“This post is deeply personal to me and may not be republished in any shape or form.”

Dear Mum,

I haven’t written to you in too long. Despite that, not a day goes by when I don’t think of you at least once. You will be pleased to know that I think I am finally moving past the traumatic few months leading up to your death. I managed to tell someone the whole story for the first time ever a couple of weeks ago. That was a huge milestone for me. I know that it’s unhealthy to carry such stories (this and others) in my heart without dealing with or addressing them but I feel guilty at the thought of burdening others with my story. I also worry that it will affect their perception of me. I know that packing these things into little boxes and tossing them out to sea is a recipe for a nervous breakdown in the future but I do it anyway. Out of all this I have learnt to smile and laugh the most on the hardest days. It’s a skill that has served me well.

Your youngest baby just started a business degree. For a while I was scared I would not be able to send him to a tertiary institution. God knows it kept me awake at night. And as God has done countless times in the past, just when I came to the end of myself,  He stepped in and opened a door. He has been an unfailing provider. Even when I first started taking care of three people and wondered how I would get from one  pay day to the next because I knew it was impossible, He made it possible. Nothing could explain how I have come to be where I am today but the grace of God.

Now back to your son, he has grown into a handsome and somewhat eccentric young man. What on earth did you and dad do to pop out such eccentric babies lol! *I’m giving you the side-eye I get from people for my weirdness all the time.* He is also quite the metro-sexual. He is all about skin care. He has more of a routine than I do!!! It’s working for him though because those nasty breakouts have abated. He colour-coordinates his outfits *eye-roll.* He is also very very spiritual and prays incessantly. I admire that about him. Finally, the cherry on top of the eccentricity cake is that he is a break dancer. An exceptional one at that. The first time I actually saw him dance was on YouTube. I was impressed. Who would have thought it.

In other news, I recently got a promotion at work and I am now working with people much older than me. There is only one way to describe the whole thing… awkward. As tends to happen when younger people are promoted, some of the older people acted out immediately. One had the audacity to stand at my office door and announce that she did not sign up to be told what to do by a child. Ordinarily, this would be the type of stuff you would advise me on but you are not here so I had to make my own decision. I felt that ignoring a direct challenge like that would set the tone for my interaction with her and the rest of the department for the foreseeable future. I chose to respond as directly. I calmly told her that in future all grievances could be brought to me to address in the appropriate manner because a productive environment only comes from content employees. However, because of the manner in which she had addressed me in front of other employees I had to take the matter a little further than I would have had to otherwise. I initiated a disciplinary meeting with the relevant director and human resources and she was issued with a warning. I felt bad, and even a little embarrassed by the whole thing but it achieved the desired effect. Everyone calmed down immediately and work is done as it should be.

Such matters aside, I am on such a steep learning curve in the new department that it makes me dizzy. It always amazes me how much I don’t know. As a result I am working 12 hours a day just to try to keep up. Sometimes I get really frustrated with myself because I just don’t get why my brain will not absorb these things faster. I am also self-studying to write company secretarial board exams this year so the pressure is on in ways unimagined. I have even started dreaming about work and school 😀 I know I have been studying continuously for too long and I need a break but I seem to have perpetual study syndrome.  I don’t see myself studying again next year. And yes, I know I said that last year too 🙂

Finally, in November last year I had a freak accident in which a client’s drinking glass fell on my foot and sliced clean through my tendons and muscle. In order to repair the resultant damage and to regain movement in my toes I have since had 2 surgeries and I am still wearing a moonboot. I spent a month of that  time confined to a bed and the rest in this moonboot. It has been incredibly hard on me psychologically. I went from working out 5 days a week to barely being allowed to drive. I also went from being completely independent to relying heavily on others. Although I haven’t gained weight dramatically or anything I feel off-balance and sometimes I get depressed. At other times its ok and I remind myself that it will all be over soon. I guess there are good days and bad days. I have a really long scar on my foot from the surgery. I think it gives my foot character. I also decided to buy myself a pretty pair of heels in anticipation of the finalisation of the divorce from the moonboot.

I almost signed off without telling you the most important thing. I met a man. Ok, that’s vague. I am in a relationship with this man. This is the first man I have dated without you to discuss pros and cons with beforehand. It’s the first relationship in which I don’t have you to remind me to keep my head when I’m angry or to remember not to be stubborn. I miss just talking to you about how things are going. I miss you hounding me to get married lol. How ironic. It used to annoy me so much back then. I don’t regret waiting though. I don’t regret ending either of the relationships I ended to get here. I also don’t regret being in them. The best way to explain that is to tell you that those relationship experiences allowed me to grow from a girl to a woman.  Now I know what I want and I know how to get it. I also know that sometimes relationships work out and at other times they don’t. When they don’t it’s ok. There will be a good one in the future in good time. I know it’s ok to be alone and it’s ok to feel complete when you are. I know that I can only make others happy when I am happy so I must never compromise on the things that are fundamentally me. I know self-esteem is esteem of the self. No person has control over it but me. I know how to keep my fierce temper in check *whoop whoop.* I am still working on sharing my thoughts and myself but it’s in progress.  I know much more but most importantly, I have learnt and continue to learn to love and be loved. With this under my belt, I feel like a woman in a relationship for the first time rather than a girl playing at being one. Imagine the disaster if I had accepted marriage 5 years ago. You were unsure of my decision then (we both were) but you would be proud of who I have turned into now. I know you want to know when I am getting married lol. My answer hasn’t changed. There will be time enough for that in the future. For now, I am content and I am grateful for every blessing that makes me smile and for each pain that reminds to feel.

I love you mum and I know you would reply “I love you too Sunshine.”