Friday, 17th November 2017
2014, 2015 and 2016 have been for me, the most difficult years of my adulthood, and especially since Dave and I were married when I was 21, almost 30 years ago. *Smile*
Probably because of that, I was even more sensitive than I usually am to what others say and do… or don’t do. And even as I looked forward with hope to a better year in 2017, my health faltered, even as my responsibilities increased.
It was kinda like my body said…
“Hey, we need rest, love and tender care… right now!”
Despite trying my best to fulfil my responsibilities, and meet my commitments… and especially those promises I had made… technology was not my friend, *Smile* and I went from one ‘technical disaster’ to another.
I also discovered how truly unkind people can be, receiving more criticism in the past 12 months… even in writing, than my entire life previously. In May 2017, the depression that I had struggled with since November the previous year, threatened to engulf me as my physical health reached a desperate low, and my lack of energy left me unable to get out of bed for more than a few hours a day… my computer and social media a blessing, allowing me to continue working without people other than my immediate family, even knowing what was happening. Sometimes the excruciating pain, like an all over full body migraine, reducing me to helpless despair and tearful prayers said on my knees…. these days a blur I just needed to get through.
Going out… attending Church, and other simple activities like shopping, left me in bed for 36 to 48 hours, becoming more challenging as each week of this promising New Year, 2017 progressed.
Sometime in June… when the heartache and despair I was feeling… became as unbearable as the physical pain in my body, and I couldn’t decide where one met and the other ended, or what was causing the other, I decided enough, in a simple softly spoken gentle sigh.
I was going to celebrate my life… and give emphasis to the love and the laughter, and the blessings and miracles that wove through each moment of every day of my magical life… and I was going to talk about it… and write about it… no matter how difficult and challenging.
And despite the failed projects, the missed deadlines, the crashed hard drive, the broken laptop, the clients who have fired me, the people who rudely and deliberately snubbed me, the criticisms and judgements, the missed deadlines, the trashed budget, the broken promises and forgotten dreams… I wanted a Legacy of Love and Kindness to define who I am and the life I want to live… right now.
From an unspoken prayer in my heart, that I hadn’t even realised I was saying, came the glimmer of an idea that sparked my creativity… that I shared with Jess and asked her to make a reality.
Pillow Bags… I wanted Jess to make Pillow Bags… and she did!
And a dream that was born 7 years before, that barely had time to spark before it fizzled with too much else to do, and not enough resources to make it happen… became a possibility again.
Gorgeous Heart to Heart Pillow Bags!
I asked Dave if I could have a birthday party… at SARDA, (South African Riding for the Disabled) in Summerveld, for 12 Disabled Children and their single Mom, and rather than receiving gifts, I wanted to fill the 13 Heart to Heart Pillow Bags and give them to each child and their Mom.
“Yes, of course!” He said… what else could he have said! *Grin*
I gave Jess the fabric and what she needed, and she made the Pillow Bags… we bought a few blankets on sale… and I made a list of items that could fill each pillow bag, asking my friends if they would take just one child each, and buy the required items.
And they did… magnificently, wonderfully… blessing my life and filling my heart with love, with each “like”…with every encouraging comment, with each commitment, with each and every gift given to me on behalf of the children… and every tear that fell, washed the bitterness from my soul, and let my heart heal. *Smile*
The Windows of Heaven opened and my dearest family and friends …and complete strangers, filled my table to overflowing with the richest of blessings… love, kindness, generosity, laughter, special memories, trust, happiness and joy.
And the darkness that I’d been unable to overcome, was pierced with the brightest healing light.
My Mom arrived unexpectedly from Texas, USA and simply watched and then contributed with generosity… paying for the petrol that transported the children, paying for the half price pizza, a tasty blessing I’m still grateful for… and much more.
We ordered cake… and Tracey from SARDA and the wonderful Volunteers, all happily wanted to help… bringing chips, and cold drink, biscuits and cupcakes… and spending their Saturday, a working earning day for some… making a dream a reality… and giving special children a day I’m sure they will always remember…
I know I will.
