A MASSIVE thanks to those of you who have been thinking and praying for us all. It’s been amazing the messages etc that have come through and meant the world to us as we faced the loss of our family members. Heartfelt thanks from Steph, Juju, Sammy, Neil and myself <3
We have started a new business! Our third in less than a year…..wonders never cease!! I will blog about that soon.
It seems to be time to get moving and keep going on….
The phone rang, I wasn’t going to pick it up. It was 9am and Sammy was just about to start his homeschooling. I then thought I had better do so, as I didn’t recognise the number.
I was in total shock and didn’t quite understand what was being said on the other end of the phone? My ex mother-inlaw had just dropped dead. My daughter’s two grandparents, divorced but amicable, had died in two months.
I spoke with Neil, and realising we live in the ever present world of social media, it was decided I needed to ring both the girls at work and get them home. As if grieving their Poppa (my ex father-inlaw) whom they were both very close too, wasn’t enough, now Nana had made her exit smack bang in the midst of Level Three Lockdown here in the greater Auckland area. There would be no rushing down to be with their father, no being with their relatives. No funeral, no memorial. Nothing. Covid rules need to be obeyed…..
The grief we feel is palpable. I was still very much part of the Hornell family, as is Sammy & Neil; we are a big blended ex inlaw/outlaw bunch who fight and love and have each other’s back at the end of the day. Things are day by day at the moment, but we hold fast to Yeshua, our rock and strong tower.
My last great Aunt died too. Level Four Lockdown. Her daughter is stuck in Australia and can’t come back at the moment. My Aunty Tuppy was like a surrogate Nana to me. In fact she was the younger sister of my Nana, and when my Grandpa died, her and Uncle Fred made a solemn promise to be there for us and be the surrogate grandparents. They did so well in that role. The only thing that bugged me about Aunty Tuppy, was she insisted on calling me Sarndra. I allowed it out of respect, even though my actual given name is Sandra. It was her term of endearment for me, and I understood that.
So yes, three deaths in three months, all in different levels of Covid19 Lockdown.
Poppa Ken, insisted on calling me his ‘Number One girl’, namely because I was the first daughter inlaw. We had the most amazing chats, he was a great conversationalist, who had big dreams, a grumpy temperament and so much untapped potential. He was gruff and hard at times, but never with me. I could get him crying easy! I loved him, and I miss him so much. He would turn up in his beat up old four wheel drive, and just beam with joy when he saw me. His health had given him what for the past decade, but that smile always came out when he was with us. He didn’t believe in God like I do, but he sure did believe in his love for us. He saw things very differently to me, but he taught me a great deal. He had the biggest, bushiest eyebrows I had ever seen! They grew so wide and deep, he longer had to wear sunglasses 🙂 Typical Ken, it was always his way.
Nana May, well she used to scare the daylights out of me! She was a hard taskmaster of a woman, who seemed to live most of her life hiding. Again, I managed to reach in and hear the heart of a woman who had been deeply misunderstood and so incredibly broken. I ended up being the only one who knew she had a heart condition, and that has puzzled me. She had three sons whom she adored, and yet no one but me knew. I found that out the day of her death. Again, so much untapped potential and dreams locked up in a woman who lived mainly alone, later in life, and who didn’t allow people deep into her heart. I guess I am fortunate – for I know some of those precious secrets.
I pulled up the family tree on the MyHeritage website, and with tears streaming down my face (what else is new?!) I put in the three recent death dates.
Ah, this year really has been shite for breakfast, hasn’t it? I don’t think there could be a living soul out there that would say 2020 has been a true blessing from Heaven. No one would believe them if they did. But what I am learning to do is seeing things from both a Heavenly and an earthly perspective. Some areas just aren’t as black and white as we’d like them, but they’re not meant to be. Yeshua reminded us, our Kingdom is invisible, not for this earth, and therefore as my tagline says, we are just Pilgrims passing through. We can’t make this world the be-all and end-all because it’s not. This is just a mere vapour, and one day soon, we will all be with Him, forever. Until then, we must occupy until He comes, and share our Beloved Yeshua with this cold dying world.
