I have been off the grid for a while, all for good reason. Additional to this, I have been quite sceptical about publishing my next posts forming part of my testimony, but I will elaborate more on that on Wednesday.
Let’s start off on a more uplifting note.
Celebrating milestones in our lives are so important; and when you are able to share this momentous moment with family, it makes it all the more worthwhile.
I spent a week with my family and blessed to have celebrated my grandfather’s 80th birthday on Saturday, 22nd July 2017 in Cape Town. Dressing up in a vintage set theme, “The Great Gatsby”, was fun and worrying, as I wasn’t sure I would be able to pull it off, but tapping in to my “girly” side, I surprisingly matched the expectation.
We danced the night away, laughed, cried, well I actually did the crying and I have a terrible crying face, my tears were more out of thankfulness to God, that I was able to engrave this memory in my heart having my grandfather in our presence at the age of 80, what an achievement.
While socialising at this significant moment; and as in every family, drama unfolds, having unresolved “issues”, I felt uneasy, as some family members conveyed a silent cold shoulder and an “off-like” demeanor towards me, especially when “trying” to mingle with family at their tables, I, took a different approach, and that is to be the talkative social butterfly I have always been, portraying so much of my father’s persona, I felt happy in my heart and I know that my expectation of someone else will not change that person, however, I do know my expectation of myself will most likely change me, for the better that is.
When I look at my grandfather, he portrays being such a God fearing man; and the one very important thing my grandfather has taught me is that, when you start giving uncontrollable issues power over your thoughts, you will be unhappy, it will make you ill with regret and it will make your heart the “den of thieves.”
One very profound memory I have of my grandfather, when I was a child, is seeing him kneel by his bedside every evening before he went to sleep. Until today, my grandfather prays for each and every one of us and that has kept us protected; and even though there are some days we do not know how we would get by, God provided; and still does.
I was honored to have been asked to be the Master of Ceremony at my grandfather’s birthday, celebrated at Rondekuil Estate, Durbanville. Having the opportunity to have spent this time with something that is of utmost important to me, family, was indescribable. After making my speech, I went to greet my Dad’s uncle Oemie, he says to me in Afrikaans, “isit jy wat so kliphard praat met jou dik stem,” I laughed and thought to myself, “you are so much your father’s child,” I grinned at the uncanny and identical personality of that of my father, a man of many words.
My grandfather however, is not a man of many words; and when he has something to say to you, it is truthful, informative, knowledgeable, profound and encouraging as it comes from a good place; and every so often, funny.
One thing I will never forget is, when in my adolescents, I walked into my grandfather’s house one afternoon; he was on the porch as I entered, he said, “Hoekom gaan leer jy nie verder nie? Izpeth and Charlize (my step grandmother’s daughters) het verder gaan leer.”
At that time, I looked at what he was saying as a comparison. Being young, rebellious and “uwe wys”, I always thought the world was against me.
When looking deeper into what he said that day, it made me realize that my grandfather was actually giving me guidance, support and encouragement, something that was “un”-present for so long.
My grandfather is definitely the definition of a “patriarch”, he has led us, supported us, always welcomed me into his home and taught us something even more valuable; and that is prayer.
Thank you Pa, you have given me something that cannot be appraised, a priceless gift; and that is to try and live a Christian life and to follow and obey God. Despite the family relationship adversities, he still maintained a relationship with whoever they were, because he maintained his relationship with God. He never has an angry heart or discourteous attitude towards any person, no matter the intent.
I share a phenomenal relationship with my step grandmother; and because of this, I now too share a very communicative and reserved relationship with my grandfather. I say reserved because my grandfather is very vintage(old school), as how you speak, approach, portray and carry yourself around him has to be with respect and very conservative, after all he is the top node of our hierarchy, I would give him nothing less.
He is stern, but loving(in his own way) and dominant, but yet very supportive and present.
Pa, here is to many more great years ahead and sharing in all moments that will lead us to a path of prosperity and success.
“HAPPY 80th BIRTHDAY”