Friday, December 10, 2010

This year...

I'm at absolute breaking point - this year has just been too much to bear. I'm over-emotional, high-strung and easily ticked-off by anyone. I need a looooooong holiday, not just 4 weeks (WAY too little)...

So, let's see what this holiday (which is way too short) holds.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Frugal Living

How come the more you earn the less you have? I've been asking myself that question quite often this year. Here's the scenario:

2008 I started working (after living off only Thinus' salary and money gifts from our wedding for the first 6 months of our marriage).
  • I get a paycheck, and we suddenly have to start looking for a new car since we only had one working car which was OLD (1982 Datsun Skyline, Powder Blue colour! A WICKED cool car!).
  • We found a 2007 Toyota Corolla 1.4oi (RunX shape) and bought it... but did not even consider negotiating the sky-high interest rate (things you don't know.)
  • My entire salary goes towards paying for the car, the petrol to my work (which was SERIOUSLY far from home, but I couldn't change, I was assigned to work there as my community service year), and the insurance on the car.
  • We buy a new Cloud Nine bed in Aug 2008 after discovering that Thinus had been saving up money for the past 3 years without him realising - that truly saved me years of more backache!
  • The money that was not spent on the bed we put away for a holiday at some stage (which came in March/April 2009).
  • I get my first bonus - buy something special for myself and save the rest.
  • We pay some of the money for Thinus mom's home caregivers (She was terminal with lung cancer and Takiyasu Syndrome).
  • We see my parents often, we make biscuits for Christmas presents and that's 2008.
  • We STILL make end's meet!

2009 I start a new job with a hectic annual salary increase (or so I thought).
  • Suddenly I only work half-days, I don't have to drive NEARLY as far as previously and Thinus gets a lift to work with one of his friends.
  • Thinus gets a mountain bike from one of my sisters-in-law, which he uses to cycle to work 2 days per week. It keeps him fit and the petrol / gas costs down!
  • I start studying for my Diploma in Hand Therapy, requiring quite a chunk of money from me before July 2009 to pay off the course -and fortunately I receive a pay-out from my pension for the previous year. It goes straight into my studies (okay, maybe one tank full of petrol as well for the car).
  • We go camping TWICE (really a cheap way of having a holiday).
  • We go visit Thinus' dad in Cape Town in March/April with the savings that was left over from Aug 2008.
  • I get a bonus, buy a bunk-bed set for my brothers' kids for when they come for sleepovers, as well as one single-bed Cloud Nine mattress - and plan to buy the next one a few months later with savings.
  • We make it through the year of 2008 with money put away from my bonus for two weddings.
  • And another huge amount of my bonus goes down in November 2009 to pay towards a deposit for a new course: International Interdisciplinary Wound Care Course
  • My aunt requires home caregivers over weekends, and Thinus and I decide to pay for that.
  • We visit my parents very regularly, really as often as we can.
  • I make each of my brothers a calendar with all the birthdays on it for Christmas, and buy my dad a Sudoku Rubic's cube (that's just CRUEL!)

2010 - I get an increase,
  • I still have some money left over for my bonus of October 2008
  • PLUS we move to the school which was how we were gonna save up money for a deposit to buy Thinus a car...
  • My aunt passes away...
  • I go to study - which includes two trips flying to Cape Town on my account for my residential weekends (one of it includes taking Thinus along for a holiday)... OUCH
  • We get invited to 5 more weddings... YIKES! Of which one is in Cape Town - amounting to an extra trip to Cape Town (but we just could not miss this wedding!). We also travel to Harrismith and for another wedding we go to Potch, then two in Jo'burg, and then the two we did budget for (one in the Vredefort Dome, and one in Nylstroom). We also get invited to our eigth wedding of the year - just outside Potch in December...
  • I fall pregnant (YEAH!!!!), but after 5 weeks of happiness, our baby's heart stops at 10 1/2 weeks gestation... that amounts to 4 / 5 trips to the Obs/Gynae and an operation.
  • We visit my parents nearly every second weekend.
  • Our PC decides to die on us, and we urgently have to buy a new laptop for me in order for me to finish my studies.
  • My studies are all paid for at the end of July 2010... and then my baby brother passed away in the beginning of August 2010 (the 8th).
  • Funerals are expensive, incase no-one knew...
  • Three days after my brother's death, my sister-in-law's brother passes away - August 11th.. We attend his funeral in Bloemfontein.
  • The phonebill comes for August 2010 - it's astronomical and we just don't care because we were busy letting the whole world know of all these tragic events...
  • Sept 2010 one of my varsity friends passes away from a pulmonary embolism - I can't attend her funeral in Cape Town, due to a lack of finances.
  • Oct 2010 I get my bonus - it's gonna buy another mattress for the other bunk bed, and it's gonna be used to pay-off my laptop, and to give Thinus money for his Gamer's PC, and to save for next year's two weddings, and to pay for the wedding gift for December's wedding... basically to patch up lots of holes.
  • November 2010 - my car gets serviced and sucks up a quarter of my bonus. Some money gets redistributed, some money gets used on books (too much, really)... I buy a portable DVD player for our car (I got an extra bonus for back-pay on a salary increase). We go back to the Ob/Gyn for lack of falling pregnant, only to discover that I have a cyst (6x3.5cm) in my uterus / womb and have to go on treatment for the next 3 months and if that doesn't work, surgery's the next step... SO I can no longer afford to buy my bunk bed mattress or save money for next year or buy a wedding gift for December (fortunately I did get them a very nice bridal shower gift ;-) ).
What is the lesson to be learned? I'm not living frugally, but even if I was, this year was so full of unexpected events, it showed me all the loopholes in my 'budget'. I am not making New Year's resolutions, I'm making New Life resolutions.
  • I want to live frugally so that I can afford life's curve balls without feeling completely shaken.
  • I want to spend less time on my cellphone, and utilise Skype / FB more often so that I can connect with my family.
  • I want to pay off the outstanding amount on my laptop.
  • I want to save money for future holidays without guilt.
  • I want to save money for kiddies - those we want too and they come with a price tag!
  • I want to visit my parents as often as I can, as well as Thinus' dad in Cape Town.
  • I want to stay at home, and learn how best to save money using home recipes for removing soap scum in bath tubs, washing hair with vinegar and baking soda, processing food I buy in bulk from the farmer's market alongside my best friend Vici, just live a little.
So I am roping in the help of a few websites to
I'm pretty excited to be sharing all of this information with my husband tonight - YIPPEE for frugal living!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