So yes, as I said a couple of blogs back, I had been feeling spent, until the Lord showed me the word ‘grief’. There’s no time limit on grief, and I’m not one to walk away from a challenge, so moving through this with the family in tow, is quite the journey indeed.
I lay awake in the predawn hours of this morning with tears rolling down my cheeks. I am so deeply grieved, it is something that never leaves me now. I seem to weep openly most days, and long for a time when this present situation wasn’t with us.
This so called ‘pandemic’ that we are in, has bought many new things to light. One of those is your blatant disrespect and lack of appreciation for the New Zealand way of life. Oh don’t get me wrong, you gesticulate so well, you lean into the camera, you tilt your head and give all the appearances of ‘listening’ but we all know, when that microphone gets switched off and you leave the podium, that’s when your ‘kindness’ and ‘goodwill’ end.
I think you have underestimated us, the normal, Kiwi born tribe that have been inhabiting this land for generations. The land where openness, honesty and integrity were things we celebrated, a handshake was all that was needed, and neighbours genuinely looked out for one another.
You have underestimated us and overreached your authority, your office and your power. You have the audacity to put us into lockdowns, bring in the Police unchecked, bring in the Military, change the Bill of Rights, the Health Act, and then introduce new legislation and laws, all the while essentially placing us under house arrest. You admonished us to ring an 0800 number to dob in people who were flouting the rules! And you know what, 93% of the population according to Stuff News, were ok with doing this, giving you this right and giving up their rights – all for the ‘greater good’.
Well, I am part of the so-called 7% who are NOT ok with this. I do not believe the statistics are anywhere near correct, and I do NOT believe a word you are saying. You are the ‘young modern woman’, I dare say when I fell pregnant out of wedlock, I was scorned and preyed upon – but hey, you are the new face of the New World aren’t you? You preen and pivot, have photo opportunities all over the place, grace magazine covers, speak at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, all the while knowing that you are the ‘plant’ that was seeded decades ago, to finish the job that your mentor, Helen Clarke, started.
You have successfully duped the older generation, who simply fall down and worship at the throne of your ‘kindness.’ They don’t care what is happening to us as a society, simply because you pay their Superannuation, give them Goldcards, discounts and freebies. They don’t have to worry where their next dollar is coming from, because you Dear Ms Ardern, have the Elderly all sorted. And, if they play up, you have great measures in place, to drug them, admit them into an Elderly Care Unit, and leave them to die. Yes, Ms Ardern, you have done so well, building on the past governments and turning living breathing individuals into tombs, now pushing up daisies.
You are not for the people, you are essentially our Overlord, and we are your minions. You are supposed to be doing the will of the people and representing us as a fair, honest, and decent nation. You are simply a puppet that the NWO pulls the strings, and you dance openly and with demonic glee, to their morbid Socialistic Communist tune.
I am the mother of two grieving daughters – who lost their Grandmother very suddenly in this second lockdown, and who couldn’t be with their grief ridden father or relatives. Your lockdown separated two sons from their deceased mother and would not allow them the God given right to a funeral, a memorial or anything humane.
You met us at the borders with Military and Police, and if we couldn’t satisfy your taste for the new rules of the land, we were turned back in our hundred’s, to our prison/homes. Your incessant use of ‘team of five million’ sounded pithy and ridiculous then, and even worse now.
It is not lost on many many of us, the similarities between pre-war Germany, and what we see happening here in New Zealand. Your intent to break our spirit, break our will, introduce masks into the NZ pysche and turn us into snitches, pales in comparison to the ‘bigger picture’. I cannot go into the depth of knowledge I have gained on you, your rise through Freemasonry scholarships, and the devious things you have done over in the UK in your tenure there. But I will say, I will not stay silent for another second.
And before I leave, can I ask you what the hell you are doing towards eradicating poverty amongst the children, the disenfranchised, the needy and the helpless? You apparently have $50 billion dollars for the Covid19 Response Fund, but where are the funds to clothe, feed, supply the correct stationery, give meals during school and provide uniforms for our thousands of starving children? What about them Ms Ardern? As a Mum, you should be mortified that ANY child in this nation is going to school hungry, cold or without adequate shoes or raingear. Why so much money for 22 deaths, and luxury quarantining at hotels? Disproportionate is an understatement!
