A valuable lesson that I learned in life under unpleasant circumstances
In the past, before my youngest daughter got ill, I used to value ‘things’ or ‘stuff’ above all else. I used to fill my house with gadgets and ornaments or like Ariel says “gadgets and gizmo’s of plenty”. I thought that the more ‘stuff’ I had, the happier and better my life would be.
I used to shop to such an extent, that I put us in extreme financial stress and could easily spend about R2000 on nonsense at a time. I had a disease. It felt good to shop, so I did that to make myself feel better, but when I got home, I would feel bad that I had spent so much money and then the next day I would shop again to make myself feel better again, even if it was for a short period of time. It was a never-ending cycle of disaster. My house was filled with knick-knacks and I would get upset if my children messed with my ‘stuff’. I wanted my house to be perfect and clean, all the time.
Now, don’t get me wrong…making your house beautiful with ornaments is not a bad thing if it’s done in moderation and you’re not harming your family by doing it. I was harming my family and when I was in deep financial trouble, I finally woke up and realized that I needed help with the shopping problem. Naturally, I turned to God and He helped me to become stronger and be able to say ‘no’ to buying stuff that I didn’t need. I was also able to allow my children to be children. To let them play with their toys in the house and not freak out because it’s untidy.
Just a side note…if I can give you one piece of advice today, let them have fun. Let them have a water fight in the bath, it’s water, you can mop it up. The memories will be priceless and worth the little extra work of cleaning. Don’t stop them from baking or having fun because you don’t want to clean up after them.
When my youngest daughter turned three, she became ill with a blood disease called Aplastic Anemia and it was not long after that, that my whole perspective on life shifted and did a 180° turn. I realized that family was a lot more important than ‘stuff’ and I started valuing time with them more than shopping or filling my house with ‘things’. I sat with Alexis in hospital and we beaded for hours or coloured in. I sang with Storm and Alexis and played games with them, I danced with them like nobody was watching. Unfortunately, Storm didn’t get to see me that often in those days because she was at home and I was in the hospital with Alexis, but I tried to spend time with her when we got home or when my husband at that time came to take over from me on a weekend.
When Alexis passed away on the 6th of September 2009, I realized that life was fragile and short and that you needed to live it the best way possible because anything could happen and tomorrow is not promised to us. Apart from being devastated that she was no longer there singing and posing for me when she thought I had the camera on her or doing that cute little smile of her’s when she wanted me to feel better, I realized that I needed to live a better life for Storm’s sake.
I also took a lot of photo’s and this has helped me tremendously with my healing process. To this day, I still don’t fill my house with ‘stuff’. I do have ornaments, but most of them I made myself, or my hubby made them or my children made them. I have a lot of photos everywhere because they showcase my family and friends and they are (after God) the most important ‘things’ in my life. I now surround myself with them.
This is my lesson learnt…material things are of little importance when you measure them up against the love and support of your family. When your children look at you adoringly, like you are their superhero, that is the stuff that dreams are made of, not the next best cellphone…which by the way, can’t look up at you in the same way.
That’s it from me for now…
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