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Two sides to emigrating (and time still flies)

Clivias in my garden.

No, it cannot be so long since I’ve posted anything!

It is seriously irking me that I cannot sit down and do a post more regularly anymore! But, at least I had a brilliant excuse for not posting anything last week – my son is visiting from Ireland, and we (my 2 sons, their girlfriend and wife, my mom and myself) spent a few days together catching up before they had to leave to also spend time with friends and family in the north of the country. It was lovely! So, I’m not sorry about not posting last week. But I could’ve posted something somewhere within the last 2 weeks, I suppose…

The weather has turned. The birds are going absolutely ballistic, the flowers I do have in the garden has popped up, and less warm clothing is needed. Soon I’ll be melting in the heat…

My mind often goes to families broken up because of children moving away to live in other countries. I can’t help myself, since I am obviously part of such a family. I am trying my best to cope with it, and when I am very busy and I push it out of my mind I’m okay. When I’m less busy, and things get quiet around me when I’m on my own, it catches up with me. There is also the other side of this, besides the one of the people left behind.

This week a life shattering event took place. Maybe you saw it somewhere on social media – a mother took the lives of her three young daughters in New Zealand. The have very recently moved there from South Africa. She was a practicing GP here.

Now, something like this completely blows my mind – I could never, and probably won’t ever, understand how a mother can take the lives of her children. I will fiercely protect my children from any harm, I will fight to death to keep them safe, even now that they are grown ups. But that aside, she cracked for some reason, and killed her babies, right after they moved from one country to another.

Before you jump on my case – of course that doesn’t happen all the time. Of course I’m not trying to say that moving countries will cause you to start killing. What I’m trying to say, is that it is a huge step to take. I think people underestimate the stress such a move can cause. People don’t talk enough about their real feelings when they do something like this. Maybe the one partner is less into the move than the other one, but he/she keeps quiet so as not to upset the other. Maybe things happen too quickly sometimes, and the émigrés don’t have enough time to work through their feelings of loss. Because they do experience loss – big time. On both sides of this coin – the stayers and the goers.

This new trend of people upping and moving all over the world is exciting. I know, I wanted to do that too, years ago. Aside from the fact that my ex was not in the least interested in such a move, I also had my mother to consider – she would have been left here on her own, which would have caused her a lot of pain and anguish. I do think going through with this kind of move has an element of selfishness attached to it, you have to completely discount and ignore the feelings of the ones that stay behind. I know what you are going to say – everybody has the right to do with their lives what they want to. Yes, of course. It doesn’t alter the fact that when you do it, you have to tamp down the fact that it causes pain.

This was not an attack on anyone who decided to take the step to emigrate. On a certain level I envy you. This is my personal thoughts and feelings put down on ‘paper’, which was in part brought on by this very tragic event that could maybe have been prevented. If the couple talked more openly to each other. If she had more support. If they never moved…

Goodbyes…

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Halfway home….a little bit of sun starting to show.

Yesterday was a shitty day. Because, saying goodbye… 😦

I had a weird few days, actually. Let’s start it off on Saturday. Like I mentioned in my previous post, it was my birthday on Saturday, and I would have been alone, had my sons not decided to come visit. So, the first part of the day was in expectation of their arrival.

My boys and daughter in law arrived much later than expected, but it was glorious seeing them! They brought with them some gifts and flowers, and as a lovely surprise, a beautiful birthday cake! We spent the rest of the day together, catching up, chatting, debating, eating, drinking, you know – all the things people do on birthdays when they haven’t seen each other for some time (thank you Covid! 😦 )

The cake…

But as with a lot of situations, at the back of my mind was the knowledge that these few days together had another purpose, aside from my birthday. My youngest actually came down to say goodbye to his brother and I, as he is leaving South Africa for Ireland. At the moment he is not emigrating, but he might decide to do just that while living abroad. Since it is the second of my three children leaving the country, you could maybe imagine how I’m feeling. (Even as I’m writing this, I find it difficult to breathe…) I do, how ever, wish him all the good luck in the world. I hope it is everything he imagines and more. I hope he will be happy, and successful in all his endeavours. With all my heart.

