and unfair
You out of all will miss them most

The truth to their existence
We shall never understand
More important lifetimes they face
In spirit, always hold their hands

The pain now
Far too much to bear
In time it will hurt a little less
For a lifetime you will care

The twins of your womb
Enjoyed their brief yet loved stay
You were specifically chosen
To face this devastating day

Only you are as strong
For with this sadness to deal
No other mother on the planet
Could make their lives more real

They know how much you loved them
They know how much you cared
I’m certain that they’re sad for leaving
But know that you’re prepared

Their absence swallows many
Their presence always missed
We love the twins intensely
A soul your soul has kissed

I hold your hand, head and heart
Through this trying time
My friend I’m so sorry
My favorite, mine.

***

Shevy

I am not a a South African.

Keep calm, I’m not an illegal immigrant either. I moved to South Africa when I was 6 years old and legally obtained permanent residence here. This means I’m allowed to work, bank and reside in South Africa without having citizenship. I am permitted to apply for citizenship since I’ve naturalized in this country but sadly, South Africa, I decline your offer. I’ve not been denied citizenship, I just don’t want it.

My ID book reads NON SA CITIZEN… This means I can do everything a citizen of a South Africa can do except the one thing the country needs me to do. Vote. Yes, if I applied for citizenship and took the time and opportunity to call myself a South African, I would be able to offer that one additional vote but sadly, it’s just not worth it for me.

I never completely understood why I didn’t develop a desire to become a citizen of the country. I was so young when I moved here and remembered little of my birth country. Fortunately, I’ve been afforded a few travel opportunities which have, in my travels, led me back to the United Kingdom. I cannot begin to describe the feelings I experience when I travel to London, it’s as if I know in my heart and my head know that I’m home. Suddenly my solitary vote doesn’t seem too important.

So why am I still here? Well, once roots are planted its difficult to pull them from the ground. I have a husband, I have two children and I have family and friends, all here in a South Africa. For now it is my home, yet I’ve made it popular knowledge that I have a desire to relocate my family to England and somewhere in the not too distant future I hope to do this.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate South Africa. I’m not clambering at the embassy doors for a way out, it’s my home after all. What we have here for the most part is a beautiful country, great weather (if you like the weather, though my Anglo Saxon blood tends to favor the cool rainy seasons), good opportunities (I’ve never had a problem career wise, despite my skin color and the same goes for many I know of all races), unity (when a rugby match is on, not football, just rugby) and social media access (the same cannot be said for China). As I write this though, I battle to churn out the positives to be seen in South Africa because based on the recent ‘free and fair’ elections, I struggle to see freedom or fairness.

Of course, I encourage anyone allowed to vote to do so. It is imperative that your voice be heard as a citizen of this country. It is your valuable choice that adds up to a thousand valuable choices and hopefully an intelligent outcome… So, as someone who doesn’t (and can’t) vote, what gives me the right to complain when I cannot provide a contribution to the system that decides our countries fate? Truth is, I don’t generally complain. In fact, I’m still here, as affected by this countries bad decisions as ever. The time is coming for me to make my decision though, shall I apply for citizenship or shan’t I? My resolve remains a resounding no, sadly, I shan’t.

I refuse to be tarnished by the same brush of a country that fairly allows for the lynching of rural residents who choose to break the mould and vote against the existing government. How disgusting that a video of a woman being savagely beaten to death goes viral and shows nothing more than the backwards nature of our political freedom. How free she was as she lay grounded by the axe blows to her forehead, how free and fair was her election? It’s definitely a fair election when parties are going out of there way and taking time from their busy schedules to offer the impoverished communities money (R50) and clothing (branded t-shifts) to entice the masses into a vote. Of course, the illiterate and uneducated understand that R50 will feed their family that day but the bigger picture is in shadow, another vote won by shameless bribery, that’s fair surely but for the tax payer, definitely not free. How sad that the most valuable piece of paper you can mark for the government gets left uncounted, that boxes upon boxes of discarded ballots are being used as fire fuel to the poor, I’d say that’s a pretty free and fair election. The icing on the cake would be the theft of my mobile number to punt your criminal party to me days before and days after the election without my permission, but I guess you assumed you didn’t need this permission did you? Free and fair? Free. Fair. My arse.

So if I was a citizen, posting my thumb selfie, post voting day, would I be truly confident that the elections were free and fair and I can sleep better knowing all that could have been done was in fact done? Hardly, in fact they were probably rigged from the start and Nelson Mandela is churning in his grave at the disgusting behavior of our government and total shambles that is our backwards voting system. It can’t be that bad though right? Because google our elections and ten websites will pop up reiterating how great they actually were, going off without a hitch. Too few links come up with the truth, the anguish and the murder behind elections 2014 and what’s being done to rectify it.

I constantly say ‘our’ when referring to South Africa. The petrol price sucks but I have petrol. eTolls suck but I drive on roads. Internet prices suck but I have a modem. Food prices disgust me but I eat. Traffic is disgusting but I drive to work daily. Education is in the toilet but at least my children have schools to go to. Racism is rife but I’m free to befriend all colors and creeds. Water is dirty, but I can drink it. Eskom goes out more than an old man’s back but I have a power source. So many things here to upset me South Africa, yet I don’t complain. This time, I’m afraid you’ve pushed the boundaries and I’m no murderer nor will I be an accomplice to one. I’m sorry South Africa, citizenship denied.

