Mother

Many of my posts here are fluffy and insubstantial, surface stuff or random weird thoughts.

This one not so much.

When I was around 19 / 20 my mom and I had a falling out.  Many do during the growing years - but ours lasted for the rest of our lives.  It wasn't an all-out fight, but simply that I lost the ability to trust her and things just went downhill from there.  Where some women find their greatest confidants in their mothers, mine knew very little about what was going on in my head.  We existed in the same space, that was about it.

17 December 2005.  The day cancer finally took her.  Nearly 12 years ago.  We made one final two week trip to see her earlier that year as her body wore down - and although I knew it would be the last time, things were still not right between us.  By the end of two weeks we were grating on each other's nerves, too far apart over too many years to find our way back.  We made one last phone attempt a week before she was gone, which was just as unsuccessful.  Although I admired what she had accomplished in life and who she was (and I understand more and more of her as I get older), there were many others who I fear loved her more completely than her own daughter did.

Her ashes rest 2km from my home in a wall of rememberence.  I have not been back to that wall since they were interred.  I have never experienced the profound sense of loss everyone has expected me to have.

But last night's dreams were all about mom, for the first time ever.  She was struggling and fighting to live again, doing everything in her power and knowledge to beat the disease - from juicing to chemo.  The dream was interspersed with so many random weird scenarios - as dreams are.  And through it all I had the one possible option that could cure her, but couldn't figure out how to convince her to use it. 

I wonder now, knowing what I do 12 years later - with the body of research and personal experiences behind it - if there was a very simple change that may have made a very big difference, if I could have convinced her to just try it. 

I wonder if I could have saved her life.

Retro adopters

Read an article today regarding the "new" Nokia 3310 release and how products are appealing to Retro Adopters.  Got me thinking...  am I one?

I'm now (horrifyingly) in my mid-to-late 40's.  I grew up in an era where things were still made to last, tech was not common - your telephone was attached to a point in the house and had a dial, microwaves were basically unknown, not everyone had a TV - and the world was a whole lot simpler.

Perhaps I'm reacting to the incredible rush, noise and fake-ness of our Facebook-lived lives today, ruled by chimes and alarms and "notice me!"s, surrounded by things that actually don't matter in the greater scheme of things, chasing numbers in a bank and ratings online.  We've sampled the latest and greatest, and it's not as advertised.  I'm kicking back against it, and so are many of my generation.  Each of us in different ways.

We want the good old days, and now most of us have the means to pay for it - or an updated replica of it if you're of the retro adopter hipster variety.

Anything that reminds us of when we were kids and life was good.

So I find myself with an original set or two of wire furniture like this:



With a growing number of board games - and no computer games.


With 100kg of home cured olives in my garage, and more home-made goods in the pipelines once time allows.

A collection of old crafts and methods I'm learning or re-learning.   Stuff you do with your hands, and not an app.

I aspire to a proper veg garden - and even have dreams of being a housewife instead of a "career woman".

There's a Pineware manual meat/bread slicer lurking in the kitchen.  I'm after a traditional chest freezer next.  A Phillips electric knife sharpener is on the shelf, just like the one we had to leave behind when we moved from Zimbabwe to South Africa when I was a kid.  A can opener like gran had in the drawers.  A few cast iron casseroles in the cupboards, and mom's Tupperware jug for summer juices.

I'm living in an old-fashioned house with vinyl flooring and flowered tiles in the kitchen, peach coloured bathrooms, an entire room for a laundry, a seperate dining room - and I own a dining room table, chairs and a server.  With a set of proper heritage silverware in it's own oak cabinet.

Given half a chance, I'd probably have a ball and claw hall table...


And I actually still have an original working Nokia 3310 lurking somewhere with its charger - or one of its close relatives.

I'm not your traditional retro adopter.  I'm something much worse.  I've got the originals!