Life Lately

Life is difficult. Author M. Scott Peck from the book “The Road Less Traveled” states that life is a series of problems and once we truly accept and understand this life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters.

Wise words from a wise man. Inspiring words for when you’re in a clear state of mind but definitely not so easy to make sense of when you’re in the midst of your problems. However, with all this being said I find myself amazed at the human ability to fight and have resilience even when bad, tragic things happen.

About 2 years ago I received a phone call from my sister at around 6 pm on a Friday night. It was 3 weeks before her 19th birthday so we were discussing that and a future visit from her. I was at a social gathering with friends, the line was breaking up the whole time so when her airtime ran out or the connection was lost - I’m not sure, I didn’t bother to call her back. The next morning I received a horrible message. She was dead, my sister that I spoke to just a few hours before was not alive anymore and the worst part? She committed suicide. Now, this obviously came as a massive shock to me because…

She never seemed depressed.

My sister was a strong-willed, full of energy type of person. This girl was always groomed, had swag and never moped or moaned around the house when we were growing up. She could tackle a messy room in no time and could prepare delicious family meals just like that. My beloved baby sister was just so able, give her wood and some meat and she was sure to handle the braai like any other man around the block. 

She was beautiful.

With piercing blue-greenish eyes, a full pout and high cheekbones against fair freckly skin she was a beauty. I always encouraged her to try a bit of part-time modeling (while she was studying, she was a first-year journalism student) since she was also blessed with a pair of killer legs. 

She was popular.

Venessa knew and hanged around all the cool guys and had a group of close girlfriends too. The times we went out together I’d feel popular and part of the in-crowd too. She had that it girl aura, but she was kind and compassioned as well, maybe too compassioned and sensitive at times. I think she was highly sensitive although she tried to hide it.

She was only 19.

Nineteen-year-olds are supposed to have fun, they are basically allowed to get into trouble and get away with it. When I was with her I also felt young and it was awesome to have a younger, beautiful and popular sister. But now she’s gone…

I will always regret not calling her back on that damn Friday night. It feels as if we didn’t conclude and ended our discussion properly, then again some would say that at least she said goodbye to me. I received a phone call from her, I should be thankful. I should be thankful for the times we laughed and shared together. 

Our time in Cape Town, sitting on a bench opposite the Sea Point promenade eating Big Jack pies and coke. The long beers in Spur, the hikes up the mountain in our hometown. The way I used to push her on the swing when she was still a child around 5 years old, telling her not grow up. 

Also the cheer and then later tears on her face when I used to tell her the story of “Toepak Ja Oeri en sy lama” from the Afrikaans, “Kinders van die Wereld” book. I can tell you about a whole list of beautiful memories, but that would take all day.

So life is difficult, yes indeed but we have to keep moving forward. We all have to deal with what life presents to us, it's not always what you expect and sometimes it can be very cruel but like the saying goes, you have to take the good with the bad.

Image - My Own

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