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Archive for December, 2013

The year….ago…

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As the end of this year draws ever nearer, I cannot help but to think back on everything that transpired in my little life. The good, the bad and the really ugly. It has not been a particularly good year for me at all, you see. I’ve lost many close relatives (Dad, my uncle, friends), I also had my share of depression and illness, worries and cares; so much so that I came to the conclusion that our lives are mapped out in phases of bad and good…..hopefully it will be ten year phase, as I’m reaching the 10 year mark for my bad series next year.

After my sister died in 2004 it just seems that things have been going from bad to worse and sometimes (though not often) back to bad again. I’ve had good times….but they are few and far apart and definitely NOT memorable. I’ve always hoped that 2013 will be a lucky year for me, but it turned out to be a lucky year for everyone who knows me! Let me explain…I worked really hard for all my charities, I tried to help wherever I could…..sometimes under shadows of criticism and hurtful commentary. Being the fool I am, the sucker, so to speak, I took it all in stride and focused my energies (the little I had) on helping others, seeing the effect my efforts have on those who really need it….THAT was good, though. I loved every minute of this; it is wonderful to do something and bring change in desperate lives.

Nonetheless, I see these ‘good’ deeds as part of my work and hence I must be honest….it went okay with work. I’m so thankful for that…that is definitely ONE good thing that happened in 2013…I found my calling in life, something I’ve always known to do, but never knew exactly how to go about doing it. This year I decided to do something, to try and make this work, this dream I had of bringing happiness to others, the dream of saving the world and bringing the message of kindness and caring to others. And I did…so, yes, that is one thing that I praise the Lord for. You see, I work alone, with no-one to give advice or lend a hand. I do my work by instinct and guidance from above.  The volunteers I had, assisted during the Santa Shoebox Project drive. All of them were so wonderful and I am forever in their debt for making my task a little easier, especially during drop-off and the celebrations. I’m so thankful to have had the chance to share my work with them. (Michelle Malan, Adri, Tanya, Margaret, Wayne, Mac, Francelle and the others,  whose names I cannot remember at this very moment…thank you again, from the bottom of my heart).

My private life, well, there it was most definitely a terrible year (or a terrible 9 years since sis passed). I don’t wish to make you think I’m complaining, I never dare to complain, but sometimes it gets to me….this constant feeling of desolation of hurt and despair in my own heart…..this feeling that, no matter what I do, things will just keep on getting worse. The things that happened in my life over the past year simply aggravated my already vulnerable emotional wellbeing. Dad….Dad died on 31st May 2013…and I never thought that I’ll be so deeply hurt by his passing. Dad was old and I was the one that took responsibility for him over the past 10 years (first both him and Mom and then, after she died in 2009, just him). No one else was available, or offered any help…so I was elected. I loved both of them dearly, despite the way they sometimes treated me (not that anyone will ever know about that…I don’t really care, though, it is over, water under the bridge and I’ll be the last person ever to hold any kind of grudge). Dad became uncontrollable at the end, yet he held so many things against me, although everything I did, every dime spent, every thought about his wellbeing, was done for him and to secure his safety and happiness. When he died,  I was left with a huge hole in my life…..some people mentioned that now I’ll have more time to spend with other things, I am free. I didn’t think about it that way, though. Free from what? The responsibility of taking care of a parent in his/her old age? I thought that is what children are supposed to do! Anyway, I miss him very much, every day and losing him was horrible. Uncle Vic died on 24th December 2013…and though I did not really know him well, I realised that the family lost their eldest and their youngest in one year…the Halliday clan is becoming very small indeed. There was the illness of 4 of my uncles….uncle Charles (Dad’s brother, two years younger and 84 years old) was very sick and we thought we will lose him also. My own husband’s accident….he broke his back in July and had another fall just two weeks ago….he suffers from pain daily and can barely walk at times. So many other things that, when thrown together in the stewpot that was 2013, added to one really acidic meal. One which I wish I could have passed upon.

In the end I’m just glad I survived and, being the optimist I am, I am compelled to find a positive side to this whole mess. Therefore I do think that this year changed me forever…everything is different now. I think in different ways about life and love; I value things differently, more than I did a year ago….life is precious and we should appreciate it while we have it. I also learned about possibilities…we can, in fact, change the world….if we initiate some type of action to change it for the better. I tried it this year, and it worked….I managed to change the lives of those less fortunate than I am. Maybe not in huge ways, but in little ways, by doing little things for them. About the value of life….we are all really just ‘candles in the wind’. Lives are like stories…..a good story gets told over and over and is never forgotten. I realised that life is NOT about the now, and the impression we give NOW, it is all about the legacy you will leave behind. Our lives must encourage others to continue the work we start….that way our dreams for a beautiful future will never die and hopefully, one day, it will stop being just dreams, it will become reality.

