Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Reconnecting

Yesterday, I received a friend request and a message on Facebook from a friend that I have not seen or heard from in years. One day a few months ago, Chad and I were chatting about old times, people from long ago and just reminiscing and I was telling him about this person and he said I should search her on Facebook. It was one of those days when I was having a "normal" day and  I did. I sent her a message and then never heard from her and thought nothing about it and in fact forgot all about it, so was a bit surprised when I saw a Facebook notification on my blackberry and then saw it was from her. Then I remembered I sent her a message long ago. Of course, these past few weeks, I have been feeling far from "normal" and very sad and down. I replied to her message last night and it was absolutely devastating to tell her that Clint had died. I could not write much and was in tears as I typed. I went to go bath straight after - then I needed my Time Out. I needed to be alone with my tears and sadness and having a bath, where Chad and Mark could not see me sad and upset, was the place to be.

I find it so difficult to tell people that Clint died and I hate it when I meet someone for the first time and they ask how many children I have. I hate having to say my one child is dead. After Clint died, I could recite every second of that awful night, from the phone call to the time that he died. Everything that happened, everything we went through and everything Clint went through. I could tell people over and over, almost parrot fashion. I was always waiting for the happy ending, I always believed that there was a happy ending I could tell. One day during therapy, I spoke to my psychologist about me being able to talk about what happened that night and Mark not being able to. I told her that I could talk about it and wait for the happy ending. She looked at me in total shock, eyes wide open, I even think her jaw dropped and she said, but what is the happy ending, I stared back at her as if she was mad and in those few minutes, I think, the reality suddenly hit me and my logical brain took over and that was when I knew that this is for real it is forever and I said to her that Clint lived, and then it hit me "my logical brain" and I said, but there is no happy ending, there never will be a happy ending. It was from then, more than three years after Clint died that I was no longer able to talk about what happened. All those years, I believed that there was a happy ending, that the more I spoke about what happened that night, the closer I would get to the day I could say "and Clint lived." My brain and mind was badly damaged if that is how I can describe it, or it was being protected somehow from the truth. It is something I cant really explain, but now I find it very difficult to talk about what happened. I used to recite it, more than talk about it.

I also went for Body Talk Therapy for awhile. Body Talk, helped Chad a lot. Initially, the therapist asked if we would be her "guinea pigs". She was still studying and needed case studies and Chad never saw it as therapy, it was a joke being a guinea pig, but later he responded to it. Body Talk is hard to explain, but what I can say is it did help Chad, who refused to go for therapy. Anyway, during one of the sessions, the therapist told me that my emotional brain had blocked my analytic brain. That made sense to me, because I used to try and explain what was happening inside my brain. I actually felt a blockage in my brain or mind. I still can't explain it and still have days where the blockage is still there or comes back. I think the day I spoke to my psychologist about the so called happy ending was the day the blockage opened. This probably does not make sense to anyone, but now I can't recite that night, I can't go there!! If I have to, it is extremely painful, it was always painful, but then I was numb, then my logical brain did not work, now it does most days.

Now reconnecting and catching up is something I hate doing. All I want is a message or phone call from Clint and I am never going to get that.



Photobucket




Good Morning



The Floral Thought in this image is an exact synonym of the feelings I have for flowers. They are beautiful and something beautiful I can do for Clint, but they just make the sadness deeper. They smile but don't laugh. 

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Ballito Weekend

Now that I have an Internet Connection that works all the time, I can catch up on the stuff I wanted to post long ago. This whole year I have basically had no connection. First with my problems with my Telkom line in January, then changing to Neotel mid February and no coverage at home, I haven't been able to really blog.

Mark's business in Ballito, finally started trading on the 1 March 2012. The opening date kept changing due to development and construction delays. They have not finished building the business park and there is still a lot of construction going on there. On Friday, the 2nd, he decided to have an opening launch on the 10 March, that did not give much time to advertise and organize it, but once he has something in his head, he goes full steam at it.

