Saturday, March 18, 2017

Do The Thing

So this is what happens when you don't take care to put on sunscreen. I made sure it was on my face, and on my tattoo, but apparently I forgot my neck and my back. It's burned for a bit, but didn't really hurt. It's a bit itchy now.

I just applied vinegar, hence the sheen.
Today has been a wonderful day, relaxing and chatting with family, and then heading to the event that brought us to SA in the first place. 

My mother's father's second wife, Doreen turns 97 this year. Last year she fell gravely ill, and when she recovered, she decided to hold a special Thanksgiving Service. This ended up being, basically, a celebration of her life. Many people got up and spoke about the impact Doreen had on their lives.

R-L: Mom, Doreen, Frikka
(who introduced herself as the daughter of Opa's best friend)

The thing that struck me was despite the little time I have had with Doreen, I too have felt the impact of her strength of character on my life. Each time she came to Canada I remember being excited to see her. I recall my grandfather as being stern, but also having a sense of humour. Doreen was kind, and spoke to me like a person, not like a child.

When we went to see them in 1995, there was one moment that has stayed with me. I don't remember what the discussion was about, but the Canadian parents didn't want the kids to do some particular thing that we wanted to do. It might have been that we wanted to go into town with the local kids. But Doreen spoke up, saying, "let them go". It's hard to convey in words on a screen the kind of command Doreen had. Still has. But when she speaks, people listen. And what she said that night convinced the Canadian parents to let their children Do The Thing they wanted to do. 

This had a lasting effect on me in a few ways. Mainly, to Do The Thing. If it scares you, do it anyway. If you want to, Do The Thing. Give yourself permission. And also, give others permission. Trust. Support. Extend yourself. Give yourself over to new experiences. Don't let fear stop you. Don't let other people stop you. Don't let judgement stop you.

This is Doreen's legacy that lives with me. So if you object to the things I do, blame Doreen ;)

Hah. So. All of that said. It was a lovely time, meeting the people who love Doreen, some people who loved Wilson, my Opa, and meeting family member after family member.

But I still have photos from yesterday to post. So let's take a step back and check those out.

the view in Mitchell's Plain

Literally everywhere you go, Table Mountain is there.

There's a really interesting mix of architecture.
Lots of old styles and replicas amongst the new and modern.

The pediment sculpture had been created by Anton Anreith when the
Slave Lodge was converted into Government Offices in the early 1800s.

The Castle of Good Hope is the oldest surviving building in South Africa, built in 1666.

The Victoria & Albert Waterfront

The City Port

The table cloth (the cloud formation) over the Table.

Leslie, Rene, Cliff (the American), Heidi, Alister,
Bernice, Whitney, Celia (blue), Elaine

Leaving L&C's for the last time.

The table cloth over the mountain again.