So much has happened (part 3)

The story continues:
Part 1
Part 2

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I have decided to continue the story. This is just a summary of it all. Maybe one day I will go into the detail of how I felt and coped with all the things that happened in and around me.

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I said the only thing that I could think of in that situation and that was: “Rugby Man… stay away from the light. We cannot lose you, not like this.”

The first week was a hectic week. It was the same time that the magazine I work for had to go to print, luckily the printers and all my colleagues were understanding and helped me out tremendously. Rugby Man was on the ventilator and was in an induced coma and on hectic pain meds. I am sure he was flying. He had very serious injuries and well, the Doctors could only move him on the public holiday, 24 September to do a MRI. The idea was 20 minutes to do the body and then if he was stable enough another 20 minutes for the head.

That Friday, 25 September, we were called in and the prognosis was not good. Rugby Man had a terrible spinal cord injury and according to the Neurologist, he had severe brain damage. The Neurologist explained it as follows: Rugby Man was like a baby who drowned. If you do not get enough oxygen to the brain, then the brain starts shutting down to keep the other parts going. That could of happened when they were moving him from hospital to hospital. However, we would never know the extent of the injury till he woke up. The doctor said that it would take time. Recovery could take anything from six months to five years. However, patience is what we needed. His left side was paralysed, however, the good news was that Rugby Man was moving his right arm and hand which meant that with time, the body could heal itself.

By the end of week two, they started feeding him through a tube to see if his body would accept the “food” and they stared “waking him up”, but the only problem was that he was not reacting. He was still on the ventilator but also in his own comatose state. By week three they started taking him off the meds. However, Rugby Man was not showing any signs of waking up or any sign of pain. The trauma nurses were awesome with him though and were awesome with us too.

The routine of our lives changed from day one and every visiting time over the weekend and every night we were there. My Mom also made me drop her off at the hospital, while I went to work, so that she could see him. Our life became all about Rugby Man. The boys who are 25 and 23 handed everything over to my Mom. My Mom allowed me to take charge because I knew in this time I had to be there for her. A parent should not go through the fear of losing her child, because it was her Son laying there. A man borne out of her, who God entrusted to her.  She did not need to go through additional stress.

Well, I tried to curb the additional stress, but the current gf was not helping. Remember I said it was the woman who he met last year and then they broke up and she took to Facebook to tell everyone why they broke up. They recently got back together and well, I am not her biggest fan? Anyways, she decided that she would tell the nurses she was his FIANCE so that she could see him, because they were only allowing the closest family members in. She would go see him during the day and then share confidential medical information on Whatsapp and Facebook. Obviously an attention whore. She did things without us knowing, like stop his bank cards. She was marching to her own drum and to make a long story short, I put a stop to it. I wrote a letter to the hospital, which they gave to everyone working with my brother, that NO MEDICAL INFORMATION was to be given to ANYONE except the following people: My Mom, Biker Man, Me and my two nephews (Rugby Man’s sons). Also that no medical procedure could be done without the authorisation of My Mom or Biker Man.

The next day, after I handed the letter in, my Mom was at the hospital with my brother’s ex-wife, when the gf rocked up. She walked into the ICU and slammed the ICU door in my Mom’s face. Another gentleman that was behind my Mom asked what was up and my Mom said she did not know. She pressed the buzzer for the nurses to let her in. Now, every time we visited, the family would send my Mom in first. When she got to my brother, the gf was leaning over him (something the nurses asked us not to do, because it is TRAUMA ICU) and when my Mom asked her to give her a few minutes she started shouting at my Mom next to my brother’s bed. She stormed out. Then in the waiting room she told my brother’s ex-wife that my Mom was a bitch. After that day, she never returned to the hospital. She goes around telling everyone we banned her from the hospital, but truth be told, I think she realised that she would never be able to cope with a vegetable and was looking for someone to blame so that she didn’t look like the bad person.

With all that happening, the grief process continued. Any grief/trauma process consists out of DENILE, ANGER, BARGAINING, DEPRESSION and ACCEPTANCE. I think my Mom and I were quick to understand it and realise that life had changed and that whatever the outcome, we were there for Rugby Man. However, some people do not do well when it comes to tragedy, and Biker Man is one of them. He moved to Johannesburg earlier this year and was not nearby when it had happened. He and Rugby Man are close, VERY close, but he was in denile all the time. He did not accept what my Mom was saying about Rugby Man’s condition and because of that, he started lashing out at My Mom and I. At one stage he kicked me out of his family and told me that when my Mom dies, I will be all alone.

16 October came and Ruby Man turned 48 years old. We celebrated with him in Hospital with blue balloons and messages from Facebook, Whatsapp, SMSes, etc. So many people wished him well. A week or two after he was moved to high care, because they couldn’t keep him in Trauma ICU forever and we needed to find a place for him so that he could start with rehabilitation, even if he was just laying there. It was terrible to see, because he was always the active one. Playing rugby at the age of 48. Going to gym twice a day. Running the pub and working. He could never sit still. A few places came to evaluate him, but they said that they would not be able to work with him, because he was showing no signs of reaction. He was not responding to the easiest of commands, like open your eye or stick out your tongue. That was difficult for us. That is when they decided to move him to the rehab in 1 Military Hospital, however, he ended up in the surgical ward, because they had to do all their tests on him as well. That happened in the first week of November.

