December 13 2019

Dear mum,

Today marks two years since breast cancer stole you from us. I may not be as heartbroken and angry as I was in the letter I wrote on this day last year, but I still have sooo many feelings.

One thing I have thought about over and over again this year is how crazy it is that life decided to take a number as ominous as 13 and give it an even weightier meaning for us. Kwanza vile today, your two year anniversary, happens to fall on Friday 13th.

On that note, I am resentful of the fact that today is simply the Friday after a public holiday to most people. To those who are superstitious they may recognise it as Friday 13th. For every Swiftie but me, it is Taylor Swift’s 30th birthday. But to me this day is two years down, a lifetime to go, without the love of my life. It is two years since a part of me died as well at 1:10 a.m. It is two years since I was presented with the greatest challenge of my life: learning to live in a world that the love of my life no longer exists in.

I am doing pretty well with that challenge, all things considering, but every now and then I miss you so much it is a struggle for me to get out of bed in the morning. It takes every ounce of energy I have, leaving me with nothing for the rest of the day. But that only happens every now and then because aki mum 2019 has been the best year of my life. I am, unequivocally, the happiest I have ever been. It feels weird, and it is downright guilt-inducing sometimes, to acknowledge that the happiest year of my life is one without you in it. But I take comfort in the fact that all you ever wanted for me was to be as happy and free as I am now.

I went to Cape Town to see Ed Sheeran in concert with Aud, Nessa & Gracie and I wore your necklace every day so that I could feel like you were with me the entire trip. I also got promoted to Media Director in May this year and I got my letter exactly one week before my three year workiversary. Remember how just before I started working at my current organisation I promised you that in three years they will make me Media Director … I done did it mum. It was very bittersweet though because you were the first person I wanted to call with the good news. Mum I wished that you were around sooo badly that when I got my letter I did not immediately tell anyone about the promotion. I truly did not know who to tell first so I just posted about the promotion on my Instagram story and that was that.

I say all the time that you live in my heart and my way of honouring you is by being the best version of myself that I possibly can. I also do not allow myself to dwell on the fact that you are no longer present in this world. As Grey’s Anatomy taught me, and as I said four times during your tribute, just because someone is not here does not mean they are gone.

But something happened this year mum. My therapist says that while my conscious mind believes that just because you are not here does not mean you are really gone, my subconscious mind has trouble accepting it. Especially because 2019 has been the best year of my life. So while my conscious mind does not allow myself to dwell on the fact that you are no longer present in this world, my subconscious mind missed you more and more with every happy event I was unable to tell you about to your beautiful face. So it all came crushing down because, as my therapist says, the brain can only handle so much and I went into depression for the last two weeks or so in October. And aki mum it was sooo damn scary. I had never experienced anything like that before, and you of all people know that I have gone through so much shit. But that was frighteningly new and for the life of me I absolutely could not understand why I was unable to snap out of my funk. I know I have no way of controlling the future, but it was so terrifying I swear I never ever want to get depressed ever again.

On a lighter note, I ain’t fat no more! Yasssssssssssss!!! Though as a result my boobs, ass and thighs have left the group chat, but you cannot have it all so issorait. You should see some of the things I wear nowadays though. Inaitwa Thotiana flex. Some of my lewks would probably piss you off, and I would probably tell you something obnoxious like “my house, my rules.” Which reminds me of the time you refused to drop me for Adelle’s birthday dinner at For You because you said I looked like a prostitute. I laugh as I type that because si we really fought in the 30 years I had you in my life. But our relationship vastly improved after you were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012. The last five years of your life were beyond difficult, but they also really fostered our friendship. And I am beyond grateful to the Universe for cultivating something so precious out of something so heart-breaking.

This year we are also doing something for Christmas with the mini geng. Last year I spent the day by myself getting high and watching Christmas movies. Which is pretty lonely, but mum you died 12 days before Christmas so this time of the year is always beyond difficult. This year though I am making Christmas great again, so we are going to Ziga’s for the day. Oh, the reason I am calling it Ziga’s is because Aunt Anne moved to Nakuru in September. I was there in October for a night and we talked about all sorts of things, including you.

Jane the Virgin ended this year. I watched the final episode with your photograph next to me so I could pretend we were watching it together. You would have LOVED how the show ended. Jane ended up with who you always shipped her with so that would have made you very happy. I, on the other hand, always shipped Jane with the other guy so I was a bit bummed out. But knowing it was the ending you wanted made me kinda sorta happy.

The blog is coming along so well mum. Last year as I wrote you the letter I only had 15 subscribers. Today as I write this I have 177 and it makes my heart so full to know that there are people out there who do not know me personally but they give a shit about my posts week in, week out. I am pretty sure you would have subscribed as well and that you would read my blog as religiously as you read Biko’s articles. I also believe you would be down to read the Sex And The City posts because you were not a regular mum, you were a cool mum. We probably would have had to talk about it first, but I think after doing so you would be able to understand where I am coming from. That is my favourite category to write mum and it is practically everyone’s favourite category to read. And who knows, we might have ended up laughing at some of the posts from time to time.

In other news that will probably make you upset, this year I hit pause on being a firstborn. I doubt you would understand that, but I really needed to make my happiness my first priority and I could not do that and be a firstborn at the same time. So I passed the baton over to Aud and while she has done such a wonderful job, this year has been a terrible one for us as siblings as we have not been a unit at all. I have barely seen or spoken to Jr all year, and that probably makes you really upset. But it was his choice, not mine, and after months of trying to reach him with little to no avail I had enough. I chose to put myself and my happiness first and I doubt you would understand that, because as you used to say “family is in your blood.” I am sorry if it upsets you that I let Jr disappear from my life, but mum I have come out so much better as a result of this “year of me” and I am not sorry about that. The woman I am now is the version of me you wished for me all my life.

I am still single, but mum there is a guy … gosh! It is still early days but he always has me wondering: have I known you twenty seconds or twenty years? Mum he makes my heart sooo full it feels like it is going to burst. I really wish y’all could have met. You would have really liked him because Lawd knows I stupid like him.

Next year I start to tell your cancer story, because even the battles lost are still worth telling. That is why I went to spend the night at Aunt Anne’s. I am determined to tell your story right and Aunt Anne has the memory of an elephant so together (though she does not know it) we shall do justice to the brave, devastating, rage-inducing, inspiring, heart-breaking story that was your five year battle with cancer.

There is so much more to say but I know you watch over me so you are up to date with everything happening in my life. I hope I am making you proud. I love and miss you so much. Two years down, a lifetime to go.

Love always,


2 thoughts on “December 13 2019

  1. Footnote *JS, hii know I’m late, but Val is doing great aki.. I great. Christmas was fun. I made Chicken Biryani for the first time and there were instances I felt like you were helping me stir. You and me in the kitchen was always 🔥🔥🔥. Imma keep at it. Missing you for forever and a day. P. S I’m graduating this year *twerks* Imma catch you up when it happens mama 😘.

    Liked by 1 person

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