Three random reflections on the concepts of time and gratitude … But first, because those in the know advise that nobody reads a blog without photographs, here is a picture of my cat:

Reflections on the lost years

I am a recovering alcoholic. It did not happen overnight, but the progression from ‘normal’ consumption into active alcoholism was swift. It happened at the worst possible time for my child; just at the onset of adolescence. She coped by cutting me out of her life and I floated about the house like a wraith; an awful spectre to make her usher her friends quickly past my bedroom door. She is a girl of strong, strong character; she didn’t allow me to accompany her father when he took her to her first day of high school. She didn’t turn to me when she started her period. I learned second-hand of her first love and her first heartbreak. I wrote to her all the time; letters in vino veritas, letters from rehab, letters at each milestone: her birthday, Christmas, Mothers’ Day, the day my divorce from her father finally happened, and countless days of no particular significance. During my years in recovery, she began – with caution and an ill-disguised mistrust – to meet with me. Slowly, slowly, we drew close again until the most miraculous thing happened and she asked to come and live with me. And so it is with us now; we have a life together again. And it’s sweeter and stronger for the things we lost in those unhappy years. And so it happened that I began to believe in God. I know that I will be in recovery for the rest of my life and that I am only granted a daily reprieve. I understand that it will take much time before my daughter stops watching what I unpack after a trip to the grocery store; I understand and I accept it, with infinite gratitude.

Reflections on the short-lived romance

When I was 50-and-three-quarters-years-old; an age that, in my youth, I had regarded as middle-age; my brother died and I found romance with his best friend. It was, in hindsight, the whiplash of shared grief that we misconstrued as passion. It lasted three months and I was as dizzy as a teenager throughout. I’d not been kissed (the mwah-mwah air kisses from my gay brigade at social events aside) by a man for over a decade. A big, strong and sensitive man; he held me together and has remained a source of support and will be my friend for the rest of my life. And he made me feel desirable; for that I am grateful beyond words. Perhaps, one day, romance will sneak up on me again; for now it is enough to know that I am worthy of love. And I will, always, buy myself flowers …

And, if you’re still reading, here is an old picture I took of some potted roses on my balcony:

survived the hailstorm_edited

Reflections on being deemed too old and too pale

Shortly before we came back to work after the Christmas break, my boss took me to lunch and gently, as is her way, told me that it was time for me to ‘move on’. I’d come to work for her as her personal assistant at the beginning of 2014, when she moved her psychology practice to her home. It was a time when I was brittle in the aftermath of my divorce and we both agreed that it would be a temporary arrangement. She feels that it is now time for me to move back into ‘the real world’ and find a job which will utilise my experience and renew my sense of self now that I am so much stronger. I flew into an immediate panic and made an appointment with a personnel consultant who brutally informed me that I was on the wrong side of 50 and later sent me an article giving me news of the Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) Amendment Bill, which eliminates all white people including the disabled. (Read more about it here if you don’t believe me.) I fell into a stunned funk, from which I am just emerging. I will not accept this as the death knell for my future. I have too much to offer. For now I am safe where I am, working for someone who has become a stalwart friend, irrespective of where my future journey may lead. And, for the part she has played in my journey over the past year, I have boundless gratitude.

If you’ve read this far, thank you; here is a picture of some poached pears I cooked ever so long ago:



  1. Thanks for sharing Cin, keep on going as strong as you have proved to us all. I
    had to adjust to my life circumstances (permanently medically boarded) and accepting all that you loose, but also all that you gain, makes for a new journey. xxx

  2. Ah my Cinderella, how you have grown since your deep despair!
    I am so very happy about OB – it makes my heart sing and my eyes leak!
    As for the romance, well whatever it was and however short lived – it was what was needed at the time – and even more so at your time of growth – you are a desirable woman!
    As for the employment agent – there is merit in what she says – there has been much about it in the papers – but again, you have so much still to give and lets face it Cinders – give up and lie down in a corner are not words that longer exist in your vocabulary!!!
    Sending lots of love and hugs – you remain and always will be an inspiration to me!

    • Aaaw Chrissie, you’re one of the strongest women I know and your own story is as much an inspiration to me and proof that we women are so resilient. I love you much!

