“Damaged goods”: Leras story

“Abortion: Same day, Safe, Painfree”.
That’s what the poster said. She walked past it the first time… But they were plastered on almost every wall and tree in the Huhudi township she stayed in. She was shy to stop and take down the number, but she knew she needed a solution to her “problem”.

Lera was only 15 years old. She suspected she was about 10 weeks pregnant. Well based on her first and last sexual encounter with her Maths teacher. She initially thought her period was just irregular, but eventually she tested and oh well… 2 solid lines! Positive. She immediately informed “Bae” who immediately vocalised how this was never a relationship and he was out of whatever they had had. After weeks of trying to persuade him otherwise, his cold shoulder now turning into a threat became a sure reality.

She contemplated keeping her child. I mean, so many girls her age had babies. But then the thought of her Dad… Her mum – she could work with, she would be disappointed but she was an overall gentle and forgiving person. Her Dad on the other hand was quiet the opposite. (Maybe that’s what they meant by opposites attracting) He was a cruel, harsh and unforgiving man. No explanation or cry of a newborn would redeem her in his eyes! What was she to do? She was a fairly good student, she probably could make Varsity if she worked a bit harder. A baby was bound to be an inconvenience. She wasn’t ready, yet the thought of having someone to love and love you back unconditionally was tempting too. The debate continued in her mind for 3 more weeks.

Week 13… Now Ex Bae asked Lera if she had “sorted out” the problem. As she said no, she quickly felt a hot slap on her cheek followed by the question “Are you crazy?” and the instruction “Get rid of that thing!” Tears flowed down her cheeks and it dawned that maybe indeed she was mental for even considering keeping this thing… so today, she would find a way to get Doctor Maxs’ number from the poster and call him to make arrangements.

For sure Dr Max (a wierd name for a Doctor) was more than willing to assist. He invited her to his consulting room. It was on the 2nd floor of an old building. As she entered she was instructed to remove her shoes as she was standing on sacred ground. After consultation with a half traditional healer, half youthful young gentleman, he handed her 4 tablets and instructions. She left… somewhat relieved yet also sore for the R400 she had to sacrifice. She got home and first thing she did was “the deed”. As she looked at the tablets, they really looked like Paracetamol… but oh well. She waited… Nothing. No bleeding, No pain, Nothing. It really was exactly as the poster had said… She waited 3 days and tested again… 2 solid lines! Still positive. She called Dr Max and vented her frustration. He asked her to meet her in the alley behind the supermarket. She went and received another 4 tablets and a bunch of assurances. He however requested she drops him another R100.

Back home, these tablets sure did work. She bled for days, had cramps from the pit of hell and even had to miss school. Calling it severe period pain to avoid suspicion. Day 5, still bleeding, she panicked. She called Dr Max who told her to come in for a check up. During the consultation he explained that he suspected it was due to her being over 3 months in her pregnancy. He called a nurse from the local clinic to come assist… and after a painful experience that involved what looked like a metal hanger she walked back home, limping. 5 days later, the bleeding had stopped, the pregnancy test was negative. Life was back to normal…

Lera thrived. Matriculated . Went to North West University and excelled in her profession. She eventually met a young handsome somebody and they settled down… 4 years into her marriage, she still had no children. They had been trying since Day 1 so her husband insisted it was time they both go to the Doctor for check ups. She agreed and it was revealed her Uterus had scaring. Possibly due to damage during a forced and unprofessionally excecuted evacuation. When they got home, Lera explained her abortion to her husband. His face puffed up with tears as she spoke. “How could you Lerato ?Why didn’t you tell me? I never signed up to marry DAMAGED GOODS!”.

Speak your TRUTH

In her silence, I heard a scream.
An intense cry of agony sprouting from deep within her well decorated heart.
A profound request to be heard from her beautifully masked face.
She wasn’t anywhere near as weak as so many thought she was, she wasn’t nearly as feeble and naivè.
She was merely beat down by all life had offered her,
Strangled by circumstance,
After circumstance,
After circumstance…
Draining her of Hope, of Faith, of Joy…
Tamed by the cruelty of humankind, the realisation of the selfishness and greed that lurked around her
Her eyes tainted with vivid memories of anguish, disappointment and heart ache…

In her silence, I heard a Roar!
A plea not to be written off as if dead – she still embraced life.
Not as a victim but as a Victor! Not as a failure but as a conqueror!

