Moving through the days and nights with hope and love…

Early last week, when Jeff was still with us, he dropped a chunk of chicken on the veranda during a meal together on the veranda. Later that night, after they’d gone to bed, Tom spotted this genet enjoying the piece of chicken.

This morning, Lindsey and Connie took off for a day in Kruger National Park. We decided to let them go on their own to be able to have some private time without us in tow. They wanted to exchange all the clothes Connie purchased for Jeff in the shop at Lower Sabie for special gifts for his closest friends back in the US. How generous and thoughtful.

But generosity and thoughtfulness have been the nature of all our experiences over the past five days. Many of our readers have written to us with kind condolences, including friends from all over the world. Many have expressed concern over how Tom and I are doing under these circumstances.

Our only concern has been to make Connie and Lindsey feel as much comfort and love as we could provide during this sorrowful time. Neither of us has given a thought to our emotions. For us, our focus has been on their well-being and comfort.  We discussed the day’s events at night when we were alone in our bedroom. We are both sad this happened but glad we were able to share this sorrowful experience with Connie and Lindsey.

But, most of all, we are grateful Jeff was able to see the unique wildlife in our garden and then experience the wildlife in Kruger National Park, fulfilling his lifelong dreams of Africa. It was a joy to watch his expressions of sheer wonder when Mother Nature bestowed her treasured gifts upon us as we gawked in awe at the majesty of wildlife in Africa.

We took these three photos through the glass on the veranda door in the dark, resulting in poor-quality photos. If we’d added light or waited, we’d have lost the opportunity since any sound would drive the genet away.

Now, as the time Connie and Lindsey are staying in Marloth Park with us winds down, we’ve packed the remaining time together with more beautiful experiences; dinner out on Friday night at Jabula, where they were greeted with warm hugs and sincere condolences, let alone the great food, festive atmosphere and friendly banter among strangers who felt like friends before the evening ended.

Then, there’s been the two evenings we dined out since Jeff passed away; Amazing Kruger View with Louise and Danie on Thursday and, as mentioned, Friday night at Jabula. For the remaining three evenings, we dined on our veranda with good food, animal watching, and plenty of wine and drinks amid countless conversations and topics; many centered around Jeff and his life.

Last night, we made our low-carb pizza and salad, and the four of us dined and lounged on the veranda until well after dark and load shedding started again. Finally, the bugs got so bad that we had to go inside and all headed off to bed for an early night. Tom and I streamed a TV series on my laptop, and after I started nodding off, he stayed up and watched the Minnesota Vikings game until almost midnight.

I don’t ask Tom to wear earbuds when he watches the game in bed. For some odd reason, the sound of the football game is comforting to me, and I sleep right through it. Plus, the pills I take for headaches and facial pain make me very sleepy. I take the one tablet at 9:00  pm, 2100 hrs., to ensure I am not too sleepy in the morning. But, after taking the pill I can stay up for several hours if necessary.

Loouise and Danie told us that recently the genet has been eating their francolin’s chicks. They had six and now are down to one.

During the day, I feel a little sleepy but not enough to require a nap. However, the headache and facial pain are almost entirely gone. I hold my breath when I say this since suddenly, for no reason at all, it is painful  again but improves a short time later. I have no idea how long I’ll have to take the drug. Right now, I am not concerned about that. In a few weeks, I must return to Doc Theo for the next refill.

Today, with Connie and Lindsey gone for the day to Kruger National Park, we’ll work on future planning and financial projects we’ve postponed. Nothing was urgent since we’d prepared for their arrival and had addressed most tasks we had pending.

When they return and when Tom returns from returning the car to Nelspruit, we’ll cook another fresh homemade pizza we saved for tonight, having pizza two nights in a row. Tonight will be another evening on the veranda commiserating over the events of the past five days and mutually sharing stories from our lives and our adventures. Of course, we’ll be enjoying wildlife visits now that the holiday weekend is over.

Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, September 26, 2021:

A thick-tailed bushbaby was eating yogurt we left out. For more, please click here.

Comments and responses Moving through the days and nights with hope and love…

  1. Lisa Reply

    Wow, so sorry to hear of the passing of your friend & I feel for his wife and daughter. A blessing they had you, your friends and each other for comfort during such a shock & the aftermath. Your neighbor sounds amazing helping you on such a difficult day dealing with the offices & process. Despite it all, it must be a comfort that Jeff was able to realize his dream of being in Africa & seeing the wildlife. Such a shock, though.

    • worldwide-admin Post authorReply

      Lisa, thank you so much for your kindness in writing to us. It means a lot to all of us. Tomorrow, Connie and Lindsey leave for home. We are grateful for all the help we had from local officials and friends. We are all fortunate to have had the support.
      We hope your lives are fulfilling and healthy.
      Much Love,
      Jess & Tom

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