06 January 2008

THE LOSS OF A FAMILY MEMBER

THE LOSS OF A FAMILY MEMBER
{Friday, 4 January 2008}

The year started off on a heart breaking note for us. On my way back from grocery shopping on Friday morning, I received a call from Heidi, my sister’s eldest daughter. Heidi could hardly speak, but managed … ‘Mamma is dood in ‘n motorongeluk … ek kan nie nou praat nie …’ meaning: Mom was killed in a motor car accident … I cannot speak now ….

Tears were flowing freely as I drove into our garage. I just could not believe that this was true … ‘my sister killed in a motor car accident’ … it cannot be true. I managed to pack away the groceries blinded by tears and tried to phone Heidi again and got hold of her a while later. She said that my sister, Hiletje and her husband Jens were on their way to come and visit them in Hartbeespoort Dam and baby sit their two children that evening whilst they attended a family member’s wedding in Hartbeespoort Dam.

Hiletje and Jens left their home in Henley-on-Klip just after 9am. It is a two hour drive to Harties. Just as they entered Hartbeespoort Dam on the R511 in pouring rain and barely a kilometer from where Heidi them lived a truck apparently had to make a sudden stop as a motor vehicle was stationary in the road in front of it. With the road being wet, the truck jack knifed and skidded. The back trailer section of the truck skidded across the road hit Hiletje and Jens’ Condor head-on on the opposite side of the road. Jens, later recovering at the Medi-Clinic in Brits, heavily sedated kept on saying ‘it happened so fast’ …’it was like a brick wall was just suddenly in front of them from nowhere’. They were pinned in tight in the smashed compartment of the Condor and as Jens was waiting for the paramedics to arrive on the scene, he could see that Hiletje was totally motionless and realized that she was killed instantaneously on impact. Jens said that he felt so helpless. He just wanted to reach out and stroke Hiletje’s hair, but he was totally pinned in. The paramedics had to use the ‘jaws of life’ to get Jens out of the wreck. Jens miraculously only had a few broken ribs where the seatbelt tightened and some bruises on his face arms and legs.

I phoned Conroy at work, just after Heidi phoned me the first time, and he immediately made his way home from where we left to visit the family at the Brits Medi-Clinic (a 45-minute drive) just before 2pm. It felt so surreal and still does now. I just cannot believe that mom, dad and their only biological daughter have all left us behind here on earth for a much better peaceful life up there in heaven where angels are looking after them.

For me it is as if I am the only surviving member of the family, even though I was adopted by them when I was three-and-half years old. The family that made me what I am today were not there for me anymore … even though I know they are watching my every move still … wherever they are. But the most important fact is that I carry them in my heart every day, no matter where I am, what I am doing or with who I am.

The picture above was taken at Sederberg Retirement Village in Pretoria on 19 April 1997 (my mom’s 80th Birthday). My dad passed away less than two months after this picture was taken.

My dad, Roelof Petrus Walters:
{Born 16 January 1915 – passed away on 9 June 1997}

My mom, Phoebe Walters:
{Born, 19 April 1917 – passed away on 24 November 1999}

My sister, Hiletje Andersen:
{Born, 15 February 1948 – passed away on 4 January 2008. She would have been 60 on 15 February 2008}

- Devastated Signing Off

6 comments:

  1. Desire, my heartfelt condolences on the loss of your sister. I cannot begin to understand what you might be feeling, but my thoughts and prayers are with you as you deal with this tragic loss.

    Lots of love

    Michelle

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  2. Sorry to hear about your loss, our thoughts are with you.

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  3. Anonymous9:16 AM

    Dear Desire. I am so sorry to hear about your sister. I know how much you cared for her. Be strong my friend.
    Love
    Thanusha

    ReplyDelete
  4. Libby & Carol2:05 PM

    Hi Desire, Carol and I are both so sorry for your loss, may God comfort you with this very difficult time. We are both praying for you. Lots of love Libby and Carol x x

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  5. Anonymous8:03 PM

    Hi Desire,

    Sorry about the loss, I knew Hiletje through her daughter Liesl and was blessed with having her in my life for about 4 years! My heart goes out to you and your family.

    Love Brent

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  6. Robyn Keulder3:32 PM

    Hi Desire, the news of your sister's untimely death is devastating - my thoughts and prayers are with you during this time. See you on the 19th for a hug!

    ReplyDelete

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Desire