We all went down for the weekend. Chad's friend John came down with us and we had to take them out of school on Friday. They went to school until first break, then I fetched them, went back to work where we left from. Finished packing the car and left at 11h30. Sheila looked after the house and the animals. It was the first time we had asked her to look after the house, so it was a bit of a worry, because her English is very limited and sometimes it appears that she is not very intelligent, but it is really just a language issue. There were no problems and she took good care of the animals. Jingles was in her element, because she got to sleep with Sheila. She absolutely adores Sheila and I always tell Sheila, Jingles is her dog. Miss Piggy and Pluto slept in the bathroom at night and Spike in the kitchen. She had no problems with Spike either. He has bitten her three times. She cannot touch their beds, walk into my office when I am in it, not into Chad's room when he is in it. We know that, but forget and that was when he had bitten her, so she is pretty scared of him, but when we are not at home, he is very protective of her. So everything was fine at home and in fact this is the first time that we have been away and had no problems whilst we were gone. There has always been some problem when we have had someone stay at our house, whilst we are away. Always someone Mark trusts!!

We arrived in Ballito at about 5.30pm. We stayed at the Regal Hotel. I was not impressed. Last minute arrangements and it was close to the workshop. We booked a family room, but they did not say a family room consists of a bed smaller than a standard double bed and a small sleeper couch. Of course there were no smoking rooms, although I would not have smoked in such a tiny room anyway, but we were fortunate to have a balcony, where I could smoke and also go out onto the balcony and not feel so claustrophobic. It is really more of an overnight hotel for single businessmen. There wasn't even a mirror in the room, only in the bathroom, so doing my hair was a problem. I have to say that the Manager made up for the lack of space and comfort. He was such a nice person, genuinely friendly and nice, not just a smile plastered on his face for customer service.



Mark and the boys went to the workshop to offload all the stuff he brought down, after dropping me off at the hotel and unpacking our bags. Then we were going to go out for dinner, but decided to order Pizza from Debonairs, not the best place to get Pizza, then we went down to the beachfront and back to the hotel. The launch went relatively well, considering the short notice and minimum advertising. Mark left early on Saturday morning to start organizing everything. He left me sleeping and came to fetch us just before 9am. We dropped the boys off at the workshop and then him and I went to go buy stationary and files and other office stuff for the receptionist. She had basically no office stuff. I don't think she even had a pen. Nothing was bought or organized when we arrived there. We also had to buy towels and soaps and dustbins for the bathrooms, basically make it presentable. She spent the morning organizing the reception area. It was all a rush with so little time, but we got it done. Slowly, people started arriving at around 10.



We finished there at around 2.30pm and then went down to the beach. I had dropped Chad and John off at the Milk Cafe, Chad's favourite place in Ballito and they decided to walk to Salt rock, because John's grandparents live somewhere in Salt Rock. They never found the place and phoned me to come and fetch them. I had no idea where they were so Mark had to fetch them. Whilst Mark was fetching Chad and John someone who worked at one of the other businesses in the business park, reversed and knocked over the scooter, Mark is giving away in an opening special/competition. How you walk past a scooter in a parking lot, then get into your car and reverse straight into it, I would not know. His car was so un-roadworthy, he probably did not have review mirrors or if he did, then he does not know what they are for. I was so furious and Mark was livid when he got back. His partners, who he had asked to moved the scooter, were not too perturbed. Not their money!! So that ended a pretty good day.







The beach was pretty washed away from the big storm the previous week. I think it was called Storm Irina.






After the beach we went to the Milk Cafe (again for the boys) to have a milkshake. Then went back to the hotel and I had a sleep.  It was so humid there. It rained a bit in the morning, but was still hot and humid. It was sunny when I woke up, I went to shower and then went onto the balcony to have a smoke and was shocked to see that it was drizzling and grey. By the time Mark came to fetch us, the rain was gone and the sun as bright as ever. The heat and humidity really got to me and I could not keep my eyes open when we got back to the hotel.




Milk Cafe
Chad Being Silly
We went to a very popular restaurant  for dinner. The food was very good, but the management is still stuck in the deep apartheid era and it is so obvious to the point of being uncomfortable. Chad loves the food there and apparently they always go there when they are down in Ballito, but I don't think I will ever go back.






Mark was planning on leaving at 5am, but we spoke him out of it or he overslept. We had breakfast at the hotel and then left to come home.




