31 October 2015


My alarm went off at 7am this morning. Same as every Saturday for the last 6 weeks. The difference today is I actually pulled myself up and out of bed whereas all previous weeks I have stabbed the 'dismiss' button with revulsion.

The difference today? ACCOUNTABILITY. Something I have managed to studiously avoid my entire life and even more so the last few months. Today I knew I was ready for the challenge.

I have been desparate to run but emotionally it has been utterly devastating for me each time I laced up. Each footfall took me back to races, landscapes, mountains and trails that Russell and I had disovered together.

He always kept me warm on those freezing start lines! 

It felt utterly wrong to be running without him; my breathing would choke me up and I always ended up walking with tears behind my big dark glasses.  He was my running mentor, encourager and he was SO proud of me.

My 10k PB was set on Chappies Challenge thanks to him!

I know he wanted me to keep running; this fact alone did not help me push through.

 As fate would have it I have discovered a new friend who unwittingly let slip her hidden running dreams.... Little did she know that this was just the fire that needed to be lit in me...I thrive on seeing people who thought they could NEVER run get to a place where they are signing up for races.

Punishing run through Roodeberg - Our last race together.

Stunning training run overlooking Noordhoek - discovering new routes.

At 0745 we were in the car and at Parkrun. Sweet relief for me to see a NEW parkrun venue with a completely new route so I was not assaulted with memories of the many past runs with Russ.

 In fact I can say I enjoyed every moment with my friend. It was a completely new, clean experience and I came away feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.

Early morning beach runs were so great for our souls.

Running will always remind me of him but slowly I am beginning to find comfort in this instead of pain.

Finding my own footfall again but embracing the fact that he remains part of each and every step.

30 October 2015

Ticking Normality

Another week has passed.

This one has been more tenable than last week. It has held some highly amusing moments; widowhood definitely has a funny side occasionally.  I even took the kids out for spur of the moment supper last night and it did not overwhelm me. We had a great evening and I ate a good steak! Hopefully it will provide much needed fuel for my first Parkrun in months tomorrow.

I have help at the house this week - much of the woodwork (doors and windows) were in grave need of repair and restoration. It feels good to start getting on top of things and to feel like my house may feel like a home again in the near future.

To this end I also started clearing the schoolbook cupboard. I am tossing all old homeschooling content as my kids are starting a completely different curriculum next year. I am pairing down to the bare minimum in an effort to keep things clean, simple and uncluttered.

This weekend seems set to include more DIY-ing, springcleaning, running and rugby-watching....and my big brother is coming to camp out with us for a few days which is going to be very cool. :-)

Sounds awfully normal doesn't it?

25 October 2015

Two Months

I wish the 25th of each month simply meant payday to me. Instead it reminds me that I need to take a deep breath. And then another. And another.

The day started badly. All of us were cranky and unhappy. Steve texted with the idea to climb Table Mountain and I laughed hysterically. In the past this would have lit me up like a bonfire but these days just getting out the house is a miraculous experience.

Instead we settled on a trip to Dias Beach in Cape Point.

This idea was not met with much enthusiasm from my crew. (Rach was working at TEARS for the day) Levi and Faith came along with heavy hearts and grim attitudes. Once again I found myself trying to carry everyone's emotions.

It's getting old. I want to be selfish and just deal with my own shit. My own pain. MY loss.  I want to not have to think about ANYONE else for even one day. Sadly parenthood affords none of us such luxury; not even in my unenviable position.

I am happy to report that after some time in this beautiful natural haven we all found some solace. Some joy. Some semblance of happiness and gratitude for what we have on our doorstep.

I have found that in nature's wide open spaces I find what I need to rejuvenate. I feel deep loss and loneliness but I also find a sense of comfort. It's incredibly difficult to describe but that's okay - I don't have to be able to articulate the experience - I just need to immerse myself more often.

Nature can bring you to stillness
that is its gift to you.

Eckhard Tolle

24 October 2015

The Anniversary

24 years since we met.

23 years married.

60 days since he went ahead of me.


 So finite yet we live like we have infinity within our worldly grasp.

I celebrated our life together by doing exactly what I knew we would be doing if he were right here with me. 

Levi and I went to Cafe Roux with fellow rugby junkies and watched our boys give the AB's a cracker of a game. 

Bittersweet. My heart ached in a way words will never convey.  

The trouble is....you think you have time.  


22 October 2015

Facing The Obstacles

Faith and I have both been wrestling lately.

She no longer wants to dance.
I no longer want to run.

These things that used to bring us so much joy and peace now seem like insurmountable, meaningless tasks.

Together we are making a plan. While she dances - I run.

Sometimes neither of us can do it and instead we lie on our beds and watch series.
Or stare into space.

But we have a plan and we are doing our best.

21 October 2015

Walking Through the Days

 I really wanted to blog more often. I wanted to one day look back and see how I made it through the most heartbreaking time of my life. What did I do each day? How did I manage?

Truth is I have not been able to blog. I have written perhaps 4 journal entries. I could not even tell you how I have made it through the last 56 days. In a nutshell it would probably look something like this:

1. The kids. Conversations with my children have often left me speechless. Their wisdom defies their years and I am so utterly grateful to have them in my life.

(when discussing times that may be hard in the future)

Rachel: Mom, I have never been married so I have never had a dad walk me down the aisle. I have many great men in the family who can do that for me.

Levi: Dad taught you how to drive, Mom. So when you teach me it is actually still Dad teaching me.

Levi: We may never be as happy as we could have been but that does not mean we cant ever be happy.

2. My family. We have always been a super tight knit clan but this has pulled us together in ways few would understand. I am eternally grateful for my dads right now - both of whom are keeping my world afloat in terms of Russell's business and his estate.

3. My friends. I would never in my wildest dreams have imagined I would be surrounded by so many strong, loving, funny, wise and devoted women. Women who love me at my very worst, women who constantly remember me and include me and allow me the space to just be what I am in the moment. Russell knew this - he trusted my friends to take care of me and they continue to do so every day.

4. Chores. Yes. Simple acts like hanging the washing. Stacking the dishwasher. Wiping the surfaces. Cleaning the pool and pulling out weeds. All these simple things are acts that require great discipline but reap rewards in terms of my sanity. Unfortunately going to the mall is not on this list - this chore still require superhuman strength.

5. Series. The more mindless the better as my attention span is questionable at the best of times.

6. Pyjamas. And Russell's jerseys.

7. Coffee.

Things I have not been able to do:

1. Read. My capacity to read is gone. I cant concentrate at all. Not even a magazine.
2. Run. I am (was) weak and way to emotional every time I pulled on my running shoes.
3. Answer the landline or any unknown number. Dont call my landline - I wont answer it.
4. Clear or sort or throw anything out. I still have everything in my home that I had 2 months ago. 
5. Simple administrative tasks like paying outstanding bills. I care not. I will one day but its not today.

I can only say that almost 2 months down the line my heart is more broken with each day. It definitely feels worse. I have had to face the fact that it will never be okay - I will not wake up one day and feel like 'Okay, its done, lets move on with life'. The best I hope for each day is enough guts to simply make life look good for the kids.

Like I said to my friend T this afternoon - I am done with this human charade. Over it. Bring on the next scene.