Moving to Cape Town 14 years ago was an absolute culture shock. The people, the surroundings, the entire way of life, even the way people drove was different to what I experienced growing up in Johannesburg, where I was born and bred. However – After 14 years in the Mother City, this is my home, I love Cape Town.
Five experiences have changed my perception of life and death
The first event, Early one morning in July 1998 my Father rushed into my bedroom. He shouted, I think Mom is dead. Sprinting to her bedroom I tried in vain to wake her up from her sleep. She had passed away in her sleep.
The second event was in 2010, again early one morning my Father called out for me from his bedroom. I scrambled to his side. He was struggling to breathe. There were a number of occasions in the year building up to this day I had rushed him to hospital. However, this morning he told me today is the day! I hugged him and told him I love him. Later that evening, while on advanced life support at Groote Schuur hospital I sat beside him as he passed away.
Let’s push forward to May 2015. I received a call from my brother Gary’s neighbor. Gary the oldest of us four brothers. Hysterically she told me Gary is gone. My first reaction was, why is this woman playing such a sick joke on me! In disbelief I rushed to Gary’s apartment, he was laying on the floor. Gary had succumbed to his third heart attack.
Another big event – September 2012. I watched in absolute awe has Dr Brand sliced open my wife’s stomach and literally pulled out my baby girl. I watched my wife give birth to my little princess Emily. She will be 4 next month. The exact date was September 11…or 9/11, that’s why I call her my little terrorist!
February 2016, I again watched Dr Brand cut open my wife, this time Cornelle gave birth to my little man, James. A healthy baby boy that I love with all my heart and soul. James will be 6 months in a few days.
In-between all of this I have worked in a family business, run my own business and worked in the formal corporate sector. I have experienced the thrill of success and done well for myself. I have experienced the absolute guttering feeling of disappointment that comes with failure more often than I can count. At one stage I was one day away from living in my car, bearing in mind I could not afford the payments and the bank wanted to reposes. I have experienced the awesomeness that comes with flying a plane, many moons ago I earned my private pilots licence. One of my greatest dreams was to be a professional cyclist, back in the day it was not uncommon for me to go for a 200 km training ride.
However, in all of life’s ups and downs those five events more than anything changed my perception of what it means to be alive. Witnessing death and the miracle of childbirth made me see the importance of living life to the fullest. Life is truly amazing; it can be taken from us in a second. One look at the news will show you all the negativity and hate in the world. I would like to encourage you to take a step back, look at the world from a different perspective. Start to look for the good in the world, start to take a positive outlook, I guarantee your life will start to change. Your positive energy will start influence and impact others. Step by step we will start to make this world a better place.
By changing your mindset you will be surprised just how far you can go and what you can achieve!
Appreciate life and don’t take it for granted.