Category Archives: Chris DeFlamingh

A Month of Grief

Written by Chris De Flamingh

April is particularly a difficult month as my dad died on April 7th and was buried on April 12th, 1995.

My mom died on April 28th, 2019 and my little doggie was born on April 1st, 2010 and is also no longer around.

And lastly, my birthday is on April 29th.

So these dates are fairly edged into my mind for life. I cry myself to sleep still many a night when I remember my mom, dad, and my little doggie. It’s all I ever lived for in this lifetime.

Tears of Grief

Memoir of Chris De Flamingh

In the month of June 2021, I suffered the loss of four loved ones due to illness / Covid-19 and old age.

God has not forsaken us as I can testify to that. Since I lost my only surviving parent in April 2019,

I have only strengthened my love and trust in God since my mom’s passing.

Ta’ Saartjie (Aunt – my mom’s sister)
Tony (Cousin)
Pieter (Cousin)
Tannie Cora (Aunt – my mom’s sister-in-law)

I will miss you and love you always.

Rest in peace.

God is our Strength and Protector. He will be with us no matter what.

To God be the glory.

Friends for Life (My Other Family)

Memoir of Chris De Flamingh

My friends whom I met & known over the past thirty (30) plus (+) years have always meant the world to me as I would always try my best to be loyal to all my friends, as friendship has always been very important to me. We would always meet up for beach braais (bar-b-que), birthday parties, and stock cars at Goodwood show grounds (long before it became Grand West) on Saturday & Friday night.

We did everything together and felt like a family (almost like a brotherhood). Many nights we would just sit and chat when we didn’t have money to go out or go to local clubs like Alligators (Paarden Eiland), Arena (close to the waterfront), Crowbar(CBD), Quay 4 (on the waterfront) and many other venues.

The Blue Peter was just a small little venue back then in the early nineties (1990s) and we often pop in for late-night drinks. Then there was also a club called Tramps in Greenpoint very close to Arena we frequently frequented. Those were the good old days.

I personally stopped going to clubs during the early 1990s as I felt “been there, done that. So I had no more great eagerness to go clubbing. I would drink on weekends and occasionally during the week as well. I would get to bed at 5am and be up at 06h30am for work and felt wide awake. I was filled with the energy of youth.

Today …….I do not have that kind of stamina to party like that anymore.

We always remained together as a close-knit group and kept up together. Communicated as we prepared mature plans for the day or weekend.

Often alcohol would play a part in us having fun/parties as a group and we would drink as usual but really enjoyed those days.

Some friends stood out for me namely Chris, Damian, Erik, Keith & Gerald Hopkins.

Chris is a mechanic and we would at times take our cars to him for repairs. He hardly ever refused us unless he was really busy.

He can withstand patience only for so long then he would explode if people abuse his good deeds; as I learned one year after he just had enough, so I gave him some space and we discussed it afterwards and understood fully where he was coming from so I would preferably call him so he is aware I’m planning to pop in and so I learned to respect his privacy including his needs as a father and breadwinner in his own household.

In April 1995 my dad passed away and they all came late one evening to lend their moral support as I was absolutely devastated and wore black for more than a year, as I mourned the loss of my father. I had difficulty accepting he was gone.

There isn’t a manual that teaches anyone how to deal with traumatic situations except for the Word of God (The Bible). I really had to grow up fairly quickly at this time in my life as I had to start paying bills like water, electricity etc. As my mom could not survive on her pension and I at the age of 24, it was just KFC, Steers and parties and alcohol etc.

Some years later, I was unemployed for about 3 years and Chris arranged from the group of friends to contribute each a certain amount which I was able to pay for some essentials petrol (fuel) etc.

In 1998 Erik paid for the repairs of my car and didn’t know how much it meant to me. He used to host many times nice causal braais at his family home and his parents were always very accommodating to all his friends being there having parties or just a plain decent visit for coffee.

I suffer from severe depression and anxiety and I had been feeling down for quite some time. One night I was in the Edgemead / Bothasig area and parked down a quiet street when I wanted to take my own life. As I held the gun to my head, I didn’t know how to deal with what was going on in my life. But for some or other reason I decided against it and lowered the gun. Then I drove to Erik’s house and he was alone as his folks had been away on holiday. When I pitched up at his front door he told me to enter and have a seat he made us some coffee and I proceeded to explain to him what had just transpired. I thank the lucky stars he was there for me that night and on so many other occasions.