  3. I give thanks for your renewed strength and firm resolve. You are a strong, beautiful woman, and you are always loved, God’s love is with us through everything and it never fails. May He continue to bless you, you touched my heart today. Sending a hug across the miles

  4. How nice to hear from you, Cindy. You are greatly blessed, highly favored, and deeply loved. Jesus is the same yesterday and today and forever. God loves you. Eternally. I’m smiling for you and with you. Your future is secure and bright. Be confident of His love. Blessings to you and your daughter…

  5. I read it all. I loved your pics…old and new. Love that kitty companion! I love you….always…..and I am infinitely proud of you….more so than you will ever know! And I am filled with gratitude….to God for bringing you through dreadful times……for all the positives you have experienced in the last little while and will still experience in your sunshiney bright future….for using your past to make yourself better and not bitter…….for your renewed relationship with your beautiful strong daughter. She is so much like her beautiful strong mom. For the past year where you were made to feel loved and desirable. Sad for the heartache you experienced with the loss of your beloved brother and always….always praying for you and holding you close in my heart. I so enjoyed reading this xxxx

  6. Cindy, I so enjoy your posts. You are such an inspiration, thank you. Your kitty is absolutely adorable. Mine bring me so much joy and peace – I cannot imagine my life without them. I am beyond thrilled you and your lovely daughter have rekindled your relationship, I can only imagine how you must treasure it and how special your short romantic encounter did not ruin a friendship. Hmm, about the job – so sad that everything in SA is becoming a “black / white” thing.
    Have a beautiful evening ahead.
    🙂 Mandy xoxo

  7. So wonderful that you daughter is back in your life and that much is going well for you…Dee has said much of what I feel in her comments…wishing you much love.

  8. You’ve gone through so much and grown beautifully throughout it all. So happy you and your daughter have grown close.
    Love the photo of your cat, what a cutie!

  9. Cin, I never lost faith that your daughter would return to you. Never. I’ve been waiting. Thankfully she is wise enough to not wait long – to again stand in the light of who you are and understand there is no replacement for a mother’s love. (As you’ve known for decades!)

    Now, here comes my thoughts from the taproot of my soul: Keep doing what you have to do to earn some money, but…Write! Get a visual of where you want your writing (and yourself) to be in two years and start experiencing the feelings as though you are there NOW. Yes, feel the joy of what it will be like and don’t shortchange yourself! Then get down to writing where ever, whatever and whenever. Who knows where, when or how it will lead. I trust that you’ll find in two years you will have surpassed yourself.

    You co-create the life you want with the Source of your choice. You’ve done a great job and you’re only halfway to realizing all you can be.

    That grand pot of pork hocks has simmered long and well on the back burner! Dig in!

    Do you feel my love for you?

  10. I have been wondering how you are and it is good to hear your news. I’m so glad you’re doing so very well and you have such a great attitude towards everything life throws at you. I’m so very pleased your daughter asked if she can move in with you and that you are sharing a life together. Excellent! The race rules are ridiculous. I know people who have moved to Oz from SA because in SA they owned businesses but then all these rules came in saying black people had to be given the most senior positions even if a white person had the skills and the black person didn’t, and every time they wanted to employ someone they couldn’t employ a white person. They had nothing against blacks, they just wanted to advertise the position and be given the right to employ the person they believed was best for the job. So I understand your predicament and so does God and I’m sure He has something for you xx

  11. Hi Cin, me three – the right things will happen at the right time.
    White people still get jobs in SA. I refuse to join the pessimistic club on the future of SA.

  12. Cin, your most pressing issue is obviously to find work, but I also cannot help think that you write so marvellously well and the story of your last decade is worthy of a book.

  13. What a beautiful, strong post, so full of joy, hope and redemption. You write so well! What the government is doing is shocking – praying that you find a job soon xx

  14. I absolutely love reading your posts. Your honesty is heartwarming. I would read your posts with or without your photos, however, I love your photos, too!

  15. Sorry I am just getting here Cindy. Lovely reflections – your honesty and clarity ring out. Enjoy Cindy. As Paula says, ‘you are enough’.

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