Tag Archive | cindy taylor blogs. original cin blogs

THREE RANDOM REFLECTIONS ON TIME AND GRATITUDE

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:

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OF SWINGS AND ROUNDABOUTS; AN UPDATE

I thought I’d better post something before WordPress deletes my blog due to inactivity, and to let my friends know that I am alive and well.

Sometimes we only see how life balances out when we look back on it. It’s been six months since I lost my brother and – within a fortnight of his death – six months since I got my daughter back.  And so my grief was tempered by having this whirlwind of joy move permanently into my everyday life and turn my silent apartment into a home.

She’s a force of nature, this beautiful child of mine; funny, smart and with a will of steel. It’s a daily blessing to see her happy, healthy and simply soaring in her new school.

My gratitude knows no bounds, truly.

chel 2

And now that I have a life again, I am cooking and baking again and – hopefully – will be back to blogging regularly again.

My first one

 

This is one of my stories that was included in the book ‘Thembi’s story and other autobiographical stories’.

ISBN: 978 1 77030 733 9 (LB)

It’s impossible for me to believe that it’s been eighteen years today.

Because of Brian we were very scared and knew it was just a matter of time before it was D’s turn.  He was all set to wait it out, but I thought it would be better to know; one way or another.  I went with him to take the blood test and then we simply waited at the house for the phone call that would give us the inevitable result.  We laughed like drains about this being a test he really wanted to fail.

When we got the news we called it Evil Aunt Aida (or sometimes; Mrs. Geffen), we never said the other name, the acronym; never ever.  We only told his mom, I suppose she pretty much expected it sometime or other; she cried and we felt so uncomfortable.  He felt so guilty.  We got drunk later; when we sobered up we spoke about going healthy for a while.  Strawberry smoothies; that kind of thing.

We took a holiday, drove down to my mom’s house at the river.  We got drunk some more, we got stoned a lot.  We cursed Evil Aunt Aida with the most disgusting words we knew and made up worse words.  We stayed down there for four months, lucky us; I had some freelance work; he had the money Brian had given him.

Then he started to get really sick and we came home.  There was enough money to keep him at his house with a nurse.  The end was awful, with the oxygen tank and all the other paraphernalia.  It really got to me that I couldn’t hold him; his skin hurt too much.

I had a class to go to, so I missed his last breath; I’m not sure it would have mattered that much to him.  I cried like a stuck pig for three solid days and couldn’t believe it when I started doing normal things again.

He was my first; there have been too many since.

I am sick and tired of AIDS.