Abandoned Life ~ Autobiography:- Part Nine:
The Turning Point
On May 24, 1985 Michael junior still not well but better now could walk around and do things for himself. Life went on and the girls Wallace and Michêle went to school like any other day.
Michael was doing some work on the building site and Tinka went back to work to try and catch up on the financial side. Julia was there to take care of the house and to keep an eye on the kids.
At about two the same afternoon one of the kids phoned to ask if they could eat some of the honey we brought back from the farm their grand parents stayed on. Tinka warned them to make sure that no bees were still there to prevent a sting in the mouth. The honey was still in the natural wax, cut into square pieces.
It was a Friday afternoon and wages were supposed to be paid when Tinka phoned Julia to cash a cheque. Julia said that she would go quickly because Michêle had gone to the library to take her book back and Brian was asleep next to his sister Wallace that was old enough to take care of a three year old if he awoke.
That’s when Julia heard a funny noise behind her, as she walked to cross the street. She looked back to see and it was no other than Tinka’s little girl Michêle. She was sitting there trying to vomit. Julia realized something was wrong because she did not respond to her call. She picked Michêle up to try and get her to respond when she eventually did vomit she went limp like a rag doll. Julia ran back to the salon not knowing what to do. Thought she feinted as we laid her down on the floor…she was not breathing. Tinka did CPR on her child and one of her clients phoned the doctor. All confused the doctor came there thinking it was Michael junior because their names sounded very much the same.
He took her to hospital to do some tests asking a lot of questions saying it looked like she was poisoned. Tinka told him about the honey and they started to drain her stomach. But Michêle did not open her eyes again. In total shock they made plans to get her to the closest city hospital, but no ambulance was available. Her father offered to take her himself but the risk was just too big. Tinka remembered about one of her clients who owned a aircraft and phoned Suzie to asked for their help. John immediately offered to take her by plane, although for four people only they managed to get the doctor and his nurse to go with. Like a zombie Tinka went back to work to finish what she was busy with and closed the doors to get to East London as soon as she could. In the meantime her parents came to visit and walked into the commotion. They stayed with the other kids as Michael junior went with them knowing he was not that well yet and if he needed medical help they would get help fast.
On their way to East London; a trip taking at least three hours by car, Tinka was looking at heaven, tears was running down her face. Not aware of the drama at the hospital a shooting star caught her eye, she looked at the clock in the car and it was 8.30 pm. She had this feeling that she just lost her child. In her minds eye she saw her sitting up in her bed, dressed in blue pajamas, telling her not to worry she was okay. With the shake of her head Tinka looked at her husband and said…I think we lost her. He did not answer her as Michael junior awoke from his nap. They decided not to talk about it in front of him. At the hospital Tinka tried to find her child. Each one she asked could not help her…and eventually she reached the room she was told her child should be in. Curtain drawn she was not allowed into the room. The nurse told her that the doctor wanted to see her in his office.
She had to walk all the way back to the front entrance. By this time her husband came to look for her. He asked a nurse to keep an eye on Michael junior who was sleeping in the car. Dr Cooper welcomed them and offered them tea as he started to explain what the situation. Michêle suffered hemorrhage of the brain (bleeding of the brain) and he had to try and release the pressure. He explained about the problem that there was dry blood from a previous injury and wanted to know why that was there. After explaining she fell from a door climbing game they did and a boy that pulled her legs from under her and she hit her head and almost broke her nose about three weeks earlier. He wanted to know who this boy was and Tinka gave him Mornê van Rensburg’s details and all the info he needed. After about an hour later her husband asked the doctor how Michêle reacted to the surgery. He hesitated and looked at Tinka and just said “I am sorry she did not take it well” Tinka asked him why and what happened, the doctor replied, She did not make it, she died directly after the surgery was done, during the closing her heart failed her. Tinka jumped around pulling her hair literary out in bundles. Her husband grabbed the doctor and shook him in disbelief telling him not to talk shit to him. Eventually, every one got a grip and they set about to finish what was still needing to be done. Tinka had to go collect her ear studs and the clothes Michêle had warn.
They left that same night and drove all the way back home, with this sadness n their hearts leaving their child behind for an Autopsy. Something that had to be done because she died in theater and a medical security check about the Doctor involved. Back home every body was in shock hearing this news. Tinka’s brother punched a police officer in the face that brought him the sad news thinking he also made a mistake that it should be Michael junior because he was the sick one. But after mentioning her “Nickname Noenoes” he lost control.
The turning point in Tinka’s life came that day when she and her Husband went to bed in the early hours of the morning. Tinka very heartbroken and numb closed her eyes to just try and block thinks out her husband wanted sex from her. She could not belief he had sex on his mind while she is so full of hurt inside. He forced sex onto her and not having the strength to fight back she let him take her body against her will. Something she would never forget, the heartlessness of a man in need for sex. To her it was rape, rape of the body and mind.
