For Mothers on Mother’s Day

Upon waking this morning my friend Doug sent me a text message on his cell phone:

“Good Morning Sue – and what you think about joining us, – Me ‘n Shaz at Seagulls restaurant for a Mother’s Day lunch? Cath is treating Shaz, so I’ll treat you, seeing as your children aren’t here?”

To fill you in, Cath is Doug and Shaz’ daughter, and Seagulls is a restaurant situated in the tiny holiday village, L’Agulhas which is the last inhabited place at the southernmost tip of Africa.

I do not think my friends know how much it means to me to have received that message today – it brought a lump to my throat and made me feel terribly emotional. You see, I am here on my own trying to wrap up the sale of our home in Cape Agulhas, Graham, (my hubby) is working under gruelling conditions in Uganda on an agricultural project and my daughters, son-in-law and grandsons are all in England. My Mom is eight hours drive from me up the east coast of South Africa. As I’ve visited her recently, I cannot afford to visit her again until our house transaction is through.

With my friend’s kind gesture, it brought me to think of the many mother’s, (including my beloved mother) step-mothers and adoptive mothers who are spending this day on their own.

It’s for them that I write this Blog today:

We, as mothers, have all had mothers and grandmothers, an aunt or god-mother who has been an important part of our life. Someone who kissed a grazed knee or stroked a fevered brow, made us packed lunches and drove us back-wards and forwards on school runs.

A woman who cheered us on at school sport’s day and ran in the mother’s race, and even if she came in last, she was our heroine.

A woman who told us it didn’t matter that our report card was not brilliant, Einstein was dyslexic and look how he turned out!

A woman who kept all our drawings and little notes from when we first knew how to put pencil to paper.

A woman who taught us that fairies and angels really did exist and that the world was full of beautiful things.

A woman who cried with us over our first heartbreak and wrapped us in her arms and made everything feel OK.

A woman who saw us out into the big wide world and kept a lighted candle burning in the window if we ever needed to return.

A woman who saw the wonderment when we ourselves became a mother and we could only understand the burning protectiveness and unconditional love a mother has over her own child.

I think of all the mothers who have to face the death of their own mothers, or the loss of a beloved child. The empty feeling they must have to face each year when Mother’s Day is celebrated. They cannot make a phone call to say “I love you dearly”, but what I do know is Mother’s Day is for remembering our mothers because their spirit remains within us and our children and our children’s children.

The whole world’s most celebrated day of the year is Mother’s Day as everyone has a mother. It does not matter what religion, creed or colour you are, Mother’s Day is important to all of us.

Happy Mother’s Day, – especially to Mothers who are on their own and feel sadness at loved ones who are not with them.

Love and Light to: My Mom, Debi, Kerry, Taryn, Johnno, Lochlan & Mason.

©Susan Cook-Jahme, Freelance Writer

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Goodbye Morrumbala, Goodbye Jack

Me ‘n Jack

My last morning walk with Jack started around the usual time, 6 am.
He was waiting for me outside the kitchen door and gave me his usual talkative “Hello!”
I felt sad as I could not tell him that this would be the last time we would be taking our tour around the OLAM cotton complex here in Morrumbala.

Tomorrow, Graham and I shall be leaving early for Quelimane, where I shall say goodbye to him at the airport.
My first leg of the trip back to South Africa, via the Mozambique capital, Maputo.

At least this time I can understand most Portuguese and am able to make myself understood. Coming here three months ago was different, I had no idea what anyone was saying to me!

Getting back to Jack, he has been my friend, I shall be sorry to not have him around as he’s a great conversationalist. But at least he will be here to keep Graham company.

Next posting shall be from England. What a contrast it shall be, – from the extreme heat of Central Africa to the icy cold of Europe!

Thanks everyone, for sharing my early morning walks here in Mozambique, it’s been great to know you have been tagging along with me in cyber-space.

Dear Diary – A Care Giver in England

18th June, 2011
One thing that has been a God-send to me is modern day communication.
What with mobile/cell phones, iPhones, the Blackberry, PC’s and so on, there is such a choice of ways to communicate with loved ones back home.
Without this life-line, I do not think I would be able to get though a three week Care Giving assignment with a designated Client, (even if the Client was the sweetest and easiest going little Golden-Oldie on the planet) one needs to touch base and sometimes have reassurance from afar.
Last night I was feeling terribly low and thought I may end up high tailing it down the lengthy drive away from this large, rambling home and Molly, but I was able to chat to Graham half a world away in Mozambique where he has just started his farming stint for a large International Agricultural company.
Life there is infested with malaria mosquitoes, basic living quarters and a daily 200 kilometre drive on a road that has deteriorated into a pot-holed bush-track to and from the derelict rice plantation he has been employed to resuscitate.
To top it all, the locals all speak Portuguese and he does not, which is a challenge in itself.
By the time we had both offloaded our woes on each others shoulders, we both saw the amusing side of our present situations and ended up inventing unspeakable scenarios to keep Molly quiet and out of my hair.
Also how he could tell the cook where he is staying that he required him to cook a meal without thinking the food he had given to the cook was for him to take home to his family to eat, leaving my poor husband starving after a day out in the field.
As so many people I know are travelling and working abroad, I’d like to share a tip on a very good company I found on the Internet when calling Africa and other places that you may use called Rebtel , which is a VOIP company, providing cheap international calling from mobile and landline phones. Rebtel’s customers can use any phone in more than 50 countries to call anywhere in the world for just pennies per minute.
You can make direct phone calls; collect calls, PC to Phone calls, international SMS.
There are no monthly fees, or hidden costs to use Rebel, which is great as I have been caught out by some services and found myself paying hidden costs.
Here is the link to their website where you can learn how to dial Africa internationally and how easy and cheap it is to call to Africa from the US or UK.
Talking about communications, I forgot to write about how terribly lost I got the day I arrived here.
Brenda, (the Carer before me) met me at Basingstoke railway station and drove me back to the farm, where I was duly introduced to Molly and shown to the room where I’d be spending the next 21 days. We then had lunch and I drove Brenda back to catch her train.
She was full of the joys of spring and I was feeling somewhat envious knowing she was about to have a break and I was just starting out on my shift with Molly.
I was also slightly suspicious of Brenda’s extremely good mood and incessant chatting as I knew I was like that when I left my last post.
Although Brenda assured me Molly was OK, she sure was in a hurry to escape.
In fact, whilst I drove back on the highway and through a string of round-a-bouts I found myself wishing she’d stop waffling for a while so that I could concentrate on where I was going.
Getting to the station, Brenda already had her luggage ready and fast footed it out of the car, leaving me to find my way home.
Wishing I had remembered to bring the Sat-Nav that I had borrowed from my daughter, I drove out of the station and pointed myself in the vague direction of the route I had gone along before.
Heck, I found myself driving around a round-a-bout four times before I thought to look at the sign post which clearly indicated the A339 to Newbury. I did very well for about 15 miles, and then took an off-ramp that looked familiar and ended up in a quaint little village with Tudor buildings and narrow roads.
I felt as if I was in a time warp or deja-vue until I realised I had been in this village six years ago when Graham and I lived in the same area on a lovely country Estate belonging to a delightful South African family where Graham was employed as a manager.
Absolutely relieved, I headed home only to be reprimanded by Molly for being late for her tea and biscuit.
Now I understood why Brenda was in such a happy mood when I dropped her off!