This is baby me with my mother and pet budgie Coobie - Knorhoek, Sir Lowries Pass, 1973.
Mum had just turned 24 in January, 5 days before I was born.
She had met my father while working at the Cape Times, where as an outside rep, he used to sit at a desk close to hers in the same office. Mum would take messages for him when he was out. She remembers thinking he was very posh in her view at the time and he made his attraction for her quite obvious. My older sister was born when mum was 20 and as a single mother, she was just making ends meet, living in a small flat in Wynberg. She developed a serious eye infection and was booked off work for a month with her eyes bandaged up, making caring for my older sister, a toddler at the time ridiculously challenging. It was just after my sister had fallen carrying a glass, severing the artery in her hand, that he had called...to find out how she was.
Mum needed help, and he offered it. He moved in and one thing led to another as it does, from the divan to her bed. It was with overwhelming relief, that she agreed to move into his flat in Moullie Point. He arranged a new cheap Toyota for her and made sure the bills were paid. Comforted and safe, cared for and adored. She knew that the deep care she felt for him was not love. It's just that living with a man was not quite the done thing in those days and the enticing sense of security with the continual nagging from her caustic mother lulled her into aggreeing to marry.
He never did admit to being thirty years older than she was, or to having 2 girls both older than she was. Until much later. But she felt comfortable and safe so she stayed with him. They married on 11 March 1972 and I was born on 29 January 1973. They had moved to Knorhoek in Sir Lowries Pass and I was born in the same room as my sister had been at Vincent Pallotti Hospital in Pinelands. My mother was wearing a green paisley printed cotton top when I was born, which I keep to this day. From the first minute he saw me, Mum says Dad was besotted.
But she just wasn't in love with him and he started being distrustful and suffocating her independance. Not a great idea with a freedom-loving Aquarian. I think about how he must have felt. She was beautiful and young, a free spirit with so much pain still unprocessed, and yet so strong. How he must have cherished the idea of having her. He would have known she didn't love him, growing angry and jealous imagining losing her to another's arms. Claustrophobic love stifled the care she felt for him and suburbia closed in.
A holiday in Plett offered space and clarity. Visiting her brother on his farm, she felt a sense of place, family and support and so she began to contemplate her escape.
My mum insisted they move to Plett and a flat in a block called Dolphins Court became our new home. Dad commuted to Cape Town. The bird flew the coop, Plett the perfect playground for freedom and flaunting it. She grew strong enough and he pushed her to the edge. Apparently went she told me they were getting divorced and she asked me if I knew what that meant, I said quite confidently that yes I did - it was the same as wors. I was 5 when they divorced.
At the time of the divorce, we lived on a smallholding called Holt Hill. My mother, my sister, my new baby sister and the gardner Cornelius. I remember such good times with our cousins who lived at Cloud Nine further up the road. What heaven for young children. We ran wild through fields and forest. Picking fruit off the peach tree and eating peas from their pods. Building forts in the pine forests and make-believe towns from sticks and clay. Swimming in the muddy dams and riding Tanglefoot the horse. Molly and Folly the donkeys and Polly and Jasper, the labradors. Collecting pansy shells on the beach in the morning light. Peanut butter and jam sandwiches and secret tins of condensed milk. Giggles and tears and sun and sadness.
Here I am at 5, on a swing on our farm, Holt Hill.
As I sit here thinking about this, I consider how different my mother's memories are to mine.
How oblivious and yet aware we are as children, so forgiving and innocent. How honest and new. What do we remember? What memories do we hide away?
Cammy remembers the wonderful memories most.
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Spring has sprung.
Well it has in my garden.
Butterflies are flitting, sunbirds are trilling and bulbs are blooming.
We have started a vegetable garden at last and rows and rows of promising shoots have burst out of the soil on the way to becoming vegetables and herbs. It is so thrilling to watch them grow as day-by-day they get stronger and taller. Of course it would help if Neroli, our tortoise didn't keep chewing the shoots! Next step: An earthworm farm, a solar geyser and a rain water tank. I want some Bantam chickens too but DH says probably not a good idea with our little leopard kitty and the new veggie dream. Mmm, maybe we should wait for our smallholding before doing chickens.
I am excited that Summer will soon be back. Not for the wind but for the warm afternoons and lazy mornings soaking up the sun on the weekends. And for the swimming and less clothes and soft air.
Time has softened the disappointment of my cancelled cycle. My intuition teacher sent me a message she received from her guides for me about a mind-body connection that I am aware of but had just never acknowledged in relation to not conceiving. Perhaps acknowledging this now will effect a shift and a healing so that my body can relax into the next cycle without cellular sabotage. I do hope so.
It is as simple as the fact that I have assumed responsibility for people I am not responsible for - this is depleting my energy and it is time to let this go - I am only responsible for myself. Thinking about this - how marvellous to release that burden of responsibility that I have committed to and indulge in being free and un-bound until I do have a baby which will wrap me up so tightly in responsibility, I may balk at it. I may enjoy this space, as soon as I get my head around how to release myself from this self-imposed duty. Then I too need to forgive all the irresponsibility and restricted maternal nurturing impacting on my perception of motherhood as well as releasing the fear of losing my DH and being left alone with a child and no father....mmmm a bit of work to do!
I have also decided to hand over responsibility to my FS in whom I now place all my trust - he can call the shots. I am not going to try control the process anymore. At our POA meeting, he emphasised that he has great hope for us as we have conceived naturally twice, only problem being that the embryo implanted in the wrong spot - he truly believes we can again, we just need to find a good embryo.
As I am a poor responder to stims, this may take more cycles than the average. So we will try again, on his command and advice. I went for an antral follie scan at the beginning of this cycle which is near its end and as soon as AF arrives, I must go in for a day 1, 2 or 3 antral follie scan, and if good he may say let's go for it again. Only problem is, after arriving at this perspective, I realised September will not work as I am away in Joburg during the period we would need to do scan monitoring...so maybe October....
Have been watching the programme "A child against all odds" on BBC Knowledge. The producers cleverly put two stories in each episode - one that is successful and one that isn't. Fear is never far away that you will be the one that fails, but if you don't have hope, what do you have? I really want to be positive but sometimes I am just not - that's the armour I suppose.
And putting it into perspective. Let's talk about hope and how hard it is to hang onto hope when you have terminal cancer and you know you are dying. My mum has to deal with this everyday. How difficult it must be when you wake up feeling like your usual self but you always have the thoughts in the back of your mind, I do not have long, I am dying, tomorrow may be different...
I pray for peace for my mother, for release for myself and for a long hot Summer of many memories we can cherish forever...
Posted by Cam at 2:30 PM