Wednesday, July 17, 2013

On this day forty years ago...

Today, forty years ago, a sister that I never met died. She would have celebrated her 1st birthday just 10 days later.
I think my siblings and I must be the only children in the history of the world to have been named alphabetically! 
The 3rd child born to my parents in 4 years, Cindy was a small baby, born just 17 months after her big sister Beverley. Andrew, about to turn 4 was the proud big brother who apparently doted on his littlest sister.

I could never understand until about 12 years ago what it actually meant to lose a child. Not that I can fully understand that even now but it was only when I was married and friends started having children that I could better understand what it must have been like. 

I always knew about her and what had happened - it wasn't hidden or hushed, my parents were very open about it, but it was all just facts or history to me until I was an adult.
I remember "mourning" for a child, a sister that I never knew when I finally understood what an 11 month old was like - a part of the family, crawling around, not just a still face looking at me through black and white photographs.

Realizing, when my own children were born, that 10 days before their first birthday, party preparations would be in full swing, only they ended up planning a funeral instead.

Until my own daughter was 4 and her little sister a baby, I could never have known what it meant to come home without your youngest child. To deal with your own grief as well as that of your other 2 very small children, I still don't know fully.

I would, as a teenager, often call myself "the replacement" when I was angry with my parents but I understand now the joy my birth must have been to a grieving family.

If it weren't for the death of that little girl, I may never have been born, and neither would my own children have walked the earth. It's difficult to understand God's timing a lot of the time and His purpose for things that happen in our lives. Sometimes perspective can come after a long time. 

Who knows where Cindy would have been today, had she lived. What she would have been like. Married maybe, a mother maybe, we'll never know.

It's been a long time since I looked at old photo albums, Niave says she's never seen a photo of Cindy, I think it's time to dig out those albums again and take a trip down memory lane.
Cindy Faith Koch
27 July 1972 - 17 July 1973

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

A trip to the Country!

When I was a child we used to take the liberty of an afternoon drive to the country quite regularly. I have spent many an afternoon eating my lunch at the side of the road!
Although we rag my dad about it now those were good times.
My children don't get to do that enough.
But on Saturday that is exactly what we did, packed the car and settled in for a trip to Malmesbury/Riebeek West.
We have a beautiful country.
The iconic South African windmill!

I love the different shades in this picture.

Strolling through the vines.
If petrol wasn't so expensive I could do this every weekend!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Feeding the Squirrels (and rats, geese, pigeons and fish!).

During the holidays we always like to take a train trip to Town to stroll through the Gardens and feed the squirrels. This time another "goal" was to try out the new Burger King.

Well, we ended up feeding just about every creature except for ourselves!
As usual there were plenty of hungry squirrels coming out of the woodwork, they are so tame and will literally eat out of your hand if you sit still long enough bearing peanuts!
One thing that was unusual this year was the rats challenging the squirrels for their loot! I guess it's a given that they are there but we've never seen them before! The squirrels gave them a run for their money, uh, nuts though!

Along with the squirrels we are usually also covered in pigeons, once they get wind of the peanuts, this year we found a family of geese who were much more interested than the pigeons, I was quite surprised at how happy the parents were for us to be so close to their gosling's.

Further up towards the museum we finally found the pigeons, Abi and Bryce seemed to love becoming statues for them to sit on!

Niave and Mitchell preferred the fish that were literally jumping out of the water!

Four packets of peanuts later and there were some stuffed tummies, problem was they weren't ours!
Since the new Burger King opened, Abigail has been desperate to try it out...only thing is the queue! Minimum 1 hour wait but I thought maybe by now the hype would have died down...apparently not!
After a long trek down from the top of Town to almost the Foreshore we dragged our hungry little bodies back to the station, our hunger pangs only just warded off by a Sundae ala McDonalds!!

Another trip to Town done and dusted!