Then on Thursday, 12 November we were called to the hospital. It was not going well with Rugby Man. As Murphy’s law would have it, my car gave trouble the Wednesday and I took it in the Thursday when I got the phone call. By then I was the liaison between the hospital and the family. I called everyone and told them to go up immediately. I arranged for my nephew to pick up my Mom, while I had to wait for the car. I got there at 14:00, after receiving the call at about 11:45. The Doctor was amazing and explained to the family what was happening.

When I got there she called me aside and said that Rugby Man was spiking a fever and his body was getting enough oxygen. His saturation levels were extremely low (the levels of Oxygen in the blood stream). He had an infection that he was fighting off, but they called us in, because it did not look good. It was a matter of time.  I know this sounds weird, but by that time I knew what they were talking about because my brother’s vitals became a part of my life. His pulse, his temperature, his saturation levels. How much oxygen he was receiving. I even helped and kept new staff up to date with progress etc. My Mom and I stayed by his side… till 21:00 that night. The Doctor came in and asked if she could arrange a bed for us to stay over. By then my Mom was tired and said no, she would go home instead. We said our goodbyes to him and left.

As we walked out, I said to my Mom, that I did not think that we would see him alive again. She agreed and said that if that is what God wanted to do, then it is up to Him. My Mom has and still is strong in her faith. She said from the start that Rugby Man was in God’s hands and whatever God wanted to do, she would accept it. She added that Rugby Man was in his limbo and had been between this world and the next and whatever happened she will accept.

At 07:15 on Friday the 13th of November (yes, I know trust him and his wicked sense of humor to choose Friday the 13th) Rugby Man’s time on earth came to an end. My big brother was no longer with us. He endured for 55 days and even though there were “up” days and there were “down” days and there “happy” days and there were “sad” days, he went to a better place with no more pain and suffering. No words can explain the heartache I feel, or the heartache my Mom feels. But together we mourn for a son, brother, father, friend and all round genuine good guy.

 

Rugby Man

On the 16th day of October 1967 the life story of Timothy started. His emotions of love and hate, sorrow and joy, were written up in his book with God. On the 13th day of November 2015 the last entry was written in his book and God closed it. Through our Heavenly Father’s decision, his soul was claimed back by God, his Maker, and his body given back to the earth, as it should be. He is bereaved by his family and friends.

 

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My three big moments to remember

I have been mulling over this for the last few weeks… the things that you remember when your life changed.  You know, those moments that happen in life and you feel like you are in walking around in slow motion while the world is carrying on without you? Those moments when you know life as you know it has come to an end and it is time to take a new step.

So, the three things are:

The day my Mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. You can read her story here. Looking back now, I realise that at 21, I had to grow up pretty damn quickly. To this day I am thankful that she is still here and my best friend.

Next on the list is the day my dad passed away. I have never really blogged about it, the only post I can find is here. Some might say I haven’t really grieved for my Dad, maybe they are right? I had to look after my Mom, so maybe grieving was not high on my list of priorities. But, I think I have made peace with the fact that he is no longer here. He is not suffering and ill anymore. I have memories that I will never trade for anything. I miss him everyday and he will always be with me in my heart.

So, those are the sad/unhappy days… now for the good….

This is going to sound very cliche, but my happy day was when a dream came true…

The day I got to meet Gerard Butler and be in the same room as him and Aaron Eckhart. It is almost a year ago when the whole thing happened. You can read about it here.  So many memories were made that day and something that I will keep in my heart forever. 🙂

So there you have it… My three big moments.

The end of a chapter…

Monday was a very difficult day. See, the funeral service of our family friend took place in the same church as my Dad. The coffin was exactly the same as my Dad’s. It took me right back to the day, when my Mom and I and our family were sitting in the first few benches of the church.  Yes, there were a lot of similarities, except the fact that my Father was cremated and our friend was buried. I admit, I was emotional and that seemed to worry my Mom. I told her after that it just hit close to home. Yesterday she (my Mom) even told my brother, Rugby Man how emotional I was about it and he said to her, of course it would be emotional for me, our family friend was like an uncle to me and that’s why I saw so many similarities.

Anyway, don’t you think it is sad how funerals always bring people together in the saddest of circumstances? Especially when you see people who you haven’t seen in a long time.

After the service you won’t believe how man how many people I saw that I knew. People who knew my Mom and knew me when I was small. I had so many people say what a lovely woman I have turned out to be. We had conversations about our families and theirs. I even had an odd experience. I saw a lady who I last saw when I was seven year’s old at my brother’s (Rugby Man’s) wedding. She asked if I am married yet, and when I said no, she said there is a still lot of time. She only got married at 37 and had her first child at 40. See, so there is lots of time to still settle down one day… however, is it only me or do other single people out there get annoyed with questions like this? LOL!

