It’s with a broken but grateful heart that I write this post today. My Oupa (grandfather) who has been struggling with heart disease for many years had a heart attack yesterday and passed away this morning. He was a tough cookie, it took 5 heart attacks over the last few years to take him down!
Our family is really feeling it, we were all very close and for my siblings and I, he and my Ouma (grandmother), helped to raise us since things weren’t always easy growing up. My Mom is especially broken hearted since now she has lost both her parents, my Ouma had passed away 3 years ago.
We all worried about my Oupa then, but he was a champ, he carried on being a strong man despite really missing my Ouma. They met when she was 11 and got married when she was 17. When she passed away they had been married for 49 years. Yesterday was their wedding anniversary, and I think it was all too much for him. His heart was already very weak these last few months.
I have lost many family members, my sister was the absolute hardest for me. I felt like I lost a part of myself even though we were 5 years apart in age. I suppose it’s a sibling thing. But now both sets of grandparents are gone and much loved aunts and uncles too. I have also lost friends. This is a part of life, but it always sucks!
Enough sad stuff!
I instead want to tell you the following:
- Cherish your family and friends: The people we love is what matters on this earth. If you have people that you love and are in feud or something, end it. Life is too short. Obviously, not everything is black and white. But at least let those you love know that you care by your words and actions and have fun with them 🙂
- Be kind to others: Yes, even that idiot who cut you off this morning or that asshole who keeps being, well, an asshole. You don’t always know what’s going on in their lives. So if not kindness, at least be polite. It’s good for your soul too. This life can be ugly enough. Rather add to the beauty of life 🙂
- Look after yourself: Your health is important. I’m not saying never be lazy, or never have that chocolate or cake or pizza. We gotta live a little too! But be healthy so that you can be there longer for the people you love, so that you can enjoy life longer, including all those yummy but oh so decadent goodies.
I write this blog and do the kind of work that I do because this is how I want to make a difference in the world. I know the importance of valuing your health and want to help others to be able to live healthy lives too.
I know I said no more sad stuff, but… My mom had a stroke when she was 32. My Oupa and Ouma both had issues with their hearts. My Grandpa and Gran had cancer, though my Gran overcame her breast cancer, she lost the battle to emphysema. My Ouma lost her life to cancer. My brother, Dad and I all struggle with our cholesterol levels.
I’ve become vegan, so hopefully in doing some good for the environment and our animals, my cholesterol levels stay healthy too :p
Sad stuff done for real now!
In short, what I wanted to say was, just love, allow yourself to be loved, and live healthily so that you can enjoy all of this for maaaaany years to come.
This picture was taken in 2007 and is of my most immediate family. My Gran had passed away the year before that. So she is in the little picture next to it.