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I guess that is where it all starts, doesn't it, in the beginning, with bits of stardust fragmenting on the edges of time, forming the innermost essence of who we all are, and then, of course, there are the absolutely endearing and loveable couple whom I call Mom and Dad, who fell in love, got married, and procreated. I'll leave you to decide which is the more romanticised version of the reason for my existence.
Or maybe it started way before both my parents and the stardust; maybe it started in an ethereal plane of existence that none of us can comprehend at the moment...or even recall. All I know is that I am grateful to all the above that I am alive.🙏
I was born 50 years ago to wonderful parents who struggled for years to conceive and went through a couple of miscarriages and surgical interventions in order to have children. They sure did want me and my siblings and I am grateful for that. I count my blessings every day for the fact that they both were desperate to have a family and that I was the fortunate soul to enter their lives first and experience the love that only a parent can shower on a child.
I am also incredibly grateful that I had the sense to keep the terrible twos under wraps just long enough that they could forget the pain of sleepless nights and not yet have endured the pain that toddlers can bring, and have my younger sister 2 years later 😂and finally truly blessed that the unplanned 3rd came along when I was 6 years old, my baby brother (not such a baby anymore lol). We are all very close and the blessing that comes with such relationships, nurtured over the years, is that we are always there for each other's triumphs and disasters, happiness, and grief. There is always a shoulder to cry on, a problem to be halved or a laugh to be shared. My gratitude cup overflows.
My parents always put us first and made countless sacrifices of their time and hard-earned money to support our passions and interests over the years. As a parent now myself, I can finally appreciate just how big a sacrifice this is and was for them. I want my children to flourish and be happy above all else, and I know that is all my parents ever wanted for me too. So I am incredibly indebted to them both and feel blessed to have been a child on the receiving end of all their love, and now a parent, sharing with my children the unconditional love that I in turn have for them.
I am also so grateful that I grew up in Africa, had a deep gorge with riverbeds and waterfalls as my backyard playground, and Zebra, Vervet monkeys and Duiker (small variety of buck) as our local neighbours. The Zebras literally lived 3 doors down from me in the nature reserve and would come up to the fence that met our road. It was awesome, I was truly blessed, and living to the beat of the African drum always filled me with the greatest sense of being alive. If you've ever lived in Africa you will know that she is not an easy home to say goodbye to; she creeps into your heart from the day that you are born and forever after you are reminded of that longing to reconnect with the dry heat of the plains and the humidity of the African East coast. There is nothing like an African thunderstorm after a day in the African heat to make you feel alive with the wonder of nature crashing down around you, and when all is clear and you go outside to the beautifully cleansed earth, and look to the night skies, you have never seen such majesty, so many billions of stars, and the wonder of the Milky Way from the Southern Hemisphere is a beauty to behold. These are the little big things that make me feel grateful to be alive and to have lived my life.
Finally, I feel blessed to have been given the privilege of a University education and to have had employment opportunities throughout my working career, such that I have a good job today that enables me to support my family's needs. I have a wonderful circle of family and friends who are always there for each other and an amazing little family of my own, from my husband to our two young sons. I have also have had the blessing of 'time' to enable me to pursue my passions: hiking, walking, karate, writing, reading, Tom Brady, Julian Edelman ... 😜(erm...NFL Go PATS I mean). Yeah yeah, they've moved on... but I haven't ha ha.
All of the above makes me feel alive every day and fills me with so much gratitude. I honestly cannot take stock of all the blessings in my life as, last time I looked, there were just too many to count.