My dearest Ouma

Today, as I was scratching around in my study looking for something I needed, I came upon the Christmas card that I received from you this last Christmas….your last Christmas.  It was so unexpected, and I was caught completely off guard.  Hello instant tears.  I always miss you, and I think of you every day….but today was so much worse.  I just collapsed in a little heap on the floor and wept….mourned the fact that you will never see my new home….mourned the fact that you will never meet your first great-grandson, Baby B…mourned the fact that you will never see me getting married..mourned the fact that I will never share a moment of hysterical laughter with you again.   It felt like my heart broke into a million different pieces all over again.
And of course misery loves company.  Suddenly I was crying for a whole bunch of other reasons too…you know…since I had already ruined my make up and since I was already all sniffly and since the post cry headache had already set in I might as well make use of the opportunity to be completely and utterly miserable.  It’s dumb. And I always end up feeling emotionally over sensitive afterwards…like I’m precariously balancing on a very VERY thin ledge of sanity.  I develop verbal diarrhea and talk non-stop about the stupidest things to the people close to me as if it will somehow stop me from thinking too hard and falling off the edge.  Sometimes I feel sorry for my friends….but i’m eternally grateful that they put up with my little quirks.  I’m not sure how I’d survive without them.

Anyway…I’m babbling again.  I just wanted to tell you that I really miss you.  The practical part of me is so grateful that you are no longer suffering and that the memories we have of you are fond and amazing and happy.  But there is a part of me that just aches so much when I remember that you are no longer here.  And sometimes being human and being emotional really sucks:/  Just so you know, I’m OK now, and I seem to be over my little wobble (Listening to Angry music as per the BFF’s advice, kinda helped)  But I wanted you to know that even though you are no longer here you will never be forgotten.

Love
Ruby
xxxx

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Dear Baby B

There is so much that I want to tell this little bundle of joy.  So many things I’d like to share with him…memories and information and I wish i could hold him and tell him how precious he is.  But rather than bore you all with my aunty ramblings I’ve decided to rather just post a whole bunch of pictures I’ve received from the other side of the big waters.  Prepare for cuteness overload as I share my heart melt moments:)

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s Super Baby!
Being guarded by Charlie the dog

Hello World

I have no words….

I have no words to even begin to explain how I feel.  I have no words that can successfully explain just how shattered my heart is.  I feel like it’s been ripped into a million pieces and they all fell shattered to the floor.

This afternoon I finally got the call that I had been dreading and preparing for, for weeks.  My gran passed away *sob*.  We all knew it was coming.  In fact, those of you who know me well, know that I flew done to Durban not so long ago because she was in hospital and on her death-bed.  Against all odds she managed to go home, walk around at home and chat to us on the phone as if nothing had happened.  The cancer however, was back.  And while none of us told her about it as her body was too old and frail to do anything about it…it didn’t change the fact that it was slowly sucking the life from her.  It has been a heart wrenching few weeks…hearing the deterioration in her voice whenever we spoke to her, getting the feedback from my aunt that she was indeed going backwards…and then finally today…the news we had all sadly been waiting for.

The really sad part is…no matter how much you prepare..you are never prepared for that feeling of complete loss, for the instant tears and the pain in your heart.  My gran was a truly amazing person.  She was a daughter, a wife, a sister, a mother, a grand mother and a great-grandmother.  But more than any of these she was one of my closest friends and my partner in crime.  My heart breaks for my brother…he’s so far away.  As most of you know my sis-in-law is pregnant and she was actually due last week saturday…which means that my little nephew is currently more than a week late already.  My gran will never know that her great-grandson was born healthy and beautiful….well, not on earth anyway.

She wouldn’t want us to mourn…of this much I’m sure.  She’d want us to celebrate her truly remarkable life and to be comforted in the knowledge that she is reunited with my darling grampa and that she has gone home.  But as hard as I may try I can’t even begin to think of her without bursting into tears.  It hurts so much to think that I will now be living in a world without her.  I suppose this too shall pass…and with time only the good and fond and loving memories shall remain.

I’m grateful she didn’t suffer and that she went peacefully.  And I’m grateful she went while she still had dignity and a small amount of independence.  I’m grateful I got to say goodbye.  And I’m infinitely grateful for the role she played in my life.

I love you gran…and I miss you.  You will always have a very special place in my heart.

All my love
Your Ruby
xxxxx

My dearest Gran

Happy 86th birthday!

As I sit here writing this wee little blog post I can’t help but shed a tear, give a little sob and just cry.  My heart is just so full when I think of you and all that you are and what you have overcome that I don’t even know where to begin.  Less than two months ago we were all convinced you wouldn’t ever come out of the hospital, let alone walk around the house with only a walker as aid. You’re a little miracle all on your own:)

You’ve overcome so much in your 86 years…fighting and surviving aggressive breast cancer, the loss of the love of your life, the death of a son, a hip replacement and heart failure to name but a few.  And yet here you are…a fighter, a survivor, a never-ending source of wisdom and love and teases and hugs and one of my closest friends.

