The Tree

tall tree with leafy branches
Photo by Shivam Patel on Pexels.com

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 and the kids

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

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.

Lockdown

It’s day three of this enforced lockdown, here in Snells Beach, New Zealand. The sun is on full display and it really is a beautiful day, beckoning the mixture of both cool and warm temperatures that are symbolic of Autumn.

What an incredibly strange time we have found ourselves in. Sure, I was warning people to be prepared, and yes I was marvelling at how people were just laughing in my face. But I didn’t expect THIS to happen quite so soon. What is THIS, you may ask? Being told that as a nation, the whole of New Zealand will be in enforced lockdown for four weeks.

My daughters and husband have their certification to prove that they are Essential Services. Much to my dismay, so was Sammy – as a paper deliverer. However, after alot of complaints and much abuse hurled our way, we have just been notified that we are no longer ‘essential’ – thank God for that!

I’m a homebody and I love being here. We are so incredibly fortunate that we have a majestic outlook over Kawau Bay and a big portion of Snells Beach. We have the good fortune (or at least I do as I’m ususally the first one up!) of seeing God paint such wonders and beauty across the sky each morning. But the thought that I can’t drive up and over the one entry/exit point from here, well that is taking a bit to get used too.

We have made the most of Zoom, WhatsApp and Marco Polo apps, and Sammy is doing online learning care of Google Classroom. The school holidays have been bought forward and now he is supposedly on a break; I’m still getting him to do a bit of work each day to catch up though 😉 I don’t usually get into all the techie stuff as that is normally Neil’s department, but I am so grateful that we can stay connected, worldwide.

I have been in touch with dear friends in the States, London and in Australia, and have been trying to maintain contact with family in Wales and well as home. I am particularly grateful for what I call our ‘Skywatch Family’ – friends we made on our last tour of Israel. They have been at the forefront of contact and have been keeping us up to date with the goings on in the America and the UK. I do believe some of them are in total lockdown now, as we are.

I guess there are some really amazing benefits and opportunities for all of this. I am not going to blast our government or lay blame anywhere, I am just going to accept this enforced lockdown as time with my family that is well needed. Time to set aside from all the busyness that crowds in and takes over, and time to reconnect on a more personal level. We’ve gotten the garden sorted, we’ve rearranged our office space and there is a HUGE cupboard that we are sorting through, gradually! The garage has had the car removed and Neil has set up another space in there for his work.

It all sounds ok, but I do wonder about our infrastructure? With so many businesses going online, and so many schools going online, will we be able to manage the overloading? I wonder about our already stretched healthcare system. We already had a problem with people not being seen on time, doctor and nurse shortages, and endless protests by healthcare professionals, looking for more pay. Do we really have what is necessary to weather this new healthcare storm? I don’t think so. But we must remain positive, and turn our worries into silent prayers of supplication to the one who knows it all – the end from the beginning.

So dear friends, whilst I sit here with a Unicorn headband on and laugh at my family wearing large green St Patricks Day hats, I trust that you have a great day and stay at home!

Coronavirus 2020

Hey everyone.

Well I guess one of the talking points the last few weeks has been the ‘outbreak’ of the Coronavirus in Wuhan, China. The loss of thousands of lives and seeing videos of van loads of dead bodies being transported out of the Provence, has been truly disturbing.

Reports have suggested that this came about due to people eating bats – me thinks not.

I’m a borderline conspiracy theorist in that USUALLY the truth is there somewhere in the middle, but it pays to go digging to find it!

The purpose of me writing this is to provide you with links and thoughts that aren’t necessarily being reported or broadcast on your nightly news. Actually, we don’t watch the nightly news and haven’t done so since our Prime Minister came into power. So how do we know what’s going on then?!

I’m so glad you asked 🙂

We decided a long time ago to watch alternative news media, simply because we KNEW we weren’t being told the truth. Never had this become more true than when the American elections happened in 2016. Something was off, and it wasn’t either Clinton or Trump – it was the ‘powers that be’ here in NZ that decided when and what to report, and not report…

Now back to Wuhan.

Check out this news story that I became aware of last week:

https://meaww.com/wuhan-coronavirus-warned-2017-lab-wuhan-deadly-diseases-escape-lab-level-4-safety-scientists

It doesn’t take a Nobel Peace Prize to recognise alarm bells here!

Check out this one:

https://halturnerradioshow.com/index.php/en/news-page/news-nation/new-york-issues-gag-order-to-police-and-e-m-s-no-talk-to-anyone-about-coronavirus-cases

Now, I don’t actually frequent these sites, but as I’m trying to point out here, there are MANY sites to get more accurate reporting of what is going on.

Here’s something positive that the Israeli’s have invented towards helping stave off the virus:

https://www.timesofisrael.com/israeli-startup-says-its-nanotech-masks-robes-may-block-coronavirus/

I recently sat my Mother down and shared a little of what I posted here. Please don’t be like the Generation of 70+ who bury their heads in the sand and say it won’t happen here. The fact is, we live not even one hour away from where a couple of hundred people are in quarantine, having come back from Wuhan, China.

One more note on this: IF things were to break out and you had to self-quarantine, would you have adequate food and water in supply for yourselves and your family for three weeks? Do you have a good medical kit available? Do you have enough resources in stock to keep from going broke if you weren’t able to work for three weeks?

Just think about it.

Then do what you must to be prepared for you and yours.

Till next time,

Sandi 🙂

Googles and Fuffoid :)

Fuff and Goog

Oh daughter of my soul

And child of my heart

You’ve come to me by Grace

and Mercy has sheltered you

Your love enfolds my weaknesses

Your laughter erases my pain

Your shining hearts melt

even the hardest of cynics.

Oh daughter of my soul

And child of my heart

Be true to the one who gave you life

Don’t depart from the music of your hearts

Don’t allow the darkness in

Shield Grace for she will always keep you

Allow wisdom to be your adornment

Be at peace with all you encounter

And trust in God alone.

Oh daughter of my soul

And child of my heart

God has given you to me

I give you back into His care

And trust in all you are to be.

I love you….

Daughter of my soul

And child of my heart……

Julianna and Stephanie!