Mark told us that when he went to the workshop on Saturday morning, he saw hundreds of mongoose, running across the road into the bush on the other side of the hotel. They had been rummaging in the dustbins at the hotel, in an enclosed area and as the car drove past they went scurrying into the bush. We thought he was exaggerating and he knew we didn't quite believe him, until we were sitting having breakfast on Sunday morning and saw these little things running towards the dustbins. Big ones, little ones and tiny babies, all going for breakfast. I tried to take photos, but could not get close enough. There are just so many and the Hotel Manager said that when it is quiet they come right around the hotel looking for food. They are so cute. They come from the bush next to the hotel, then stop at the one side of the gate, look around and then run across to the dustbin, then across to the bush across the road. It is a newly developed area and obviously all the construction has ruined their natural habitat.







And that was our trip to Ballito

Monday, 26 March 2012

Time Out - Happy Me

Last Saturday, Mark wanted to go grocery shopping, as we had nothing in the house, but I really was not in the mood for crowded malls and buying groceries. I was really very down and tearful and wanted to clean Clint's room and buy flowers, because I did not buy any the day before, on the fifth anniversary of his death. Him and Chad went on their own. That night when I went to bath, I saw that he had bought me two bottles of Radox. Was it a coincidence that these are the two that he bought me?




Did he think I needed Time Out to be a Happy Me? Does he think bubble bath will take away the tears and pain of Clint's death? Did he just put them in the trolley and not give it any thought, because I had none at home? I don't know, I never asked, because no doubt I wouldn't like the answer, no matter what it was. I guess I shouldn't question it and just accept that he was being nice and thought he would buy me bubble bath.

Sadly nothing takes away the pain, not even time out or long relaxing bubble baths. Not even the beautiful flowers in Clint's room or garden. Are these yellow roses not too beautiful for words? Sitting in Clint's garden the other day, whilst I was alone at home, admiring the roses just brought fresh tears to my eyes.


The strangest thing happened on Wednesday morning. It was a public holiday and Chad had slept over at his friend and Mark went to work. The day before when I was sitting in Clint's garden, I noticed the fishpond was only half full and I never gave it much thought, other than the gardener had cleaned it and only half filled it. I never bothered to fill it up, thinking it would rain soon and it will fill up. On Wednesday after Mark left for work I made coffee and went and sat in the lounge. I heard Pluto crying at the sliding door and wondered why he was outside or when he went outside and went to let him in, but he was inside, but crying to go out. When I let him out he went and stood by the patio chair. I heard a strange noise coming from the pond pump and went to have a look. Nearly all the water was out of the pond and the poor fish were frantically swimming around, very stressed. Turns out the gardener cleaned the filter and put the pipe back the wrong way and the filtered water was pumping out instead of going back in. It felt almost as if Pluto was telling me that there was something wrong with the pond or he was used to tell me that there was something wrong. When I got to the pond, he jumped up onto the patio chair and lay down on it. Pluto is always at my side and will never choose to go sit outside if he has the option to cuddle on the chair or bed with me. After filling up the pond, I sat in Clint's garden with Garfield and I felt a sense of peace, but also a sense of having Clint near to me. I will never know if it is just my imagination or not.


Sunday, 25 March 2012

Back On Line

Finally, I have internet access at home all the time. On Tuesday, the person that I had been dealing with at Neotel, after lodging a complaint on hello peter, phoned me to say she had listened to the recording of the telephone call when I confirmed Neotel coverage at my home address and that they would cancel my contract based on the fact that there is no coverage at my home address. I feel for the sales consultant who will probably get into trouble, because he was not the only one who confirmed that the coverage at my home address was good. I phoned three times and confirmed that there was coverage at both our home and work address, before we took out the coverage. All three, plus the person who did the contract all said excellent at our business address and good at my home address. Good was spillage, which meant that I was lucky if I did have coverage. Strangely, on very windy days i had coverage. On clear days or rainy days there was nothing.

