Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Blessed Christmas!!!

Hi to everyone!

It's really been quite some time since I've last blogged, but I'm still trying to catch up with all my work that got left behind when I had to leave so suddenly to go to Cape Town (for Thinus' mom's memorial service).

I'm just quickly logging on to say "May you all have a blessed Christmas" from Thinus and myself, as we will be sorta busy for the next 2 days. We're celebrating German Christmas today with my parents and family, and then will spend tomorrow's Christmas day with my brother and his family (for the church service) and Thinus' maternal grandmother and uncle for lunch.

I still have to go and make some fudge and drag Thinus out of bed to make unbaked chocolate cookies - this year everyone is getting home-made goodies from us as we had to really check our budget! But I think it's actually WAY better than getting bought gifts, not that there's anything wrong with bought gifts ;-)

May God really transcend your Christmas and make it a joyful, loving and cherished experience!

Lotsa love,
Ronel & Thinus

Friday, December 5, 2008

Goodbye to a Mother...

It has been quite a while since I've last blogged. When Thinus left for Cape Town, to be exact... Since then a lot has changed, and I just feel the necessity to blog and share some news.

Thinus left for Cape Town (CPT) on 24 November 2008 to be with his parents, especially his mother who was terminally ill with cancer. His work was wonderful in that they provided him with the necessary airfare to travel to CPT, as well as his own car that he could travel to work and back from his parents' home every day.

Throughout the week Thinus would call me with daily updates, and his father and I spoke quite regularly on the phone. I am rather fond of his father, and it really helped to talk to hom about his wife/my mother-in-law, since she was no longer able to communicate at all. I felt the uttermost dispair whenever I spoke to Thinus or his father, and even just on the way to work. I would cry all the way to work, and in-between patient appointments, and then all the way back from work. I did visit with my family once or twice, but I really wanted to be on my own at home where Thinus could reach me.

I was in Potchefstroom, with my parents this past weekend (the weekend of the 28th Nov) when Thinus once again called me early on Saturday morning (the 29th Nov), and asked "Why does God allow my mother to suffer so much? Why can He not just take her away?". This he asked throughout the week that he had spent in CPT, and I just could not give him an answer. We had watched a DVD by Louie Giglio - "Hope, When life hurts most". This helped us tremendously to deal with his mother's suffering and looming death. But on this particular Saturday, Thinus sounded very hopeless and cried a great deal... and I just prayed that God would take away his mother and end her suffering.

On Saturday afternoon, 29 Nov, at 13H05, Thinus' mother passed away. It was sudden, but peaceful, and her wish of dying at home was fulfilled. Thinus called me at about 13H40 to inform me of his mother's passing, and I suddenly had to start making plans to get to CPT from Potch. We checked the airlines, but there were only vacant seats on SAA, which would cost R2000 ONE way! My youngest brother, Heinrich, then offered to drive with me to CPT, since Thinus and I had initially decided that we would drive to CPT as soon as his mother passes away. But Thinus was there, and I was 1335km away from him. My brother was in anycase on his way to Oudtshoorn, approximately 450km away from CPT, and would've taken the bus to Oudtshoorn the next day to go mountain climbing with his buddies. After having to do a few calculations (regarding time of arrival, etc), my brother and I left Potch at 16H45, gassed up with all clothes necessary. We bought him a bus ticket from CPT to Oudtshoorn, left Potch, slept for 2 1/2 hours in Bloemfontein (about 320km away from Potch) at my 2nd oldest brother's house. We left Bloemfontein, after filling up with some more petrol, at 00H20AM, and got ahead with driving to CPT.

We arrived in CPT at 11H40AM Sunday 30 Nov, and put my brother on the bus at 15H10PM. It was quite a drive, and Heinrich and I had a TERRIBLE breakfast on Lainsburg at the Steers (TOO MUCH OIL!!!), but we enjoyed the roadtrip (despite the reason for having to take the roadtrip).

Thinus' mother's memorial service was held yesterday, 4 December, from their church. It was so good to finally be able to bring closure on this chapter. We had spent this past week just being with each other, and having the idea of no wife/mother around, sinking into our reality.

Margaret Irene Swart will be sorely missed, but we rejoice in her pain-free state and that she can now be with the Heavenly Father, whom she loved SO much! Thanks for everyone's prayers, and please continue to pray for Thinus, his father,Manie, and his brother, John, as well as is maternal grandmother who has lost her beloved daugther.