Monday, November 7, 2011

My deepest condolences

This post is a condolence message for a dear friend who has had unbelievable trials and tribulations in the space of a year.

Lydia *, a fellow blogger (who's not blogging at the moment) is the same age as our older son, and a very dear friend of mine since 2005.  Until November last year, she lived in East Africa but due to circumstances, she and her two small children moved  to a small town in South Africa where her parents, James*and June* had retired.

James had been diagnosed with cancer in 2008 but was in remission when Lydia arrived in SA. June was in excellent health.

Grant and I met Lydia and her parents in 2009 and what a lovely meeting it was. Grant and James sat in a corner and talked while we three women chatted up a storm.

In May Grant and I were touring SA by bike, and because James' cancer had flared up again, we intended to visit our friends. Yet because of and freezing weather and time constraints (we were due to fly back to Kenya), we returned home seeing them.

In June Lydia mailed me and gave me the shocking news that her mum, June had passed away after a short illness. I phoned Lydia who told me that her mum had been hospitilised with Gastro-enteritis and within 48 hours she was dead.

James' health deteriorated rapidly and two months ago, after Lydia had nursed him daily since her mum's death, he asked to be taken to the Hospice. After dropping her children at school, Lydia travelled 60kms a day, to be with her father. She sent me periodic updates on him which I sent on to other bloggers who know this couragous young woman.

On Friday, 4 November, Lydia mailed me to say her father had lost his battle with cancer. Grant and I were devastated at this news, because, although it was a blessed release for poor James, we felt so desperately sorry for our young friend.

I telephoned Lydia on Sunday and she told me about the last two weeks' of her dad's life. She also told me that in the past year, James had drawn very close to God and his faith never waivered, even when he eventually became bedridden and was wracked by pain every hour of the day. June was a committed Christian so I believe and rejoice that this couple, who were inseperable in life, are reunited again.

I "met" many bloggers through Lydia's blog. So you will know who this post is about. Lydia told me yesterday that she has more than a hundred e-mails to reply to, which she will do in time. She thanks you all for your love, care and prayers.

Today I pray for God's comforting arms to embrace this dear friend of ours and give her strength after her major move a year ago, as well as losing both parents in four months.

"Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?" 1 Corinthians 15:55

Note: * Not their real names.


  1. I'm thinking of and praying for Lydia at this time. God bless you too Jo for your caring heart. Blessings and hugs.

  2. This is so sad, Jo! My thoughts are with her and her two young children as well.

  3. Oh my Goodness! Such pain for them All! Bless her Heart!
    Sending prayer!!!

  4. Hi Jo, I am so sorry to hear about your friend and what she has gone through with her parents... BUT--I am glad she could move to be with them this past few years... May God Bless her and her family... AND--my God Bless you, Jo, as her good friend.


  5. Gastro-enteritis : I didn't know people die of Gastro-enteritis . On Sat, my 15 year old son started vomitting and having diarhhoea. I stayed up to take care of him, and clean up the mess.

    Last night, I caught the virus, didn't sleep much, I hope it is not Gastro-enteritis .

  6. My thoughts are with Lydia.

  7. I pray the Lord will fill her with His peace and strength and that He will meet all her needs.

  8. Wow, I am sorry to hear of her lose. It was through her blog that I discovered yours. This is the first time I have ever commented on your blog, but I felt very compeled to do so. Thank you so much for the update. I have been curious how she has been doing with everything since leaving the farm. Thank you again for everything and please pass a long a strangers prayers for her and her young children.


Thank you for visiting my blog and taking the time to leave a comment. I appreciate your feedback. Jo