Shevy

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You are good enough.

You need to tell yourself that every single day for the rest of your life, because if you don’t no one else is going to.

Happiness. What is happiness? It’s subjective. I have no answer for you, what makes one person happy could make another miserable. What is important to one soul is of little or no importance to another. What troubles and hurts me may have no effect on you but your biggest issue is the last worry on my list….

Growing up we are brain washed. Be thin, you will be happy. Be beautiful, you will be happy. Hey, be rich, you’ll be happier!! Why not get the perfect career, the perfect friends, the perfect furniture and house, the perfect man, the perfect children. All of these things will make you happy won’t they? Won’t they??? I’m sorry to tell you but as good as everything I’ve mentioned sounds, they probably won’t make you happy… Not if you’re not happy with the one thing that matters the most, not if you’re not happy with you.

I’ve grown up trying to people please. I have tried to hide the real me and have tried to conform to the standards I’ve been expected to… The old me anyway. That old me was miserable, that old me was fake, that old me was not truly me. Finally, after years of hiding me, I’m now accepting me. I’m accepting me for the faults I have and the traits that make me the person I am today. I’m not rich. I’m not thin. I don’t have the perfect career. My friends aren’t perfect. My house, my furniture, my man and my children, they too are not perfect. I’m a perfectionist with OCD but I’m no longer striving for perfection, I’m striving for happiness and that starts with me.

How do you not look in the mirror and feel worthless? How do you move past placing the responsibility of your worth on someone else? How do you learn to accept that you are human instead of constantly feeling like you’re a failure?

“Let go of the knife you are holding at your throat, the knife of shame, blame, fear and remorse.”

>No one is perfect… If you’re comparing yourself to others you’ll never feel that you’re good enough for anyone. You won’t be good enough for yourself. The scary thing is that people you think are perfect, are probably thinking about ten other people that they think are perfect. It’s a spiral, a downhill one, comparison will only hinder your happiness.

>When last did you have a conversation with yourself? Ok, not a loopy conversation but a monologue with your mind’s eye. You are good enough. Yes I am. You look great today. Yes I do. Tomorrow will be better than today, chin up. Thanks for the reassurance, I needed that. No, voices in your head don’t make you crazy. It’s one of the most intelligent conversations you’ve had.

>Remind yourself. Who you are, what you have to be thankful for and the people in your life. Before bed, over a cup of tea or lying in the bath, just remind yourself that you’re surrounded by people who love you and think you’re amazing. If they do, why can’t you?

>I say it all the time and I’ll say it again… Allow yourself to feel. Be human. There is nothing wrong with hurting, being sad, being upset but you will be ok and tomorrow the sun rises despite what you’re feeling.

>Forgiveness… There could be many reasons you’re not happy. You feel unworthy. Your confidence or self esteem is kicked in the teeth. Some of those feelings could probably be attributed to various people in your life. Parents, teachers, siblings, friends or exes. Sometime, somewhere, someone made you feel like you’ll never amount to much and that deduction has never left you. It’s time to forgive, it’s time to let go and make your own decisions about your life.

>Make a choice. I choose to be worthy. I choose to be confident. I choose forgiveness and I choose happiness. It’s as simple and as difficult as that.

The key to happiness and self worth is understanding that you’re the only key. No one person makes you feel worthless or like a failure, those feelings are your own. Think of a child learning to swim… They may feel like they’re going to drown the first few times in the pool. The pool may scare the hell out of them. After a few lessons though, the confidence builds and eventually they’re winning races in swimming gala’s. It’s time to love yourself, if you don’t, no one else can.

If you want to let the good stuff in,
stop beating yourself up.
No matter what.

Everyone is different but here is a list of things that could help you love you. There is no harm in trying…

Source

Read on for steps to discover your worth and enfold yourself in affection and appreciation.

1. Begin your day with love (not technology). Remind yourself of your worthiness before getting out of bed. Breathe in love and breathe out love. Enfold yourself in light. Saturate your being in love.

2. Take time to meditate and journal. Spend time focusing inward daily. Begin with 5 minutes of meditation and 5 minutes of journaling each morning. Gradually increase this time.

3. Talk yourself happy. Use affirmations to train your mind to become more positive. Put a wrist band on your right wrist. When you’re participating in self-abuse of any form, move the band to your left wrist.

4. Get emotionally honest. Let of go of numbing your feelings. Shopping, eating, and drinking are examples of avoiding discomfort, sadness, and pain. Mindfully breathe your way through your feelings and emotions.

5. Expand your interests. Try something new. Learn a language. Go places you’ve never been. Do things you haven’t done before. You have a right to an awesome life.

6. Enjoy life enhancing activities. Find exercise you like. Discover healthy foods that are good for you. Turn off technology for a day and spend time doing things that make you feel alive.