OT time

It's been a while since I last blogged about anything concerning OT. Well, my personal life seems to have gotten the better of me, PLUS my crazy loads of studying. I'm almost done with my IIWCC (International Interdisciplinary Wound Care Course) I am happy to report :-)

Well, the past few days I've been reading and Googling and finding new resources to use for OT-purposes. Basically to make my life a whole lot easier next year with regards to planning treatment and so forth. I discovered, as well as having been directed to, some amazing websites containing a plethora of information!
has the most amazing worksheets in Afrikaans also boasts very beautiful printable worksheets which can be used for both Afrikaans and English children.

And THEN, my personal favourite at the moment: For all the teachers out there, WOW, this is a wonderful website / blog to explore. Loads of information and ideas that are shared. LOVING it!!!!

So, that's me doing my OT-post. Hope you're all still well, and that the information provided will be of some assistance :-)

Friday, October 22, 2010

A little bit of a tribute... to someone else who knew my baby-brother

Here follows a tribute, in Afrikaans, but also translated into English, which I wrote to Jacques Raubenheimer as a response to his Tribute to Heinrich newsletter sent out in collaboration with Mountain Pursuits.
Hallo Jacques.

Marthinus Kahl, een van my vele boeties, het sopas vir my die Tribute to Heinrich gestuur wat jy verlede week uitgestuur het.

Ek wil net begin deur om vir jou dankie te sê dat jy dieselfde passie vir God deel met Heinrich as wat julle gedeel het vir klim. My woorde is bietjie meer 'clumsy' as syne - hy was altyd beter met woorde...

Toe jy daai stuk insit van wat hy geskryf het oor die tekort aan erkenning van GOD binne die klim-gemeenskap, het dit my herinner aan 'n gesprek wat Heinrich en my man (sy swaer) vroeër dié jaar gehad het. My man is in die IT-wêreld en ook nogal 'n 'avid gamer'. Hy't vir Heinrich gesê hy mis die Christelike samesyn in hierdie gemeenskappe, en dit laat hom baie alleen en afgetrokke voel omdat mense nie GOD erkenning gee soos dit hoort nie. Heinrich het toe ook teenoor Thinus (my man) opgemerk dat hy in 'n soortgelyke situasie sit wat die klimgemeenskap betref, want al is hulle omring deur GOD se glorie en rykdom van die natuur, gee hulle nie erkenning aan Die EEN wat hulle geskape het en hulle voorsien van 'n plek (die berge / boulders / rotse / die natuur) waar hulle hulle passie kan uitleef nie. Weereens het dit nou vir my duidelik geword dat GOD Heinrich se nommer EEN passie was in die lewe!