Damian is another very good friend of mine and he is always available to help a friend and hardly ever says “no”. Damian has knowledge of electronics, computers, cars, etc. He is self-taught and has a very inquiring mind and that is how he accumulated his knowledge of some technical issues in the above-mentioned experiences. One essential thing I learned about Damian is, Don’t piss him off!

On more than one occasion he has repaired my cars in the past and refuses any compensation for it. Damian, I trust with my life and know he will always do something within your best interest.

God brought this wonderful group of friends into my life for a reason and they mean the world to me never ever take them for granted.

I also had other friends over the years and some are longer around as they went to be with God our Father.

Marie Upton, Cathy Ward & Deon Marais, Raymond Murray, Sandi Shaw (born Tuck) – These were very close friends of mine with some I would often share very personal information and brought a form of mental salvation to me at the time.

My friends are my family and I feel very proud to have such a great bunch of guys that I made friends with almost thirty (30) years ago.

Don’t take your friends for granted and have the utmost respect for them and take their social needs into account so you don’t crowd your friends and cause a very taste of dislike, disrespect and emotional discomfort and maybe feel too embarrassed to show your face again.

One day I had an argument with Sandi on the phone and I was very upset and felt very ashamed after the argument.

Sandi sent me a letter which she called a “Thank you gram” Thanking me for being her friend and I had known her for about twenty (20) years. She mentioned something in her letter to me where she said “Don’t let the sun set on an argument.” This was I think at the beginning of 2015 and passed away after suffering complications from cancer.

She lived at the time in KZN but we kept in contact on almost a daily basis. Either via email and /or Skype and phone. I was very heartbroken when she passed away.

Mr Kent is a very special friend of mine, he is a retired school principal and was also a good friend to my mom when we didn’t have a car to transport my mom to and from the hospital. He also assisted me with taking me to my clients at the time when I had to supply them with paper rolls which I sold through my business. He even cancelled a family commitment in order to assist me once I needed to be dropped off or collected where I had to go one afternoon. Mr Kent was kind enough to transport us wherever we had to go and was a great help and inspiration to me and still is. He is such a very humble and loving person.

I met Frank in 2004 after starting a new job at a carwash he used to pop in during his lunch hour and I always looked forward to that, so we could have our friendly casual chats etc. He mentioned one day that I should come to his family home which I did and we became good friends. He has been there for me in times of need when I needed his help. When he needs my help I jump for him because we have been very good friends since 2004.

Just a last word on friendship, if I may. Lessons learned from my experiences with my friends especially are to always respect one another and have compassion for one another and respect one’s personal space and family time. Always show courtesy for your neighbours & friends.

Memories of a lifetime with family (Part 3 of 3)

Written by Chris DeFlamingh

Memories with friends
During my lifetime I met and have had some great friends. I would like to name two of them. Their names are Damian and Chris. I met Damian and Chris in 1991 and we formed a bond as friends and used to spend good times together like having parties, braai, driving around or going to watch stock cars at the old Goodwood show grounds.

As a small boy, I did not have many friends as I was very shy and did not like strangers.

It was only after I had my first job and owned the first car that I started wondering further and beyond. I got introduced to alcohol and over the years drinking got worse when I would visit friends or attend a party etc.

After a very bad experience with alcohol in February 2009, I decided that this was the last time I would ever touch alcohol ever again. I decided to stop smoking, drinking as well as drinking sodas.

That was a wake-up call for me and a turning point in my life. Everything changed for me at that point. The two friends that always stood by me through thick and thin have been Chris and Damian.

Chris was there for me for emotional support when my dad passed away in April 1995. Damian has been there for me as well many times since my mom passed away and helped me with different things in my lifetime over the years even before my mom’s passing. These are two friends I regard very highly as my own family.

This blog was written by Chris DeFlamingh

Memories of a lifetime with family (Part 2 of 3)

Written by Chris De Flamingh

Memories with my Dad (Adolf)
As a kid, I did not spend much time with my dad as he was not always the emotional type but loved him to bits always. The times we did get to spend together, were always very special to me.

When I was still very small, my mom used to buy the weekly magazine that included a children’s magazine inside. Saturday afternoon dad and I would lie in bed as he read me the stories out of these magazines

In 1988 I was getting ready to embrace life and my 2-year military service, dad took me for an afternoon drive. Just the 2 of us.

We drove all the way to Fish Hoek and Simonstown where dad shares stories of his younger years as we visited some of his memories. He pointed out the house he shared with his previous wife, his favourite haunts along with his memories of that era.
Years later, I paid dad a tribute by revisiting his memories. It was a perfect way to mourn dad as I was sure I heard his voice and the twinkle in his eye as I walked around picturing dad as a young man.

