Woman Warriors

melissa-nieuwoudt
Baby girl bliss unborn
Your life a waiting-
growing delight within
soon discovering life outside
your current
Young girl happy
Your life a picturesque blue sky
tall trees evergreen
flowers that grow
a season streaked with color
color of light
Everyday a painted sunset
sunrise emotions
beating beautiful flashbacks
of a time you once fell in love
Travelling sailboats
for miles
following a compass of hope
no direction
lead by faith
to see where it takes you
Teenage princess hopeless
Your life a burning flame
reflection of heart
in cold times
a peace you once knew well
now only a thought to unsleeping demons
Young lady confused
Your life a New York City
buildings standing tall
statues with eyes
a busy focus-
Sleepless city
turns you into a sleepless human being
your head a highway-
unstop traffic and rush
Single beauty desperate
Your life a forest
center of undiscovered secrets
chirping birds and wedding bells for everyone else
harmless deer, over-sized moose
on the loose, camouflaged
unfound and hidden
Hard working mother divorced
Your life a blackish dark path
no escape visible
walls after walls blackened
one after the other-
Chains of depression
Life a rain cloud of pain
Tears waiting to rain down
to fall an end
Well-lived granny wise
Your life a frame
thoughts and prove of all the above
framed picture that will sell
framed picture that will tell
framed picture many knows well
framed picture of value and truth
Paint and brush= pure art!
Art of being human and understood
Art of being sold short and dealing with failure
Art of being accepted and to forgive
Art of being discovered and loved
Art of being loyal and to remain faithful
Art of being rejected and remaining strong
Art of being a woman, a survivor
Art of going through hell and back
Art of being called a warrior!
Art:
words to a poet
beat to a musician
dream to a dreamer
words and untouched hearts
beat untouched melodies
a dream in all we failed in
however long for
art from a woman to warrior

Written by Melissa Nieuwoudt

What are you, but my very own? I love you!

Long before I even had big teeth or school shoes, I knew and felt deep down in my heart that all I wanted was to one day be a real mommy, and a nurse (because my mommy had been a nurse before she got me, and I was so in love with the beautiful freckled nurse on the photo). My little scraggly passed-down rag-doll was a pathetic looking dirty lifeless little child who could do just as well without me. Who could love something that couldn’t even talk or play or cry or fall asleep at my lullabies or bleed or ask why or swallow my mud-pies? 

I knew I wouldn’t be a daddy, because daddies were big and strong and had enormous warm laps and huge powerful hands and feet and voices. I was much too skinny to be able to grow that much and my voice was squeaky and soft. Anyway, my brothers’ wouldn’t even allow me to play with their dinky toys, so why would I be allowed to drive a big car or a truck. And daddies had short hair, and I could sit on mine.

When Robert from the co-op gave me my first kiss in our tree-house during my 6thbirthday party, I thought he would of course be the daddy when I became mommy. I remember swallowing a sixpence at that same party, but it was coughingly wrenched out of me. I still can’t keep money for long. Then we moved away to a faraway farm and Robert must have become some other mommy’s daddy. I suppose my wannabemother cravings were satisfied to some extent on the farm, with lots of little “hanslammertjies” needing to be bottle-fed, and a younger sister and brother to take care of. 

I was always willing and able to clean grazes on knees and dress bloody wounds (and wipe snotty noses). When my little brother landed under the wheels of Dad’s car while he was reversing, I actually stood my ground and didn’t run away. Thankfully, the injury was not too serious, but I realized that my nursing instincts were still strong.

At the age of 12 and a quarter, with an A-class pass into “high” school, off to boarding school I went. But not before being told the facts of life by Mom. Lo and behold, what a shock to my system that was. Please keep in mind that this was almost half a century ago, and it was called the dark ages because children (in our family anyway) were kept completely in the dark about anything and everything to do with anatomy. 

For the first time I found out that I had reproductive organs, along with allot of other outrageous information. My brother hadn’t come out of a toffee? This newly acquired knowledge scared the motherly instincts right out of me for quite a number of years.

Five years later, when matriculating at the age of 17, I handed my already completed application forms for nursing college to Dad to sign. (I was too young to be accepted without his consent). No, said Dad, I will not sign this. You are far too sensitive and get too involved emotionally. You will not become a nurse. Finished and klaar, that was that. My dream had been shattered. I did not speak to him for months, and refused to look for another career. 

Eventually Dad persuaded me to go for an interview to see if I had the ability to become a “tracer”. Needless to say, Dad knew me well and was absolutely right about the nurse thing, and I have loved my job. 

