The 5th day of July 1977 dawned as just another ordinary day in the life of a young wife and soon to be mother. With two weeks left to the arrival of her firstborn, and with a string of visitors behind her, this al too human kind of human decided this at last the perfect time to spring clean her house and get everything shipshape for the arrival of her baby.
Now those who have walked this path before will know: Babies cannot read and therefore pay no attention to calendars or dates. At twenty minutes past nine that very night, a tiny bit of humanity rushed into this world to change her mother’s life forever. This very human kind of new mother was suddenly confronted with the knowledge that her life and heart (not to mention her belongings, but that came a bit later) would never belong to herself again.
The tiny bit of humanity soon became a little person called Liza and quickly made it clear that she would never be ordinary (maybe the red hair had something to do with it). Although a very friendly baby, I quickly realised that Liza had an unusually serious side to her that would develop into an unusually independent, strong and determined character.
The story of the eagle that was hatched in the chicken’s nest and spent the first few weeks of his life with the chickens are known to most. He never felt quite comfortable and at home with the cute, fluffy, yellow little chicks and often felt left out until one day he looked up and saw an eagle soar above. On trying to spread his wings and fly, like the eagle overhead, he discovered that he was indeed an eagle and was never meant to peck around in the dirt here below like the cute, fluffy, yellow chicks around him. He took off and never looked back.
Liza is the human eagle of that story. Although fully involved in school life and whatever it had to offer, she always stood out as an individual. Not given to giving in to peer-pressure of any kind, she was never really accepted into the giggling circles of girls with only the vision of marriage and family in their future. She never became one of the cute, fluffy, yellow little chicks. She was always the baby eagle just waiting for her opportunity to soar.
After school, she found herself in situations where she did not feel comfortable, yet she never allowed it to clip her wings. She simply kept on exercising those wings until she found the upward current that would help her to ride the currents and soar the skies. Once she found that current, she for ever left behind the cute, fluffy, yellow little chicks scratching around in the dirt.
Today wings of another kind will carry her off to Switzerland where she has recently been appointed in a post that will place her that one step closer to her dream. I know that she has asked her sister how “Mommy” really feels about her leaving to live so far away and here I want to tell her how “Mommy” feels.
Ouma Breggie (another one that could have soared if only she had the opportunity) taught “Mommy” that children did not owe their parents anything; however, they owed everything that their parents did for them, to their children. So “Mommy” feels that you should take the little strength that you have inherited from your parents (the eagles, not the chickens), add your own and soar to the highest heights that you are capable off. In the spirit, “Mommy” will be right up there with her beautiful eagle, riding the currents of pride and joy; in body, she will be right here at home, waiting to catch you, should you decide to land for a rest.
(Truth is, I want to catch you, clip your wings and lock you up in a cage and never let you go, but that would be selfish, now wouldn’t it?)