The drive we took together was in December 1988 I will always remember it as one of the highlights in my life as it was one of those father-son moments we spent alone together.

In 1989 after writing my Cape College exams, dad picked me up. He noticed that I was upset. I told him I was still waiting for my results, that everyone had received theirs but I did not. Even though we had travelled for almost 40 minutes, dad turned the car around and drove back. This time around, my results were waiting for me. The first time I saw Dad with tears in his eyes was when he received the news that I had passed. The trip back drew us closer together as father and son. It is these memories that make thoughts and happy moments like this make me remember my dad as my hero. He was hard on the exterior but very much a softy on the inside.

Dad was an excellent handyman, quick to repair stoves, washing machines, door locks or any general maintenance around the home. Dad taught me well, and often I fixed the vacuum cleaner when minor repairs were needed. Thanks, Dad!

In 1993 after my dad had fallen ill, I went away on holiday for about two weeks and when I arrived back home my dad was in tears to see me and so I hugged him and told him “do not worry I am home now” I miss my dad like mad and wish he was still here on earth with me.

Memories with my Mom (Christine)
I was a mommy’s boy when I was a small kid as I was the youngest and probably got away with more than my siblings. Those were my favourite years as I had mom’s undivided attention.

I spent most of my time with my mom as my dad was at work all day. So my mom would walk me to school early in the morning and then I would get so lonely because I saw my mom walk away going home after dropping me off at school and felt very vulnerable and would burst into tears 😭 but over time it got better and I got used to school.

My mom left to attend her brother’s (my uncle) funeral in Pretoria and I would be alone with my dad but missed my mom so much. Then when she got home after about a week I was overwhelmed with excitement and could not wait to see her after I got home from school that day. I always felt my mom protected me when I was still very small. My mom was my everything at that point in my life. She and I used to play a lot of games and jokes over the years even until shortly before she passed away we had our little games and jokes we used to play. My mom told me quite a lot about her mother (my grandmother) and I wished I had known her personally.

Memories of a lifetime with family (Part 1 of 3)

Written by Chris De Flamingh

I have had many memories throughout my life, some happy and some sad.

During the 1970’s growing up I remember we used to look after a beautiful female fox terrier who belonged to our next-door neighbour, her name was Suzi. This was my first best friend and it felt like she was my own dog as we used to take her in quite often when our neighbours went on holiday.

One sunny day it was late in the afternoon and the neighbours facing our front door had a red brick wall next to their house I was over by the neighbour playing with their kids outside in the garden. I decided I was going to climb this wall cos being a young small boy I was always very curious and up for a challenge to find out what certain things would be like after exploring them. I climbed the wall and found out in no time that this wall was not sturdy (cement plastered) and gave way as soon as I climbed it. It collapsed in an instant and I had a fright but only sustained some minor bruises on my leg. My ego was the biggest injury.

At the age of 4, I had an accident after falling into the hot tub in Youngsfield military base and sustained a fair amount of burns to my body as described in ‘my life story’.

I also had a great fear of heights and at the age of 11 or 12, I went to a school friend’s house and his dad was also in the military. They had a huge trampoline in the backyard and always enjoyed playing and jumping on it as a kid the few times I did visit them. They had a big old tree in their backyard with a wooden platform fitted between the tree branches (tree house) high up in the tree. I climbed up the tree and attempted to step across to another tree branch and my hand slipped off the tree branch and fell to the ground flat onto my back approximately 3 to 4 metres down. I had some pain but it was more so the shock of that moment as I could not believe what had just happened. I swiftly got up and walked home crying.

Whilst living in Kenwyn, Santa delivered my first BMX bicycle. I was so excited, about my first personal transport. I was independent, I was free, and I could explore. I planned all my day trips carefully. Mom prepared me a picnic of sandwiches, cold drinks and of course the much-required stack of sweets and chocolates.

Sometimes a friend would join in the fun and sometimes I went alone. My trips were as far afield as Kirstenbosch, Constantia and Newlands swimming pools. Travelling all the way from Wynberg was a good distance for a child

Other day trips that I remember were the train rides to Town (Cape Town) with mom and brother. These trips were always filled with excitement for a young little boy, a train trip followed by the smells and sights of the big city itself followed by lunch at a restaurant in The Golden Acre

My family often planned long trips to Eastern Cape or the Transvaal. Mom would always have a huge hamper of roast chicken and potatoes with rice and other veggies. The special treat was the instant puddings and jelly we ate if we were good in the 20-hour car trips

Originally as every young child, I was very close to my mom, as a typical rebellious teenager, dad was my hero and comfort. I clashed with mom for many years before our bond grew close again. Today, I think back in horror at the words I spoke to mom, but realize that I was naïve and had to learn about life.