7. Become willing to surrender. Breathe, relax, and let go. You can never see the whole picture. You don’t know what anything is for. Stop fighting against yourself by thinking and desiring people and events in your life should be different. Your plan may be different from your soul’s intentions.

8. Work on personal and spiritual development. Be willing to surrender and grow. Life is a journey. We are here to learn and love on a deeper level. Take penguin steps and life becomes difficult. One step at a time is enough to proceed forward.

9. Own your potential. Love yourself enough to believe in the limitless opportunities available to you. Take action and create a beautiful life for yourself.

10. Be patient with yourself. Let go of urgency and fear. Relax and transform striving into thriving. Trust in yourself, do good work, and the Universe will reward you.

11. Live in appreciation. Train your mind to be grateful. Appreciate your talents, beauty, and brilliance. Love your imperfectly perfect self.

12. Be guided by your intuition. All answers come from within. Look for signs and pay attention to your gut feelings. You’ll hear two inner voices when you need to make a decision. The quiet voice is your higher self; the loud voice is your ego. Always go with the quieter voice.

13. Do what honors and respects you. Don’t participate in activities that bring you down. Don’t allow toxic people in your life. Love everyone, but be discerning on who you allow into your life.

14. Accept uncertainty. Suffering comes from living in the pain of the past or the fear of the future. Put your attention on the present moment and be at peace.

15. Forgive yourself. Learn from your mistakes and go forward. Use this affirmation, “I forgive myself for judging myself for __________ (fill in the blank i.e.: for getting sick, for acting out, for not doing your best.)

16. Discover the power of fun. Self-love requires time to relax, play, and create face-to-face interaction with others. Our fast-paced world creates a goal setting, competitive craziness that doesn’t leave room for play. Dr. Stuart Brow says, “The opposite of play isn’t work, it is depression.”

17. Be real. Speak up and speak out. Allow yourself to be seen, known, and heard. Get comfortable with intimacy (in-to-me-see).

18. Focus on the positive. Go to your heart and dwell on and praise yourself for what you get right in all areas.

19. Become aware of self neglect and rejection. Become conscious of your choices. Ask yourself several times throughout the day, “Does this choice honor me?”

20. Imagine what your life would look like if you believed in your worth. Dedicate your life to loving you. Make it your main event.

21. Seek professional help. Self-rejection and neglect is painful. You deserve to be happy. You have a right to be accepted and loved. If necessary, seek help from a support group, counselor, or coach. It’s the best investment you can make.

***

I hope that I learn to love myself as much as I am loved.
I hope to be as happy as people think I am.
I will one day be as strong as others expect.
I believe I am worthy of anything I desire.

That’s what you tell yourself everyday and then, only then, when you are happy will others love you as you love yourself. As you deserve.

Shevy*

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Yesterday was an ugly day… In fact, yesterday I was ugly. To everyone. For everything. When texting a close friend, the question I posed to her was ‘Am I having a nervous breakdown or could this just be PMS’? Her response was ‘Are you batshit crazy or just grumpy’? A rather fitting response and on that high level psycho analysis I deduced that I must be having a nervous breakdown, yesterday I went batshit crazy.

We never fully understand just how much we are able to cope with until the over bearing weight on your shoulders forces you to think of all the burdens you carry simultaneously, it is at that point that you’re at risk of the anxiety catching up to you. The moment you realize that perhaps your shoulders cannot continue bearing the burdens you’ve done sub consciously for longer than you remember.

I am human.

As a mother, while you love your children, it is not impossible to wake up and think about what life would be like if they weren’t around. Forgive me if that sounded harsh and I don’t mean it to be but all mothers will know that sporadically you reach that point of ‘enough’ where the stepford mother you try to be disappears and you’re reminded that you’ve not thought about you as long as they’ve been alive. As a mother, I made the choices and decisions to birth my children and their existence is not because of them, it’s because of me. It did happen that they woke up being children, making a mess and answering back, not listening and lacking all regard for the cost of household items. All the same, I am indeed human and yesterday had a day where I was haunted by thoughts of what my life would have been without them. No doubt boring and monotonous but the financial security I’m obsessed in retaining for my family wouldn’t be nearly as important if I was on my own, which means I would not be half as concerned with spending my money and injecting it into future plans that may be quite risky but won’t come to fruition as long as I’m striving for complete financial freedom and stability for my children. Or maybe not. The point is that when these thoughts sneak into my mind I get frustrated and angry with myself and take it out on those around me, eventually having to keep quiet to avoid saying anything uglier than I already did.

As a wife, I chose to marry my husband, he is my best friend after all despite all the baggage he brings with him. I’ve chosen to stand by him and the vows I repeated in front of the Gods and him were lifelong. That said, yesterday I was already in a very ugly space and in that time it’s very easy to resent him for the things I chose to accept. The thoughts of life as a singleton, sans children, are enticing. Perhaps never having doing that (I went straight into relationship and children) means that I’ve never known what that freedom is like and I can’t help but think how much easier it must be (or is it?). It’s easy to get caught up in the ugliness and just want to escape, yesterday all I wanted to do was escape my life. I wanted to turn back time and get a do over from the age of 17.

