Today, 21 years ago, my life would be FOREVER changed and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
The memories I have of 23 February 1995 are vivid, colourful and always put a smile on my face. We all know patience is not my strong point and this was tested after you decided to make me wait an extra 10 odd days for your arrival. I thank my lucky stars that Queen were performing at Sun City the on 25 February. This led our legendary Dr Smit to induce me on 23 February as he was heading off to jol up a storm with Freddie Mercury.
I nervously arrived at the hospital on Wednesday evening. We were told that all the family must leave and they could return the next morning around 7:00am as I was being induced at midnight. So there I was left alone, not being able to sleep, too excited and nervous about what lay ahead. No sooner did the induction process start at midnight and so did the contractions. I remember the old school midwife telling me to wait it out for the “real pain” when I asked for drugs, any drugs! Next thing I knew the doctor was being called, I was in the shower and being told by the same said midwife that if I didn’t get out of the shower in the next 2 minutes the Dr Smit was coming in to get me out.
With no time for anyone to be called and no drugs, there I was in the labour ward, alone, being introduced to my daughter at 5:30am. Selfishly I treasure the fact that I had that experience on my own. I felt like someone had finally won my heart and I was happy to hand it over unconditionally. It was the start of our adventure.
I remember when you started school in London. We had just arrived there and you were decked from head to toe in Barbie clothing. When I fetched you after your first day and asked how it was, you enjoyed it but mentioned that the English
yobs kids were teasing you about your clothing. My heart broke for you but the only concern you had was that they were already Harry Potter books. So off to GAP we went to kit you out in the coolest clothing.
You have achieved so much that we are all so proud of. Your overseas exchange that you went on in Grade 7. I was so shattered that you got to spend your 13th birthday in another country but once again you took it all in your stride and made the most of it.
Your determination is something I admire. From Grade 10 you were convinced that you wanted to study Speech and Language Therapy. I thought it was a phase, that it too would pass. When I realised in Matric that you were still singing the same tune we arranged for you to job shadow at Groote Schuur Hospital. Within the first hour I received a message to say that you were loving it and that this is definitely what you wanted to do. You wanted to help people and make a difference. Third year into your studies and I have no doubt the people you work with will be richer therefore.
We have been so fortunate to have had such amazing people helping you along your journey. Your Dad and Nanna have always been there to support you. They add some sanity to the crazy mix of people in our lives. Gran and Babe are forever the Pillar of Strength that keep our family together.
My one comfort is that although Pops is not physically here with us to see what a beautiful woman you have grown into, I know he is with you constantly and permanently smiling down on you.
Your siblings (there are a truckload of them) love you to bits and the highlight is always when they they know you are coming home for the week-end.
We have cried. We have screamed. We have been angry. We have laughed until the tears roll down our cheeks and we do that silly snort. Most importantly though, we have always loved.
I end this off with words from the wisest Bear there ever was, remember always:
The happiest of birthday’s to you.
Love you Always,
PS… I have saved the embarrassing photos for Saturday’s party