The whole time that I had been complaining, their argument was that there was excellent coverage at our business address. The reason for using our business address was for convenience for their courier company. Either Mark or myself would have been at work to sign for the package, but at home, if I was out then they would have had to come back, as only the contract holder or nominated signatory could receive the package. Finally, someone at Neotel got that and it has now been cancelled and they are coming to collect the modem tomorrow, Monday. Lets hold thumbs the contract was cancelled properly and that we won't have a fight afterwards. I still don't get how a company can advertise that they are the leading telecommunications company when they don't have coverage in a built up area that has been around longer than they have. I don't live in the sticks or in a rural area or a farm. There is excellent coverage 6Km's up the road and allegedly, 2 streets down the road, but not at my address. Weird, but lets hope it is all in the past now.

I now have an MTN share-link modem and it WORKS!!!! Even setting it up took literally less than a minute. We all connected in minutes, nothing like the two day hassle I had with Neotel. Why didn't I go through MTN in the first place? In the past 6 months I have had Mweb adsl, which was a disaster because my Telkom line was always down, then Neotel now back to MTN. I went from MTN 3G pay-as-you-go to Mweb, to Neotel and back to MTN share-link. When I was having hassles with Telkom and Mweb, I phoned MTN about their share-link and they had nothing in stock, so after researching Neotel, I just went with them, research never helped in the instance.

And below is my little router that got us back online
My Share-Link Router


In other news. On Saturday I decided to make a chicken pie for dinner. Wow, what hard work pie making is. I made the pastry from scratch though. The first time I have ever made puff pastry and it is really hard work, but came out pretty well. The pie filling was a bit dry and the only reason I can come up with, is because I used tinned mushrooms instead of fresh mushrooms and also I chopped them very fine. Other than that for my first attempt at pie making, it was pretty delicious. No photos though. After spending 5 hours in the kitchen making it, it was almost 8pm when I dished up so there was no energy left to take photos. I also served it with roast potatoes and peas, like in the recipe, which can be found over here. I used a recipe from All Recipes. Com to make the puff pastry. It was time consuming, but not nearly as difficult as I thought it would be.


Today was spent helping Chad study for exams which start this week. The fighting, nagging, shouting and expectant cheek and insolence is just so draining. He is writing Social Sciences and English tomorrow. Social Sciences being what we knew as history. I hated history when I was at school. i remember it was about the French Revolution or Jan Van Riebeek, so boring, but now they learn about segregation and apartheid, also about the Holocaust and Human rights, so much more interesting. Something we can relate to and the injustices of the past. We had a good laugh whilst I was asking him questions for English. In the text book they had to name the Occupations in the list below. There was a list of about 15 and the fifth one was:
Someone addicted to alcohol is called an alcoholic.  Um, is that a new occupation?? I guess for some it is a full time occupation.
Another one, that made me laugh, until I almost cried was not the text book, but Chad's answer-
A person that collects stamps - Chad's answer "a Loser" and the jury is still out on whether he was dead serious or joking
Well that's all for today, at least now I am able to post on the day, I write something and not have to save it on word for a another day when coverage spills over my house.


Monday, 19 March 2012

A Glimpse Into Clint's Room

I spent the rest of the day cleaning Clint's room - Saturday, 17 March 2012. I have to put the date, because who knows when I get to post stuff, because of my internet problem. It was so dusty, because Sheila only surface cleans, so that she does not break anything or mess anything up. There are so many dust collectors in his room and I should do it more often, but it is very painful. When I did it every month it was all part of my grief, creating a shrine, but when that was taken away from me, it became very difficult. I do go in there all the time, but to touch each and everything is very difficult.

I just cannot bear to pack up his room. When Clint died, Chad wanted all his things and I said he must wait a year. When the first year was over he said "mom its a year now so can I have Clint's stuff now, only certain things he wanted like his land-rover and bikes and remote control car. What could I say, I had promised him - he took the stuff to his room, played with it and then put them back. He couldn't do it either. I have offered him Clint's clothes, because boys clothes don't go out of fashion and they are quicksilver, bad boy etc T-shirts, some brand new, hardly worn or never worn, but he won't have them. He can't wear them it is too painful for him too. His room will stay like it is forever. One of the reasons why I never want to move - how can I move Clint's stuff into a new room, but not have him in his room.