My dad was a very strict straightforward person and did not stand for any nonsense whatsoever. If you didn’t listen, he would merely lift his big hands and take a good hard swing at us and you know what you have done wrong and believe me, it did not tickle. It hurt like hell. Those were the good ole days and I never regret my upbringing ever.

It taught me to respect and improved my character as a person.

I often climbed into dads car to play with the car switches until one day, I snapped the cable that unlocked the bonnet. My dad was very enraged and he gave me good hiding as a result. Ever since that day he always kept the car locked whilst parked in the garage.

He had to spend money to have it repaired. As a ruling because of similar events that resulted in things breaking, I stopped fiddling with other people’s property as I was always extremely curious about what a button on a radio or some or other piece of equipment would do, had I pressed it. I would always end up breaking something or something would fall and break, so I eventually learned my lesson as a kid and stopped messing with stuff that either did not belong to me or did not apply to me.

A Purposeful Life Made Worth Living

Written by Chris De Flamingh

Since I can remember I was convinced that I had been born with a specific purpose in mind which God had planned for me to follow through and that was to help people in general, namely my parents, friends and even strangers to make a difference in peoples lives as I could not stand by and see people suffer.

To have made a difference in people’s lives has always been very rewarding for me as it gave me a sense of living for being needed and wanted in terms of reality and what goes on in this crazy world we live in and the number of people who don’t have it “easy” in life due to financial difficulties, health, disabilities, etc.

For example, the pandemic (COVID-19) has made everything worse since January 2020 when this virus started spreading all over the world, it has affected so many people’s lives, many losing their businesses, jobs, their homes and some even their loved ones to this pandemic.

The main thing is that we should not ask “Why God Why?” we have to trust in God at all times and not question why when and what? God is in control! Yes, it’s easy for me to say but that is just how it works because we are still around and should be grateful that we are still alive and so God’s Grace, Mercy & Love is always there to shine upon us. Just trust in Him and He will see to the rest.

I was present with my dad’s last visit /moments on earth except for before he passed away that night in hospital after a long and suffering sick bed in and out of hospital which was very emotionally and physically draining on the family. This was probably the most devastating event in my life. I always saw my dad as my rock to lean on for motivation, support, etc. For as long as he was around, life could never become difficult for me and my mom but then he fell ill after my mom and dad returned from the Transvaal (Gauteng) visiting my cousin in 1992.

Everything changed after that as I had to help with a lot of things in general. Both my brothers were out of the house and I had to pitch in and help when and where I could which I never regretted of course as it was my dad and would do anything to make life easier for my mom, playing nurse preparing his meds for each day and attending to his wounds when his legs would leak water due to water retention (cardiac failure).

After my dad’s passing, I had to help pay bills for the house as my dad’s pension fell away and my mom wasn’t earning much but we managed nevertheless. I was only 24 at the time and was still very immature because I was used to spending my income on petrol and takeaways etc.

My mom’s health wasn’t the best either at the time but nowhere near to what it had been the last few years of her life as she also suffered from numerous different conditions. I was never really close to my mom as a teenager, but things were very different in prior years.

After my dad passed away things changed over the years as time went by we grew closer due to living alone together and I was the only person available to had assured her of having some kind of independence as I could drive, had a car and lived with her in the same residence (our flat). There were many days she had to be taken/rushed to the hospital due to serious conditions that would occur and the same happened with my dad for the last three years of his life before he passed away on April 7th, 1995.

Over the years I would assist many people in need which gave me great satisfaction and is still very rewarding when I am able to help anyone in need.

This is and had always been my legacy in life set out by God as I personally believe wholeheartedly and with absolute confidence why I was born.

Living life as a ‘votarist’

Written by Chris De Flamingh

I lived my life for approx. 20 years as a ‘votarist’

You can find the description / definition of a ‘votarist’ on the link below but will place the info in this blog as well should you not opt to look it up.

Definition / Description:

In the Christian tradition, such public vows are made by the religious – cenobitic and eremitic – of the Catholic Church, Anglican Communion, and Eastern Orthodox Churches, whereby they confirm their public profession of the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity, and obedience or Benedictine equivalent. The vows are regarded as the individual’s free response to a call by God to follow Jesus Christ more closely under the action of the Holy Spirit in a particular form of religious living. A person who lives a religious life according to vows they have made is called a votary or a votarist. The religious vow, being a public vow, is binding in Church law. One of its effects is that the person making it ceases to be free to marry. In the Catholic Church, by joining the consecrated life, one does not become a member of the hierarchy but becomes a member of a state of life which is neither clerical nor lay, the consecrated state.

