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Library: Looking back ...


Author: jeanmarie
Date:Dec 24 2014

Today he is not that young anymore.  His life was so much different when he
was still a young boy.  At the time things were normal the way he knew it, but
growing up and seeing other families he came to realize that his childhood was
so far from normal.  Things could have been so much different today if things
were different when he grew up as a child.  Things were not easy at all.  For
him it was a struggle.  Little did he know that his whole life will be turned
upside down later in life and this is his story.

For the first part of his life he did not live with his parents.  He grew up
on the farm with his grandparents.  His grandfather was the sweet and loving
one and his grandmother did not show that kind of love.  He can remember that
many times his grandfather had to come up for him, praising him and defending
him against his grandmother.  He believes today that she did love him in her
own way though.

Farm life was fun.  He really enjoyed it.  Getting up early in the mornings to
go the felt to fetch the cows and to bring them home to milk them was the
first job to be done on the day.  He would walk with his grandfather and talk
about all kinds of this.  His grandfather would hold his hand while they walk
through the bushed and trees looking for the cattle.  He can remember that the
cattle would always normally be not in one group, but they were close to each
other though.  His grandfather and him would go to the group furthest away
from them and the start to case the cattle towards each other to form one
group and them case them home.  During the winter months it`s still very dark
when they leave the house.  Not only was it dark but it was also very cold. 
During the summer it`s already light enough to see quite well but no sunlight.
 By the time they eventually reach the farmhouse the sun is already shining. 
The cows and the calves were not in the same camp.  Only during the time that
the cows are milked the calves would be with them.  All the cows were still
milked by hand and he enjoyed milking the cows.

He can remember that at 10 o`clock in the mornings they were all taking a
break to have morning tea and after that back to cows until lunch time.  After
lunch a little rest then back to the cows where they then separate the cows
from their calves and then let the cattle to feed in the field.  Late
afternoon was the turn of the goats, going to the field fetching the goats and
bringing them home to their lambs.  This went on until dark.  After getting
the goats and their lambs together they went home and got ready for dinner. 
That was their daily routines on the farm.  Sometime they would take their ute
and drive around in the field looking for wood for the stove in the kitchen.

He still has some standout memories of things that happened during those early
years on the farm.  He can remember that every time when it was his birthday
he got a gift, and also on Christmas.  He kept on asking his grandparents who
those gifts are from and was told that it was from a very kind uncle.

His grandfather and him would always sit and talk about all kinds of things. 
He loved it when his grandfather told him about how things were when his
grandfather was a little boy and a young man.  He also loved it when his
grandfather told him stories about the ?boere? wars against the English.  They
called the British people the English.  Through everything his grandfather
ever told him there was this one thing that he could never understand.  His
grandfather said to him: ?My son when people (family) fight with you or argue
with you, you must feel good, because it means that they still care about you.
 When the day comes that they don`t fight with you anymore then you need to
start to worry, because then it means that they stopped to care?.  He can
remember that in his young mind; ?How can you love someone if he fight and
argue with you?

Then it got to the stage where he had to start school.  He moved from the farm
to his parents in town.  His step father had a drinking problem and many times
he had to watch him during his drunken state hitting the children and his
mother.  No-one in the house showed any emotion.  Everyone lived only for him
or herself.  He had 3 brothers and all of them lived their own lives, no
closeness what-so-ever.  They did not care for one another.  His step dad and
mom did not show any sort of love towards the children.  It was during those
early years of this life where he started to build a wall around him to
protect him against any harm.

At the end his mom could not take it anymore and left his step father because
of his drinking problems; but other than the fighting, swearing and shouting
nothing changed in the house.  There was still no love or closeness.  So many
times he had to break his bedroom window just to get into the house after
spending some time with friends.  He can clearly remember coming home from
friends that his mom and other brothers would sit at the table having sapper,
telling them not to open the door, which was locked, for him and that he can
sleep outside.  That kind of thing happened often.  He always wondered why on
earth his mother would do that too him.

After broken the bedroom window and managed to get into the house his mother
wanted to give him a hiding but he rebelled against it.  He then also had to
see to his own food, making it himself most of the time.  This kind of life
was normal to him; in fact to all the children.  He can clearly remember that
a lot of times he was wondering why things were like that.  That style of
living also made him not a well accepted friend during his school years.  He
grew up by himself.  He didn`t have anyone who he could go too at times when
life got tough.  He had to sort it out by himself.  This lifestyle caused him
to crow up way before his age.