Four days later her husband and her brother-in-law on sisters side went back to East London the collect the corps for the funeral. Tinka stayed at home trying to keep things going for the day; but soon had to deal with another disaster. A bush in her backyard caught fire and she tried to put it out before the house caught fire. To her it seemed like the devil had entered her life and would not let go. She managed to put the fire out without too much trouble. It was caused by a worker, who had dumped his cigarette butt under the bush and the dry leaves.
May 29, 1985 Tinka buried her child, surrounded by her immediate family and a few of her closest friends; only three people from her husband side attended the funeral.
Tinka did not have time to grieve truly. She had her other children to consider and the little one Brian kept her so busy through the church service nagging her that the minister was swearing each time he used the word God; to the amusement of many. It did make things easier but not the right place or the right time to be a clown.
That night after memories of the funeral lingered in Tinka’s mind; the forced sex, the loneliness of the graveyard, wondering if her child was feeling scared being alone in the ground or feeling cold. Stupid to think that but the reality had not sunk in that she could not feel or see; that she was DEAD and would never return!! Tinka just laid there like a zombie yet again while her husband took her body and soul…ripping out her heart, yet another rape. After he had done his deed she turned her back to him and prayed that God forgive her, the little love she still had left died that day with her daughter and left her in total denial.
The next day Tinka was back in the saddle working, trying to cope and to forget, hating herself her life and God for leaving her standing here in this mess; not knowing what tomorrow might bring.
Her husband applied for a new job so he could be home again, and within a few months they moved away and left the place that just brought pain behind; at least that is what they thought they did at that time. She opened up a new hairdressing salon, with no one to back her up. But yet again she managed and not afraid to work hard she became successful and well loved by her customers. Michael the “Station Master” was seen as one of the “main pips in the paw-paw” The children did well in school and Michael junior almost out grew his asthma by doing a lot of running, cross-country and became the hero among the school kids and teachers. And little brother Brian became even a bigger hero hanging around the school before even being old enough to be in school. He the real cute little brat, stole many hearts with his big brown eyes; flirting with girls three times his age.
Tinka started to pay the price her body started to react. Funny “pimple” like spots started to pop up. She did not take much notice thinking it’s just something in her blood. But after suffering for months she went to the local doctor. He told her it was due to stress and she must not hold in so much; she must let it out. But how could she, her heart was still so much in hurt. And she had to show a friendly face to the world out there.
One day while at work on of her customers walked in with concern on her face, asking if Brian was her son. Tinka felt that a rug was pulled from under her expecting the worse. The woman said he was bleeding, bumped his head hard against a pole as he was trying to run away from the girls. Tinka rushed off to the car standing outside and took one look at her child, grabbed him in her arms and ran to the doctor. As the doctor was closing up the wound Brian kept on asking “Am I going to die like my sister?” The doctor looked at Tinka with a million questions to ask showing on his face.
He told Tinka to keep a very close eye on Brian and if he shows any signs of distraction to phone him immediately. A numbness came over her knowing history could repeat itself. But by the grace of God nothing happened to Brian!! The next day he was back on the sporting field chasing girls and doing his own thing.
Tinka’s stress took over and she became quiet, just went from day to day watching her life slipping away. She found out about things that she just could not talk about. Then one day the doctor came for his haircut and he noticed Tinkas depressed state of mind and demanded her to pay him a visit that same afternoon; even after hours if she could not make it before closing time.
She did take the time to visit the doctor. He started to ask her questions about herself and what had happen that Brian asked the question about his sister. Tinka started to tell her story. The doctor noticed the tears thatpopped up, took the tissue box and gave it to her and said,
“Girl I don’t care if this take all night, but you are going to cry your heart out this day. You have been holding back for four years now. And you want to know why your body is reacting the way it does? Well this is why you never had the chance to grieve and through that heal. I am not saying you will forget, but you need this, and if any one looks at you with evil in the eye, show your feelings or you are going to be next.”
That was like opening the doors of heaven tears came pouring down like rain from above. After the longest time Tinka calmed down and the doctor gave her a hug telling her never to hold back again.
Tears came more easily for Tinka after that day; until she was forced to keep it back again. Her husband told her she must stop feeling sorry for her self and get a life. Her tears could not bring the dead back. Michêle was dead and gone and life goes on. She closed up like a shell vowing never to talk about her child’s death again.