So, the whole visit was bittersweet, from start to end. We did make a few more special memories together, and we did have fun doing it, so please don’t imagine that it was only doom and gloom the whole time! 🙂 But the whole vibe changed perceptibly as the time to say goodbye drew near…

Yesterday, after saying goodbye and on my way home, the weather was atrocious – wild wind blowing, dark clouds, intermittent rain…As I got nearer to my house, there was more sun and less wind – I did somehow feel it was a metaphor for my feelings and the whole situation – things will get better, and I will get over this feeling of despondency…

The place of Sentiment in your life.

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My maternal grandparents ca. 1932

Sentiment.

How important is it to you? How does that influence your life? Or more to the point, how does it impact on your home, and your relationships?

I used to be very sentimental, and found it difficult to throw just about anything out, even after its usefulness had run out. But then I moved out of the house that has been home for more than twenty years, and as I was packing I realized that I have so much stuff from my childhood, and from my student life, and married life, I couldn’t possibly pack everything, and find a place for it in my new place of residence. I had to sift through everything and only keep what I could use, or things that really, really mattered.

I did not find this process easy, and I have repeated it a few more times since then. Every single time, I threw out a lot of things that I actually would rather have kept. But, I can only imagine what my current house would look like if I had kept everything that reminded me of something or someone.

Does that make me less sentimental? I do actually think so, because I can block the emotional reaction I have to certain things, and decide with my head instead of my heart, what I should throw out or keep.

I may be wrong, but I do think that there is very little place for sentiment in the modern era. In general ‘old stuff’ does not mean much to the younger generations. Or am I wrong?

Could it be that they grow into it? I remember years ago my mom wanted to give me a set of plates and side plates that I grew up with, and I pulled my nose up at it! Now, I would give anything to have that set.

There will always be things that I will never get rid of, (I’ll leave that to my children to do after I’m gone! 😉 ), but I do try and keep those to a minimum, so my home and my life don’t get smothered in ‘stuff’. I also think it is a way of moving on with one’s life, to not stay bogged down in the past.

My SO* is at this moment in his life busy cleaning up and throwing out, and he used to keep EVERYTHING… he calls me to tell me how he is suffering, how hard he finds it to throw things out, and I can hear in his voice how he hates it. Things that have been buried in boxes in the garage, mind you, but up to now, he could not get himself so far to sort and discard.

There is a time and place for everything, I always say. You will know when you are ready to clean up – for some it will be sooner than it will be for others.

Keep safe and happy until next time! 🙂

 

Huge, as milestones go…

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As promised yesterday, I am going to tell you about another huge event that happened since I last posted (since the time before yesterday, which was 2 years ago!) And just so you know, this is typically me – either full on, or totally off. I haven’t posted for 2 years, now I want to post twice a day…

I had the privilege of raising 3 children. Three very amazing human beings, I must add (as most parents probably think about their children). And they left home for varsity, and then one by one they started working, and going about their lives.

Then, of course, as life goes, one by one, they met someone and fell in love. My daughter got married and in the same year, she and her husband moved to Canada – big tears…

But, people, then…then after many years (or that’s what it felt like to me), they decided to start a family, and last year January, I became a grandmother for the first time!!! Oh, the joy….

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I am now a proud, doting grandmother, and I will not apologize for it! My little granddaughter is the light of my life, and she brings me so much joy. From a distance, of course, since she is in Canada, and I am in South Africa.

The distance is a sore point, I can not lie about it. I am so pleased that my children have grown up to be independent human beings, because that is how I tried to raise them. But if I could have a say, if I had a choice, I would prefer to have them closer. I would like to see my little angel more than twice in 18 months. I would love to be part of her life, and form some kind of bond with her.

The fact remains – I am a granny, I am chuffed to bits about it, and I adore my little granddaughter, and it is one of the best things that ever happened in my life.

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