Saturday, October 30, 2010

30 October 2010 - A tribute to my Dad 21/08/1928 -27/07/1994 Constantino De Pontes

I love the silence of the early hours of the morning. The stillness of sleeping children. The sound of the birds waking up for a new day. The singing of birds floods fond memories of my late dad who passed out of this life and into the next on the 27th of July 1994. Almost seventeen years on and I remember my dad with great joy. What an awesome father he was.

He was Portuguese. He grew up with 10 siblings. They were a farming family in Mozambique. His dad, my grandfather died when my dad was 6. There was a storm and he went outside to bring the cows in because the lightning and thunder was disturbing them and he went to close the huge gate so that they would not flee in terror. He stepped on a wire lying on the dusty ground, it went deep into his foot, he later died as a result of the poison of the rusted wire.

Shortly after that my grandmother moved to South Africa with her eleven children. Sadly that is all I know of my dad's history, except that he also only got his first pair of school shoes when he was 14. He always used to say to me,"why do you need shoes in every colour? I owned my first pair of school shoes only at age 14." sadly I still have a shoe fetish! I know he matriculated at an Afrikaans school and then joined what was then The South African Railways now called Spoornet.

He married my mother June, and had my sister Glynis, then me and then my brother. We lived a simple and happy life. My mom and dad divorced after 22 years of marriage. My dad was broken after that. He was a stanch Roman Catholic and he never took communion after his divorce. It broke my heart that he felt that his failure to succeed at his marriage made him feel unworthy to accept the greatest gift given to mankind, the death of Jesus- His salvation marred because of this. My mom remarried but she too does not feel that she is worthy to take the holy sacrament of communion. She has never forgiven herself.

After the divorce I stayed with my dad. Initially I judged my mother but after years of being married- 20 years infact, I realise that she had come to a place that she could not go on and she had to get out. She was not fortunate like myself to have had the faith and grace in tough times to lean on the everlasting arms.

When my dad passed away I had two young children. I was eight months pregnant with Jason when my dad suffered a massive stroke. Two months after Jason was born my dad paased away. He suffered short term memory loss after the stroke and he could not remember that I was pregnant. When Jason was born it made no sense to him, I would visit him and he would always talk to Ashleigh who was only 15 months but he did could not understand that I had another baby. I used to visit him at his home most mornings. The stroke had left him paralysed on his left side. I would sometimes shave him if I managed to settle the children. He was very frustrated with his limited movement and dependance on everyone, he had been a very independant and proud man. However the week he died somehow by God's grace I was sitting with him one morning helping him to drink his tea, and he asked me "How is your other one?" I replied "Do you mean Jason, Dad?" So I picked him up and asked my dad if he would like to hold him, I will never forget those precious few moments when he held Jason in his arms for the first time acknowledging my son. That was the Thursday~he died the early hours of Sunday morning in his sleep.

So I hear the birds singing and I remember him with fondness, what a privledge to have been fathered by this kind hearted man, he taught me to understand the Father heart of God, it is thanks to my dad that I have such a great understanding of God not only as my creator and Saviour, but as one who can cry out "Abba Father". He was a good earthly father who loved me and showed me only kindness, he was always so proud of my achievements as a ballet dancer and scholar. He was a good provider,I miss him a lot. My children would have adored him, my boys love soccer and he would have spent hours coaching them. He also taught me the meaning of hard work. He worked selflessly to provide for us, I never lacked for anything, especially love there was always plenty of that in our home and he was always hospitable to my many different friends that I would bring home.

I often listen to the song by Josh Groban "To where you are" Somedays I can almost feel my dad's presence as he smiles down on me, the memories of him so clear. And sometimes weeks or even months will go by when I have not even thought about him in my busy life. Some days it feels like his death was a lifetime ago, and sometimes like today when the song of a bird sparks that memory it is like a movie in my head especially those last few months we shared together me as a stay at home mom shopping with him feeding the ducks with Ashleigh, laughing together....

"The man that meant the world to me
A love beyond compare
When I needed "life support"
My dad was always there.

I recall so many days
I remember special things
And now I know he's up on high
I see his angel wings

My dad was my protector
Yet he taught me how to face
The trials that life would hand to me
He showed how to embrace....