Hy't dus sy passie GOD uitgeleef in die natuur, in sy menseverhoudinge, in sy studies en in sy hobbies. Sy stokperdjies het hom op 'n manier altyd aan die natuur gekoppel - daar waar hy die naaste aan GOD gevoel het (veral die berge). Hy't 'n teleskoop gebou om die sterreprag te kon aanskou, hy't van mooi kos gehou, want hoe kan jy dan nou nie van kos hou wat onberispelik goed en mooi voorberei is nie? Hy't tou-geloop en ook ons hele familie in sy stokperdjies betrek. As dit nie vir hom was nie het ek dit NOOIT gewaag om twee maal in my lewe op rots te klim nie... en as dit nie vir sy liefde vir fotografie was nie, het hy nooit die enkele foto geneem wat my vasvang waar ek 'n roete doen naby De Hoek in Oudsthoorn nie. Sy liefde vir herwin het van hom 'n kunstenaar gemaak, wat met ander oë na ou, weggooigoed laat kyk het. Sy afgetrede klimtou het oor 'n paar weke die gestalte aangeneem van 'n gerolde mat.. dié lê nogsteeds as eerbetoon in sy en Carlien se sitkamer op die vloer. Hy't met my pa se ou elektronika parte oulike insekte gesoldeer met ou CPU's en wie weet wat nog. Hy't vir my 'n toon-vas wind-chime gebou met riete wat hy gesaag en almal volgens die klavier in 'tune' geskuur het. Hy was definitief 'n kunstenaar in eie reg en tot eer van GOD.

So ja, hierdie is maar my tribute aan my kleinboetie, my amper-tweeling boetie (met 'n verskil van 1 jaar 11 maande en 20 dae tussen ons twee). Hy't my leer boomklim, my allerhande 'ontgroening-sessies' laat deurmaak om deel van sy en Pieter-Ettiene, sy beste pel, se bende te kon wees. En ek mis hom, maar ek kyk na die natuur, en veral Boven die afgelope naweek, en besef dat hy alleenlik sy hoogste doel in die lewe kon bereik deur een met GOD te word in die natuur en deur sy verhoudings met ander. Ek eet gerookte mossels op Vita-snacks en onthou hoe hy my dit leer eet het na 'n harde klim in Hogsback se Hog 1, waar ek hom nie wou toelaat om die tou van my te laat gaan sodat hy sy multipitch kon voltooi en terug kon keer na my toe nie. Hy't my oortuig, maar dit was met BAIE oorredingsvermoë van sy kant af.

Mag julle ALMAL aanhou klim, en ALTYD dit tot eer van dié EEN doen wat aan julle die wonderskone natuur verskaf het! GOD het Heinrich op die perfekte tyd, op die perfekte plek, saam met die perfekte persoon kom haal. Wat meer kan mens voor vra in jou lewe as so 'n ongelooflike wonderlike lewe saam en IN GOD?

Groete in Christus,


Hallo Jacques.

Marthinus Kahl, one of my many brothers, just sent me the “Tribute to Heinrich” which you sent out in your newsletter last week.

I just want to start by thanking you for sharing the same passion for GOD with Heinrich that you both shared for climbing. My words tend to be slightly more ‘clumsy’ than his – he always was better with words…

When you inserted that excerpt from one of the emails which he sent you, about the climbing community’s lack of acknowledging GOD, it reminded me of a conversation which Heinrch had with my husband (his brother-in-law) earlier this year. My husband is in the IT-world and also a rather avid gamer. He told Heinrich that he misses the Christian Fellowship within the gaming community, and that it leaves him feeling very lonely and desolate because people don’t give GOD the credit that HE rightly deserves. Heinrich then mentioned to Thinus that he faces a similar situation within the climbing community because even though they’re surrounded by GOD’s glory and riches of nature, they don’t acknowledge The ONE who created them and provided a place (the mountains / boulders / rocks / nature) where they can pursue their passion. It once again became clear to me that GOD was Heinrich’s number ONE passion in this life!

He thus lived out his passion for GOD in nature, through his relationships with other people, and in his studies and hobbies. His hobbies always somehow connected him with nature – there where he felt closest to GOD (especially in the mountains). He once built a telescope to be able to study the star galaxies; he also liked beautiful food, because he reasoned – how can you NOT like food that is delicate, good-tasting and beautifully prepared? He did tight-rope walking and also involved our entire family in this hobby. If it weren’t for him, I would NEVER have risked it twice in my life to do ACTUAL rock climbing, out in nature, on real rock… and if it weren’t for his love of photography, he wouldn’t have captured the single photo ever taken of me doing a route near De Hoek in Oudsthoorn. His love for recycling made him an artist who looked at thrown-away items in a whole new way. His retired climbing rope became a rolled-up mat within a period of a few weeks … this mat / carpet still gracing his and Carlien’s living room floor. He used my dad’s old electronics parts to solder cute insects with old CPU’s and who knows what else. He built me a tuned wind-chime with bamboo which he sawed and then tuned each individual ‘pipe’ according to the piano by sanding it until it was ‘in-tune’. He most definitely was an artist in his own right and always to the glory of GOD.