There are so many things in life that I want, badly and yet I can’t have them. I regress to a 4 year old child and throw the tantrum of a spoiled brat and yet I still don’t have them. (Not for lack of trying may I add but responsibility does dictate my needs to a degree). This weekend, something I was working towards has had to take a back seat for a while and this of course made me angry. I was frustrated with the children, frustrated with my husband from whom I wanted more of (or a better) reaction that the one I was less than satisfied with. I am angry at myself for the thoughts in my own mind as well as the mounting pressure I place upon myself to always do, to always have, to always achieve. I can’t sit still, always planning and coming up with a new way to kill time.

It’s difficult to be a person that others turn to for advice and guidance when your own house is not in order, presently understandably so. It’s not easy to always be the strong, reassuring one when within, you’re uncertain of anything and have to bite back while playing the game of wait. It is tiring to have to always have it together because that is what is expected of you when all you’d like to do is cry and it’s incredibly frustrating to sit back and watch other people make just as important mistakes and it’s not your place to say.

I want to be the perfect mother but realistically, I’m not. I’m the best I can be and I have to hope that that is good enough. I want to be a great wife but I will never be a stepford wife, I think my husband realizes that. I try to achieve in my career but I’m learning that my decisions affect those closest to me and so prioritizing needs over wants is imperative. I want to be an amazing friend but I have to understand I cannot carry the weight of their burdens atop my own. I aim to be financially free but right now, having more money than month is more important than being rich. We have many challenges, responsibilities and numerous waits and tough times ahead. Decisions will have be agreed upon, sacrifices made and hurdles jumped, that’s life.

Am I having a nervous breakdown? No.
Is it PMS? Not even.
I am human and for one day, let myself feel.
I’d say that’s pretty healing.
I’d say it’s rational, understandable and most importantly relatable.
I’m not depressed, I don’t hate my life.
I am just human.

Do not be afraid to feel, you cannot be robotic all the time and no one should expect you to.

Shevy

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I’m better known for having opposing views to the general public on most political and controversial topics, this time however is slightly different. I’ve thought about this for a while but have been hesitant to post my thoughts because of just how controversial this topic actually is, but what kind of a writer would I be if I didn’t share my opinions with you?

I will start by saying that I definitely do not condone rape or sexual violence in any way, shape or form and by no means should any rapist (male OR female) be allowed to get away with their crime… In fact I am all for genitalia being removed and a lifetime of torture being imposed on the perpetrators, however there are a number of factors about the common ‘rape culture’ phrase being thrown around of late and the strange ideals accompanying the latest rape culture phenomena that have my knickers in a bit of a twist.

Let’s start with the basics. So many women have jumped up and down about rape and launched an onslaught on the male population, the rapists. I think that what many women do forget (and I’m advocating for the men here) is that there are just as many female rapists as there are male. I am not here to bore you with statistics and remember that this is still just my personal opinion but I feel like men are getting the wrong end of a crappy stick here. The problem with today’s society is that everything is ‘generalized’ and so the good men, and they do exist, get tarred with the same criminal brush and are assumed to be rapists like their perpetrating counterparts. So many more women are rapists than you realize, the problem is that men are too ashamed to come forward and admit rape because they think people won’t understand how a man was raped by a woman. It happens. It’s a shocking reality and it’s time that men got up there with women to protest rape against men, women and of course most importantly children.

Sexual crimes and rape all fall under the same horrible umbrella. It’s an experience a man, woman or child did not ask for and did not agree to and no one should ever have to experience, please know that I do not belittle this in any way. It is saying no and yet having to endure the experience anyway against your will. Whatever your definition of rape, the end result is clear. Broken souls, nothing fixes that. With all of that said, it is important that everyone understand the implication of accusing someone of rape. It is no menial accusation and once you have been tarnished a rapist, it is a state criminal case, criminal records are received and hopefully a terrible time in prison awaits… For the guilty. This is where it gets tricky, you have to know and be sure that someone truly is guilty. Too often, women (and some men) are very quick to make the rape accusation against someone they believe had the intention to rape, perhaps they were angry and an accusation served as revenge, or maybe they thought that a rape could have happened but they don’t know…. For whatever reason, if you truly believe you have been raped then do the necessary but if you haven’t, understand that a false accusation ruins lives and causes unnecessary heartbreak and heartache. It is a common problem that when mentioned gets quickly blown away in the shadow of the ‘rape culture’ phenomenon we are quick to feed. Recently, the twitter rape war that took place between a column writer and a rape survivor caused a social media outbreak of rape views and experiences and not once was the issue of false accusation taken seriously. Now I’m not saying he was correct or that she was lying, by no means, but what I am saying is that his implications are very real possibilities that happen to men and women every single day… I hope that we be mindful of that. Because I advocate for the innocent man or woman still does not mean I support the rapists, in fact, I abhor them.