Tracer became Draughtswoman, became Cad Operator, become Technical Assistant, and now I am a highly skilled much sought-after one of a kind semi-retired Cad Technician, and the only person in my company proficient in both ‘Caddie’ and ‘Micro-Station’.

Let’s go back a few years again, to my first year working. My nursing dream had been shattered and I was plodding along with nothing exciting happening in my life. The YWCA was now my home as my family had moved to another town. After living an extremely protected life, I was on my own. Then everything changed. 

On a Thursday lunch blind date, I met this wonderful bare-footed handsome gentleman and we have been together ever since. 46 years and counting. Love at first sight it was, for both of us. Friday night we went to the movies (all dressed up in those days). Saturday morning he took me to meet his parents. Off to the theatre in the evening (even more dressed up – pink lurex mini dress for me, suit for him). I stood in a puddle of mud with my silver shoes, and he took his snow-white handkerchief out of his pocket and wiped the mud off. Sunday – a marriage proposal and a resounding yes. It was love at its best (and it’s worst).

My motherly feelings returned with an uncontrollable bang (hehehaha). Morning sickness, sore boobs, tears, happiness, fear, anxiety, whispering, shame and disgrace on the family (this was the dark ages remember), excitement, kitchen tea, wedding, honeymoon in Durbs, stork tea, prenatal classes, thinking that all the glasses we got as wedding gifts would last us for the rest of our lives, buying second-hand furniture, moving into our own place, etc etc. It was such a rollercoaster ride. And I was only a very young 18 years old. (My man was a more grown-up 24 year old). Thank you my Love of my life, for EVERYTHING!

But boy oh boy, was I ready to be a mommy. Isn’t this what I knew I was born to be? My love for my unborn child grew with my belly……

To all 3 my beautiful children:

Before I knew you, I already loved you. As I felt your life in me growing, I was filled with absolute knowing. During your birth and through the pain, my joy and elation I couldn’t contain. And as your life continued to unfold, precious memories in my heart I still tightly hold. The feeling of your warm little fingers entwined in mine, still somehow miraculously lingers. You were and are part of me, and will remain so for eternity.

I was there for all your feeds, and to fulfill all your needs. I happily changed and rinsed all your crappy nappies. (No disposables in those days). I stayed up nights wiping feverish brows, and cleaning up vomit. I sewed and mended your clothes, and I fetched and carried and taxied. I dropped you off at school and fetched you again in the afternoon. You only knew that I had a job because I told you so. I was at every event – sport, boys brigade, brownies, ballet, PTA meetings, birthday parties, hospital visits etc etc. I was always there for you. I always made time for you; my life revolved around yours. And I loved every single minute of being your mother (still do actually). This was what I had wanted since before I had teeth, remember! I was in the process of fulfilling my role in life. No pathetic looking dirty lifeless little rag-doll, but a real child to play and be with. And this child returned and responded to my love. Oh what immeasurable joy! 

I must say that it was during your growing up years that I realized that I was not a nurse at heart. I wanted to cry and run away every time one of my beloved children got hurt or bled or had an operation. (Tried hard to hide this though)

I always tried to be fair. I always tried to understand. I always brought you before God every single day, as I still do to this day. I also know that I made plenty of mistakes. I have luckily forgotten most of them, and hope you have too. I am truly sorry if I did or said anything that left a lasting negative effect on you.

I know that in the last years I have not always been all that pleasant to be around. It is not easy to carry on with everything regardless of constant pain and exhaustion. I want you to know that I love your father beyond measure and because I feel so secure in his love for me, I have unfortunately taken out all my frustrations on him. I am in the process of making it up to him.

Just want you to know that all 3 of you make me so proud (make US so proud). You have grown up to be really special human-beings. I am crying now – tears of joy and sadness all mixed up together. I have felt all your highs and lows with you – how can I not, as I am part of you! And here we are and we are all fine and honky-dory.

Perhaps after reading this, you will understand why it sometimes feels so natural and normal to be giving advice to you as adults, or even telling you what to do or not to do. Please forgive me for this. I have been doing it my whole life, and sometimes I just slip into that role, even though I know you are quite capable of making your own decisions. 

You know when you should shave or brush your hair or sleep enough or eat well or not drink and drive or swear etc etc. I always have your interests at heart, and remember that I probably know you better than anyone else. (Our personalities basically remain the same, even when we are all grown up). I will do my best to only give advice when it is undoubtedly called for or asked for by you. I am always here!

It is a privilege to have you in my life……THANK YOU for fulfilling my dream in such a perfect wonderful, warm, living way. 