So yes, this is my simple tribute to my baby-brother, my nearly-twin brother (with a difference of 1 year 11 months and 20 days between the two of us). He taught me to climb trees, put me through all kinds of ‘initiation-sessions’ so that I could become part of his and his best friend, Pieter-Ettiene’s, gang. I miss him terribly, but when I look at nature, and especially Boven this past weekend, I realised that he could only achieve his highest goal in life by becoming one with GOD through nature and his relationships with others. I eat smoked mussels on Vita-snacks and remember how he introduced me to this snack after a hard climb in Hogsback’s Hog 1, where I wouldn’t allow him to let the rope be released by me when he wanted to complete a multipitch, in order for him to be able to return to me. He did finally convince me, but it was with a LOT of convincing / reasoning from his side.

May you ALL continue to climb, and ALWAYS do it to the glory of The ONE who grants you the passage to an awesomely-made nature. GOD took Heinrich at the perfect time, at the perfect place, whist with the perfect person. What more can one ask for in your life than such an amazing life with and IN GOD.

Greetings in Christ,

So ja, this is me, remembering my brother, once again.

PS: We went to Waterval-Boven this weekend to the accident site. Carlien explained to us how everything happened, and we got some clarity regarding just exactly HOW big this miracle was that she's alive! The rock / boulder, which is now in pieces (each the size of a normal, KIC Supercool fridge) where once the size of a small vehicle, like a VW Golf.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Miracle called Carlien

There once was this girl who happened to walk into my family's life in 2003. She was blond, beautiful and in love with dancing. She could give amazing hugs and we could chat for HOURS. Our entire family adored her, we adopted her as our surrogate sister / daughter. She went with us on holiday, often stayed over at our house, several times actually sorta moved INTO our house. Mostly, she made her Check Mate move right into our hearts - forever in place.
Then, one day, she and this boy realised that they were meant for each other (something we all saw coming for several years before). They were each other's best friends, they loved each other deeply, treasured each other's hearts and decided to get married during a conversation they had somewhere in March or April 2009.
The wedding plans started coming together, this girl and boy's families rejoiced for they knew that it was just the way it had to be. Everyone got hauled in to contribute their bit of craftiness to the wedding. Quilts had to be made for the picnic-wedding, fabric had to be chosen for the wedding clothes, shoe-shopping was important, muffins and apple pies were baked, mustard made and jams were canned. All this for the BIG CELEBRATION!

On 2 May 2010, Carlien and Heinrich said their vows in front of their families, friends and most importantly, in front of GOD. They were surrounded by GOD, since they were in the mountains standing on top of a mountain to promise - Till death do us part.
Their wedding was joyous, their marriage blessed. They lived life to the fullest, decided to lay low on academics and rather celebrate each other. They traveled to Botswana, Namibia, all over South Africa, always to where there was a mountain to climb, a rock to boulder and a night under the stars.

Exactly 100 days after they said "Till death do us part" did God fetch Heinrich from this temporary world to the Eternal Universe of Heaven. Theirs was 3 months and 7 days of marital bliss, and God granted them the biggest gift of it all - marital unity in Him. What a perfect number!

You see, Heinrich and Carlien were about to ascend a climbing route in Waterval-Boven when the boulder they first had to ascend came loose in a rock slide. It went over Heinrich, who was connected by their climbing rope to Carlien (her harnass). She says it felt like the air was completely pushed out of her lungs, like a heavy force came down on her chest. They toppled / rolled 5 times before coming to a complete stop. Immediately there was help, but Heinrich had already exchanged this life for Eternal Life in the Kingdom of God, where we're sure there are no boundries to the amount of mountain routes he can now red-point!

BUT, Carlien was alive...

Heinrich's multiple injuries caused him to die withins approximately 60-90 seconds. His pants were severely torn, his body battered, and Carlien's pants looked exactly the same than his... YET, she only broke her 2nd metacarpal bone in her left hand, sustained rope burns and deep bruises. Her previous back injury was not further worsened.. SHE was alive! This is a great miracle, because the first rock that went over Heinrich must have weighed over 2.5 tons! (We know this because the cam-device that was still attached to his harnass on his left hip had a bent cable - and that would have only occured when a force of more than 2.4/2.5 tons was applied to it). Do you see what I mean by MIRACLE???

Now, last week Tuesday a friend of Carlien met her at their local climbing wall. He had a message for her from a friend of his (a certain Danie) who was climbing next to Heinrich and Carlien when the rock slide occurred. He witnessed that MASSIVE rock also going over Carlien's body, not just Heinrich's..... AND SHE IS ALIVE! He said he does not know how she survived that - it is a miracle.

So, you see, we have this miracle in our lives called Carlien. She survived a tragic accident, but as she puts it "don't stare yourself blind against the tragedy that occured and completely miss the miracle that happened alongside it"... She lost her husband, but God spared her, brought her home to her parents, and mine.

Carlien, you're our miracle! We are forever grateful that God sent one of you back to Potch when He took Heinrich Home. And as Casting Crowns sings so very aptly "And although my heart is torn, I will praise YOU in the storm"!