Your brandishing bloody headscarves, whilst completely and utterly ignoring our Christian roots, morals and values, is diabolical to me. Your complete disdain for anything Godly should be a shock and horror to your Mormon faith, your previous life. We will NEVER give up our National Anthem of God Defend New Zealand, and we will NEVER stay quiet over your putrid intolerance of us, who have been here since the inception of NZ, not EVER! We will never deny our faith in God, nor sit in silence as you pass laws that legitimize the abortion of our babies up to and post birth. We will not stay silent on your desire to Euthanize our people and get rid of those you deem ‘unworthy’.
No, we will be here, a continued thorn in your side, until well after your reign of tyranny is over. And when you lay your head on your pillow Ms Ardern, know that there are thousands of us praying for your mortal soul to repent. In the meantime, we mourn what once was, and pray for strength and courage to bolster us as we walk into this New World you have administered.
He sat me down, closed the door, cancelled his appointments for the next hour and asked me one huge question, ‘Sandi, do you still believe in God?’
I looked at him with tears streaming down my face, and quietly uttered the word, ‘yes’.
I did and I do. But I was terrified. Terrified I’d never feel God’s presence again, or hear His voice. What kind of world was I signing up to, taking anti-depressants and walking into a world of counsellors, psychiatrists and psychologists? How did this fit in with my faith, God’s word and everything else I held dear?
The Doctor looked at me as I responded, and said, ‘good, now I know you will be ok.’
He was a Muslim doctor and I was a Christian patient. He was amazing, very humble, very capable, and yet he and his wife were my clients too! I was a Domestic Cleaner and I cleaned their home every week. It was nothing for me to watch the Doctor walk inside, take off his shoes, position his mat and do his prayers.
I didn’t care. I just wanted to know that I wasn’t going mad. Apparently I was having a Emotional Breakdown….
Those words resonated with me, simply because Mental issues were a big deal in my Maternal Grandmother. Mum witnessed Nana have at least one emotional breakdown, and declared that she would never allow herself to become that way – she often would say I was cursed with my own emotions and Nana’s. Funny how it all came to a head when she watched her own Granddaughter have a full psychotic breakdown. Actually it’s not funny at all, but if issues aren’t dealt with in one generation, they will come back in another – and another until they are sorted.
I’ve witnessed a disturbing trend or recent years. People who seem to have it all, or seemingly have a great life etc, suddenly up and commit suicide.
My Doctor asked if I had suicidal thoughts – hell no! I had too much terror to reign on people and too much life to live yet!
But I needed to sort out my mind, and apparently going on Aropax was going to help me do that.
I got a burst of energy for the first twenty four hours, so I went out and dug a vegetable garden at 9pm that night! The rest of the time, it did nothing for me, so after six weeks, I flushed it all down the toilet. People are amazed, simply because here in New Zealand, there had been many cases reported of the withdrawal symptoms from Aropax actually being so bad, and some leading to suicide – but somehow I knew God was with me and that I was gaining inner strength.
The point to all of this is not self pity, or even about me. This is about not being alone. This is about reaching out and sharing your troubles. If that person is unable to help you, there are lots of places to reach out too.
I made one phone call. That lead to an amazing charity called Strengthening Families. These people were brilliant at helping me get sorted through the myriad of mess and emotions that I was dealing with. They helped my children. They helped my friends. And by some amazing stroke of serendipity, I opened the door for this charity to help many others within my community.
So, the long and the short of it is, we are never alone. Every single person on this planet matters to God – despite race, gender, religion or ethnicity – and every single person has the God ordained right to be seen, heard, appreciated and loved.
If you are having Mental issues or need to chat with someone, I encourage you to reach out – and please stop believing the lie that you are alone – it’s simply not true!
One week before we as New Zealanders went into total Lockdown, the Rest Homes and Aged Care facilities made the decision to go into full Lockdown for the sake of their ailing Residents. At the time, we were lead to believe that the Coronavirus, Covid-19 or Sars-Covid-2, was most lethal towards the elderly and infirmed. Unfortunately for our country, this proved to be true. Most of our small cases of deaths, were indeed in the Rest Homes.
