A LETTER TO SELF REVEALING HOW AN AFRIKAANS MAN AND HIS ZIMBABWEAN LADY COLLEAGUE FORM AN UNUSUAL FRIENDSHIP WITH TRYING TIMES...
“Enclose your heart in times of need with the steel of your determination and your strength. In doing this, all things will be bearable.” ~Lora Leigh, Broken Wings
It’s not often that one receives a letter from me. I decided to write to you so I could help you process what is happening. I can see you are battling to comprehend how I work. It may not seem like anyone knows at times, but I do. All the time.
I know you are struggling emotionally and physically with what is happening to your colleague. The two of you started sharing an office 2 years ago. I saw the two of you approach each other with caution. After all, one of you is Afrikaans and the other is Shona. Slowly, in slow tentative steps, you made your way into a surprising and unusual friendship.
I know how you tried to ease his stress when he was planning to propose. I remember how you laughed at him when he couldn’t work because the ring was burning a hole in his pocket. I know how you cried miserably when you missed his wedding. I know how he knew how badly you wanted to be there and he and his brand spanking new wife called you to say it was OK.
I remember how he talked sense into you when you broke up with that guy who was no good for you. How he told you, that if that man valued you, he would not act that way. How he told you corny jokes to keep you from getting teary and how they became a part of your daily routine. I remember when his wife sent you on a disastrous blind date and the three of you laughed about it for months. I remember when you started dating. How he kept asking if the new man made you happy and he kept warning you to take it slow. Don’t dive into anything he said. Be smart.
I remember the day your boss came crashing down on you like a tonne of bricks and you took it so hard. He was the only one at work who saw how you cried. I remember how he told you that you were destined for great things. This was just necessary pain to make you into who you are meant to be.
I remember when you dreamt his wife was pregnant. When you told him about the dream the next day, you caught that brief look of shock flit across his face before he denied it. I know how you knew in that moment you were right. I remember how you excitedly declared you knew it when he caved and told you. I remember the past nine months. How the excitement started to build. I remember him telling you the name choices and finally settling on one.
I remember every scan he showed you; the pictures of the baby room; the blinds; the rock star t-shirts he bought for his son. They were so excited. You all were. I remember when they hit 40 weeks and they were beside themselves with equal parts anxiety and excitement and how so many colleagues popped into your office to ask if the baby was there yet… every. single. day. I remember when you showed up to work on Friday and his parking bay was empty and you knew the big day had arrived. She was in labour.
The day passed with no news. You don’t know much about babies but by evening you were worried. You started to panic on Saturday when you checked your phone first in the morning in your sleepy haze and there was no message. I remember how your heart dropped through the floor when he finally replied that there had been complications and the baby and mum were in Intensive Care. I saw the tears finally come when you heard just how critical the baby’s condition was.
I know you feel impotent. Somehow praying and checking in doesn’t seem like it’s enough. I know you are angry at the universe and at me for allowing this to happen. I know you want to know why. It’s their first baby and they were so excited. I hear you when you ask why bad things happen to good people. The truth is I don’t know. I don’t know how it will turn out. I know God hears you speaking to Him. His will will be done.
In the meantime, I don’t stop for anyone. Even on the darkest days. So focus now. Focus on carrying his workload and yours so its easier for him when he comes back. Focus on the power of prayer. Focus on the light. Even a small candle overcomes its small corner of darkness. Focus on God. Trust in Him with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding because this is beyond both our comprehension.
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