Model Land Rover
As I cleaned, I went down memory lane, thinking of each thing in his room. I decided to take photos of some of the things and am going to post them here, to always remember. It is strange how things just eventually break from age. No one touches anything, but they eventually break - disintegrate; die; break.

This cupboard below, Clint made in grade 8 and the technology teacher gave him a bad mark, because it was not sturdy. The supports were weak and I wish I could take the cupboard to her now and show her that the cupboard she said did not have a strong enough support, is still standing 8 and a half years later, holder up a speaker and full of stuff inside it. Only now is it starting to collapse, but for a tiny little cupboard, made by a 14 year old to withstand a speaker on it, whilst filled with other stuff, it has done remarkably well. I doubt that the teacher has ever made a cupboard in her entire life, but was qualified to teach and mark.

Clint's Cupboard He Made In Grade 8
 To say my child was crazy about motorbikes, is a complete understatement. His room was covered in bikes and pictures of bikes. All the posters are still up, I can't take them down. All the photos in his room, I put up after he died, other than that, his room is the same. Chad used to sneak into his room when he was at a friend and play with his motorbikes and no matter how carefully Chad put them back, Clint knew they had been moved. One day he said to me, he was sure Garfield jumped on his shelves and I asked why and he said, because when ever he came home, some of his bikes were out of place. I then caught Chad sneaking in and taking them, yet they both had the exact same bikes, except for the odd few. For about three years, they received the Mega Bike collection, two bikes every month, Chad never looked after them and for about a year I even put his away before even opening the package, so I could keep them until he was older, but he found them and broke them. Some of Clint's broke as well and others he did not like, he gave to Mark to put up at the workshop. After Clint died Mark gave them to the son of the motorbike mechanic who worked at the workshop. I was so angry and his excuse was that they were broken. Over the past 5 years more and more have just broken, with no one touching them.


Model Bikes


Below is a little plaque or box Dean made in memory of Clint. Over the years it has also just fallen apart and broken. I have put some of Clint’s bits and pieces in the box. 



Memorial Plaque Made By Dean



This is Clint’s damaged helmet. It took me a year or more to actually notice the damage from the accident and it is bad. When we brought his helmet home and I looked at it, I thought it was not damaged at all and was shocked that it was not damaged. I then put the cover over it and it stayed like that, until one day, I took it out and looked at it and then the shock at seeing the damage just broke my heart again. It brought back all the memories and pain of how injured Clint was. I think initially, I refused to see the damage, my brain blocked it out and I only saw what I wanted to see. Clint’s bike never came home. It first went to Clint’s friend Callum’s house. His dad was at the accident scene and then it went straight to Michael’s house. We gave it to Michael, because that is what Clint would have wanted and we did not want it at our house. We also thought it was hardly damaged, but Mark saw it about two years later at Michael’s house and it was not worth fixing. I don’t know what Michael did with it. He was going to sell off the parts that could be sold.

Clint's Helmet

After cleaning Clint’s room, I went to buy flowers. I know it is a day late, but I had to buy flowers, I could not go without putting flowers in his room and in his garden and I know Clint will understand why I could not do it yesterday.

Flowers

As usual, Garfield came running into his garden to join me whilst I was putting the vases down and then she and I sat in the garden, listening to the water trickle in the pond and the birds tweeting in the trees at peace with Clint’s memories, but filled with tears and sadness.

Garfield Sitting With Me

The rest of his things are in this slide show below. Memories and pictures of what is no more and what is now........







Again this is typed on word, because I lost internet connection once more. Half way through loading my photos for the slide show, so I have to start again, whenever my connection has coverage again.






Saturday, 17 March 2012

Five Years Was Too Soon

Five years came far too quickly. I never thought I would reach five years, but I did and it is certainly very hard to believe that this time five years ago, we were in deep shock over the tragedy of Clint's death. It was unbelievable, something I could not comprehend, it was not real. How could it be real and true? I left him at that awful hospital and came home and in my mind I am still going back there to fetch him and bring him back home to nurse him during his recovery period. That is how I have survived, that and having Chad to live for. I live in that dream world everyday, nursing him back to health!!


