Sunday, July 24, 2011

To Ouma We Go

On Saturday, Johan and I picked up his Oupa from the retirement home and took him to visit Ouma in the hospital. At 93 years old, he is still able to get around. Slowly, but surely. As we walked in, he spoke to everyone as we passed, especially all the ladies. Johan was holding Ava, and I was walking with him. He held on to me tight, like a proud grandfather.

On the 7th floor, we came to Ouma's room. She fell last week, broke her hip and has been in the hospital ever since. After the hip replacement, she got a few blood clots in her lungs and is slowly recovering from both. 

Ouma lay in her bed, thin, pale and weak. When she saw Oupa she started crying, she had thought he was dead. Lying in the hospital is making her lose her mind a bit. Oupa touched her face and told her she was silly, he wasn't going anywhere. I thought I saw tears in his eyes. He probably won't go anywhere. He will loose her, before she looses him. As I watched them interact with each other my heart swelled up. I can't even imagine losing Johan. Not even when we are in our 90s. When I looked up, I saw my husband holding our daughter with tears rolling down his face. My husband is sensitive and not afraid to show it. I love him so much.

After 60 years of marriage, Johan's grandparents are still very much in love. He kissed her forehead and kept trying to make her more comfortable. He told jokes and honked her nose. She cried and tried to joke back. She's in a lot of pain these days. 

After leaving the hospital, I realized just how fast life is going by. My youth is gone. I am now older than my mom was when she had me. I try to imagine her at my age. Where our family was, what we were doing. My grandmother at my mom's age now. I try to look forward and imagine life as Ava. Of what her memories of grandma's house will be. Of school, pets and first loves. I think a lot about the decisions I made as a teenager and even as an adult. The good and the bad. Try to figure out how to save Ava from the bad. Yet, I know she will have to learn her own life lessons from her own decisions.

Johan and I are in agreeance that we must live life to the fullest and always have something to look forward to. We don't leave angry. We wake up with smiles in this house. We love each other, our family and our life. 

Despite seeing Johan's Ouma in such a state, it was so great for her to meet Ava and introduce Ava to the rest of Johan's family. We stayed at his cousin's house, a beautiful home built over 100 years ago. His beautiful wife and their two gorgeous daughters welcomed us with opened arms, lots of great food, laughter, good wine and heated blankets! We really must visit them all more often. 

My favorite photos of the weekend:
Farm Life

I love Ava's hand on her great-Oupa's arm. Melts my heart.

Johan with his Oom Charl and family

Johan and his cousin Charl - almost everyone in his family is name Charl, even Oupa!

9 month old lions

Johan is one calm cat

Me, freaking out

The cat sensed it, then swatted at me with his paw and tried to bite my leg

So I was out of there.

Just another Sunday in South Africa

These are rare white lions, Charl's neighbor breeds them. Not for hunting purposes, thank the lord.

So close, yet so far away.

These tigers were looking at the girls and licking their lips, not cool. Ava is not a morning snack, mister!

The van der Riet's beautiful farm house

Yep, this one is getting printed, framed and hung on the wall!
For some reason I can't get Fleetwood Mac's Landslide song out of my head. 

Well, I've been afraid of changing
'Cause I've built my life around you
But time makes you bolder
Children get older I'm getting older too
Yes I'm getting older too, so

Getting older by the second,

Blair Scheepers


  1. Wow. Its just before 7 on a saturday morning and I'm reading your blog on my phone. I'm bored cause I'm in hospital. The part about johan's grandparents just brought tears to my eyes... I love your blog! Keep up the good work!



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...