Having been struck down but never truly destroyed. Rising from the ashes, she had a song.A song so many like her needed to hear. A song not of sorrow or grief.Not of death and Defeat. Not of bitterness and hate!

She had a resolve in her healing heart
A strong resolve to live again.
To live as in to Love,
To live as in to Dance,
To live as in to LIVE!

Her hopes and dreams once captive to fear;RELEASED
Her smile and worth once bound by hurt; SET FREE

In her silence echoed chants…
“Not forgotten, not forsaken,
Not forgotten, not forsaken!”

SO ARISE! Speak it out,  Loud and Proud.
Speak your truth: That HIS love never fails!
Speak your truth: That HIS grace is sufficient!
In silence no longer shall you remain!
Too many need to hear…
Too many need to know…
Too many need to see…
Speak your truth, THE TRUTH
That He who reigns Supreme is Father to you.

Keas’ Mom.

She sat down slowly in the seat… her palm on her face… she began to cry silently …

She had came to the pharmacy for collection of her daughters medication. Her husband and her daughter accompanied her. She had a special child, with special needs. Kea was her name. Kea was hyper, epileptic and bi-polar. A happy and curios child nonetheless. She obviously couldn’t sit still and she was causing a scene as they arrived to the pharmacy waiting area. Keas’ Dad struggled to take her out so there would be less commotion…

She sat down slowly in the seat… her palm on her face… she began to cry silently …
She was tired!
So tired. No one understood just how exhausting it was to be the mother of a child with special needs. She couldn’t work. Kea was her full time job. There barely was time for anything else. Kea couldn’t even go to the toilet by herself, her conversation was not coherent and her seizures still spontaneous regardless of her anti-epileptics. She could not remember the last time she had a “normal life”. Kea and all her needs was her normal.

Don’t get me wrong. She loved her daughter. She was able to look at her and thank God for her. She could see the toll all this sickness had brought to Kea. She didn’t have friends. She could not go to school. She often tried to teach Kea somethings at home but it was difficult. She feared for her baby. What would her future hold? That being said, she was tired and drained.
Why did God not answer her prayers and heal Kea??? She was 15 years old now!
Had people who hated her bewitched her to make her have a child like this???
She needed a moment of calm. It often got overwhelming. Was she a bad mother for being frustrated like this at times? Her marriage had felt the strain, but her husband tried here and there. Their finances were barely helping them make it through each month. Sigh!!!

…She sat down slowly in the seat… her palm on her face… she began to cry silently …

She was strong! But right now she needed an outlet. She couldn’t hold it all in… It was hard.
It’s not like she could cry when Kea was there. She had to be strong. She had to represent and radiate hope. Right now though, while there was no one watching, she cried.

Dear Jesus… Hold Keas’mum. Give courage, comfort and peace. Bring healing to Kea. Dear Jesus do not let this family fall apart. In Jesus’ name. Amen…

To my unborn daughter

My darling. Oh how I love you. I am yet to meet you but already I know that you mean everything to me. I have had many experiences in my life and I have learnt one very important thing that has made me sit and write you this letter…
My Baby… The lesson I want you to learn is how to be content. I know this may not make sense yet but I assure you, it will spare you heartache, strife, stress and even depression.
Know always my love, that You Are Enough!!! The world will always try convince you that you are not adequate. That you could be a bit more this and a bit more that. Be content with who and what you are. You are beautiful and stunning. You are amazing, even if you are a tad bit short and round like me your mum 😉
Remember this, friends will come and go. Know that it’s okay! Not everyone was meant to stick around forever. Be comfortable with that. They didn’t leave because of you, they left because of them. It’s not the end of the world. It was probably cool while it lasted. You will always have people who love you and I know God will give you some precious gems for friends who will stick by til the end. (I have prayed about it so I know). Be content with them.
Be content with whatever you achieve career wise and even with your finances. Don’t compete with others, rather compete with your own self. Live within your means and avoid debt. Do not envy! Be content my child with all God will give you. It will free your mind and your heart of anxiety.
Now, by all this, I am not saying you must lack ambition. Definitely not! Try always to be the best you can be. At school. At work. As a friend. As a wife. As a Mother. As a human being. Be wise and be humble enough to seek advice when you need help. Be grateful to God for all you have (He is going to bless you richly) and let it be enough. Don’t let life pass you by while you constantly complain and worry about wanting more. Appreciate your life, it’s yours! There will be highs and lows. Each season will come and go… Be content always!

