Friday, February 22, 2008

Farewell, small one

I'm sitting here, staring at the computer screen, wondering how to express what I feel.

My brother's wife had a miscarriage today. She has had a rough time throughout her brief pregnancy (which is not unusual, given that she is in her 40s). This past week she had had a kidney infection and was booked off work. I'm still not sure of all the details, except that she started bleeding and went to hospital.

I weep for them. Having recovered from the shock of falling pregnant, they and their 3 daughters were ecstatic about the pregnancy. While they knew the risks associated with this pregnancy because of my sister-in-law's age, to lose this little one is still a cruel blow. Are they better off to have lost it now, rather than later? I don't know. Certainly, my brother's grief is heart-breaking. They are all still in shock, and my sister-in-law is still recovering from surgery this afternoon. I want to just put my arms around them all and love the pain away, love this little child back into life and back into health.

Their very sad news has also opened wounds for me that were healing. This afternoon I have been hit by fatigue, which I know is merely a grief response (rather than being physical tiredness), but which is exhausting never the less. And I weep for Graeme and I, and for Nellie, and for our precious Zoe. And I weep for the little one I will only meet once I am dead. At least Zoe was there, waiting with open arms to receive this precious life and welcome it to the family. I can only pray it did not suffer in death.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

A positive force for change

So many people bemoan the crime in SA. To them I'd like to say the following: Thank God that when students go to university or college here in SA, they don't run the risk of being gunned down while in lectures! (Check out the story via CNN.)

Stop being so negative. Stop publicising the negative. If you want things to improve, be part of the solution; gossip about good news. There's plenty of good news around, so why not stop being so critical and help to make your neighbourhood, your city, your nation a better place to be in? No-one wants to live with people who are negative, who find fault with everything around them. Everyone likes to be around someone who has a smile on their face and who can see the good in people and events around them. Be a positive force for change.

Nearly a year

I know I've said it before, and I'll probably say it again 1000 times, but grief is a very strange creature. Just when you think you've got a handle on it, something happens to make you realise you don't.

Seeing Matthew Hill and holding him did not make me burst into tears. Yes, it made me think of Zoe, and yes, it made me miss her terribly, but I could truly enjoy Matthew for who he is, rather than who he reminded me of. But this morning...

Well, I opened my email inbox this morning, to discover a newsletter from a friend who was pregnant at the same time that I was with Zoe. Her little boy turns 1 today. Reading about all his antics and how happy they are with their 2 children.... suffice to say I found it very difficult to read. Zoe's birthday is in just over a month (a month, a week and a day, to be exact) and suddenly it all seems so unreal. I can't believe that it was nearly a year ago - it still feels like yesterday. How can this be? It seems so wrong that time has continued to pass, that the world has continued to turn. How can life go on, how can things be so normal for everyone else, when my darling child is not with us? Surely her death must have marked the world in some permanent way?

All I can say is, thank God her birthday falls during the Easter holidays - I just don't know how I would be able to face going in to work if it weren't.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Welcome to the world!

We are very pleased to welcome Matthew Hill to the world, born yesterday (by emergency C-section) to Janel's godparents. Mother and baby are both recovering well.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Autumn weather

This is just one reason why coming home to Cape Town was the right thing to do. After weeks of hot, dry, windy weather, we've just had 3 days of glorious rain. This signals the end of summer (although we'll still have gorgeous weather until March). Autumn is just beginning.

I took this late on Saturday afternoon, as I was taking Graeme to play frisbee (his latest attempt at playing sport and getting fit; so far, no injuries, so I'm in favour). It had just rained, but because of the humidity, the forest on the mountain was drenched in a dense fog. You can't see that in this photo, but never the less, I thought the scene was so breathtaking I had to pull over and attempt to capture it.

(Who says phone cameras don't take good quality photos?!) I love the Mountain and I love the natural beauty of this city.


Graeme has a new job!! YAY!!

He's working at my old school, as the IT manager. It feels slightly weird that he's there, but as so few of the staff that taught me are still there, I think I can handle it. (Visiting him at work will be weird!!)

The salary package is very reasonable - it means that we can afford to live as we have been without him having to take on extra tutoring work (unless he wants to), and he gets the school holidays. Definite plus!

He starts on Monday, for a 2 week shadowing/ hand-over, and then starts for real on the 1st. It's going to mean a life-style change for us, as I will have to drop Nellie off in the morning (he starts at 7.30am) and pick her up in the afternoon, but I think that's a small price to pay for the benefits we get.

All glory to God for providing the job.

Thanks for those who have been holding Graeme, and us, up in prayer during this difficult time. Please continue to pray for Graeme as he is VERY nervous about it - partly just because he's been out of work for nearly 8 months, partly because he is worried about how he's going to cope with the particular demands of the job.