During my logical and lucid moments, the plan was to scatter his ashes in a beautiful place, on the fifth year anniversary. Mark has always believed his ashes should be scattered. I cannot let go, scattering his ashes will make it real, it will make him dead and I cannot bare that. I cannot bare to see those ashes either, that is not my child, that is not my beautiful smiling Clint. They are packed away in his cupboard, far from site. I cannot bare to touch them, see them, even think about them. Mark believes that Clint must be free and that we must scatter them in the Blyde River Canyon, a beautiful place in what was previously known as the Eastern Transvaal, either there or at God's Window, also in the Eastern Transvaal. I said we would do it in the fifth anniversary of his death. It seemed appropriate, I thought I would be able to. Well year number five arrived in the blink of an eyelid, it came upon us without even realizing it. It feels like 5 months, even 5 days, except at 5 days it was not real, it was not long enough to know that this is forever this is what life will now be like. Clint was at hospital, at a friend, where ever, except dead. 


So five years past and yesterday, the 16th of March was an awful terrible day. It rained all day, hard rain and hard tears. I never got to buy flowers, I cried too much, there was too much rain, I could not bare the thought of going out and buying flowers, pretty flowers for an awful day. I am so sorry Clint, that I did not buy you any flowers, I feel awful, terrible. The rain was just an excuse, it was an ugly day and the weather proved it. I lit a candle for you, in memory of you, the candle light flickering in your beautiful smiling eyes. I fought with Chad, I fought with Mark, they can't take away my pain, they don't understand that although everyday is painful and sad, certain days are far worse and they don't understand that although everyday is painful and sad, certain days are far worse, leading up to that last day that we were with you - the last day that you were alive, the 15 March 2007.

For me, your death date will always be the 15 March 2007, the fact that it is the 16th, is just because the clock ticked over and you died at 3am on the 16th. So it is the 15th and 16th, the worst day of my life is the 15 March, because some murdering criminals decided to take your life and end it on that terrible day.

We received flowers from Janet yesterday. Every year she has sent us flowers. I had never met her or even knew that her and her family existed until, the first year anniversary and she sent flowers and a beautiful card. She hardly even knew Clint, her son Kevin and Clint went to school together and were not even close friends, yet she remembers every year and always sends beautiful cream flowers. Once Chad said he wonders if Janet chooses cream flowers, because they look so peaceful and she does. I really appreciate that she always remembers and I am certain Clint does too. Everyone else has moved on and Janet remembers.



My last two posts were posted, because they are beautiful, which you can read here and over here , but I do not agree with them. Yes that is how life should work. Live, Time and Death, but when it is all messed up and a child dies, it is wrong and not meant to be. Children are not meant to die first, there is nothing right about it. Yes and Life goes on and we are all too busy for each other, like the image in this post, but for me I have gone through the most traumatic thing anyone can go through, I have been forced to live without my beautiful boy, so I can live without seeing anyone else and I won’t live with regrets if something happens. It has happened to me and I have to live with it and no pain or death will hurt me as much.

I am going to now go and clean Clint’s room. Something I have not done for a very long time. Sheila cleans it now and yes, his room is still the same as the day he died, just all the bits and bobs he kept are packed away safely. He was a hoarder and kept every tiny little screw, nut, bolt, even paper and school stuff. His room was really in a mess, but he knew when the tiniest little thing was out of place.  I used to clean his room from top to bottom, end to end, on the 16th of every month after he died, until they broke into our house and kicked in his door to get in there. I kept his room locked on the day Sheila came to work, no one was allowed in there and if it was locked she could not go in there to clean, but the bastards who broke into our house, obviously thought there were valuables in there, because nothing else in our house was locked. I got home when they were in Clint’s room, before they could destroy it anymore. They kicked the door in and crawled under the bottom half to get in. They destroyed my shrine and that is when I stopped locking it and cleaning it myself.

Today I am going to do it and then go buy flowers – it is a beautiful day today. The rain has cleared, but the tears are still there.

I don’t know when this will be posted, because my internet is not working again, but a post on my anger about that will be for another day. I am typing on word, because it has been going on and off all day and I needed to get all this thoughts out of my head and onto paper so to speak.



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