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Archive for January, 2013

‘And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon England’s mountains green?
And was the holy Lamb of God
On England’s pastures seen?’

Paraphrased from ‘Times legacy’ by Barbara Erskine

Is this not the most beautiful words ever? There is nothing that touches the soul of man as do literature.

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We had such a wonderful party at Killarney Country Club today. Our dear friends, Neren and Menishka Rau, had a ‘birthday banquet’ for their little girl, Siana. She turned 1 year old today. I hope she has a blessed year ahead of her.

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http://www.alz.org/alzheimers_disease_10_signs_of_alzheimers.asp

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In the latest issue of Women and Home magazine, journalist Sian Merrylees talks to Merrill Jones about her Mother’s slow degeneration through Alzheimer’s disease. The story is the usual tale of someone noticing something ‘off’ with a loved parent or sibling; small things left forgotten and/or lost, names-on-the-tip-of-the-tongue times occurring more often, confusion and disorientation….all part of getting older, we think. That is, until we sit down one day and start to put all these incidents into perspective; see it’s true cumulative effect on the person involved.

I know, I’ve been there. Now, with my Dad, it is happening for the second time. You deny it, you fight against the knowledge that this really is Alzheimer’s, but in the end, you have to admit the truth. The mind thief has struck again….he comes uninvited (as do all thieves), quietly entering the life of someone who was always active, doing things independently, organizing stuff, talking about interesting subjects, etc etc. Slowly, but surely, he clips away pieces of them and tucks it away in a dark, damp place where their mind cannot reach. Finally, he takes it all, and, more often than not, adds their life to his loot.

For me the most horrible of this is that, in the early stages, they understand what is happening. They know they forget, they know they do things that seems totally out of character and they understand that it is beyond them to help themselves. My Mom laughed about this. She used to say that we must never tell her to do something, because she’ll forget it anyway. She did this wave with her hand over her head….’whoosh…it will blow away’ …she seemed to say. Her troubles started more than 10 years before her death in 2009 and Dad took care of her. We only saw how bad she was at the very end. She never cooked anymore (she would burn water, anyway), she forgot to eat, to bathe, to wash her hair and she used to do the buttons on her dress all wrong, that is, if she wore one at all and the right way around at that. She became depressed, especially after my sister’s death in 2004 and in the end, she took sleeping pills which caused a heart attack. We’ll never know if she understood she was taking an overdose or whether it was an accident. I think she did it on purpose, she just couldn’t fight off the mind thief anymore.

Now, today, it is Dad’s turn. He is more or less stage 3. He can still dress himself properly, but that is about it. He cannot drive anymore as he gets lost and drives like a maniac, without the necessary responsibility and common sense you should have when driving a car in midtown traffic. He repeats himself over and over again, forgets names (sometimes even mine), he ‘sees’ things, visions, if you will…the list goes on and on. Sometimes I wonder why he must still be here with us….why can’t God just take him away. That will be the kindest way, I think. Dad is turning 86 this year, he’s had his life and what is left of it fills me with a sadness so deep that I cannot really explain it.

So, when I read this article, I felt so much grief for this person. This person that is dead, yet still breathing. How terrible life can be sometimes and how much effort it takes to find true goodness when you’ve seen all this bitterness.

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PISCES (Feb 20 – Mar 20)

Your Week Ahead: Others have no idea how hard you work. They don’t appreciate the effort you put in or the care you apply to even the smallest matter. You are a perfectionist and you don’t care how much it takes to give your best to a situation or a person. You either go the whole way, with the whole of your heart or you don’t bother going anywhere. There are times when all this seems to work against you but it is a tendency that is due to pay big rewards. Be fastidious. Be determined too. You will yet be surprisingly successful.

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28 “Come to me, all of you who are tired from carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest.
29 Take my yoke and put it on you, and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in spirit; and you will find rest.
30 For the yoke I will give you is easy, and the load I will put on you is light.”

I’m currently reading day 8 of Living Light in 25 Words. To join in and read along go to:

http://bible.us/r/5s.8.V

I grew up with this scripture ringing in my ears. It is my Dad’s favorite devotion during prayer. All through my entire life I held onto this. It is, after all, a promise given by God Himself to us, His devoted disciples. Sent via my BlackBerry from Vodacom – let your email find you!

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Harry goes to dinner with a girl. She takes him to an Ethiopian restaurant. He says to Sally:’So, I thought….I didn’t know they had food in Ethiopia…this will be a quick meal!’
This is SO funny! I love this movie!

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This is the first group I start for the Annebel Foundation (a project within my own Ilze Halliday Foundation). I’m so looking forward to this. It’s been nearly a year since I’ve heard about this initiative and it took me six months to actually get an appointment with their director, Tania Strauss. It irritated me endlessly that they just don’t seem to want any help…but I persisted and eventually they caved in. I now have this group at the HF Verwoerd High School and our first meeting is due on February, 4th. My plan is to get involved with another school in the area, as well as a children’s safehouse AND I have another school on a waiting list.

As you know, Annebel is not the only project to be had under IHF and my project administration for the Wolmer Community Project and Tshwane North Outreach AND the Santa Shoebox Project still needs some work before I can launch them as well. So, as you can see….I’ll be kept very busy this year. 

In addition to the projects, I’m also launching my website for my counseling practice, which will involve supplements from SA Supplements and homeopathic remedies cooked up by and expert. Busy, busy, busy! But I feel so blessed and thank God every day for giving me these opportunities to change lives.

Follow the link below to the Annebel Club @ HF Verwoerd group page on Facebook. It will also be added to my foundation’s website in due course.ImageImage

https://www.facebook.com/groups/annebelclub.hfverwoerd/

Annebel club @ HF Verwoerd falls under the wing of the Annebel Foundation (www.annebel.org). The aim of the club (and the foundation as such) is to reach out to girls aged 12-18 in schools all over South Africa. The girls selected are often emotionally scarred; children from broken homes and dire circumstances. Most of these girls have suffered traumas beyond our imagining or even understanding. Their lives so far proved to them that they are worthless, useless and pitiful creatures who do not deserve caring and love. Many of them feel hopeless and desperate, with their futures looking equally dull.
Annebel will try to change this. Through the act of a small monthly gift package, filled with essential toiletries, and the subsequent support from the club manager and assistants, we will attempt to bring hope into their lives once again. Every month, at a pre-arranged time, the club manager will meet with the girls, handing out their gifts and having a chat with them about something interesting. This particular club plans to invite guest speakers throughout the year to talk to the girls about career opportunities, hobbies, health and beauty and even deep emotional issues like relationships, conflict and so forth; making it a fun way for the girls to share and to feel good about themselves once again. In the end the purpose of these events is to build character and give those who previously felt so worthless and less fortunate, a sense of self-worth so that they can enter their futures with hope, courage and dignity.

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