Dealing with not seeing Dad was something that I was consciously aware of when our Prime Minister started to make daily addresses to the public regarding Lockdown. Then the day hit when I realised there would be no visiting him at all, and I didn’t get the chance to warn him! However, all was not lost, as I was able to speak to him on the phone, and the home was able to arrange a couple of Skype calls.
Dad was actually quite funny on those Skype calls – he recognised us, but couldn’t understand why our faces were appearing on a computer! The whole conversation lasted three minutes and fifty one seconds.
Yes folks, that enabled me to stop worrying indeed.
When I was able to visit Dad eventually after ten weeks, I had to go through a whole routine of sanitisation, form filling and mask wearing. Dad didn’t even realise it was me until I quickly lifted the mask up so he could see my entire face!
He understood that I wasn’t able to take him out, he actually was more concerned that there were other patients coming up and staring at me, and he was trying to shoo them away J
I have to say, in this instance there was so much unprecedented things happening in our world, but I learnt not to worry about Dad. The staff again, were utterly brilliant and would keep us informed with emails, texts and the occasional photographs of Dad. He was being entertained and kept busy, so that relieved a whole lot of pressure off of me. Phew!
It’s been a while in the making, but suddenly we are off and starting to push forward in the artistic direction of one of my authors and the first of her series of six books.
What a blast!
Suffice to say that I never dreamt that I would be helping other authors in this magnitude, or that I would be working with family!
Much to my surprise, I am currently working alongside my brother who is a Master in the world of Advertising and Graphic Art. I didn’t know if my suggestion to collaborate would manifest in anything, and yet here we are meeting and chatting about artwork, book covers, marketing, advertising, photoshoots and all things literary!
To that end, I have made a decision that seems to be a natural progression for me: I am going to rebrand and remarket my novel Mirabelle. I am not completely satisfied that the artwork or the blurb were the best design for me, nor was I happy with my Publisher taking out two important pages in the beginning. Having a Publisher over in the UK whilst I am here in NZ, is not ideal. Whilst I was naive, green and eager three years ago when I landed my Publishing deal, I have learnt a great deal since, and am alot less eager to please. My desire to have part of my story out there in fictional form is good, but it should be more than that. The picture of myself on the inside of the book is a far cry from who I am today, and the profile of me is not me at all now! Gosh how my life has changed, and how things have gained more clarity as the years have passed.
I still am ridiculously excited that I get to help others publish their beautiful literary masterpieces, but I also haven’t finished writing mine either.
I am looking forward to the next few weeks and months and all the decisions that have to be made, the work that has to be done, but also holding that precious first book in the series, in my hands!
The last thing I thought I’d mention, is that we are fundraising towards the cost of the artist and the marketing genius. Please check out our page on Givealittle, and see if you would be willing to donate any amount, towards these important outlays.
With every message that goes unanswered, every email that no one seems to respond to, excuses made and heartache booming in my soul – there you are. For the longest of times, you have stood by me, loved me, helped me, cherished me, made me laugh until I cried and been with me. You believed in me when everyone gave up, you cheered me on when I made the smallest of steps, and now here we are. I cannot remove the pain of the past or the wounds of such terror, but I can be a safe place as you are to me. I can love you, as you have loved me. In the darkest of souls and the deepest of nightmares, I will stand with you as you have stood with me. I adore you. I love you. My sister and trusted confidante. And so I dedicate this poem to you, My Dearest Friend.
Ancient Ruins, 2002
I walked through the ancient ruins today
And saw some ghosts of yesteryear
I looked through the brokenness and found
You were still sitting amongst the mess
Won’t you come my way sweet child?
And walk into the fresh air,
Breathe and let the sun’s rays warm your body
Let the light fill your cold soul.
I wandered around and saw many things
Images I recognised from years gone by
I felt the pain, but it was no longer mine
I let it go, many moons ago
I saw things that could have haunted me
And walked all through the mess
But nothing can touch a heart that is now
Wrapped with grace and armed with forgiveness.
I left the Ancient Ruins today
My heart completely in one piece
I took back my inner child and now – she’s safe again in me.