Everyday and everything
The good times and the bad
I miss him and will always love
That special man.....My Dad.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

28 October 2010

Two months and the year will be over. Roll on 2011 - 2010 has been a very tough year. Health and finance a constant challenge.

What a pleasure to only be working with Kuzina. Chris employed two new ladies both Greek. Ioanna is a lovely bubbly person who has worked all over the world making restaurants work. This is just what Kuzina needs. Already you can see the waiters are more attentive they are starting to operate more professionally. I enjoy going into work now things are definitely getting more organised. Its also great to be using my legal skills again, I feel like now all my studing has been worth it. And it is a wonderful thing to feel appreciated. There has been abit of pressure to get things organised and I feel a bit like an ostrich at the moment with my head buried in the sand of work - lots of it. But I am loving it. So good to use my brain again and to be part of something bigger. Zoe is also new also from Greece and she has a soft and gentle spirit. So all you peeps out there come and try our restaurant. The food is heavenly and the atmosphere well we would like you to feel like its a home away from home. You will find Kuzina at the New Cape Quarter. Parking is reasonable with your first 45 minutes free so you can linger longer and enjoy a leisurely meal and enjoy all that the Cape Quarter has to offer. Hope to see you all there this weekend.

My health is definitely on the up and up. Feeling stronger everyday. My legal work is a bit slow at the moment but then I havent had much time to focus on it as I have been very busy with Kuzina. I plan to do a bit of marketing with fliers and business cards and well of course the best way word of mouth so please get those tongues wagging!!!!

Its a stunning day in Cape Town and I plan to enjoy the beautiful weather once I have fought with SARS to hurry and give us out VAT number ....wish me luck and patience and a kind and gentle but firm demeanour!!!Enjoy today

Sunday, October 17, 2010

17 October 2010

Gosh so long ago since I had a chance to blog. So much has happened, I have been diagonosed with late onset asthma and rheumatoid arthritis of the left lung! I had to give my bird away, Georgie has been with me for 5 years - I am a bird lady some people love dogs - I love birds! It was a sad day but apparently he was also making me ill. I gave him to a little old lady in PArkwood, and I believe he has settled well. All this due to complications of adult measles!
I also resigned for Wakame and am now only working for Kuzina. I am also concentrating on setting up my Paralegal business.

Ashleigh had her Valedictory on Thursday and Friday was her final day of school. Time waits for no one my baby is writing her final exams. She has been accepted to UCT to study BComm Accounting for 2011. My baby girl has started driving and is off to varsity. It feels weird but good.
Next year I am again going to attempt studing as well and wish to complete my LLB through Unisa in the next 5 years.

Life continues to be beautiful and as things change daily I am more convinced that I serve a God who never changes, His love is constant in a constantly changing and advancing world, and each day I want to go deeper with Him to know Him more to serve Him more.

Monday, October 4, 2010

4 October 2010

Gosh where does the time go? I have been so busy that I have not had time to think. Hlubi and her two children Noah and Mandisa arrived from Port Elizabeth on my birthday and we partied non stop until she left yesterday morning!!! I know I said I am going to seize the day but this was crazy busy. I managed to catch up a few hours sleep yesterday afternoon.

We had a fantastic time though catching up and reconnecting, thats the amazing thing about Facebook, havent seen Hlubi in 28 years we find each other on Facebook in April this year and well now it seems like we have not lost a day.

My birthday party was fantastic we had an awesome time at Kuzina. Thanks everyone who came you made it really special.

Tomorrow I should have finally some answers regsarding my health. I am seeing the Pulmonologist Peter Chapman at Vincint Palotti. I am taking strong drugs that definitely dull the pain but do make me feel a bit nauseaous. I am told it takes about a week for the nausea to settle. Yesterday was quite a bad day I couldn't even hang up washing had to call my son to help me. It was a bit scary for me.

So this is like the first day home where I start my new Job life, it feels weird to have no pressure from an outside person to be somewhere. Have a meeting at ten at Kuzina then meeting an insurance guy at 12 and then off to Vincent Palotti for lung function tests at 2.30.

So lets get ready and face this new challenge have lots to do .....

Its a beautiful day in Cape town and I am excited about new great is our Invisible God!