thoughtsfromthepanda

I do my best thinking while driving. I drive a Fiat Panda.

Archive for the tag “anniversary”

I grieve – one year on

I have been out of sorts all day today, and in fact all week.

I’ve been anticipating the first anniversary of my beloved father’s death.

grief-2

My dad died on 28 October 2015. It was a Wednesday. It was  probably the most dreadful Wednesday of my life. I will never forget the call when I was still at work one year ago saying, “Come. Now.”

By the date, then, the anniversary is the 28th, but by the day of the week it is Wednesday – today, the 26th.

Maybe it’s just me but I often do an anniversary (good or bad) twice – by the actual date, and by the day of the week.

So here, on the day-of-the-week anniversary, is a song of grief.

I post it for my dad, for my mom, for my sister. I post it for his grandchildren, for his daughters’ life partners, for all those who loved him and were loved by him.

I have believed all year that my father’s benevolent spirit brushes over me from time to time – usually when I’m least expecting it, and sometimes when I most need it – in the form of herons flying overhead.

I see herons quite a lot, actually, and I live in Johannesburg.

(Not many people whom I interact with in my home town seem to notice herons flying majestically above us quite the way I do.)

I saw two of them earlier this week, and they made me smile.

Thanks for the herons, my dad. It was a good week to send them. We miss you, so much.

But I know that you are flying free now, and it comforts me.

heron-fly-past

 

I grieve – Peter Gabriel 

(Ed’s note: if you access the song via the link above, you will see I have deliberately chosen a version that pays homage to the victims of 9/11)

It was only one hour ago
It was all so different then
Nothing yet has really sunk in
Looks like it always did
This flesh and bone
It’s just the way that you would tied in
Now there’s no-one home

I grieve for you
You leave me
So hard to move on
Still loving what’s gone
They say life carries on
Carries on and on and on and on

The news that truly shocks is the empty, empty page
While the final rattle rocks its empty, empty cage
And I can’t handle this 
I grieve for you
You leave me
Let it out and move on
Missing what’s gone
They say life carries on
They say life carries on and on and on

Be my Valentine

Today at work I observed my younger colleagues exhibiting excitement about Valentine’s Day in varying degrees. It got me reflecting.

Frank and I have been together for over a decade now and married for almost nine years, and in that time we have weathered a few storms. Within the framework of ‘For richer, for poorer; in sickness and health; for better, for worse’ we have had our fair share of those ‘worse’ moments. And those ‘poorer’ moments. And those ‘sickness’ moments also.

And every now and then a humdinger of a shouting match.

Yet through thick and thin, we still manage to have moments of romance; moments of ‘for richer’ – although this doesn’t always mean in monetary terms; moments of ‘for better’.

And even though we are long overdue (in our opinion) a nice romantic getaway for just two people, not four, I think we have been very lucky in finding and keeping each other.

For us, as married parents, our Valentine’s Days are not always measured in romance, jewellery, perfume, chocolates and other enticing gifts. And yet we have been Valentines to each other in other ways down the years.

We were Valentines when we took turns to look after sick children with roaring fevers and gastro bugs erupting from ‘both ends’.

When we made ourselves go to work the mornings after those long sleepless nights that come with looking after sick children.

When the garden was tidied and the deck was built; when precious weekend time was used for grocery shopping and washing, drying and folding laundry so we all had clean clothes for the week ahead.

When we each worked through the night on extra freelance jobs to keep the family finances afloat.

When we made the choice to be a one-car family because finances were tight and we had to find money for school fees.

But let’s not forget that we were Valentines during the fun stuff too. Like – as just one small example – the time I painted the children’s bodies green with food colouring and they leapt out at Frank from the top of the stairs and frightened him when he came home. That was excellent…

little green men

 

And the sunsets on the deck, and the family holidays we’ve been fortunate enough to share.

V and boys upstairs

I don’t always get flowers as often as I’d like and I don’t always get to buy Frank the gift of his favourite men’s fragrance as often as I’d like to either.

But there are roses in my children’s cheeks as I kiss their sleepy faces at bed time, and the smell of my tall lean man in a clean laundered shirt is frequently aphrodisiac enough.

So as I am still at work typing this, I am now going to go home to my Valentine’s Day roses and scent, request that we crack open a bottle of wine, and hand over some chocolates, and gingerbread men for the boys.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

Must just send Frank a quick message telling him to put on a fresh shirt.

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