An article on News 24 addresses 25 examples of rape culture in today’s day and age (Source). Reading through these examples I can’t help but feel like we are making mountains out of mole hills that didn’t exist to begin with (Some points are genuinely valid but I don’t believe that they all are). Point number 2 refers to the hit song ‘Blurred Lines’ and because we sing along, we are advocating rape? No. I sing along to Lady Gaga’s applause and it doesn’t mean I’m clapping. My point is that more often than not we are looking for things to read into, as if they aren’t blatantly staring at us from the news and statistics. ‘You know you want it’ clearly has sexual connotation but guess what, maybe she does want it (not rape – consensual sex)? The blurred lines may be referring to the lines between friendship and lovers, lovers and friends with benefits, nowhere do they openly sing about committing rape…why do we dig where we need not dig? Isn’t there enough in the real world?

Point 4 talks about mothers blaming girls for sexy selfies instead of talking to other mothers sons about how to behave and I do agree with his point to an extent but let’s be real, there are some sicko’s in the world. Why allow your daughter to post sexy selfie’s anyway? As an adult posting selfie’s you’re well aware of the consequences that may abound from having a slutty internet persona (not specifically rape but perhaps unwanted sexual attention) however as a parent to two daughters, I would hope that they have been raised wise in the ways of the dark side of the world. By all means, post a selfie but you have control over who sees it through various social media security settings (I use them all!) and for goodness sake, if your 12 year old daughter is taking photos of herself in a bikini and underwear and posting it on the internet, you have other problems that need addressing including a massive cry out for attention which will unfortunately attract the wrong attention as well as a very lax parenting approach which could be to your daughters detriment.

Point 6 refers to supports of athletes charged with rape… I think the operative word there is charged because as far as I’m concerned, they’ve not yet been proven guilty. We have to be very careful about false accusations and if the athletes are in fact innocent, why is there not more pressure put onto the false victims for trying to ruin that athletes career let alone their life?

To be real, we live in South Africa and the statistics used in this article refer to a worldwide rape pandemic… Let’s talk South Africa for a minute. Sadly, we cannot really even take into account in our country the statistics on rape due to their inaccuracies. It is impossible to have accurate statistics when most men and women are too afraid to come forward and report their rape or identify their known rapist and children are to small or young to understand. One in 25 women who say they’ve been raped actually report their rape, that means the other 24 live with their experience and carry on as if nothing has happened, when we know that inside they are breaking. I am no feminist but I am a realist, this rape epidemic affects everyone from men to women to children to animals, it is sick and it is horrific and again I say the guilty deserve the worst possible punishment but not death, that’s too easy, something far worse. The scary part? I don’t find many statistics on men and their reporting of rape. Six women are raped every hour in South Africa, how many men and children?

All I’m saying here is that the utmost care and fairness must be taken into consideration when looking at the subject of rape and the supposed ‘rape culture’ that we as a society are supposedly fueling. I know women that have falsely accused men of rape and have had to live with the consequences thereof. I know of cases of men that have been falsely accused. I sadly also know women that have been raped or sexually mistreated and not reported it because they didn’t ‘think’ it was rape… And in my lifetime, I have known of men who may or may not have been raped but they were uncertain. To say that we are living in a rape cultured society is saying that we fake the news… At the end of the day, the numbers are real and the cases are real and we see the facts daily thrown at us in news and media. There is no ‘rape culture’, there is rape and there is reality and giving something like this a name allows those that want to live in the darkness of rape a permission to make it real.

@lifeissavage posted in Twitter yesterday an article against rape which I thought was so fitting and gets to the crux of the problem. (As did others with it’s over 100 favorites and over 300 retweets). Two pages were stuck together in a magazine and when you tried to pull the pages apart it reads “If you have to use force, it’s rape”. This ad applies to everyone… If you use force, it’s rape and if force is being used upon you, it’s rape. It doesn’t matter if you’re man, woman or child. It’s rape. Read more on the article here – Source

It’s sad that so much talking has to happen on the subject and not enough acting. Not enough acting on the part of the human race, the government and the judicial system. I’m all for a community outcry and social media barrage but remember, there is more to rape than a vagina or a statistic… It is about real people, real lives and real consequence.

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25 March 2014

Dearest daughters,

No doubt that each day that passes you morph into beautiful little people. Sometimes I make the mistake of allowing you to age faster than you should, sometimes I try to keep you in a cocoon and most of the time I hope that you’ll grow up to want to be like me even when I actually want you to be individuals, happy with whoever you are.

Despite all of this, you are my children. My daughters. You were not given the easiest mother, but you definitely didn’t get the toughest either. You were born into a place of love and are continuously showered with affection and possessions so that I know you both have everything you desire. Perhaps some would say you are spoilt, others would say entitled. I choose to call this fortunate and as long as our family is in a fortunate position, it is my duty to ensure you have all you need and much of what you want. I am certain that having me as a mother may be difficult, I am not wired to always show you affection, it is not what I’m used to and so perhaps you yearn for it. Know that I make a conscious effort to try, to be that physically affectionate parent you may or may not want… Before I know it, you’ll be the ones pulling away and it will be too late.

When I frustrate you because I ask that you keep your rooms clean and tidy, it isn’t only because I have OCD but because I’m trying to instill a sense of pride in your possessions and the value thereof.