After Twenty Years
I am not sad today
In utter gray space
I just feel light headed
My body has no substance
Within this gray fog
That allows no vision
I do not want to look back
Or ever feel this pain again
Because on the 24th day of May
The biggest pain ever came my way
My little girl did die on this day
She did not see the sun go down
But received her angel wings
By the side of God
To prepare a place
For those still to come
Tinka started to pull away from life and those close to her; too scared to show what she felt, too scared to get hurt once more. Their pension days came sooner than expected. Her husband started to suffer from back problems and lost his job as Station Master because he was off duty too long. Then the day he had surgery to fix the problem the letter came. She started to read the heading, “South African Railways and Harbor Head Office.” Blood ran from her face as she started to read the first paragraph. Like two hands of death choked her she looked at the wording, “we hereby are ending your services as station master and decided that due to your medical record you are no longer fit for work. Raw noises came from her body as she started to cry, not sure what this meant. Knowing her husband was in surgery right at that moment and had no clue what was waiting for him. That night she packed her car and went to see her husband in hospital; a late at night horrible two hour drive. At the hospital she could not talk to him because he was still in ICU recovering. Tinka waited for several hours for him to regain his strength. Eventually he was able to read the letter and started to laugh. At first she thought he lost his mind, but the news was not that bad after all. It was what he was hoping for to be on pension; free to move to the farm. He started to drink heavily and made all kind of plans to move to the farm. Five months later Tinka and her family moved to the farm they bought a few years before. Once again she gave up her dreams, her salon and just followed.
Tomorrow Dressed In Sorrow
I looked upon the ocean today
And turned my head away
As every one that passed me by
Just looked me in the eye and saw
My heart was dead
My soul playing in the sand
As I bleed to death
All I need to say
My f*cking life is not so grand
Along this wild ocean shore I weep
Here I stand with emotions so deep
What will this ocean be?
Without a tide…or without a breeze
And I fell down on my knees
Asking the Lord to be with me
I just had ENOUGH… you see
The only reason why we still speak
Is because you need a cleaner to sweep
No matter if you make me weep
For many years I’ve been your slave
I served you with all I had
But a few years back
You turned your back on me
I kept this marriage intact…that’s a fact
After you told me you never did “THAT”
But a few days back
You just started to react to “THAT”
And you did it…
YOU DID IT for the last time MATE
That was yesterday
But today will be…
Dressed in black
Tinka and her family lived in the caravan once again, but enjoyed the new adventure. They started to build their own house themselves; mom, dad and kids as a team. Everything was going well during the day, but at night Michael drank so much he would pass out. Once more his eyes started to wander and gossip started to spread around.
But she would not let it break her, she was expecting again and could only think about her child. This time Michael wanted a daughter. Tinka wanted a son and not a replacement for Michêle. The pregnancy was the hardest nine months of her life; what ever could go wrong did. From morning sickness to cramps, close calls with of a miscarriage and in constant pain her body was just rebellious and did not want to be pregnant.
Tinka was 39 years old and it was ten years after her last child was born. But she did not fail she carried her child full term. On the day she went into labor she even did some shopping to make sure things were taken care of back home. Twenty-hour hours later the contractions stopped and Tinka fell asleep. The next morning January 17, 1992 her doctor had to do an emergency C-section; realizing the child was suffocating and that time was limited, the umbilical cord was tangled around the baby’s neck. Within 45 minutes she gave birth to a beautiful healthy baby, a boy as she hoped for. Her husband not happy did not say much but did remind her that he wanted a daughter. They had no name picked for this little man because he was convinced it would be a girl and her name would be Anke.
The day Tinka and her baby left the hospital her husband said they should call him Nichol, their doctor’s surname. Tinka did not fight that because the same thought entered her mind and she was pleased to go with the name.
Tinka had new responsibilities four children and a
husband that floated around between alcoholism
and wandering eyes. They started raising pigs and whatever goes along with that; very messy, smelly but so amusing to watch and very hard work to keep them happy. Financially they started to struggle and Michael had to search for a job. He soon started a contract job to harvest wood for sawmills in the area. Once more Tinka had to take over what he started, she became the farmer, mother, and accountant. Yes accountant for she had to give accounting for everything that went wrong on the farm even if caused by nature. At night she had to suffer his verbal abuse and the advances of her drunken, cheating and now very abusive husband. Tinka would wonder why she endured such things, that she must be a stupid idiot with no bloody brains. But like so many women in her circumstance she just carried on believing she had no other choice.
My Weary Mind
Every night I sit alone
My eyes are throbbing
My mind is weary
Striving for some understanding
And words that is so black
Calls onto me
Mixing it with white blossom
Now my mind is a battlefield
They who does not know these feelings
They today is light at heart
While they travel on clouds
Leaving me to breathe
Of my broken heart
But there is wisdom too
Mused on wisdom
If I read my heart
My thinking… still folly
I dream of satisfaction
They who does not know these things
Sleeps un - troubled through the night
Never read the emotions
That I hide in Poetry
I never write from ambition
For You urge me Inspired me through
Hours of darkness
Should I try and change my ways
And pick up crumbs
Prison’ d by my love
What am I if love enslaves me
When age and weakness defeat me
I see you in all my writes and dreams
But you not with me
I watch the darkness falling
And hills withdraw their shadows
The sun your love
It’s all gone
The sea wind still
To be Continued >>>>>