Praise You in This Storm
(watch it on YouTube)
Written by Mark Hall / Music by Mark Hall and Bernie Herms

I was sure by now
God, You would have reached down
And wiped our tears away
Stepped in and saved the day
But once again, I say "Amen", and it's still raining

As the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain
"I'm with You"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

I'll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
Every tear I've cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

I remember when
I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry
You raised me up again
My strength is almost gone
How can I carry on
If I can't find You

As the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain
"I'm with You"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

I lift my eyes unto the hills
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord
The Maker of Heaven and Earth

Though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

Friday, August 27, 2010

Parents experiencing the loss of a child, a wife losing her husband, and a baby-sister dealing with her grief...

I'm in tears once again, realising that my parents that saw my brother being born into this world, also very unnaturally (as in parents are not supposed to bury their children, but his last moments were in his most beloved mountains) saw his exit out of this world into Heaven. I read this article by Robbie Davis-Floyd on how a parent experiences the death of their child... And it just made me cry all over again.

My heart is breaking into even tinier pieces than it did 2 weeks and 5 days ago when I received the news of my kid brother's death. My parents carry on, only through the grace of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Carlien, his wife? She holds onto God's love and peace and consolation, knowing that her Strength comes from HIM. She carries around his CAM device (rock climbing equipment) that has a bent cable due to a force >2.5 tons (the boulder) which contorted it's shape against my brother's hip, as a constant reminder that it's a miracle that she's alive, and to have a piece of him with her.

We all have constant reminders of Heinrich in our lives

I'm struggling with the emotions of numbness and total dispair, because at every corner that I turn, there's something that reminds me of him. His climbing photo is stuck to my wall in my office, our family photo is stuck to my fridge, a photo of him and me on his wedding day is my profile pic on my laptop's "startup/login" screen. He's on the laptop's desktop background, he's on my facebook profile.


His wedding shoes are next to my bed, I wore them yesterday - our feet were the same shape, his were just longer, so they feel like I've worn them in - yet the footprints left in these shoes are my brother's...

The necklace he made me from a flat pebble and copper plate and a blue marble lies in my Bible carry-bag, safe until he could fix it for me - he never got the chance to...

The shawl I made to wear to their wedding is often swaddled around me - a constant reminder that I witnessed one of the greatest and happiest moments in his life!

The newspaper with the front page photo of Heinrich and Carlien on their honeymoon at a beautiful waterfall, lying within sight in our lounge for all who enter.

The rolled up canvasses of paintings by all my siblings and their children, my parents and him and Carlien - meant to make a quilt with as a wedding present. He never got to see Oom Kaspaas which Otto so diligently painted and which stained Thinus' work clothes. But I WILL finish this quilt, as a rememberance of our family unit, and to cover my sister's pain...

My German Bibel next to my bed takes me back to the day that our Dad bought these for us so that we could learn his heart's language whilst learning God's Word. I still have to learn how to understand and converse in proper German. Heinrich read his with fervour - he SO loved German, went to Frau Heidi to have German 'conversations' with her every week to sharpen up his grammar and language. And so I read from my German Bibel to my dad today, from Luke 6:21 (a verse I saw last night again, after reading Luke 5, and it was underlined with a side note saying that God will restore my laugther after I went through my miscarriage). It read as follows:

"Freut euch, die ihr jetzt Hunger habt!
Gott wird euch satt machen.

Freut euch, die ihr jetzt weint!
Bald werdet ihr lachen."
(Lukas 6:21. Die bibel in Heutigem Deutsch)

"Blessed are you who hunger now,
for you will be satisfied.
Blessed are you who weep now,
for you will laugh again.'
(Luke 6:21. NIV translation)

BUT, even though I'm surrounded by all this memories and reminders, they can be good even though saddening at times. They remind me of how my brother and I cherished each other's company, how he loved JESUS CHRIST, how he truly loved his family, how he loved his wife with all his might, and how he loved life!

Thank you GOD, that I'm once again reminded of Heinrich's beauty, and Your comforting love, grace and peace...

Monday, August 23, 2010

Ode aan my boetie

Hoe kan woorde ooit beskyf…

Hoe kan woorde ooit beskyf
Die impak van jou woorde op my siel?
Hoe kan wysies ooit omskryf
Die passie van jou lewensreis?

Want jy laat my tweemaal kyk
Na die siel van my bestaan.
Laat my wil uitreik
na my drome vir môre
en dit vasvang in vandag…

en my hart breek in tienduisend stukkies
van vreugde, herinneringe, pyn, liefde, drukkies
passie vir JESUS

want jy’t intens liefgehad,
intens gelewe,
en uiteindelik…

intens gesterwe

So hoe omskryf mens in woorde
die dade van ‘n hero?
Want al was jy nie foutloos nie
het jy sonder blaam gegaan.
Jy wat vrede bewaar het
terwyl jy jou man kon staan.
Jy wat liefde uitgedeel het
sonder om dit ‘n cliché te maak.
Jy wat elke sekonde gelééf het
… en binne sekondes gestérf het.
Want selfs in jou dood het jy liefde beskerm
Jou GROOTSTE liefde op aarde…jou maat.