Tjaart, THANK YOU from the very depths of my soul, without you none of this would have been possible!

Mother Mary

Eu sou grato,  José 

​30 Things I am thankful for!!!

1) I am thankful for all of the people around me (Friends, Family, The girl I will marry one day)

2) I am thankful for every opportunity that I have been given in life.

3) I am thankful for making every mistake I have made and learning from them.

4) I am thankful for my amazing  girlfriend, that loves me for who I am.

5) I am thankful for every person that has ever helped me through tough times.

6) I am thankful for the way my parents have brought me up to be who I am today.

7) I am thankful for having a house to live in and food on my table every night.

8) I am thankful for Having all of the amazing things I have ( EG: Car, Bike)

9) I am thankful for having a job.

10) I am thankful for all the help people have provided for me in the last few years .

11) I am Thankful for  being able to have had experiences in life and to be able to distinguish between right and wrong.

12) I am thankful for  meeting new people, getting to know other things and being able to learn more and more very day.

13) I am thankful for every moment spent with my loved ones.

14) I am thankful for  music.

15) I am thankful for passing school.

16) I am thankful for the life I live.

17) I am thankful for the people that have never given up on me.

18) I am thankful for nature.

19) I am thankful for being able to say I have made I this far.

20) I am thankful to have people be there and listen and understand when I am down and out.

21) I am thankful for all the little things in life.

22) I am thankful to have been able to travel to see different things and have a better understanding on how everything works.

23) I am thankful to see life from a different aspect to everyone else.

24) I am thankful to have been blessed with people who share the same goals as I do, as they motivate me to do better.

25) I am thankful for each second/minute/hour I get to spend with my amazing Tayla- Jade.

26) I am thankful for my dad teaching me how to be a man/gentleman.

27) I am thankful for my family giving me the opportunity and loving me unconditionally .

28) I will be thankful for my own family one day.

29) I will be thankful for my wife one day.

30) I am thankful for the life I live.

Twitter: @jhilario22

Instagram:

Happy Anniversary to my Parents.

​I am thinking of two beautiful humans, who are incredibly important to me. Two people who one day took me into their home and gigantic hearts.

Regardless of the fact that their DNA does not run through my veins, or that I do not have any of their eyes, or shared childhood memories, I became their dogter, I am one of their own.

When I needed a bed, clothes, food, career advice, a shoulder to cry on, a giggle or uncontrollable laughter, a push in the right direction, knowledge or just that look of I love you dearly dogter, they have done and still do their best to be incredible parents.

Mom & Dad, even when I am silent or not around, you are always in my heart, always on mind, always with me in some way.

They say a day without gratitude is a day wasted, so I would like two of you to know that I am grateful for you, always.

Thank you for being the incredible mom and dad that you are.

Thank you for being my peoples, for being in my heart and for having souls that vibe with my soul.

I miss the two of you, dearly and I am sorry that I am not around often.

I love the two you unconditionally, forever and always.

http://www.twitter.com/kylajeanv

Kyla

Heather Hook – Behind the scenes

Who is Heather? Well now that’s quite a story. Putting down who you are on paper is quite hard. Those who know me well, will know what I do and how I give my all to every single thing that I do – but it’s hard to get that across to people who have never met me, without coming across as a hard arse.

Today I am a media personality, radio host and social media addict. Where do I come from? Now that is quite a long story.

I was born and raised in Cape Town, to the two most amazing middle class parents, who gave me a great upbringing, great, but not spoilt. I attended good schools, and did extra murals, but I wanted more than sitting around smoking and drinking as a teenager. By the age of 15 I was already working to bring in my income, and I say “my’ income, my parents did not believe in handing out things – if I wanted luxuries (magazines, the latest trends in clothing or CD’s – I had to work for it.)

I started doing chores around the house as soon as I was a teenager – it was only at around 16 that I realised I could monetise this – my time is worth something to someone else, be it their time, or a chance to do other things – and though I didn’t really have a clue then about business, I became a trader.

I traded my time to do ironing, baskets and baskets of ironing, R 10 was a lot in those days, and I worked for it. From around 16 I had my first part time job as a waitress, I took orders, served drinks and meals, cleared plates and worked until 1am, unblocked bathrooms, whatever it took to give me financial freedom. I made scrunchies really cool hair bands back in the 1990’and sold them at school to my fellow pupils.

By 18 I had three part time jobs between my studies – I baby sat, cleaned houses, and did pretty much anything that I could walk to after school, and be home by dark. As soon as I could drive and got my hands on a car I widened my scope to working at events that were hosted around Cape Town. I have cleaned bars, balanced glasses on a tray above my head in a packed night club, carried beer kegs from the back of the bar and lugged crates of plates until my back almost broke.