When I hound you to look neat and tidy before we leave the house, it is not only because I would like beautiful looking daughters (which you are) but because I’d like to teach you to have pride in yourself and your appearance at all times. You will only understand the importance of this as you mature.

When my expectations of you are high it is not because I’m unrealistic about what I want for you, it’s because I want you to expect the very best of yourself.

When I give you grief because of untidy homework or little interest shown in schoolwork it’s not because I want to relive primary school, it’s because I want to make it possible for you to achieve all that you desire.

When I nag you constantly to eat your fruit and vegetables, it is not because I want to see clean plates but because I want you to be healthy and happy, that I have that much more time with you in the future.

When I fuss over you going to play outside it’s because I want you to enjoy the sunshine, not just because it keeps my house tidy. You have the gift of fresh air and a garden, I want you to use it!

When I get frustrated with you for doing something age appropriate, I am in the wrong. Remember that motherhood didn’t come with a manual, what I haven’t already learnt I’m still learning from both of you everyday. Know that I love you both and I too am human, I make mistakes and I will always apologies to you if I’m in the wrong.

I love watching the both of you grow into yourselves. I see your individuality in the clothing you wear, the toys you play with, the books you read and the movies you watch. The relationship you share is a bond for life, never to be broken, treasure it and work on it because you will always be each others best friend. I see now that your age difference doesn’t allow you to be as close as I’d like, instead it’s a mother / daughter relationship, but with time that gap will narrow and you will need each other more than you know, especially when you’re frustrated with me!

My wishes for you remain unchanged, all I can hope is that you are both happy and grounded children. That you grow in a home filled with love and laughter. That one day you will look back and call me your role model, thus pushing me to always do and give my best in all I do. I look forward to getting to know the little people that you’re becoming and hope that you remain as individual and as odd as your mother and not care for what anyone else thinks. I already see you coming into your own by dressing a bit eccentric or watching movies that perhaps most children wouldn’t enjoy, listening to music beyond your years and understanding mature topics because of your inquiring minds… I love the small humans that you are, continue to break moulds and walk away from trodden paths, those things are what make us who we are.

Many things are coming your way, there is nothing tougher than growing up – trust me, I know – but never forget that every step of the way I will be at your side because I love you and am eternally proud of you.

Forever yours
Mommy

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He couldn’t go to work that day
He couldn’t take the bus or make a call
He left home knowing he’d not be paid today
Not knowing by days end he’d fall

He stood within the masses
Not a pass book in hand or sight
All he expected was incarceration
Not a one sided machine gun fight

He threw a stone in frustration
A few hundred others did as well
As the officers started firing
69 murdered fell

The slain scattered in front of officers
Who to start with didn’t have a clue
They shot and killed him for no reason
Injuring hundreds more too

Today we look back at history
The stories the pictures tell
We fight back against discrimination
And living in man made hell

The massacre tells the story
Of a crowd willing to verbally fight
To stand against ignorance
For the world to hear their plight

Human rights were violated
Men, women and children slain
Let’s continue learning from this day
Let their deaths not be in vain

I stand against racial discrimination
As a white female I choose to befriend
Any color or creed of person
For you to do the same, I recommend

I teach my children harmony
To love all, despite their race
In the innocence of a child
Acceptance shows on her face

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Life didn’t come with a textbook, no guideline on what to do and where to go. There is no road map to your dreams and I’ve yet to find a list of aspirations that equally match my own. Babies are born, without a handbook, and we are expected to continue the cycle the best way that we know how. We are given free will to believe in our own morals, our own beliefs. Free will to believe in a religion of our own choice and the ability to pick the morals and values we decide to live our lives with.

Life is complicated. It is the biggest task we are given to complete and once we reach whatever it is we set out to achieve, life is our most monumental achievement. How difficult a journey we are given, a path with no paving, a start with an unknown end, the end always in question. The index of a book without ever being allowed to read the back page or a movie that we have no way of skipping through the chapters. What amazing creatures we are that we choose to be here, choose to live this life and make the most of what we are given in the limited time we have.

Life throws more unanswered questions at me each and every day. When you think you have it all laid out, where you want to go, what you want to achieve, what you think is best for you in the here and now… it all changes. Humanity surprises me all the time, we underestimate those who do the most for us and overestimate those closest. We do not value the presence of close company enough and sometimes value solitude far too much. We focus energies into worry, stress and uncertainties of the future. We forget the purity of our existence in the exact moment we breathe.

Life does not allow for prediction of the future, however it does allow for far too much living in the past. Too many of us bound by our very own history and too ashamed to let go of that which does not warrant our thoughts. We are not who we are because of the past, we are who we are in spite of it. The path I’ve travelled does not define me, the choices I’ve made do not reflect my character. All I have done and all I do tell me that I am human, I make mistakes, I try and I fail, I fall but I get back up.

Life has given me gifts I could only ever have imagined or thought of in a dream within a dream. Honored me with relationships I would never have thought myself worthy of. While darkness and misery exist to permeate the thoughts of the content, the choice is ours to accept or reject these notions and their effects. While I cannot outrun the shadows, I can stand in the sunlight at midday and hold my head high. As if I ran a marathon, tripped every 100 meters but crossed the finish line no matter the challenges.