I’m rambling, I know, so let’s summarize….I’m SO glad this year is over and I do hope and pray that 2014 will be a surprisingly blessed year for me on a personal level too, however….I can still deal with this sorrow in my soul, just as long as my work is blessed, just as long as I have enough strength to fulfil my calling, my calling to reach out to those less fortunate. I don’t care that people think I’m an ass or incompetent or whatever, I know in my heart I do whatever God wants. He is the only Person I answer to, the only One allowed to judge me….

And you, dear reader, may you also be wonderfully blessed in 2014, may the light of God shine upon you and may the angels guard your way. I don’t know you, but I’m thankful that I could share this on my blog and that you took the time to read it.

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Christmas gifts

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My Christmas gift from hubby. Silver, he says, to keep the vampires at bay! I’m just worried about getting all the evil burnt out of me! I mean….ouch!!!

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Our first day in our very own holiday retreat.

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The Ilze Halliday Foundation – Blog.

The year may be over friends, but there is always something to do. I recently visited Madzibandlela Orphanage Home in Soshanguve Ext 11. They desperately need a new bathroom, tiles, bath, shower, etc. If anyone out there can help…please contact me ASAP. They also had a lot of rain damage over the past few weeks and hail destroyed their windows. We now have children sleeping, basically in open air, without the luxury of windows. I’ve found a sponsor for the windows, but please, that bathroom NEEDS a desperate revamp. It is totally inadequate for the 16 live-in orphans and Annah is at her wits’ end. Please, if anyone knows about someone who can sponsor now fixtures (bath, toilet, basin, shower and tiles) let me know. We would SO appreciate it. Remember, these people get NO funding….they NEED us to help them. So, contact me on 0724360562 or complete the online form here. Thank you, I know I can count on you.

 

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As you may have noticed, this past year has been extremely hectic on more levels than one. I managed to single handedly establish a foundation with the main goal of providing to those in need, especially the children. 
I have to be honest. It has not been an easy road, but I will never change anything for the world. I’ve learned so much during this year, trial by fire you might say. Working with these people changed my life profoundly and I have absolutely no regrets. This has been my calling….and God has provided and guarded me at times when I had to venture in to relatively dangerous areas. For me, this work is an opportunity to make a difference, because maybe, someday, some little kid will remember there was one white lady that cared.
You see, poverty and disability is colour blind….we need to give those people a chance in life. And, as I stand at the eve of a new year, I have great plans and already projects in the works. I know God will help me every step of the way…and I sometimes wonder who is the one sharing the goodies….I have received more in this year, than ever before… I have been blessed, my eyes have been opened to an entire new world outside of the naive, safe world we live in…. and I thank God for this opportunity. I’ve met the most wonderful, special people in the process.
Doing what I do gives you a chance to really appreciate life, the life that was given to you. I look out to my facilities and I see more and more needs arise daily….you know, I understand that I cannot change the world….but let me tell you….I AM GOING TO GIVE IT ONE HELL OF A GOOD TRY!!!!

God bless and keep safe during the season of wonder.

With all my love

Sharon

The past year – The Ilze Halliday Foundation.

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30 November – My Kassie 2nd Chanz Foundation – The Ilze Halliday Foundation.

(For pic’s, follow link above)

Once again to my colleagues….Breeda, Byron and Theodore…..you were amazing. Breeda, being your organized self did a beautiful job in dealing with the all the logistics of getting the boxes sorted….you guys are amazing. And the children….oh, my word, what a blessing again….thanks for the GAZAT certificate, I do not deserve it…you are the people doing all the work in the community!!! But thanks anyway. It was a beautiful day and the kids were, surprisingly again, well behaved…the stars of my story ROCKED (apart from Herod….he made a b-line for his mom!!!). My volunteers, Elizelle, Sally, Michelle, Wayne (my Santa), Mac, Tanya…..thanks for the  help and the eats you brought. Oh, and my kids, Tristan, Tristan Matthys and Tyla…..glad you could join in this momentous event. Breeda….I do so love you….such a special lady and all your coordinators who helped to make this celebration a huge success and thank you so much to the St Joseph’s Catholic Church for having us use your hall.

 

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