It’s been a rough few months. Our friend Jeff passed away in bed in the guest cottage on September 21. A few days later, our friend Bruce died at his home in Marloth Park. And now, our dear friend Leon has been diagnosed with incurable cancer that no treatment can improve.
When Dawn and Leon spent Monday night staying in our lovely guest cottage for a short getaway, we made every effort to make it a peaceful and restful time for both of them with good food, love, support, and friendship. Little did we know that a day later, Leon would be admitted to the hospital in Nelspruit for a blood clot in his leg, a dangerous condition related to his illness. The next few days will determine what happens from here. Our love and prayers are with him and his devoted Dawn.
Of course, we are worried and devastated. The party they’d planned for all of their friends for this Saturday has been canceled. Jabula remains open with all of their friends that traveled from near and far for the party, some staying at Jabula Lodge with others staying in other nearby holiday rentals. There is nothing we can do at this point.
Our hearts go out to Dawn when many friends will be flooding Jabula with the best intentions to eat, drink, eat and support the business. But this load falls on Dawn, David, and her staff with the number of people they’ll have to serve over the next several days. She will spend as much time as she can with Leon at the hospital while managing the busy establishment at the same time.
In the meantime, we also worry about our friend in Hawaii, praying that he recovers from the terrifying diagnosis that prompted him and his dear wife to leave Marloth Park a year ago. We recall the day we drove them to the airport in Nelspruit, saying a sorrowful goodbye, wondering…
Is it our advancing age and the ages of our friends we love, who are leaving this world for the next, often with the dreaded “C” and other terminal respiratory illnesses? We knew these times would come, as they do for all of us who have been gifted with beautiful friendships and face the loss of many of those friends over time. Most recently, it has been too many in one short period.
Our hearts are heavy while we still attempt to maintain a hopeful attitude for the future. Of course, it’s natural for all of us to question the longevity of our own lives and the potential of contracting some awful disease sometime in the future. No, we don’t obsess about this, but it’s hard not to think about it now and then, especially under these current circumstances.
This morning a light rain passed over the bush, brightening the leaves on the trees as the dust was washed away. After several soaking rains, the bush is beginning to sprout new leaves on the bushes and trees, and the animals can finally eat a little more greenery when it was so sparse the past many months.
In about a month, if the rain continues, we’ll be able to stop ordering lucerne and feed pellets as a treat for our visitors. This morning, chopping a bunch of vegetables, I made a big bowl of scraps for what I call “Norman’s Lunch.” He now knows when I ask him if he wants “his lunch,” his ears perk up, and it appears he has a smile on his handsome face. As do many bushbucks who stop by, Nina and Noah also partake in the vegetables.
Bad Leg, a bushbuck with a leg injury, has spent most of his time in our garden recovering. He’s begun to walk better. We brought food to him each time he visited, where he rested by the little wooden fence. We’d give him a mixture of lucerne, pellets, cabbage, celery tops, apples, and carrots. It’s lovely to see him improving each day.
There’s a mom with three tiny piglets we’ve seen each day since they were born in Louise’s garden last week. One of the piglets has a very bad right front leg on which he hobbles to keep up with his mom and siblings. She tends to lie down when they visit to give herself a rest from the strain of walking and running. It’s so sad to see, and we hope she heals soon.
Based on the number of warthogs in the park, the rangers and vet don’t spend time or money on warthogs and their offspring. It’s heartbreaking to see warthogs suffering from horrific injuries. But, if they lived in Kruger National Park, there would be no help for them. there either. It’s a sorrowful situation for wildlife.
Let’s face it; Life is hard. There’s no easy answer for those suffering, whether human or animal. We can only pray for the comfort and peace of those dealing with Life’s impossible challenges and do whatever we can to ease those we love in the process.
Photo from one year ago today, November 3, 2021: