Sunday, March 30, 2014


Thank you Elisa for my beautiful affirmation bangle. 

While living in Corvallis I attended a local art fair and discovered Saucy Jewelry. I was leaving the following week to visit friends in England and I found an affirmation bangle for my friend Lisa which said "She thought she could so she did." Lisa was going through a tough time and I wanted her to have something that she could look at everyday and keep her motivated and moving forward.

There wasn't any phrase that Elisa had that really stuck out for me, so I didn't buy an affirmation bangle for myself at that time.

These past few months have been a tough one for me and it has been a huge learning curve for me not only about people, but mostly about myself. A few weeks ago I was reading a book on codependency as I was trying to figure out why did I think that it was okay to allow people to treat me in a less than favorable manner.

I post daily affirmations on my G+ account and was trying to find something one day on codependency. When I pulled up the images the first one that popped up was "Examine what you tolerate." This was profound. I sat staring at the screen for a while and just let those four words sink in. "Examine what you tolerate."

I have thought about those four words every day since discovering them and then that light above my head moment happened and I knew I finally had the words for my affirmation bangle. I contacted Elisa at the beginning of this week and yesterday when I got back to the condo a package was waiting for me. My bangle was here.

There are some that may think it silly to rely on an object to keep one moving forward, but at this point of my life and learning that it's okay to be me, I really don't care what people think. What matters is me and my inner peace and calm and when the next person that treats me in that unfavorable manner I will look down at my wrist and glance upon the words on my bangle and then slowly walk away.

Please visit Elisa at Saucy Jewelry and see all the wonderful pieces she makes. Click on the link here.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Against All Odds.

My beautiful sister Rosie.

It was a very cold, winters day on the 15 January 1996. I was sitting in my living room planning my 30th Birthday party when I received a phone call from my Father. My sister Rosie and her husband Andrew were involved in a very serious car accident. Rosie had died at the scene, but was revived by the paramedics. She was on life support and in a coma and I was to get back to South Africa as soon as possible. My Mother and oldest sister were in Hawaii so the scramble for flights to get back home was intense.

The flight back to South Africa felt like it was by far the longest trip I had ever taken in my life. Sitting on the plane I made bargains with God if He could keep Rosie alive for us to see her and probably get to say goodbye. Trevor's pediatrician's concern was that ICU is not a place for a child to be in, as it is nothing like they portray on television. I geared myself up for the worst and that if I saw Trevor in distress I would take him from the room.

My Father picked us up from the airport and we were taken to the hospital immediately. Walking through the stark hospital passage was surreal. My feet felt as though they were made of lead and my stomach was a sailor's knot. I held Trevor tightly and we walked into the room. I didn't recognize my sister. The only way I can describe the way her head looked is to compare her to an alien. You know those cartoon alien head drawings where the chin is small and the brain is large? That was how she looked. Trevor was in my arms and he wanted to give Aunty Losie (he couldn't pronounce his r's yet) a kiss. When I held him towards her his eyes got big and he had a look of fear on his face. It was then that I remembered what the pediatrician had said. The machines frightened him and it was at the point that my brother took him out of the room. I sat and held my sisters hand and begged her to open her eyes.

The days crawled by and after a while Rosie woke up. The paramedics who saved her life went to visit her as they couldn't believe she had survived. I remember one paramedic said that seeing this miracle is why he does his job. It was very touching to see grown men tear up when they saw her.

Rosie was awake, she was talking, laughing and it was amazing to see. What we all didn't see was the traumatic injury she had to her brain. Her memory was gone. She recognized her immediate family, but couldn't remember anything beyond that. Rosie's frustration became very evident after a while when she would constantly remind us "I don't remember that." When she ate an orange she couldn't believe the taste and exclaimed how incredibly delicious this fruit was. I told her that she ate them all the time to which she responded "I don't remember that."

It was time for Trevor and I to head back to the States and it was hard to say goodbye, but the relief that my sister was going to live was an intense calm. Living with a person who has TBI is difficult not only for the family, but for the person with the injury. When you look at Rosie you see an amazing woman, but what you don't see is the bandage around her brain. My Mother and older sister went through a lot at that time and everyone was learning how to deal with the new Rosie.

So in honor of World Brain Injury Day I honor my sister. Rosie there are not enough words in the dictionary to describe how grateful, blessed and honored I am to have you as my sister. You rock. We take for granted every day that we have our memories of our childhood, friends, experiences, travels, but when that is suddenly taken away from you I cannot even begin to fathom what that must be like. My sister has had many surgeries since the accident, enough that would discourage anyone, but not my beautiful sister. She is the most amazing person I know. Her attitude about life and her inner calm is an inspiration to me. She is very logical, too logical sometimes. I believe that there is a reason why she was given a second chance and I would selfishly like to think it was to help me through so many of my dark days. Rosie and Andy have an amazing son who is the light of their life and has his mother's sass.

My favorite part of conversations with Rosie are when she points out my fault in handling a certain situation, but when I remind her that she would do the same, her sassy, true to form, eye rolling response is "I don't remember that."

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The Phone Call.


This past weekend I received a phone call from my ex-husband, I had no idea what to expect and when I heard what he had to say and his concern for me I was speechless. (And we all know what a feat that is in itself.) Years ago I thought I had let go of the anger and the animosity that I felt towards him and my ex-best friend.

When you think you have things figured out the Universe quietly shows you that you're still a newbie to the game and that the lesson is never ending. I thought that I had let things go, that I had moved forward, but the phone conversation proved otherwise. To hear him say how sorry he was for what he put me through years ago had me thinking that this was a dream. Our conversation lasted over an hour and there were tears, on both parts. His concern for me was I must admit very overwhelming. I kept on looking at the phone thinking that this wasn't real.

T. was in the room and overheard my side of the conversation and I know that my ex and I both showed him that even though we had parted ways 11 years ago, we still have respect and a different kind of love for each other.

I thought that after speaking to my ex that things couldn't get more surreal than no sooner I get a text from his wife, who was my best friend. That blew me out of the water, I think I did the fish mouth water motion. A two hour conversation followed and once again there were tears on both sides of the phone. Her apology was heartfelt and accepted and it was at that moment I felt as though a weight, that I thought was lifted years ago, just lift and evaporate.

I have currently been beating myself up about the choices I have made and how they have affected T. My son is my world and all I ever wanted for him was to be healthy, happy and stable. This weekend I know that I taught T. the lesson of forgiveness and I pray that he will find it in his heart one day to forgive the person who has hurt him and who he trusted and loved for many years.

As parents we are hard on ourselves about all the wrong things we did. We need to start focusing on all the great lessons we have imparted to our children. Teaching a child the act of forgiveness is a gift that is truly priceless and most importantly the freedom to be able to walk away from the restrictive, choking chains of anger and hostility.