Life teaches me to be humble. To accept who I am, to accept that I have the power to change that which is within my reach. Though never easy, the power is within me and the strength it takes to harness this energy comes in waves. I am my own best friend, my own worst enemy, my own conscience and the ruler of my desires. I have learnt that to live means to forget selfishness, flourish in forgiveness and bask in gratitude. Living requires putting myself ahead of others less than expected but knowing when the time is right for self reflection and solitude.

Life breathes beauty into every moment imaginable, from my colorful dreams to the melody that keeps me awake. The sound of the voices inside my head and the gifts of putting this inner voice into words. The ability to share my thoughts is the greatest gift and beauty of all. Life allows me to accept the help of others when offered and in return to give of myself where I’m needed. To put all of me into everything I do and to reap the rewards of my hard work and persistence.

Life has not yet shown me my ending, in fact I’m certain I’m still living in the prologue. My textbook never to be printed, the guidelines of living my own life etched in the fibers of my soul for only me to read and write… How do you feel about being the author you’ve always aspired to be but never thought you’d become? You’re already writing the novel, you just have know where to read it.

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As I walk on by, hear them call my name.
As I walk on by, would you remember my name?

La, la la la la, la la la la…

As an onlooker at one’s own funeral, butterflies in the stomach flutter at the reading of my own eulogy. What will they say? How will I be remembered?

I watch my children take the podium to read the ode’s they’ve written. Girls after my own heart with a penchant for the spoken and written word, I know I did something right. I know that the hours and days of reading and writing encouragement when they were young children has paid off. It cannot be said that I wasn’t a doting mother, filled with love for my children no matter how furious they made me. Would they remember this now over the memory of my lifeless shell in the wooden box beside them? Their own children looking back at them from the audience, my beautiful grandchildren, watching their mothers with pride and love. They married well, not without ups and downs yet they’re better women for it, now that they are both settled and well cared for by their doting partners, I was ready to make my move onward. I cannot help but stare at these glorious women that I brought into thus world, so amazing and yet so different in every way. They are so close, I hope that I’ve done enough that they’d always have each other until the end of their days, that angry words are said and forgotten and they hold hands forever more as they do now. I’m so proud, they are my greatest achievement, what aches the most to leave behind, my beautiful daughters.

It’s impossible to ignore the forlorn bald man to their right, seated behind them, shoulders slumped and head in hands. My best friend, what did I do to you? We never planned for this, my sudden departure from a lifetime we’ve shared. How I will miss his beautiful face in the morning, the way he looked at me and the intensity of his embrace. How will he carry on? Why did I do this to him? Tears well as only that morning I watched him break down before the mirror, contemplating his own future and unsure of where to from here. Our marriage was our most important asset and now I leave him without his friend, his lover, his confidante and his children’s mother. I leave him in the arms of my daughters where I know he will be safe until he is ready to pick up and move on with his life. I would love for him to meet someone who will take care of him as I did, though I know nothing will compare. We were power husband and wife, looked up to by all and admired by many. I’m uncertain of how I will manage without him, I cannot bear to see his pain any longer. We endured so much, we overcame each and every time. How do we overcome this?

So many people came to listen to my lifetime today… Friends, such beautiful friends. Close friends who each have a turn to stand and say a funny story, a motivational moment, an amazing memory. I will miss each and every person sitting there and I have no doubt they will miss me. They’re here to remember me as the supportive friend I was, ever the relationship counsellor. They think now to whose broad shoulders will be strong enough to take the place of mine. They will all be excited by the party I left arranged for them after the memorial, I stocked the bar that they can honor and celebrate my life instead of mourning my death and I look forward to watching that celebration from the sidelines, a first for me. Family, parents and siblings, all here to see me off… Though different, I was always accepted, the best sister or daughter I could be, flaws and all.

Years worth of colleagues join in the back rows, here to listen to my friends and family speak of the person I was in my personal life. I see so many who supported me through good and through bad times in my career, who watched me grow and flourish and who always had my back. There were naysayers who said I couldn’t do it and yet today, the business I opened flourishes and provides for my families and their families, the books I wrote will continue to feed their children’s children and my clothing line is everlasting, me embodied in fabric.

Thinking back on all of this, I missed all but the last line of the eulogy my daughters stand here to read, but that’s ok because I know what they will say. I know that they are proud of who I was and the legacy I left behind, I only wish I didn’t have to leave them along with it.

What was the last line you ask? A song from an all time favorite movie…

As Simple Minds once said, don’t you forget about me.

Daily Prompt: Don’t You Forget About Me
by Krista on February 16, 2014
Imagine yourself at the end of your life. What sort of legacy will you leave? Describe the lasting effect you want to have on the world, after you’re gone.

Photographers, artists, poets: show us LEGACY.
_________

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A few years back, before I was touched by death at all, I wrote a poem about death. It wasn’t an emo poem, a gothic dark poem expressing my self loathing. Not in the slightest. Lady death is a piece of writing on my interpretation of death and who I think she is.
You can refer back to the post here Lady Death

Nowadays I find myself thinking of death more and more as those around me are affected by death… As I get older, I watch friends and family go through such sad and unfortunate times as their family members pass on. It is such a sensitive topic and yet, a natural part of life.