Die HERE tel my hartstukkies op
En plak dit weer vas met Epoxy-gom genaamd LIEFDE’nGENADE.

En regdeur jou lewe, jou bestaan,
loop ‘n goue draad
- liefde passie omgee -
no compromise on your faith…
en dis daai goue draad waarna ek gryp
want daarin lê die resep vir ‘n vol lewe
maar joune was nie ‘n resep nie…
dit was ‘n roeping

Nou hoe kan woorde ooit beskryf
Die essence van jou bestaan?

©Ronél Swart, 2010

Monday, August 9, 2010

In loving memory of Johann Heinrich Kahl aka Exo

In remembrance of Johann Heinrich Kahl: 16 October 1983 - 8 August 2010

My dearest baby-brother, Heinrich, passed away on Sunday morning 8 August 2010, doing what he loved most in life - mountain climbing. He went to Jesus whilst being in the place where he felt closest to God, the mountains. With him dying, he saved his wife's life...

Our hearts are broken over our loss... he got married a mere 3 months ago, and leaves behind his wife, Carlien. Our parents are shattered, the siblings astounded. Where do one begin to explain the accolades of such an amazing man???

Heinrich, or Tiekieboks as my parents called him, was my friend (1 year 11 months and 20 days my senior) and my confidant. He loved life SO much, and he was always there to catch me when I fell (physically and emotionally). We had crazy travels together as children, being the two 'laatlammetjies' in the family. We got to experience so many amazing things together. He was and still is, my hero...

There's SO much to say about my brother, but somehow I cannot find the words - he was good with words, busy with his Masters in English Poetry. What I know is this:
  • He loved God above ANYTHING in the whole world, and Jesus was his personal Saviour. He lived what he believed!
  • He loved his wife, Carlien, dearly with passion which exceeds any understanding. She was his best friend, and they had awesome times together.
  • He loved our parents with every inch inside of him. He would go to the ends of the earth for them.
  • He had unconditional love for his siblings, he was the glue of this family. When we had issues with each other, he chose to remind us that we were blood-relatives, and as such had to love each other no matter what!
  • He was my parents' pride and joy, and never anything less than a pleasure to them!
  • He was a top-notch mountain climber, and always loved spending time in the mountains.
  • He loved his friends and was the most loyal of them all!
  • He was an amazing student, and very good at anything he attempted! He succeeded in life in a way many would envy him...

My liefste kleinboet... waar gaan ek nou vir my 'n kleinboet kry? Niemand gaan ooit jou plek kan vul nie. Ek's hartseer oor selfsugtige redes, maar my hart breek veral vir Carlien en Mamma en Pappa... en vir ons boeties en skoonsussies en kleinkinders en nefies en niggies en tannies en ooms... ons almal wat jou geken het, het geweet jou hart sit op die regte plek! Jy was die toonbeeld van onselfsugtige, onvoorwaardelike liefde en hoe om soos Jesus te leef. Ek kannie in woorde uitdruk hoe lief ek vir jou is nie, maar ek dink jy weet my liefde vir jou het nie perke nie.

Dankie Pappa God dat Exo by Pappa is, en dat waar hy is daar geen pyn of lyding is nie, net die 'vrede wat alle verstand te bowe gaan' (Fillipense 4:6-7)

I salute you, my dearest friend, companion and beloved brother. Ek gaan jou mis...

Thursday, May 27, 2010

New beginning

It's been almost 2 months since our baby's heart stopped beating (April 6th), and only now can I say that we're over the worst. Except - today a friend, that recently found out she's pregnant, told me that they, too, have lost their baby. My heart breaks when I think about what they're going through. It's not an easy road to travel, the journey is heart-wrenching and the destination seems so far away.... BUT, what I DO know is that our Father God is ever-faithful, and will provide in all our needs. He also knows our hearts' desires, and He cares for us in a way that we cannot even begin to comprehend.

Thus, I've realised that I won't comment saying "this is for the best, there was probably someting wrong". We always accepted the situation, yet it wasn't an easy time in our lives. I'm going to cover my friend and her husband in prayer, inform her that I'm praying for them, and leave my 'door' open for when she's ready to talk. Why? Because it hurts like crazy when you hear what others mean to be healing words. And I appreciate these as being consoling, but when you're in that situation at that time it doesn't seem like the pain will ever go away. The only thing that has taken my pain away and has dulled my heartache, is God's healing grace. So, please don't see this as an attack on anyone that has sympathised with us during our miscarriage, we really did appreciate your caring. It was a great comfort to know that we were covered in prayers and blessings from others, that those we came into contact with understood why life didn't appear quite as rosy at that stage. But understand that the tears remain, the hurt remains - and only through God's healing power can that pain be taken away, and your body be restored.

