October is dedicated to two of my sisters, Lungile and Zanele. my dad wasn’t playing with the Ndebele names right? we’re all convinced if none of us give our children Ndebele names, he’ll feel entitled to intervene. anyway Lungile, because its her birthday month and her wedding anniversary *insert loud cheers*, and Zanele because this was when we lost her. today marks exactly a year. i won’t write about the grief. i know everyone has different experiences with that, and i’m not ready to express my experience. my sister was one of my best friends, and learning to accept that her presence, in its physical form, is no longer there, is a battle.
i miss her. i miss her a lot more when i think of everything she’s taught me. it didn’t matter that she was five years younger than me. she was so wise and so full of life. i’m not sure if there’s anyone else in my family who is as vibrant as she was. except…maybe Nomalanga, our youngest, might be. she does remind me of Zanele a lot actually. anyway, the universe has a weird sense of humour. when I started blogging, i pushed myself to keep at it by committing to posting once a week. which I decided would be on Fridays at noon. i’d spend the week thinking up what i’d want to say then write late on Thursday or early Friday morning.
my subconscious tested me this week. it’s felt long and i’ve been so exhausted, that by the time i was aware it was almost Friday, and i had nothing to say, i had a migraine. i recall my head literally throbbing. partly because of the anxiety of today. on the other hand, i see that the universe aligned it so perfectly, that i would have to share something with you on this day. two can play that game. as an ode to said universe i’m choosing to publish this piece at 11:04am and not noon because thats the exact time, a year ago, i received the last message Zanele ever sent to me. it’s also the last time she told me she loved me, which brings me to the first thing she taught me,
- to always wear my heart on my sleeve. she was so open and so free with her love. lucky you if you received even a piece of that.
- two kids are way more powerful than one. especially when it comes to wearing your parents down.
- sharing a bedroom sucks. before i had my own room, i shared mine with her from when i was about 8 to about 15. the sleeping arrangement was so lame. i also remember during one of my first visits back home from university, we shared a room again. this time, her room. i don’t actually remember why, because this time it was more of a choice.
- ending a fight with someone doesn’t always require reaching a clearcut resolution. this one is really the definition of our relationship. it was like, okay thats fine, please think what you’d like to, you’re really not convincing me anytime soon, but can we call a cease fire? i really need to talk to you about something. or my favourite, well there’s no resolution here but since we’re on holiday, can we just have fun?
- you’re allowed to talk shit about your family sometimes, but no one else is.
- if you don’t like what your parents do, feel free to tell them. let me share a quick memory for this one. over the holidays my dad receives a lot of gifts from work, so there’ll be plenty of stuff around the house including bottles of whiskey wine etc. i remember on one night she took a bottle from the collection without asking and i decided i would tell him. he quickly urges me to get it back from her, which i managed to while she was out of her room or something. ss soon as she noticed the bottle had disappeared, she went straight up to him asking if and why he took it. So he’s like “…but..its mine? if i took it, whats your problem?” and she’s like “..well i don’t want you entering my room, so don’t ever do that again. respect me and my room. i’m a girl.” the shock on his face…lol. poor guy didn’t even enter her room, i did but she’ll never know that. anyway this leads us to,
- disobedience can be justified if you’re making a valid point.
jokes are a lot more enjoyable than truth so laugh as loud as you can. why not make every laugh louder than the last?
most times be unapologetic about how you feel and what you’re doing for you. Do. You..and don’t forget to smile while you’re at it. Just be happy.
find your neverland. one of her favourite quotes was, “peace is a journey of a thousand miles and it must be taken one step at a time.”
the best bit about this is that i didn’t want to write this let alone post it, but when i thought of her, i knew she would want me to. one of my friends said the same thing actually. she said, “..you should share her with the world because she was immutable.” and i know she would want all of you to know her value. what i don’t know is how i got through it but its given me some peace, a little sadness too. still, i know that she would have been chuffed to know that she taught me something and that’s enough for us all.