Sad Times, 2015

This was a very very busy year for us, we were doing a lot of travelling. I was working at my kids school as a Teaching Assistant, part time, and loving it.

My mother in law was very sick, she is not based in the same Country as us, and my husband and I felt constantly on edge. Every time our phones rang, and we saw it was from abroad, our hearts would jump into our mouth. We had all these massive travel plans, and felt like our lives were on hold. It was a stressful situation to be in. We felt selfish and guilty at the thought that we might have to cancel our plans.

In February 2015, almost every week we were told, this is the week, this is the day… she’s going to die. It was awful for my husband, and a strain for both of us. I decided now would be the time to make a list of things we would need to pack and a detailed schedule for my parents who would have to look after my kids when the inevitable happened.

It didn’t happen, not in February. But in the beginning of March 2015. My mother in law finally found peace after a very very long illness. It was in fact a huge relief knowing she was no longer suffering. We packed our bags, and left that night for the 12 hour flight to South Africa. Leaving my kids was really difficult, and we had had to tell them that Granny was very ill and wanted to see us. I couldn’t bring myself to tell them she has already passed away, and then leave them with the emotional trauma for my poor parents to deal with.

The plane ride was quiet for us, thoughtful, emotional, yet as it always does, when we land in Cape Town, it feels like our second home, a comfort. Except this time, we wouldn’t be seeing my mother in law sitting in her usual spot reading the newspaper at the kitchen table. We would be seeing our family broken, and emotional.

We were in Cape Town for a week, with the family. Celebrating my mother in laws life. Consoling my father in law who was now alone after 56 years of marriage. Wondering how on earth he would continue to shuffle round the big house without his wife. It was a sad time, yet a huge sense of relief for everyone.

The sun shone on the day we buried my mother in law. We saw family who had never met me, and the sight of ageing faces made me realize that all too often these people were coming to the grounds, to say goodbye to friends and family. A sad state of affairs, but a harsh reality nevertheless.

One thing that did strike me on that week away, was one of my brother in laws was looking extremely well and healthy. Lean, toned, glowing, just really healthy looking. I asked him how and why he managed to look like this and he told me about this “diet” called Banting. I put it to the back of my head for the time being, but was interested to find out more…….

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