There is so much I can write here to say what an amazing person you are and how much you mean to me and truth be told I’ve written and deleted this post about a million times…because no matter how I try the words just don’t come out right and they sound hollow and don’t do justice to you.

So instead I will offer you just this.  Thank you for being such an amazing grandmother, mother, sister, child and friend.  Thank you for loving us so much that it feels like our hearts will explode. Thank you for teaching me how to make traditional ginger beer and how to bake bread.  Thank you for being the perfect example of child like faith in the midst of darkness.  Thank you for being a fighter and for showing me where I got that pig-headed tendency from:P Thank you for believing in miracles and sharing them with us.  Thank you for believing in us.  But most of all thank you for the role you played in my life.

With more love than I could ever explain

Ruby
xxxxxxxx

Exciting news….I haz it!

A couple of weeks ago (read early “in September”) I received some epically exciting news.  But due to lots and lots of technicalities I was sworn to absolute secrecy.  This morning however, I received a wee little e-mail that gave me the go ahead to tell the whole world if I wanted to:) So here goes……

MY SISTER-IN-LAW IS PREGNANT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes, I really HAD to include THAT many exclamation marks:) I’m going to be an aunty or a “tannie” for the first time…and if any of you dare call me that I’ll kill you….just so we’re clear:)

My sis-in-law sent me her scan that was taken on 30 September….at that point the baby was a mere 3mm long and I giggled a lot when she explained to me that the baby was the little white dot just to the upper right of the “Y” of “BABY”.

I was told via a Skype video call shortly after they found out and I was SWORN to secrecy.  At this stage of the game only parents and siblings were in on the secret…it was far too early to let everyone in on the secret for various reasons.  But early this morning I received an e-mail that was sent to all the family and close friends in SA informing them of the happy news…and FINALLY I can share my excitement:)

It is currently autumn in the US, and contrary to popular belief, pumpkins aren’t only used as Halloween decorations.  In general the Americans use pumpkins as decorations during Autumn, so my sis-in-law had a little t-shirt made that she will be using to spread the news to their friends and her colleagues:

Too cute right?

So while I didn’t have the most awesome start to my day, and while I was yanked from a happy sleepy place by my alarm due to my own stupidity this morning, and while my neighbours ACTUALLY lodged a noise complaint about it instead of trying to find out why my alarm was going off at 4am…Today is indeed a happy day:)

Love
Aunty Ruby
xxxxx

P.S.  I’m the only one allowed to address myself as Aunty or Tannie…I WILL kill you if you attempt to do so:P

Dear Mommy and Daddy Letters

I cannot even begin to explain how incredibly jealous I am.  You guys excitedly phoned me on monday evening to inform me that it was snowing.  On Tuesday morning I woke up to the following pictures on my phone:

Snow1

snow2

Then in the early afternoon I received another call to inform me that it had started snowing once again.  I was sorely tempted to jump in my car and head back home for a couple of days.  We all know how much I love the cold and snow:)  But I was informed that NONE of the roads back home were open….I couldn’t come home even if I really really wanted to.  This morning these pictures from yesterday afternoon awaited me…For the record…I’m VERY jealous:(

Let it snow let it snow let it snow!

Your lovingly jealous daughter

Ruby
xxxxxx

My dearest Parental Unit

Today marks the 35th celebration of the day that you got married. 35 YEARS!!! I consider this to be an exceptional feat in the times we live in.  Our world is filled with broken families who couldn’t survive the challenges that being married to one person for the rest of your life brings, and yet here you stand, 35 years later, still in love, still discovering each other, still enjoying each other and still working towards making your union even more perfect.

I look around at the families of friends, colleagues and family and I realise that I am in an a very blessed position.  Very few of the people I know were able to dodge the bullet of a broken home.  Not only are my parents still married, but they are happily married, which is certainly something to celebrate.

Thank you so much for the beautiful example that you have set for my brother and I.  Thank you for putting me in a position where I can believe in a fairy tale marriage and know that I too can have that.  Thank you for loving each other so much that you faced whatever hard times there might have been and grew into the future together.  I look at the two of you and I smile.  How rare is it that 35 years on you are still holding hands when you walk, delivering little kisses randomly, become completely miserable when you are away from each other for longer than a day and consider each other your best friend.

So here’s a toast to the two of you.  Congratulations on accomplishing something this amazing, and may there be many, many many more of these.  Happy 35th anniversary.

Your loving and devoted daughter
Ruby
xxxx

A celebration

CuteToo cute…caught them on camera while Daddy letter was being all soppy with Mommy letters:)

FavouriteOne of my favourites! I took this picture when we were at the Victory Falls.  It was just so adorable, the two of them walking side by side under the umbrella on this little path, completely unaware of the rest of the world