So many people have entered and left my life at crucial points, they have taught me lessons and they have kept me sane, it would be hard to choose only one person.
I am also loathe to go with the kids and fiancé, as again, I feel that goes without saying.
In the interest of being different, I had two teachers at school, Mrs Blignault, who was my Afrikaans teacher and Mrs Hickman, who was my English teacher, were so important to me and how I turned out.
Mrs Blignault treated me like a super-genius, in all fairness I was super good at Afrikaans, she gave me individual writing topics a little more challenging than everyone else’s to keep me interested. She often referred to me as a dark horse, and believed in me, enough to tell me that if I didn’t write I would be wasting my talent.
At the same time, she gave a shit enough to give it to me straight, to tell me I was being petulant about bullshit, and that having a baby in standard nine was not a little mistake.
At the centre though, she cared, she gave a damn, she encouraged me and believed in me, and cried with pride when she saw me at our Matric Farewell. To this woman I owe so much, so, so much.
Then Mrs Hickman, bless her soul, who died of cancer when I was in matric, I sobbed, a lot.
She was the most eccentric and interesting person who swore at us in Hebrew when we didn’t behave. She told the best stories, and actually took time to listen to mine. She encouraged me to write, praised my ability to speak and gave so much of herself to my passion for words.
The only teacher who came to see me in the hospital when my son was born. She looked at his face and I saw her melt, she offered congratulations, she offered love and praise, I will be eternally grateful that though she was in the room with her 16 year old student, not once did it occur to her to judge me.
High school was hard for me. I had a baby in standard nine and went back to school to finish. I studied for my final exams whilst pushing his pram with my foot trying to get him to sleep. I didn’t party like all my friends did. I changed nappies, they got high.
These two women offered an understanding I so desperately needed. They were the wisdom, the love and the understanding my mother never was. Their belief in me gave me a reason to do things the right way.
Someone once told me, failure is not an option, so many people believe in you, it would not only be yourself you are letting down.