Friday, September 30, 2016

Oh my word!

Hi everyone. When I clicked on my dashboard, I realized my last post was ten days ago. And before that, probably four/five days. I've had a mail from dear friend, Penny who was concerned that I'm not active on blogger. She reminded me that even when I had malaria in days gone by, I would post. 

My apologies. Life has been rather hectic. Grant was very ill last week and we're still not out of the woods. But being a guy, it's difficult to convince him that he should be taking it easy and rest and really get well again.

In between, my routine has been more or less the same: the dogs and I walk on the golf course every day that I'm home. One of the activities Grant's been recommended on doing to improve his health, is to walk. Well, it's been a week and the dogs and I would still be at the gate from day one, if we had had to wait for him. Perhaps next week; he assures me he'll start walking with us as from Monday. 

With spring in the air, although the wind is still pretty chilly, the wildflowers are popping out all over on the golf course. I also managed to get a reasonable photo of a butterfly. 

Skabenga, sleek and shiny ...
... and enthusiastic about life! 
Eddie has recovered well after surgery on her hind leg. Nothing fazes this old lady! 

Some of you might remember me periodically posting about friend, Rudi who visited us in April, and who's home we stayed at when we traveled to Cape Town in mid-May. 

He visited us again in July (Grant, Rudi and I made another quick trip to Cape Town in mid-July) while Grant was rebuilding a 1988 motorcycle for him. 
Grant and Rudi working together in the garage  
Rudi and Rina acting the goat while we had supper at Rina's house - 6 July 2016
A photo I took of Rudi and Grant watching the sun setting over the Karoo. This was on 12 July on our return trip from Cape Town

 Rudi went home to the Wilderness at the end of July. On 12 August a mutual friend phoned us and said he hadn't seen Rudi for several days. He went up to his cottage where he found Rudi asleep in the middle of the day. But when he tried to wake him, Rudi was incoherent. As Rudi didn't drink at all, the friend was most perturbed - he thought Rudi had had a stroke - and phoned us. I managed to contact Rudi's daughter living in Cape Town, via Facebook. She and her brother drove the four hours up to Wilderness and took their father back to Cape Town with them.

From then things got steadily worse. On 9 September, Rudi had a CAT scan which revealed that he had cancer in both his lungs. (Rudi was a chain smoker and already suffered from COPD) and within a short time, Rudi was so weak he became completely bedridden.

Because Rudi was too weak to hold the phone against his ear or even to talk properly anymore, we kept in contact with the son, Byron,  on Rudi's condition. 

Last Thursday at 8pm, Rudi passed away. Although he suffered immensely during the past six weeks (the doctor said Rudi was suffocating) and he's at peace now, we - his friends - are devastated at the news. Grant and I have known Rudi since 1991 when he and his wife and three children came to the diamond mines of Oranjemund, Namibia. His wife - from whom he was then divorced - died in a bus accident in December 2008. His younger son, Nathan died in a motorcycle accident, on the way home from work, in February 2010. 

Rudi and Grant have worked together in West Africa in 2009 and 2010. In 2011, Rudi was out of work, and I found him a position on a mine in Liberia, West  Africa. When that contract was completed, he secured a position in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He was a fit and healthy man..until he retired in February this year. 
We're driving through the Golden Gate National Highlands Park to Durban
As this post is aired, Grant and I will be on our way to Durban. Rudi's memorial service is being held in Cape Town. But friends and family from Kwa-Zulu Natal, (and us from the FreeState) are meeting up later this afternoon to commemorate Rudi's life.  
The completed motorbike which Rudi will never ride. I'm busy with paperwork to register it and then we'll sell it for Rudi's children



  1. Wow! so much happening. I'm very sorry for everyone who knew Rudi. What a horrible way to suffer and die. I know a bit about being too low on oxygen. It is not fun at all. It all happened so suddenly too and I'm sure everyone is still in shock. I wish you all safe journey to Durban and back. I'll write you back in a day or two and give you time for your travels. Hugs. xx

  2. I am so sorry to hear about Rudi passing. no wonder you have not been posting. when you miss for a while I know you are busy doing something else and am always waiting for you to return. have a safe trip to the memorial and much luck with a quick sale of the bike.. hugs

  3. Hello JO, I am glad all is OK. I do hope and pray Grant is recovering from his illness and feels back to normal soon. So sorry about the loss of your friend Rudi! Pretty flowers and I always enjoy seeing your cute Skabenga and Eddy. Happy Friday, enjoy your weekend!

  4. A sad story. You have my sympathy. I also hope Grant recovers soon and starts walking with you. Good luck there. I don't have any success in that dept.

  5. Hello Jo, I was happy to see your comment, thank you, and now I'm back from Kenya I have a moment to catch up with your life before we head west to California this coming weekend.
    Our latest safari, and our first in Kenya, was truly awesome, the wildlife on the Maasai Mara just spectacular. Every day - we were there 10 days - when driving out we saw so much, including on one day alone all five cats, lion, leopard, cheetah, serval and caracal - what a special day! We were also privileged to view a wildebeest migration crossing - will be posting on that soon. My cheetah pics are up right now - take a look.

    So very sorry for your loss of a good friend. May Rudi rest in peace - his unexpected passing must be so hard for those of you who loved him so much. I get the idea your hubby has been unwell - hope so much all will be better soon - tell him the walking will be great for him, and I'm sure there are beautiful things to look, at such as colorful birds, along the way.

    Love all your cat pics Jo.
    Happy day - Mary (whose heart is still in Kenya!)

  6. Walking is such a beneficial activity! It will definitely help your hubby get well.
    Sorry for the loss of your friend Rudi.It's a sad story. May his soul rest in peace, and may God strenghten his family and you in this period of grief!

  7. I love your photo of Rudi and Grant watching the sunset, and it reminded me of looking in to the future when your life is coming to an end. Best to you!


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