Love ❤

You don’t know me rich girl!

Staying in this rural section of South Africa, hair salons are indeed plentiful. However the quality of service often leaves a lot to be desired…
It was just another Saturday, just needed to get a wash. I was too lazy to do it myself. So off to a hair salon I went, at the taxi rank, by Boxer supermarket. There are plenty salons there, I simply picked the more “decent” looking one…
I got in, and saw 3 dressers all with clients… None seemed available so I was about to walk out when one of them said, “No, I am almost done here, 2 minutes”. She grabbed my arm and directed me to a bench . It was dusty… so I opted to stand as I didn’t have a cloth to wipe it. I whipped out my phone in my waiting mode and scrolled down my Facebook feeds… I felt eyes roaming on me… and looked up to see one of the clients staring. I smiled and continued, hoping she would realise that staring is rude!
2 minutes became 5 and I started tapping my foot… getting slightly impatient. Soon after that I was getting my hair washed. The hairdresser, Thandie was sweet, obviously trying to retain a permanent customer. I indulged her. As she put the conditioner I noticed that the lady previously staring had a Plaster of Paris(POP), with an arm sling. I looked at her face, it looked hard. I mean I am sure she was young but her face had scars and looked very mature, usually the consequence of alcohol overuse, slight personal neglect and a couple of fights. I rebuked my thoughts. “Sssh Dee!”
We got up from the sink and went to my seat in front of a mirror, next to the arm slinged POP lady.
I heard her ask her hairdresser to wait. She got up, moved to the bench were she had a few belongings and took out a 750ml bottle of booze and took a long thirsty swig. I checked my time… It was barely 11am… but hey… again “its none of my business…”
She came back and sat down, the whiff of alcohol tagged along. Into the salon came her friend, holding a crying baby and handed it to her. The friend carefully positioned the baby to her breast to breastfeed. Now my mind was boggled! Tell me then that the swig you took was water…..
My face could not hide my wandering thoughts.
While the baby breastfed I saw the friend take out a small black plastic from her back jean pocket. She opened and poured some dark powder on a vicks bottle. She sniffed it in quickly and put some for her breastfeeding friend who did so too. 

Now disapproval and sadness flooded my eyes… And she noticed it… oops!

“What?” she said. In a very aggressive tone. I didn’t say a word, feeling intimidated. “You don’t know me rich girl, You don’t know anything!” My hairdresser politely asked her to leave me alone. She responded “I didn’t do anything to her, she comes in here, speaking English and with a fancy phone dressed all nice and she things she’s better than us. You don’t know the life I have lived and what I go through. What I have had to do to stay alive. Mmxxmmmm!!!”. Some Tswana sentences followed.

I felt both hate and hurt in her voice. Her face told me she had had a hard life but my primary concern right now was just for the baby. But I couldn’t argue my case because I had seemingly offended her already and nothing I said would vindicate me from her anger. I silently sat an agonising 7 minutes as my hair was dried and combed, hearing her discuss me with her friend. I eventually walked out, ashamed… because I should have handled it better maybe… Because I failed to help… or advise at least… Had I judged? Her words echoed in my head… “You don’t know me rich girl!”

A Moment

Give me a moment please.
A moment to breathe,
A moment to smile,
A moment to be happy,
to celebrate.
Can I have a moment with my mind at ease?
With some peace in my heart…
Will you not hear me ask you?
Do you not hear me beg and plead?
Will you not answer me?
Will you not give me a moment…
A moment of rest,
A moment of refreshment,
Can my tears dry?
This heart is tired…
I just need a moment!

My heart

It’s Valentines day today. You say every day is a day we celebrate love and eachother. I can not dispute that. I won’t even try.
Today though, simply because it’s a designated calender date to do so… I will take some time to tell you how precious you are to me. I tell you every day that I love you. I suspect it may become boring. So I will put it in other words…

You are my sunshine. On cloudy days you shine. You encourage. You support. You pick me up, you lift me up.
You are my angel. You always protect. Even when you are not physically there. You cover me with prayer. You lavish me with love.
You are my friend. The very best of them all. You have seen every flaw. You have experienced the not so pretty… But you have stayed. You have cared. You have listened. You have advised.

You are sweetness, decadent indulgence.
My Smile keeper. My burden sharer.
My beautiful future.
My heart!