Challenges

3/52 Knights of the Vale

There is a certain innocence of youth that I see with Bunny. It’s the type that one has when they trust something to just be. Sort of like how you don’t think that the sun may not rise tomorrow, because you have no reason think that. The sun has risen every day of your life, and so it’s not something you consciously think about. Same goes for me and my family. Thinking back on it, family was one of those things that always just was. I was born privileged to have both parents around, and to have siblings. We were a tight-knit unit who migrated from country to country, only really splitting up when we the kids went off to university. I’m probably one of many who took my family dynamic for granted. Or at least I did until as an adult, I not only needed them but understood that having people show up for me is a blessing. One that should not be taken for granted. There are some moments that really stand out for me, where just like Jon Snow and the knights of the Vale in the GoT episode Battle of the Bastards, people I had not known needed showed up for me. Like, really showed up. I’ll share 3 of those white horse moments with you …

  

That time I got married…

We were young and had other priorities for our money which meant that a wedding was going to take place, but with a lot of DYI. True to my nature, I took on all of it and furiously made checklists upon checklists to make sure not a beat was missed. In spite of all of my lists, I still ran out of time because in there I forgot to add “be a bride”. I am so thankful for my aunts and cousins for taking over the prep work and running the day, my uncles for making sure we were restocked with alcohol when we ran out, friends for hosting showers and sisters for keeping me sane and showing up ready to do the thriller like they said they would. I was a bride in every sense of the word on that day because of the common sense and overwhelming love of the people around me.That time I had an emergency C-section…

After a textbook perfect pregnancy, I had it in my mind that I would have an 8 am -4 pm labour. I had not opted for drugs and had saved up a JR Ward book to start reading at the beginning of my labour, just to keep my mind off things. But what actually happened is that I went into labour on a Friday, but very slow labour. So slow that I was in no pain and had only dilated 1 cm further all weekend. As scheduled, I went in for the gynea check-up on Monday 9am. I had the good sense to have a full breakfast (rice and a quarter leg of chicken) before I drove off with my maternity bag in the boot. I guess I just knew. Once we had confirmed how far dilated I was and had come up with a plan of action to ensure delivery before 4 pm, I was sent to the maternity ward. There, I was strapped to the usual machines for heartbeat etc. when all hell broke loose. An hour later, I was lying in the theatre getting a spinal tap done for an emergency C-section. I was all alone. Then just as the gynea was about to get started I saw a familiar bag on the floor in the corner next to the door, and my aunt come up to me. Turns out she had heard I was in labour and had come to the ward to see me only to be redirected to the theatre. I was a teary mess. I had thought I would have to go through all that by myself, but it turns out I didn’t have to be an island. My people pulled through.

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That time I pulled a Dear John stunt…

Once again, I was surprised by the people who rallied around me when I walked away from my abusive marriage. It was probably one of the hardest things I have ever had to do for myself, but the support I had was humbling. I remember breaking the news to friends over breakfast the day before I left. We were sitting at Tashas in Athol having an incident free breakfast when I said: “I’m leaving him”. This was the first time I had spoken about any of this, and the responding love and support were so unexpected. I was offered help packing, empty boxes, storage space, a place to sleep, and lawyers details. And it did not stop there. In the 3 years it took to finalise the divorce, I had people I could talk to and bounce ideas off. People who rendered legal advice and got me in touch with lawyers. I had people help me pay the crippling legal fees despite having their own households to run on a limited income, and others cheering me on from the side-lines, encouraging me to live a full life in spite of the harrowing experience I was going through. When I made the decision to walk away from my marriage, I had braced myself for the barrage of criticism and an onslaught of doubt mongers. Instead, I had champions around me fighting with me for my life.

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I look at Bunny and I remember my youthful ignorance. I remember not having to think twice about my actions or having to actively build relationships within my own family because in my world family was always just there. Now, not for a moment do I take for granted the help that I have with school runs, babysitting, advice in general or school fees. My family is not picture perfect but rather a mishmash of colourful characters drawn together by our love for each other. Whilst some are through blood and others through conscious association, what remains constant is that they always go to bat for me. I am theirs just like they are mine, and I love each one of them dearly for the colour they add to the tapestry that is my life.

This is one part of a 52-week post a week challenge on gratitude. You might also enjoy reading other parts of this series. Click here to see more.

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7 replies »

  1. Makes me want to take stock of what I have and how grateful I should be for the people around me. Funny how we get so consumed with life and think “glad I made it through” without really taking stock of who stepped in.

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