The day I said YES to myself!


Dear friends and other interesting creatures,

It was the scariest and bravest thing I ever did…. I left.

I was 24 years old with 2 small boys and thought to myself,  “I don’t care if we are alone forever, but we won’t be here…. and I’ll never be afraid of Friday again.”

Happy Friday darlings!

I wish you enough,

Missing you comes in waves. Tonight I’m drowning.


My liefste Oupa Mike,

Sometimes I am consumed by overwhelming joy, just because of how you loved me. Sometimes I see Frisco coffee or Turkish Delight and am able to smile in gratitude and remembrance. Other times objects, sounds and memories is a raw, open wound.

To you I had no faults. If there were, you would make light of them as if such things could never taint me. I was beautiful, funny, talented and you always reminded me how proud you are of me. I never truly felt I deserved your praise…. but I loved bathing in your reflection of me.

Tonight the years since we lost you to death feels like decades. I want to bury my face in your chest,  cry and you would stroke my hair and kiss my forehead. I miss you intensely. I hope my life brings you some pride…. and a bit of a brag. 🙂

The only thing worse than my own heartache is seeing my Mammie in so much emotional pain.  I envy Mammie for she had you longer, but her ache for you leaves me breathless. I feel helpless.

I hope my impact on people when I leave this reality will be as profound.  I would have achieved much, if I touched people the way you did.

Baie lief vir Oupa….en dankie.
Stel x

I do not recognise the #ANC of my youth.


Dear friends and other interesting creatures,

You know when a family member does something unbelievably stupendous and everyone shakes their heads in disgust?

There is usually a touch of confusion at the magnitude of destruction. One thinking soul, giving a hefty sigh, in that “Ja swaer” tone :

“Oupa would turn in his grave if he had to see this!”

That sums up how I feel about the “leaders” in the picture.

Sigh. Tata, turning in his grave. The legend who was able to unite many. All the personal sacrifices he had made for others to carry an Africa with a heartbeat I feel pulsating from my very core.

The struggle I supported, alive with men and woman who believed and fought against segregation and oppression, has been lost. I do not recognise the ANC of my youth.

Paying back the money falls incredibly short on paying us back our dignity and respect as a people, facing each other and foreigners when we are filled with disgust and confusion at the reality of our designated leaders.

Its going to take more than a village to raise this “child”!

God bless Africa.

I wish you enough…

Posted from the second cloud on your left from the Galaxy of Samsung.

An Old Flame…


I was 11 when he died. He was 30. But tonight as I read everyone’s messages I think to myself…  I also had a father. My memories are few…  You bought me Strawberry milkshake and biltong. I could feel you before you came into the room.  It was as if music and laughter followed you. You were the party.

They say the greatest gift you can give your children is to love their mother. Well,  I have no doubt about your love for my Mammie, nor her absolute devastation at your death.

An old flame.

Lief vir jou Pappie.

Posted to WordPress from the Galaxy of Samsung from the second cloud on your left.

42 you said?


Dear Tim,

I’ve told you before.  The thing with death is,  I have no new pictures of you.  So I had to improvise a little.

As I have been preparing for my Grahamstown festival trip next month,  I could not help but think of you.  Do you remember?

You were in school uniform. Matric blazer. I was sitting on the steps of the church on the square in Grahamstown. I went to a private school so no uniform.  I remember I was wearing a very stretched out purple jersey and brown leather shoes I had bought at the festival.

(Remains the most expensive shoes I’ve ever owned. Haha! I would much rather buy books. I had no idea at the time how much purple was still to follow.)

The sun was setting.

You came and sat next to me. I had never seen you before. You sat,  silently.  I remember being intrigued. You walked up,  asked if you could join me and sat down. No words. Minutes passed. I turned my face and looked at you. Eventually you turned to me and said, “It is not everyone you can have a comfortable silence with.” I smiled.

We chatted for a bit about where we were from and what we have seen at the festival. I don’t know how long we spoke for but it was suddenly dark when your school chaperone called you. My friends came to tell me it’s time to meet for supper almost at the same moment.

We did not exchange any contact details. As you got up you said that if the universe wants we will meet again. I laughed with a “good luck with that” kinda feeling. You smiled.

We had gotten up and as you walked away,  you turned and said  “Do you know what the meaning of life is?” I probably looked as silly as I felt and said “No”.

