(My Aunty Elaine (left before being diagnosed with cancer) and my ma (right - the one with the grey hair - taken prior to chemo hair-loss)
(The Bashews Christmas Delivery)
Tonight, I visited my blog again. It's been a long time, 3 months and a couple of days to be precise. I last wrote on 14 December. That's a long time not to blog. Partly procrastination, lots of laziness, but mostly as a friend explained it 'Life got in the way...' A lot can happen in 3 months. A lot can change in 3 months.
We had Christmas lunch at our home this year, about 45 loved one gathered here and it was gloriously chaotic, we ate gammon, and soetpatat and pineapple tart and drank delicious Kloovenberg bubbly and bottles and bottles of that ubiquitous Cape Town celebratory drink, Bashews, which to my delight is still delivered to your home in refundable glass bottles in wooden crates. And yes, the wind blew, and there wasn't really enough seating for everyone, and no it wasn't as I had imagined my Eartha Kitt 'Santa Baby' champagne-swilling sophisticated soiree to be, but we were all together, Jacques's extended family and mine. And I'm so glad we invited everyone, and didn't care about the wind, or the seating, or the elegance (or lack thereof ) of the food, because were were all together, aunts, cousins, siblings, babies and friends and it was everything that Christmas should be.
And then in January, Jacques and I went to London ( and I promise I'll post some blogs about the amazing places we ate at), and we had a wonderful time, but while there, we learned that my aunt, (my mom's sister and my Godmother) had been diagnosed with cancer. We came home, and three weeks later, she was gone. It is a hideous-hideous disease. I still can't believe she's not with us any more. And I worry about my mom, who is fighting her own battle with cancer and had to witness how it destroyed her sister. And so I've been caught up in that. And I didn't write much. And so one day turned into a week, turned into a month, turned into two. Without having blogged. Because life goes by quickly. And we tend to forget that. And so I'm not focussing on the bad stuff, or the immense loss I feel or the fear that I have. Or beating myself up because I have not written. I'm reminding myself, instead, that I got to see my aunt and mother laugh together as only sisters can, and as only they could. And I smile when I think how Aunt Elaine wrote some of my Afrikaans essays and all of my school speeches. And how nice it was that she made the Christmas soetpatat last year. And got to drink the Bashews . And once again, I'm glad that I wasn't precious about Christmas, because by not being so, it was.