Friday, July 14, 2006


I have really been struggling with how to write about our trip to Toronto. It was a mix of so many different emotions – a real bitter sweet experience. My mom and dad in law and Daniel’s sister live in Toronto. My f.i.l is in his early 70s, and up to about 8 weeks ago, he was in good health, working full time and leading a very active life. He has always been in good shape, never smoked and was always on the go.

Everything changed those few weeks ago when he was diagnosed with lung cancer. He has already undergone radiation treatment for two tumors on the brain and is currently in the second phase of what will be a series of four phases of chemo therapy taking him through to November.

He is fortunate enough to not be suffering the usual side effects of chemo and aside from extreme weight loss and losing his hair; it has not been too brutal. He is putting up such a sterling fight and I truly pray, from the deepest place inside of myself, that he will be blessed by a miracle.

I really salute both my mom and dad in-law. If anyone knows what it takes to surrender a large part of control due to circumstances that are beyond your own control, it’s me. When I think of what they have both had to deal with and how they have had to change their mind sets, I am just blown away because of the speed at which it came at them. When life comes knocking at your door full throttle, it is quite amazing what you can do.

This was my 4th visit to Toronto but the first ever in the summer. The weather was perfect and all I can say is it has made me fall even more in love with the place. I don’t know if it is the very strong South African presence that perhaps makes me feel so at home there, but I experience a sense of place when I am there that I have not felt anywhere since we left SA. While shopping at the local supermarket for the in-laws it got to a point where I felt like I was at Checkers – it was unreal. Almost every person in the fruit and veg section was South African. The whole shopping experience was a treat and I confess to having walked the aisles pretending I was at home. (sad ... but true!)

Our niece ~ do you get the urge to eat this up, or what?

We got back home on Monday 10th which was the day my mom turned 83. Ross’ actual birthday follows hers on the 14th so tomorrow we are having a party to celebrate these special people.

Today, as the phone calls came in for Ross from literally all over the world, I remembered how when he was much younger I was sure he thought all his family and friends lived in the phone.

As I review the week and think about all the people in our lives no matter how near or far, and at the risk of sounding totally cheesy, I am reminded how every day is truly a blessing. The bad days are sent to remind us of how important it is to enjoy the good days. Our lives hang in such a fragile balance and ultimately all that is important is for us to live truthfully and in good health.

Today, more than ever, I thank my body for having made it possible to do what it did to make me a mother. I honor my husband for all that he is. I look at our son and see how wonderful it is to have someone in my life who makes loving such a natural and easy thing to do.