May I ask that those who read this post to also cover my friend and her husband in prayers and blessings? That's the most amazing gift one can give to another. To ask for God's healing and restoration in their lives?

We thank God that we've experienced His Healing Power, and that we are now ready to try again, God willing. So here's to new beginnings, both in our lives, and in those of my beloved friend and her husband!

Praise be to God Almighty,
for His blessings are poured onto us daily,
His love covers our pain,
His grace covers our past..
Great is the Name above all names!
For He is Good, ALL the time!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Remarkable Child

Remarkable Child…

I discovered your presence early one Monday…
Confirmed it late the next Tuesday afternoon
I started dreaming up our future,
Everything was so perfect…
And for four solid weeks
I carried you in my heart.

I remember seeing your heart
Beating strongly on the screen
You were ever so tiny at 7 weeks
But I was already in love!

Then at 9 ½ weeks,
Your heart came to a standstill.
And what should have been a joyous day
Turned into a day of despair…

I watched your lifeless little body
On the screen that day
Your arms perfectly formed,
Stretched out for a hug…
But where once I saw a heartbeat,
There was only white noise…

My heart skipped a beat
And the next moment I knew
That God took you to Heaven
Because your life here would be cruel.

I still carried you inside of me
To bid my farewell
And saw you on Tuesday
Already far away…
You were curled up and peaceful
With no care in the world
And I realised this was goodbye
For this lifetime at least…

I miss your presence,
Even though I never felt you move
I miss dreaming big dreams
About what we would one day do…
My heart breaks each day
When I realise anew
That this is one more day
Without knowing you…

And today I had to let go
In a way I never wanted to
But I know that one day I’ll meet you
When I go up to Heaven.
And we’ll be together once more…

~ Ronél Swart ~
~ 15 April 2010 ~

Today my husband and I experienced losing our (first) child. It hurts so much that I can't even begin to explain it. BUT "We know that in all things God works for good with those who love Him, those whom He has called according to His purpose." (Romans 8:28 Good News Translation). It is for this reason that we will mourn our loss but cannot ever blame God or ourselves for it.

It is only through our faith in Jesus Christ, our LORD and Saviour that we remain standing. He's love has shone through in everyone who've supported us in the past week and a half.

So, we bid our sweet child farewell. We won't forget you, for you've made an extraordinary impact on our marriage in the short while that we carried you. For that we cannot thank you (and especially our Father in Heaven) enough!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

A note from my dad...

Tonight I was quickly putting away another certificate of attendance (for my CPD activity record) in a file I used when I applied at different Universities in my Matric year (2003). This file also contains my registration documents for the University of Witwatersrand in 2004 as a BSc OT 1st year student.

I found the following poem, quoted by my dad (Gideon Kahl Sr.) to me and written on the inside cover of a ring-file on 26 January 2004 in the Residence Life Office at WITS University, which is the day he had to drop me off at the University... his last-born and only girl in a very big city:

by Ben Hildner

As children bring their broken toys
with tears for us to mend,
I brought my broken dreams to God
because He was my friend.
But then, instead of leaving Him
in peace, to work alone,
I hung around and tried to help

with ways that were my own.

At last, I snatched them back and cried
"How can You be so slow?"

"My child," He said,
"what could I do?
You never did let go."

Just thought it would be nice to share with the world... It's good to find these treasures every once in a while. Makes me realise how much my parents love me and care for me. I don't always show my appreciation, but I hope that reflects some appreciation on my part. Thank you God for such awesome, loving, caring, always-helping parents. They truly did pray me into the person I am today!

Baie liefiPappa!!!!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Ina Kahl's life & passing...

Auntie Trudi, Ronél & Auntie Ina (wearing blue-purple blouse)
16 January 2010

Tonight (Sunday, 31 January 2010), at approximately 22H00, my Aunt Ina passed away after a long time of physical suffering and emotional heartache.

It's been 8 1/2 years since her husband passed away, and her life basically came to a standstill. For without her husband, she had very little reason to live... the only reason for her life on earth, as she had often said, was that God was not yet done with her on earth. He still had plans for her...

But tonight God finally allowed her to go Home to Him, where she will no longer endure suffering of any kind, nor rejection. She's made free, and will spend eternity with her loving Heavenly Father.

We're going to miss her sorely, but we know that this is for the best. May God's love and peace always envelope her. And may her sons come to know what a wonderful, albeit sometimes difficult, woman she truly was. May everyone remember her for her good.

Thank you to everyone who helped to look after her. Those who accepted her unconditionally and took care of her needs. Thank you Mom and Dad for giving her a place to live and giving her a second family. You guys are all amazing...

I love you auntie Ina, and I'm so happy that you can now be in Heaven with your husband and with our Lord Jesus Christ. You deserve nothing less!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Exciting times!

I said I would blog more often this year, and now it's not even happening! So tonight, after reading some of my friends' blog posts, I got into the "blogging-mood" again.

