Ill 10 years / Mental: Advantage Ed / Physical: Deuce
So, last Sunday, 18 September, was my 60th birthday and the tenth birthday with CBD.
I am humbled by all your attention and grateful that, despite the doctor’s prognosis of five years left, I have beaten the ten year record. That’s my personal gold medal!
I am also now older than both my father and my mother were when they passed away.
As a family, we had much to celebrate last weekend. And we did it in style with the help of so many of you. I am sorry that we could not have included more of you, but I know you will understand.
I would like to thank so many of you, and hope that I don’t leave anyone out!
A big thank you to and for:
- All of you you sent me messages on Facebook
- The phone calls
- Those who attended the party
- The gifts and cards
- The organizers especially Pera, the Steeles
- Sean and Phillip for assisting and Sean for his very kind and not so kind words!
- My sisters for coming from afar to be with us – the first time we were together in 26 years
- All those who came from afar to be here
- Roy and Denise Kemp for accommodation at 17 Mill Park Road Guesthouse
- Tommo … Thank you for the music
- Lionel Hunt … Thank you for Elvis
- Grey Junior School and Mr Pearson for the venue
- The caterers, the dance floor Kimon Augostatos, the cleaners
- Graeme for coming from JHB and reliving our pub crawl
- The Ogilvies for all your love and support over 30 years
- AlgoaFM and Lance du Plessis and Charl Leslie
By the time I got into bed on Sunday morning at 02h45, I was exhausted but I was happy and grateful for the life I have been given and the cards that have been dealt to me … And for each and everyone of you that plays such a very special part in my life and the road that I walk and that you walk with me.
I was sad that Ingrid was not able to join us, and the too many loved ones who have gone before us during the course of this year and earlier.
You are all the tapestry that makes up my sixty years and more …
“I go to prepare a place for you so that where I am you may be also …”.
I am grateful and humbled to note that my blogsite has just passed 250 ooo hits, all helping to raise awareness about people who live with degenerative neurological diseases that can not be cured.
We thank you for your care and concern.
I have not written for a long while, simply because physically and mentally I have not been in a good space. Life, with all its challenges is busy taking its toll on me.
However, let me fill you in about my recent hospital visit.
I was put on new medication (oxpola) which resulted in me having a number of hallucinations / seizures during the night. On one occasion, I must have hit the lamp / bed pedastal / wall with my hand and when I woke up, I found my left ring finger hanging in a floppy position.
The tendon had snapped and the doctor recommended a brace for the finger, hoping that it would repair itself. Despite wearing the the brace for two months, there was no healing.
So, last week I visited the specialist and, after having taken X-rays, he suggested surgery. I thought it was like trying to fix the ear on a China cup that had cracked up but he thought it was the right thing to do.
Request for Medical aid authorization followed. – the difficult part.
Then, Monday at noon, I was admitted to St Georges Hospital and operated on at 14h00.
The tendon has been found and reattached and the finger is wired up and bandaged for 6 weeks.
I was discharged on Tuesday morning and will have to see an occupational therapist today.
The main news this morning reflects on the possible bankruptcy of GEMS, our medical aid. I hope there is money in the pot to remove the wire in six weeks time! OMG, another visit to the hospital!
So, in the grand scheme of things, it’s not really major surgery – just a nuisance factor! It has also put the spotlight on the state of our ever-declining standards in our hospitals. The state of our nursing standards certainly leaves a lot to be desired. Too many patients and too few dedicated nurses to do the work.
Here’s hoping the operation was a success and that in six weeks time, all will be fine.
I will try to write more often …
On Friday night we will attend Tommo’s concert for cancer at the Old Grey Club. This will be his retirement concert and should be a good night’s entertainment. There are still tickets available from Wendy Beaufort on 0823752168.
The we, this time, being the Lunnons (with Sean and Phillip), the Stapletons, Lindsay Scholtz, and the Thomsons (sans Pam but with Greg, Lynn, and her boyfriend Peter).
The we are also the remnants of our Investment Club – the Lunnons, Scholtz’s, the Stapletons and the Thomsons.
Many years ago, the four families met monthly at each other’s homes.We started off as eight people and ended as sixteen, each couple adding two more children to the group.
Some would say that we added more people than we did money. On that score, each coupled invested R100 per month and I invested the money, with the ultimate goal of cashing in the investments and going on a world tour.
However, we soon realized we were only dreaming! So, annually, we cashed in our fortune and spent the December long weekend away. We did Katberg, Plett, Keurbooms, East London, Knysna, Blanco, Hogsback, …
Last night, we cried and laughed. We spoke about Pam and remembered her in all her ways, and we cried.
We spoke about our Investment Club and remembered all our ways and we laughed.
It struck me how we and our children had learned so much from both. We certainly had not hit the jackpot with our investments, but we had achieved far more in the education of our children.
Stapes later wrote:
“I am touched … I touched … I was touched.
We all touched. What a lively, lovely evening with the Thommos.”
Still later, he said
“Yesterday, with heavy head, heart and feet, I threaded through the day.
But time invested with friends, is time well spent,
and I heard a bird, singing in the Heavens.”
Yes, for the first time maybe, I realized just what the meaning of our Investment Club really was.
I realized just how much our children learn and had learned from us.
I realized just how much Pam was loved and the example she set both in our own kids and also in the pupils she had taught over the years.
So, at the end of the old chapter and the beginning of the new,
We remember that money is not our only investment.
We remember the value of friends.
We remember the meaning of life and the permanence of death in this world.
We remember the memories.
And whilst we say to Tommo, thank you for the music, we also say to Pammie
Thank you, Pammie, thank you for the memories.
Some few weeks ago, as we often used to do many, many years ago, we gathered for supper at 29 Prospect Road, Walmer.
The we being the Lunnons, the Ogilvies, the Mackenzies and the Thomsons.
29 Prospect Road is the home of the Thomson’s.
In days gone past, we used to meet there almost weekly, sometimes by ourselves and sometimes in far larger groups. The Tiger’s Arms did brisk business! On the odd occasion, we even managed to get the owner and resident singer to haul out his guitar and entertain us.
Tommo, after all, was according to one fan at the Holiday Inn in East London, the “best in Africa”!
The hospitality here was also top-notch, on a par with the Ogilvie’s in Villiers Road. As a bachelor, if I didn’t make it to Villiers Rd, then often I used to sleep over in the guest room in Prospect! The waking-up scenario just used to change!
Anyway, that was the past and this was the present. In our conversation, though, the present did take up much of that past. We reminisced, we laughed, we joked, we drank, we ate.
Tommo has become a chef par excellence, and with Pammie not well, his culinary skills have been even more tested!
It was like “the good old days”. We wined and dined.
Just a little bit slower, little bit fatter, little bit greyer, little bit tireder ….and we spoke about retirement, something we didn’t even think about in those days of yore.
When we left this time, we didn’t have to worry about kids in carry cots, or toys and baby bottles… Just empty baskets and empty bottles!
When we left this time, we didn’t think that it was almost time up, that we were running out of time, that the sands of time were passing us by, and that this would be the last time.
Yes, with Pammie, when we left this time, it was our last time …it was to be Our Last Supper!
Last night, we met at 29 Prospect Road for supper yet again. It is the beginning of a new time, but we will not forget the old time. We said Grace and drank a toast to Pamela.