You smiled and said “42”.

I had no idea what you were on about, which I confessed when we did meet up again, as the universe allowed, years later.

It is our 42nd birthday this coming week.  Saturday. I will be 42 years old. You will forever be, 25.

Btw, I think the universe has a sense of occasion. My accommodation reservation arrived via email.  Room 42.

I will look for you, on the steps, at the church on the square.

Stop the clocks,

PS.  Thank’s again for the nickname.  Wenchy stuck.  🙂

Posted to WordPress from the Galaxy of Samsung from the second cloud on your left.

What a lovely thought but a tall order right?

Dear friends and other interesting creatures,

Have you ever screwed up? Royally. Have you ever behaved so badly that within yourself,  you found disgust? Have you ever felt without worth and that nobody could possibly love you,  just as you are? Ever felt rejected or not good enough? I could go on… with ease.

In my life I have felt all these emotions at one time or another.  Some more than once. Self acceptance and forgiving myself is not a strength of mine. I was clearly a Catholic in a past life, riddled with guilt.

My Oupa Mike and my Ouma Chrissie taught me many valuable things.  They also showed me who I could be through their actions and behaviour. Overall,  I believe I failed them. I may have been a Jew in another lifetime. All that guilt.

You see it had nothing to do with what they would say or think,  but more to do with disappointing them. I never wanted to let them down,  embarrass them and ever disappoint them.  I wanted to be worthy of their absolute pride, devotion and love.

I was their eldest granddaughter. They always made a fuss over me simply because I came before the rest.  (Sorry guys… but I win!) My Ouma Chrissie declared the day I was born the happiest of her life. What a lovely thought but a tall order right?

The details of my life include two divorces.  Regardless of reasons, showing up and facing my grandparents with what I viewed as my very public failures,  was horrible for me. I would rather have received lashings, dramatically endured. Facing them was far worse than the actual incidents themselves.

Cowardly I would stretch out physically visiting but when I did,  I was always received with unconditional love, literal open arms, huge hugs and my favourite pudding. There was no question of their support,  reassurance and they never understood my need for forgiveness. I was humbled. They never asked for details and would never interfere or give advise unless asked. My respect and admiration for them are endless.

What I learned was that my actions,  behavior or failures did not forever condemn me. I am human and as such will make mistakes. Sometimes the same one more than once …. but their love for me was not attached to conditions or expectations. They simply loved me. They made allowance that sometimes I would loose my way.

I was never loved less. I was loved more if that was possible,  because I needed to be loved even when I wasn’t very lovable. My failures did not define me. Sometimes my actions and behaviour were not ideal, and sure, not to be encouraged, but by no means did my failures diminish my worth or ability to be loved.

I was always worthy. Always loved. Forever forgiven.

I may not go to church, but that is how I think,  or sincerely hope, God will feel about me.

I was always enough.

Only 26 days to my birthday… I found this birthday card in Ouma Chrissie’s handwriting the other day. Thank you for these physical reminders of who you are in my life.

Ek verlang met baie liefde.
Stel x

Posted to WordPress from the Galaxy of Samsung from the second cloud on your left.

Your black!

Dear friends and other interesting creatures,

Today, I have a heavy heart, I miss my kids. Maybe empty nest moms know the ache that won’t leave your heart and that no chocolate can fill.

I saw this picture and this memory ran over my mind.


When Liam was in pre-school he had an Indian friend, called Shaheen. One weekend Shaheen came to sleep over. I was a stay at home mom around then with Victoria was a baby, Liam aged 3 and Kevin aged 6.

I was utterly exhausted and eventually thought lets just get these two out the way for a few minutes and send Liam and Shaheen to bath. I did the bubbles, the duckies  – I was actually a very proper mom….. back then I thought I sucked next to all the moms I thought had it all sorted you know.

Anyhow, two dirty kids in the bath I hear Liam say to Shaheen… “Shaheen, your black!” … I had a small giggle. I mean had Liam not realised before that Shaheen and him did not share the same complexion? Shabeen fired back with “Liam! I am not black. I am brown!!!“.. Didn’t take Liam two minutes! “Shaheen your brown!!” 🙂

I have screwed up many times as a parent and lately I wish I could do it all from scratch with everything I know now,… but that’s not life now is it?

I wish you enough,