School started with a BANG, although I'm STILL trying to touch ground! We've got quite a few new entries, and that meant a lot of assessments had to get done. Now I still have to write all of those reports, since I'm flying to Cape Town on Wednesday afternoon. I'm starting with my International Interdisciplinary Wound Care Course at the University of Stellenbosch on Thursday, 4 Feb at 07h30 already! (or something along those lines...) It's a rather exciting time in my life, and I'm so happy, because my husband went to the Cape this past weekend and will be joining me (not to study, but to support me) throughout this new venture of mine!

Last year I told myself I won't go back to varsity / studies again quickly... and then on the last day of my exams, as I drove back to Johannesburg from Pretoria, having just completed my Hand Therapy Diploma's last exam, I thought... WHAT am I going to do with myself if I cannot study?

... And then came the answer in the form of my father - he informed me about the IIWC-Course that was being presented at Stellenbosch University's Tygerberg Medical Campus, and I could not resist saying "yes" to the idea of studying something I've been passionate about since I've been 5 years old. You've guessed it right (or maybe not) - WOUND CARE!

My mother is a wound care consultant, and we actually have conversations about various wound care cases during supper (I know, it sounds gross, but I must say I've learned SO much over the years!). This course is also great with regards to OT, as I will be able to choose electives that fall within my scope of practice - especially post-surgical wound care. This is an important aspect of Hand Therapy, and also links closely to other aspects of OT, such as Amputations and reconstructive surgery (e.g. of nerves or muscles). I'm STOKED, to say the least, about the opportunity to study again / some more!

So even though studying this course is an advancement for my career with regards to the attaining of knowledge and honing of skill, this is also the fulfillment of a life-long dream. I'm excited about what I will learn and how I can apply my knowledge later-on in life. I'm glad that I will be able to share more with my mother, and I know she's also excited about the prospect of having her daughter maybe someday following in her footsteps. She just LOVES teaching others about wound care - truly one of her greatest passions (although being faithful to GOD and following His will for her life is the most important!).

Another happy turn of events is that one of my best friends from high school, and close spiritual-friend, has ALSO moved during the December holidays and is now staying a cool 12.5km from our house! We've already seen each other twice within one week, and our planning for a very sociable February is well on it's way! Movies, dinner and lots of late-night coffees is in the pipe-line!

We're very blessed to have Vici and Wayne living so close to us, and God has truly worked in all of our lives. It's like everything just suddenly fell into place for all of us - everything was actually SO sudden that we could not overlook the fact that God had intervened in miraculous ways! He knows our hearts MUCH better than we do ourselves, and I realise now that He is allowing us more time to grow as friends and spiritual-friends /-partners. Together we can pray for each other, carry each others' burdens and bless each other and those surrounding us. Thinus and Wayne have found true friends in each other, and Vici and I could not have asked for more amazing husbands! It's wonderful that we all get along SO well! God is GREAT!

And then, finally, my (and Vici's) other best from from high school got engaged last night! The poor guy could not even go down on his knee since he underwent knee surgery on Thursday (29 Jan). I thought he would ask her on her birthday over a week ago (22 Jan), but the ring was not ready by then, she told me this morning. She's still recovering from the (very nice & positive) shock, but sounds VERY pleased. They're getting married on 31 July 2010, so in exactly 6 months' from now. We are praying blessings over them and their relationship, and hope to spend many more days / months / years with them. God is faithful!

So, with this, I leave you. I have to go and unpack some more stuff (yes - I'm STILL not done with all my moving and unpacking!)... and then precious sleep is around the corner!

Hope your week is a blessed one! And remember to live by the Fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22&23).

Friday, January 1, 2010


It's 2010, and I'm truly excited for what this year beholds!

Yesterday my husband and I moved our last belongings to our new flat at the school where I work. We're very excited (and at the same time somewhat scared) for what this year holds, but we trust that this was God's will and that we are doing what pleases Him.

2009 was a VERY LONG YEAR, but at the same time it flew by so quickly! I'm grateful for all that happened in this eventful year:
- We started attending the most amazing church with amazing fellowship!
- I started working at a special-needs school (which was daunting at times, but mostly great fun
and a humbling experience all-together)
- I started and completed my Diploma in Hand Therapy at the University of Pretoria (PRAISE
GOD - I've passed my diploma with good grades and will be receiving my diploma at the
graduation ceremony on 20 April 2010!!!)
- Thinus and I became uncle & auntie again for the 10th and 11th time! (a girl and a boy)
- My baby-brother got engaged, and is to be married to the most wonderful woman in May
- THREE of my best friends became engaged - to be married in 2o10!

These are but some of the major things that happened in our lives.

With all of this I just want to thank God, the Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ for standing central to everything that happened in our lives. Through Him we are capable!

May 2010 be an amazing year. May God bless you, keep you and make His countenance shine upon you and give you peace!