Why? Because I craved my independence – and money gave me independence. Freedom means not having to ask anyone for anything – being able to make my own choices – if I spent my week’s wages on clothes, or cigarettes and petrol for the car or a night out with my friends, I didn’t have to tell anyone why.

Then, I met a boy. He had a motorbike and long hair, he swept me off of my feet. Miss independent saw white dresses, and cooked dinners, and babies on her horizon, and do you know what? I gave it all up. I got married and became a housewife. The novelty wore off after about 6 months – I started looking for other avenues to make money – I painted and did crafts which I sold on local craft markets, I waitressed, looked after show houses on a Sunday for an estate agent, and did pretty much anything I could to earn an income as my marriage slowly fell apart around my ears.

At the age of 28 I was on my own again. I had to survive, I had no other choice, no one else to rely on.

I started at the bottom of the scale, as receptionist – 7 years out of the working game means you are well behind your peers on the market – but I worked hard, and worked my way in to an Events Management company – as a PA to one of the Directors. Salary increase and more responsibility – whoo hoo!

The events industry tested my mettle to the utmost, long hours, working every weekend – but I am not a quitter, and I worked my way up through the company, moving up to Conference Producer in three short years.

In 2010 a chance to move from Cape Town to Johannesburg presented itself, and I grabbed it with both hands – the City of Gold, right? This is where dreams come true – and looking back 6 years now, it is indeed just that.

I moved from working for my original company to working for an international motivational speaker, to opening my own events management company – a dream I had fostered for many years.

Being an entrepreneur is no joke – it sounds glamorous, the reality is that it is anything but. The benefits and drawbacks weigh each other out, looking at it now, I have learnt and grown so much in the 5 years I have been running my own company. Bad decisions made, people trusted that I shouldn’t have, amazing relationships made and grown, people that have seen the strength in me and have chosen to support and work with me – which has given me the proverbial leg up in the industry.

I am always about support and full on honesty – that fuels me. Make no mistake I am not an easy person to work for, or with, but I am honest and down the line to a fault – I call a spade a spade, and I speak openly about what I see.

Oddly enough most people don’t like this, they prefer not hear about the bad and only hear the good – I am the complete opposite – I tell my clients what’s going on every step of the way, challenges we are facing, when issues arise, and I strive for perfection, always.

My brand is me and the reverse. Be it the events management company, or me as a person, I am open and honest – possibly too much sometimes.

I love the clients I work with, and the people I forge good relationships with – for them I will traverse mountains – to me this is service, and to be honest is ultimately the crux of why we are on this earth as human beings. What’s the point if life is a façade – who are you connecting with, on an honest base level?

At the beginning of 2015 I realised that events management was something that paid the bills, as passionate as I thought I was about it – the industry wasn’t conducive to a healthy life style for me, a few health scares and warnings made me look at other opportunities to live my life.

I asked myself, Heather, what are you good at, what else can you do? I can write, and I can talk, oh boy can I talk. And so I set off on a path to change my life, and in doing so, create a lifestyle for myself that I would wake up to every morning leaping out of bed shouting YES!!!

I don’t know if I am even at the pinnacle of where I want to be – I don’t even know what that pinnacle would be – all I know is that freedom and friendships are part of it.

I am lucky enough (with some very hard work behind it) to be getting closer to living my dream, I have a podcast radio show once a week on a small radio station called Niche Radio, I guest present on Cliff Central, I speak to groups of teenagers about changing their lives, I write for magazines – and get paid to do it, and I get to dabble in the social media realm, which I love. Certain companies in South Africa have seen what I do, and have contacted me to do the same for them, and boy do I love a challenge.

I get to work from home, in my pajamas most days – I dictate my own hours, if an afternoon nap needs to be had I can do that, but I work until the work is done, regardless of the time on the clock.

If I never achieve the wealth in the forms of physical possessions that I aspired to in my youth, that’s okay – I am beyond wealthy in the life I lead, good friends, work that challenges me and forces me to grow beyond the boundaries I have set for myself, every day, and I love that.

The future? I don’t know what it holds, but I will continue to work as hard as I always have, to continue to live the life I do, make my own decisions, travel as much as possible, and be as free as I possibly can be.

Some call me brave, most call me mad, but ultimately I am just me, doing what I love – who can ask for more?

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/heatherlhook

Twitter: https://twitter.com/HeatherLHook

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/heatherlouisehook/

Web Site:  http://www.heatherhook.com/