Cousins

I’m often asked whether I miss having a sister. I can honestly say no. How can you miss something that you’ve never had?
However growing up I had many girl cousin,many who were also single sisters. We formed a bond during those endless fun filled weekends and holidays that stay with me even today.

We have all grown up. Most of us have our own kids. Days and months can go by without a word,yet when we get together its like not a day has passed.
I remember those days fondly,and I thank my parents,aunts and uncles for allowing us all that time together. For allowing us to create those memories,for giving us each other. As a parent I now realize that it is an effort to forge those close family bonds.
Shared experiences force us to understand each other and so much more….and I must add that my brother’s wife is so much a part of my life,that its hard to think we share no blood.
I have a beautiful photo of us cousins that I’d like to share….there are many that are not in this photo.
And I’m gonna name a few…..Tasneem,Amina and Zia ..
In the pic.
KJ,Ayesha,Zohra,Katy and of course Bilkees.

Love you all always.

20130224-124427.jpg

I want to be an organ donor

So mum had Stage 5 kidney failure. She’d had breast cancer and was diabetic,and was in her early sixties. There was no way she would have made it onto a transplant list.
I was not a tissue match….but to be honest I was scared to be a live donor.
What if my health went like hers,I would hate not to be around for my kids or worse be a burden on them and my husband.
We talked about transplants often….she hoped that she could receive one.She saw people’s lives change drastically after receiving healthy kidneys. There was a small shred of hope in her voice. It broke my heart,and I always changed the topic. Sometimes too quickly. I wonder if she saw my helplessness. Would I have volunteered a kidney if we were a match?

I think about being a donor often. It’s almost a taboo subject in Islam. It depends who you talk to.
I could save 7 lives….mothers,sisters,fathers and children could be saved. I want to help those desperate people if I die.
South African organ donation needs the next of kin to give consent on death no matter what my wishes are.
I have all the forms and documents,but I can’t find the nerve to talk to husband about it.

20130219-172234.jpg

Who am I?

My parents had a typical arranged marriage. Their families knew each other and thought them suitable. My mom was 16 and father 22 at the time.
My father was the youngest of 9 kids,2 girls and 7 boys. They weren’t very well off and thus my dad left school before he matriculated. But they were all so happy and content with their lives.
My mum was the eldest of 5 kids,and they were wealthier. My grandfather had come to SA as a youngster and worked really hard and became a shopkeeper.

Not long after they married my grandfather had helped them set up shop close to his store. They could have lived very comfortably off the proceeds of the shop, but my dad was very restless.
He often talked to me of those days,and said how he hated it. That no amount of money would have given him peace if he could not pray when he needed to. And he hated being bound to shop hours when all he wanted to do was spend time with family.
They packed up not long after and moved back to the Krugersdorp to be closer to my dad’s family.

My dad found a job…remember this was apartheid SA. There were not many prospects for an uneducated Indian man unless he was a shopkeeper.
And yet he bought a house and a car eventually. My brother and I were born after about 9 yrs of waiting to have kids.
I can say without a doubt that I never felt deprived. I always felt loved and cherished. He took us all over South Africa. And looking back it must have been so difficult. I now understand why certain areas were off bounds….but in those days to me it was a wonderful childhood.
We were not rich..I wore hand me downs often. Never had the latest toys or stuff. But really who cared …I had all I needed.
Today I look at my kids who are so much more privileged than either their dad or I was. My father in law is a teacher. And I hope that the kids appreciate all that they have. I hope that they look back on their childhood and realize that because all their grandparents had worked so hard to give us their parents such grounded lives. And encouraged us to study and pursue a good education.
That all that good advise has paid off……I hope that they realize that they need to work for their future too.
They have these opportunities because of their grandparents.

Are we better mothers

I have a nine year old daughter who is growing up just too fast.
I worry endlessly about her,I want her to grow up to be strong and independent. Yet I am so afraid that she will make the same mistakes that I made.
I do agree that I am a better person for going through all those days of heartache and tears. I am who I am because of who I was.
Yet I want something different for her.
She sees me being this none conformist,but in my heart maybe I want her to conform to what society dictates……
How do we become better role models to our daughter?

Guilt

I felt guilty when she was alive,because I thought I should have been doing more.
I feel guilty now…because my life is easier. No rushing to pick her up from dialysis or getting her to doctors appointments.
Why do we do this to ourselves?

I’m a SAHM

My mother was a stay at home mom. Never worked a day in her life. When I was younger,a teenager, I always thought that must have been the most boring life ever.
I was never going to be a SAHM. I envisioned myself as this working mother who always had it all together.
I spent almost a total of 7 yrs studying. First becoming a radiographer…I loved the adrenaline rush of working in trauma. It was really a learning curve. I met some wonderful people and saw a side of South Africa that I never new existed.
It was between 1992-1997 that I worked at the then Johannesburg Gen. Train violence was rife..and rarely a day went by without at least one stab or gunshot victim coming in..
We all grew up in those years. Made mistakes and most importantly learnt from them.

I got married and carried on working,but all that changed when my son was born. I wanted to be there for him. I wanted to experience his first word,his first step and most importantly I wanted to know him. I wanted to understand his personality.
I studied a BComm HR degree during my pregnancy and his first years. And I thoroughly enjoyed it. And yet my heart was at home with my son and daughter who arrived a few years later.
As any parent who looks after kids 24/7 will tell you,it is hard work, frustrating and fulfilling all at the same time.
I do envy the working mums who can go to work and have prosperous careers. But I also know that I am so lucky to have the opportunity to spend so much quality time with my kids. I get to fetch them from school,sit with them whilst they have lunch, and just chat about their days. I love seeing them grow up before my eyes.
And whilst they may think that I must have the most boring life ever…I would not change it for the world.

Just a quick add on….I help out at a Gynea practice for about 8 hours a week… It keeps me sane.
And I do appreciate all the help I get from family babysitters:-)

20130213-130951.jpg

Grief.

The shock of my father’s death left me reeling for months. I felt physically ill. I barely slept and I functioned on autopilot. My grief was all encompassing.
Compounded with my mother’s illness at the time,I often felt like I was gasping for air.
Looking back I realize that what I feel now is so different. Even though I miss my mum terribly I do not feel that overwhelming sense of loss.
Yes there is a gaping hole in my life..but I finally feel peace with regard to her…her suffering has ended.
For 5 yrs I felt her pain,her loneliness,her hopelessness. And I could do nothing to make it better.
All I could do was pray that the next day would be better.
People often tell me that time heals..I sometimes wonder if it does. I think you just deal with your emotions better. But the emptiness and loss stay with you always.

Each person grieves differently. I am so much stronger now than ever before and yet I fear for those close to me. That one phone call that informed me of my dad’s accident changed my life for ever.
His death had so many repercussions.
Even today after 5 yrs an early morning or late night call slightly freaks me out.

20130212-153002.jpg