I know that most people think that my 51st Birthday Party at SARDA with more than 50 people who generously gave of themselves and their time, and their gifts and love and laughter was for 12 needy deserving children and their single mom from Bridges of Hope for Children… and the food and the treats and the bag of gifts, and the pony and horse rides most definitely were… however, I’m the one that received the most… the blessings and the memory, and the miracle of that day… and the 130 days proceeding, have given me a Legacy of Love and Kindness that will always be part of my heart… and my life story.
There are so many of you who have been an integral part of my life this year, and who contributed in so many ways to our projects… some of you have asked that I not mention your names… and some of you, I don’t even know your names. *Smile* …so please like and tag those who you know would like to see the photos, and let them know my gratitude fills my heart even now.
There are three people I do need to name and thank with deep eternal gratitude, Dave who works very full days, does the chores and tasks I should be doing, the driving, collecting, family shopping and cooking, and organising of ‘free transport’ and code 10 driver, and in so many ways, ensures that my heart never reaches rock bottom on my worst days and soars to unimaginable highs on the best days… and Jess, who holds my hand and chats to distract me, and prepares breakfast, lunch and even dinner on a lot of days… and sits in bed next to me, crafting or just being with me when I need… and my Mom, who arrived one day in August and phoned and said,
“Where’s here?” I asked!”
“Here in Kwa-Zulu Natal!” she replied.
And all I could respond with was, “Oh!”
And of course she came with a Laptop Computer, and American Jelly Beans and clothes, and family stories I’ve never heard, and love and laughter and money she spent on chocolate and petrol and pizza and nougat, that can only be experienced in quite the way a Grandmother, who is my Mother, shares with her Granddaughter, who is also my Daughter.
Then she said…. “If I make lap quilts, will you find oldies to give them to in Heart to Heart Bags…” and then never missed a beat, when I said, “You know that you are 77 years old…. you’re an oldie!”
Heart To Heart for Oldies *Grin*
Love and Laughter
SARDA Durban in Summerveld www.sardadurban.org.za
Our Wow Advent Calendar
Day 1 ~ Friday, 1st December 2017
Jesus taught: “Freely ye have received, freely give.”
~ Matthew 10:87
Day 2 ~ Saturday, 2nd December 2017
Jesus taught: “I was thirsty and ye gave me drink.”
~ Matthew 25: 35
Day 3 ~ Sunday, 3rd December 2017
“Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days.”
~ Matthew 12: 12
Day 4 ~ Monday, 4th December 2017
Jesus taught: “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”
~ Matthew 22: 39
Day 5 ~ Tuesday, 5th December 2017
Jesus taught: “Honour thy father and thy mother.”
~ Matthew 15:4
Day 6 ~ Wednesday, 6th December 2017
Jesus taught: “Judge not, that ye be not judged.”
~ Matthew 7:1
- No One Brings You Casseroles When Your Child is an Addict ~ Katie
- “Dear Brother” by Jess & “One More Light” ~ Linkin Park
Day 7 ~ Thursday, 7th December 2017
Jesus taught: “Suffer the little children to come unto me.”
~ Mark 10:14
Day 8 ~ Friday, 8th December 2017
“Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.”
~ Matthews 5: 44
- Story No. 8
- We All Bleed The Same
Day 9 ~ Saturday, 9th December 2017
Jesus taught: “I was sick, and ye visited me.”
~ Matthew 25: 36
- Story No. 9
- Oldies Heart to Heart Bags and Lunch
Sunday, 31st December 2017
“Everyone sees what you appear to be,
few experience what you really are.”
~ Niccolò Machiavelli
Stories 10 to 19 to be published
Day 20 ~ Thursday, 20th December 2018
Jesus taught: “A man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he posseesseth.”
~ Luke 12: 15
- Giant Christmas Box
- Toys for Tops ~ Inanda Valley Children