A lot of times during his childhood he would say to himself: ?I would never
allow my children to grow up the way that I am growing up?.    This is not
something that a child should ever think about, but he did.  He could not wait
to finish his schooling so he can leave the house.  There was one thing that
happened during those years that made huge impact later in his life.  At the
time his step father was still with them.  There was this uncle who had a boy
and a girl with him visiting them.  The boy and girl were more or less his
age.  He can remember that all of them went out; his step father and this man,
himself and the other two kids.  They ended up at a bar.  They children played
outside and much later the two men came out and they left home.  When they got
home he could hear that this man and his step father had an argument and they
started to fight.  The guy took his two kids and left the house.  He can
remember sitting in his bedroom, very scarred whilst listening to the fighting
and arguing.  He heard them talking about a child.  He was about 7 years old
at that time.  He never in his whole life forgot about that day.  Only much
later in his life all this will eventually make sense to him.  He never saw
that man and the two children ever again.

Growing up this way made him independent from a very early age.  He learned to
see to himself quite well.  He was able to make his own food, fixing his
clothes if it needed to.  This did not make life easier for him at all.  Lots
of times when he had now-where to go, he would go to a friend who had a horse.
 He formed a bond with that horse and felt like he could pour his heart out
talking to the horse that seemed to listen to him.

They were four children in the house.  They all knew that the last two boys
had the same father; the step father he had.  They were also told that his
younger brother and he had the same father and that is what was believed. 
Again something that a child his age should not normally think about; ?Why do
my brother and I differ so much??  He might have tried to look for some
unanswered questions.  He had no relationship with his mother or any of his
other brothers in the house; but in saying that, so did no-one else for that
matter.  So many times during his high school year he would end up having a
huge argument with his mother and he would leave the house with his mother
crying about things that he said to her.  He did not feel anything at the time
leaving her there crying and for him life just went on.

The day after he left school he left the house and also the town where he use
to crew up in and started to work.  For him it was freedom at last.  He became
very difficult to convince, yet not impossible.  He still had no feelings
towards no-one.  He would say things like: ?Love is just a word.?  ?What is
love??  For him love was a duty.  When you love someone you will need to do
this and that and you can`t do this and that.  That is the way he handled his
relationships with girlfriends.  He also saw that this feeling of ?love? is
the same for all women he had relationships with.

He started to work when he was 19 years old, but because of the way he grew up
he soon found it very difficult as at the time when he started this job was
very military like.  He saw so many things that happen where he would believe
is wrong and he would not leave it at that.  He would get into arguments with
officers and in doing so getting into heaps of trouble, but to him right was
right and wrong was wrong.

At the age of 21, in fact a day after he became 21, life as he knew it got a
huge shock.  He did not see that coming at all.  Though he and his younger
brother never had a relationship they did see each other now and then.  He can
remember this like it was yesterday when his younger brother phoned him and
what his brother had to say shocked him.  His younger brother said to him:
?What would you say if I tell you that we are not brothers??  Now you can
imagine growing up and told that you and your younger brother had the same
father, this surely was a shock.  He then asked his younger brother what he
meant by that and his younger continued and the conversation went like this:
?Remember that time when that guy with the two children came to our house?  He
then said: ?Yes?.  His younger brother then continued: ?Well he is your father
and those children are your sister and brother.  Mother never married your
father because grandmother and grandfather were against it for mother and your
father to ever get married.  My father adopted you.?  He was completely
shocked but then all those things that happened that day when he was about 7
years old starting to make sense to him.

Only a few days after that he got a phone call.  He was told that a woman was
looking for him.  He dialled the number but the woman was not available. 
Short after that the woman called him back.  He had never heard the name
before or knew the woman.  The first question he was asked was: ?Do you know
who is talking??  Obviously he did not and he said: ?No, I don`t.?  She then
continued: ?Do you remember that man with the two children that visited you
once when you were about 7 year old??  As soon as she asked that question he
knew who she was and he said: ?Yes?.  She then continued and said: ?Well I am
that little girl and I am your sister.?  He was completely shocked.  They
spoke for a while and the call was ended.  He found out that his father was
living in the same city where he was working at the time.  He went to visit
him.  That was the second time he ever saw that man, but he could not remember
the man`s face.  He told his father that he is sorry but he can never accept
him as his father as he never knew him as a father.  He went there once or
twice after the first visit and the never went again.  All those promises he
made on the phone while talking to his sister forgotten.  He did not care as
for him he knew how family life looks like and was not prepared to get into
that kind of thing again.

He soon forgot about everything and went on with his life.  A few years went
by and he never gave this whole thing a second thought.  Then he met this
family.  Such a close knit family, something that he never saw in his whole
life.  Everyone laughed and played with each other. The hugged and kissed each
other and said that they love each other.  He was completely blown away.  ?Is
this how a real family looks like?? he wondered.  He loved the circumstances
and the ?family life?, the situation.  He could live with that.  He got
married and learned more about this new family type lifestyle and the more he
liked it the more he started to wonder how it would be finding his father,
sister and brother again.  He tried everything possible and how he knew how to
find them again, but had no luck what-so-ever, but he never gave up hope and
it was always in his mind.