My uncle passed away when I was 12 years old, too young to grieve or understand the nature of his passing… You’d imagine that at the age of 12, one can’t actually be that close to someone to mourn him as I did (and still do). I was close to my uncle Brian and still miss him and think of him all the time, he was the cool uncle. The uncle who wore his hair long and owned Dr Martins, listened to alternative music and had tattoos. His death was the first to affect me… And the last for some time.

2 years ago, his father and my grandfather passed away. It was a terribly rough time for the family. It was so difficult to prepare for his death and even worse to watch my mom, aunt and gran come to terms with how to live without him. At first I wasn’t certain how to handle it, I hadn’t had much experience with death and tried to keep that crushing feeling inside until one day I broke down at home and let all the sadness and grief have its way with me, completely. I had the privilege and honor of speaking at grandad’s funeral and while my nerves got the better of me, I got to read a poem that I wrote for him that was straight from the heart. Grandad RIP

I watched friends and family around my uncle and grandad and how lives came crashing down. I watched hearts breaking, bodies shaking and tears rolling. A mother losing a son, a daughter losing a father, a wife losing a husband. As if Lady Death came sweeping through leaving sadness and destruction in her wake, or so it seems at the time.

Driving to work the other day I had a thought about my own death. A what if. What if I died on the way to work, if a car came crashing into me at record speeds and my body and soul didn’t make it out of the wreckage in one piece? A horrible idea I agree, but a thought provoking one nonetheless. Death is imminent for all of us, the only questions are when, where and how? Sadly, we have little to no control over this. I do not know if I’m living to 35 or 95, I don’t know if I will be buried by my children or be here long enough to bury them, a grim thought but a realistic one. I know these are harsh thoughts but I am a realist and I am a planner, so am I prepared for this? Am I prepared to live today as if it were my last day? When I think of fear and death, I’m not afraid to die. I’m not saying I want to either, please don’t get me wrong. There is no fear for me as I know and believe that there is something more, I believe in rest after death. I do not fear Lady Death herself but that said, I’m not cold and heartless either, what I’m not prepared for is what I would leave behind… The thought of leaving my children without a mother, my husband without a wife, my parents without a daughter and my brothers and sister without a sibling brings heavy tears to my eyes. I may not fear death, but I fear what I’d leave behind and how they would cope with me no longer around. It’s at this point that I can’t think about death anymore, I’m done, it’s too much.

Recently, so many people close to me are experiencing death and the things that come along with it. Some mourning the loss of friends in history passed, commemorating them on the anniversary of their deaths as a reminder of how much they gave in the time we were fortunate enough to have known them. Some mourning a recent death of a colleague, a pillar of strength leaving a legacy behind as his light fades away, an absent light that I notice daily walking pass his desk. Some mourning the recent, untimely passing of friends, gathering to celebrate their lives. Some mourning the recent losses of close family, so fresh and so full of heartache that conversation without tears is far from taking place. Some battling with the idea of death itself and what it would mean for those closest to them… Death is all around us, it is a sad and gut wrenching time and yet we cannot escape, cannot forget, cannot hide from her.

What all of these people have in common is that they left a wake of sadness as they left our world. Though unintentional, many tears followed them as they left and tears will continue to fall while we are left with the memories they leave behind but never to recount. The tears will eventually dry up and we will, if we haven’t already, start remembering their lives and not their deaths. We will be able to toast their achievements instead of picturing their sickness. We will be able to remember their smiling voices instead of hearing their strained cries. I can look up at my wall and smile at the photographs of my uncle and grandfather, knowing they left at the exact time they were meant to.

Our loved ones leave us lessons to learn in their passing. Lessons of love, lessons of loss, lessons of determination. I do not know when my time will come but when it does, I need to know that I’m happy with the person I am and need to live every day happy that this could be my memory, this could be my legacy, this is how I will be remembered. Life is short, too short, criminally short. Too much time is wasted on unnecessary feuds, feuds that should be replaced with friendship instead. Bridges burned need mending and I love you’s can never be said enough. Make time to see or speak to everyone who is important to you. Hug your loved ones every day. Never stop showing love. Be forgiving, let go of the past. Don’t hold on to anything that cannot be said today. Forget fear, live in the present, do everything you’ve ever dreamed of and more. Forget a bucket list, write an immediate list. Eat the foods you love, dance to music that makes you happy, laugh… Laugh all the time. Find hobbies that fill your life, sleep, wake, watch tv, play outside, buy a house, start a book club. Do whatever it is YOU want to do, you only get this life once and only you can live it….

Know that whatever you do, your loved ones who have passed on would want you to be happy, no matter what. To all my friends or family currently experiencing loss caused by the death of a close friend or family, my deepest condolences to you. I’m so sorry that you have to experience this sadness and hate to see you this heart sore… Know that time does heal and when the tears stop, memories live on… They live on in everything we do, all that we are and anything we can aspire to be. Your loved ones would be proud.

Take care of you and yours
Shevy

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