Anyways, back to my tale of Monday… Off to the cemetery we went in a rush. I admit I had to race a little as we were late because of all the chatting to our friends at the church. We got there in time, as the metro cops who were leading the procession, were leaving.

Now, the last time we were at the cemetery was when they put the updated tombstone on my grandparents’ Oupa and Ouma L’s (my Mom’s parents) grave four years ago. My Gran (Ouma L) was cremated, but they placed her ashes with my grandfather (Oupa L). I had to pass my grandparent’s grave to get to our friends. The whole grave side ceremony took place. The ashes to ashes, dust to dust part, and that was very emotional. I luckily never had to go through the placing of the coffin in the ground part with my Dad or Ouma L.

After that, once again, we met up with people who we didn’t see the church. The bereaved family, the boys and girls I grew up with, family friends. I even saw one of my friends who I last saw when I was 16. He approached me and as it turns out, we have been in close proximity to one another and we didn’t even know. His younger brother and my nephews are friends. Small world isn’t it?

Monday was a sad and yet joyous occasion all rolled into one. It was as if people didn’t want to leave. And looking back at it now, that is how our friend would have wanted it. He would have been glad that he brought everyone together. And like I said before… we’ll see them all one day. So it isn’t goodbye, it’s see you later. 🙂

Anyways, I thought I’d just share this, a recap of what happened, and what I was feeling. Please make sure to visit tomorrow, I have some VERY big plans. *Wink wink*

Have a good day.

Today… I remember the people who I used to know.

Today, Monday, 20 August 2012, I am at work to make corrections on my supplement and to cut a disc for the printers for the next issue of the magazine to be published. I am then off to a funeral which will start at 10:00.

Last week, we had news that one of our family friends passed away. My Mom grew up with him, and I grew up in front of him. I am exactly one month older than his youngest son. Growing up he and his wife always lived a few houses down from us. We always saw him and his family at church. Our lives were intertwined.

When I heard the news on Tuesday, I was transported back to the day when my own Father passed away. I was only 24 when I got the fateful call and had to tell my Mom that he was gone. I was young, and in those few seconds, my life had changed forever. So, when I heard the news my thoughts went to his son who is now 28, yes he is married and has a child, but we are still ‘children’ ourselves. It still feels like we are too young to be losing our parents.

I have been to many funerals to say goodbye. It has been a part of my life since I was young. I told my co-worker this and he told me that he had never been to a funeral in his whole life, and he is almost 30.

After that conversation, I sat thinking about all the people I have had to say goodbye too. Some young, some old, some family, some friends.

I never met my Mom’s father (Oupa L). He died in 1979 and I was only born in ’83. I was approximately four years old when my Grandfather, Oupa K (my Dad’s dad) passed away.

I was about five when my nursery school friend’s whole family was wiped out in a car crash and he was the only survivor. He went to live with his aunt and I remember going to see him in hospital. I took him one of my puzzles to make him feel better.

I was eight when my Gran, Ouma K (my Dad’s mother) passed away. I was 17 when my cousin and uncle died within three months of one another. My school holidays started and ended with a funeral.

My biggest loss came in 2008, when my Dad passed away in April and my Grandmother, Ouma L (my Mom’s mother) passed away in early July the same year. Two major role player in my life. There isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t remember them.

Since then, I have lost aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, co-workers. Yes, they might be gone, but they aren’t forgotten and now, I am off to say goodbye to another friend. Someone who will always be a special memory.

May your soul rest in peace and until we meet again:

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

Today I miss you….

Four years ago, on 28 April 2008, my Father passed away. That was a very heart sore experience. Who would have thought that two and a half months later I would lose another important person in my life, my Grandmother (Ouma L). Today, exactly four years ago we said goodbye to a remarkable woman. She passed away a day after her wedding anniversary. I’d like to think that she missed my Grandfather (Oupa L) so much, that she went to be reunited with him. Yesterday they would have been married 69 years.

So these past two days I’ve been thinking a lot about the loved ones we have had to say goodbye to, and even though it is sad, they know how much we loved them and that we were honoured to have them in our lives.

missing-someone

Man dies after falling from rocks while fishing

 

Man dies after falling from rocks while fishing

Photo by Pierre Steenkamp

BUFFELSBAAI 7 March 2012, 13:20

A man believed to be aged 62 has died while fishing in Buffelsbaai this afternoon.

ER24 paramedics received a call out that an elderly gentleman had fallen into the water at the beach while fishing off of some rocks. upon arriving at the scene paramedics found that concerned bystanders had pulled the man from the ocean onto the rocky shoreline.

Unfortunately the man had sustained fatal injuries and was later declare dead at the scene. The appropriate authority will be investigating the incident further.

Andre Visser, ER24

Story at:  http://www.accidents.co.za/2012/03/07/man-dies-after-falling-from-rocks-while-fishing/

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I know this man.

Last night when I heard the news I was so shocked.

I was laying in bed thinking of all the people who are saddened by this loss.

He retired in January, to move down to the coast with his wife and to go fishing.

He loved fisihing.

My sympathies go out to his family and out thoughts and prayers will be with them in this difficult time.

xXx