It is now close to ten years since he had that telephone call from his sister.
 He got a call in his office which he answered.  The first thing he heard was
a voice of a woman and the questions she asked him made him knew exactly who
that woman was.  She said: ?Do you know who it is??  He knew.  It was close to
a new year.  He made arrangements to meet them all, his father, sister and

Getting home he told his wife that his sister phoned him.  Many times during
his search for his brother and sister he told his wife that he would first go
alone to them just to see how things are before he drags his wife into all

The day and time has come for him to take the six hour trip towards the
unknown.  It felt to him like an endless road, though he drove the same road
many time before in his life, but today is a completely different story.  He
can feel the butterflies on his stomach, he is so nervous, he don`t know what
to expect.  He was confronted with mixed feelings, should he go through with
this or turn back?  He knew that he would meet his sister for the first time
in his life since that day when he was 7 years old, his father and his

He was still the same man he was when he was little.  He still had that wall
around him.  No-one or nothing could ever get close enough to him to hurt him;
he knew that and that kept him going.  He is not a coward, he always follows
through on decisions he made and this time it`s not going to be any different.
 During their arrangements over the phone they arranged to meet at a place
where he would wait for them as he did not know where his brother was living. 
He knew that his father, sister and brother would all be at his brothers house
and also that the people who is going to meet his would be his sister and his

When he arrived at the predetermined place he phoned his brothers number to
let them know that he is there waiting.  He had absolutely no expectations at
all, but nothing in this world could prepare him for what is going to happen
to him.  The event of that weekend changed his life and his outlook towards
life completely.  When he saw them arriving he saw his sister.  ?She is so
beautiful? is the first thing that went through his mind.  He got out of his
car and walked towards her, kissed her and hugged her and then for the first
time in his adult life he just started to cry while holding onto her.  Up till
today he has no idea on the time he just stood there with his in his arms

They eventually left the place to his brothers` home.  His sister was with him
and his brother driving in front of them, leading them to his house.  Arriving
at his brothers` home he met his brothers` wife and kid for the first time in
his life.  By this time he was 31 year old.  He saw his father again as well
as his brother as he already saw his brother once when he visited his father
in the same town he was working in.  He stayed at his sisters` place for the
time he was there.  Their relationship just grew from strength to strength. 
He suddenly became aware of feeling that he never new exists.  He had no idea
on what was happening with him.  The only thing he knew at the time was that
there was absolutely no wall protecting him and he is falling in a way that he
has never been before.

The time arrived for him to return to his home.  He knew that something
happened with him.  He could feel it.  There was all these strange but
heavenly feelings that he just can`t get rid of or understand.  He also
noticed at home that he see things very differently and reacted completely
different to things he usually reacted and he just had no control over those
thoughts or actions, it just came out naturally, but at the same time he also
felt latterly sick if he did not hear from his sister in a day.  He could not
wait to hear from her.  He thought that he was busy losing his mind and went
for treatment where he came to terms with what actually is happening to him. 
He realized that the wall that was there was no longer and that he now know
that love is a feeling a feeling you just can`t describe in words.  Because of
that small four letter word, his whole life changed completely.

He also learned during that time that he spend with his father, sister and
brother that those presents he kept on getting and was told that it was from
an uncle was actually from his father.  He also learned that on that day when
he was 7 his father was there to come and fetch him to take him with him and
that was the reason why he and his step father got onto a fight.  His father
wanted to take him out of that bad atmosphere in his house with his step
father misused alcohol.  

This event also had lead to a worse relationship between his mother and
himself.  He hated her for so many things that happened to him in his
childhood.  He did not want anything to do with his mother.  He could not
forgive her and the whole family for keeping the truth from him.  None of his
three other brothers and he knew anything about this until his aunt told his
younger brother, when, then in turn told him.  She only told him because
somehow she saw that he did not know anything and she thought that his younger
brother knew and started to talk to him, but by the time she realized that he
also did not know, it was already too late and she already said too much to
stop at that point.  With all that information many things that happened with
him during his childhood life now started to make sense and he could
understand why things happened the way it did.

His marriage also suffered because of this event and he left his wife and his
child because he noticed that he got married for completely the wrong reasons
and that she is not the wife for him.

Today he is a very happy man, got married again and this time for the right
reasons.  He got reconciled with his mother and his relationship with her is
now better than ever.