Celebrations aren’t the same right now…We aren’t missing a thing when we have so much to celebrate!…

Check out these mature horns on this Big Daddy kudu!

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

Mongoose, who are carnivores, don’t bother with the marulas currently dropping from the trees.

Today, March 7th, is our 24th wedding anniversary. This will be the first year we won’t be making a fuss or dining out to commemorate this special day.  

My goodness, I’m alive! This is cause for celebration! I was in the ICU in hospital on Valentine’s Day, still in ICU on my birthday on the 20th and now recuperating at our holiday home in Marloth Park on our anniversary. Instead, today, we’ll stay in as I continue in my recovery, celebrating Life itself.

Kudus by the veranda steps.

None of this bothers me or makes me feel sad. None of those special dates would have any meaning if my dreadful heart condition hadn’t be discovered by the best doctor on the planet, Dr. Theo Stronkhorst, in Komtipoort, who essentially saved my life.

In hospital, the cardiac, thoracic surgeon, and the cardiologist explained that when I would have had a heart attack which was inevitable at any time, there would be no resuscitating me. With only one working artery, death would have been imminent.  

Kudus were enjoying pellets.

Instead, I’ve been given another shot at life, and today, on our 24th wedding anniversary, I celebrate this second chance with the man of my dreams, my partner, my lover, my best friend, and now my diligent, hard-working, and devoted caregiver. I don’t need a fancy meal or the ambiance of an upscale restaurant to make me feel loved.  

All I need is to be with Tom today, reveling in the gift we’ve been given…more time to be together…more time to travel the world…more time to embrace the wonders of the world around us. For this, we celebrate with indescribable joy.

A Big Daddy was checking out the snacks being offered.

Last night, at happy hour, Kathy, Don Linda, and Ken stopped by for sundowners and celebrated Life with us before they headed out to dinner. It was beautiful to see them all, although I excluded myself from a glass of wine. 

At this point, the thought of a glass of wine or other cocktails makes me feel queasy. I’m sure; once I’m off some of these medications, I’ll be able to enjoy one or two glasses of red wine, now and then. For now, hot or cold tea and diet orange soda are all I can manage to get down.

Three Big Daddies stopped by together.

The conversation was lively and animated as we sat at the big table on the veranda after dark. It seemed like so long ago that we all were together when in fact, it was only on Saturday night, February 9th, that we had dinner together at Jabula to celebrate a good outcome for my upcoming triple bypass surgery. At that point, only three days away.

I easily recall how frightened I was at that time, but I was also comforted by their encouragement, friendship, and love. It was a fun night. We’re planning to replicate that good time, after the fact, next Friday on March 15th, when I plan to attend another dinner at Jabula. This will be my first time out to dinner since the surgery.  I’m so grateful. (Bear with me, I can’t stop saying this).

This morning’s mongoose frenzy.

The four of them took off early this morning for an educational safari adventure studying birds of prey in Kruger National Park. It will feel as if we’re right there with them! I’m hoping to share some of their photos and a little information about these fantastic birds once they start posting photos.

I won’t extol the virtues of my fine husband Tom and bore our readers “ad nauseam” with why I feel so lucky to have been married to him for the past 24 years and together for almost 28 years. Those who’ve been reading our posts over the past seven years (our first post was March 15, 2012) already get it from snippets I’ve included here and there.

Once they devoured the eggs, Tom mixed up. They wait in hopes of more.

Instead, I’ll say, “Happy anniversary, my love. Now we have many more years to enjoy life together.” What more could I ask for? Healing? It’s coming. I feel a tiny bit better each day. Last night my feet didn’t burn during the night. And although I awoke a few times feeling pain and stiffness, I could tell I was on the mend.

Coronary bypass surgery is a big operation.  I have four significant incisions in my body, a broken sternum, and various sites healing after the insertion of tubes.  The three over-foot-long incisions in my legs are painful, making moving and walking as required difficult. The incision in my chest from my collarbone down to my stomach burns, itches, and aches. The inside of my chest, which was wired back together, is painful as it stretches and strives to heal. The pulled muscle in my right chest will take months to heal. 

But…I am alive to celebrate this outstanding marriage and continue our fantastic world journey for as long as possible. 

May good health come your way!

Photo from one year ago today, March 7, 2018:

One year ago: This morning’s first-time visitor to the yard, a wildebeest.  Never once did he look at us or pick up his head for a face photo. But, we were happy to see him anyway! Later, we named him Wildebeest Willie, and he’s been a regular since a year ago. Now he looks into our eyes before eating any pellets. For more, please click here.

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