To my personal belief (not blessed or approved/ordained by God in reality), made certain vows to God to sort of ‘police’ or limit myself from doing anything against God’s law at the time.

Little knowing that I was pursuing God’s law in a non-biblical form and I suffered great emotional trauma because of it and thus lived a very secret and painful lifestyle which I never told any of my family or friends because I felt it was a personal agreement between me and God and no one would ever understand but in actual fact, I had caused more pain for myself and was living a life of sin instead of a God-like lifestyle.

I realised this, the day after my mom passed away on the 28 April 2019 and when I awoke the next morning realising my mom was now gone to be with the Lord, I had reaffirmed my life and commitment to God in the proper manner and so life seemed more real and more clearer to me.

Since then I have taken on a new persona in the true sense of the word and now follow a completely different path to serving God every day of my life. I have been through so much emotional trauma since then as well for various different reasons. But I have learnt from those mistakes as it mostly had been my own doing.

The lesson I learnt from this was that you cannot or should not misunderstand or live a misguided life which God had not meant for you to live or to follow instead follow God’s word according to the Holy Bible.

My whole aim for my blog and family history and telling my story is to leave behind a legacy which I want people to learn from and not make the same mistakes in life as I did.

I pray that everyone experiences peace and love all over the world, especially during this difficult time of the (COVID-19) pandemic and consider and help each other where we can possible so we could all join hands and live in unity. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen!

My Life Story

Written by Chris DeFlamingh

I was born Christo De Flamingh on 29 April 1971 in the early hours of that Thursday morning. Our first home, after I was born was on a military base as my dad was an artillery instructor in the SADF.

I was about 4 years old and I remember, one night we had visitors over and my mom sent me to run a bath for myself. I placed the plug into the bath trap and opened the hot water tap. After a couple of minutes as a lot of kids do, I got bored waiting for the bath to fill up with water. I decided to lie on top of the edge of the bath and after a couple of seconds I lost my balance and fell into the bath half-filled with hot water and almost immediately I let out a blood curling scream.

My mom appeared in an instant as she ran to the bathroom after my screams for help. She picked me up out of the bath and covered me with a blanket and my dad rushed me to the military hospital in Wynberg military base. I had suffered severe burns over the upper part of my body and my legs and my one foot. After a long period of time my wounds had healed and with time I was able to have the bandages removed. This was my very first encounter when I experienced trauma and this was a very frightening ordeal for me at such a young age.

Since I can remember, I used to have a very cheeky temper tantrum in me and if I couldn’t have my way or wanted to make a point, I would throw a tantrum.

We used to look after the neighbour’s dog when they went on holiday. It was a fox-terrier female named Suzi and was like having my first experience with owning and playing with my best friend (first dog). We used to play outside and I remember running as fast as I could and going through the front door after running around the house then closing the door quickly after entering the house. That used to be such a rush of adrenaline and an exciting thrill all at the same time. I remember my brother starting school in 1975 as a first grader (Sub A).

In 1977, exciting news, not only did we move into a new home in Wynberg, dad purchased our first TV, the first in South Africa a black and white.

Our new home in Wynberg military base was a whole new and exciting experience for me. I met and made new friends although some of our neighbours also moved to Wynberg as the old military houses from our former home was to be converted to single quarters/rooms for single military staff members. We lived a total of approximately 8 years in Wynberg military base. During my stay in Wynberg, I had some fun times with my friends and family as a child growing up in a military environment things are considerably different to kids whose parents would be employed in the private sector.

Life felt a lot safer back in those days than in the 21st century. But nevertheless, those were good years in the seventies (1970’s) right through to the early nineties (1990’s).

In 1978 we had a next-door neighbour that lived in the flat right next door to us and they had two sons named Francois and Deon. Deon and I became very good friends even though he was at least ten years my senior. He was like a big brother to me and we did a lot of things together over the years.

After finishing high school, Deon joined the military. He had the love of his life, Alida, a beautiful gentle lady. Deon was madly in love with her.

One night late It was raining very heavily and Deon and some of his mates left the military base where he was doing his military service and came home to see his parents. He walked past my window when he left I saw his face for the last time as he made his way back to the car downstairs. He smiled and waved as he walked past our kitchen window that night. I think it was August 1978. He was killed in a car crash when they drove back to Youngsfield military base. The accident occurred on Ottery road not far from Youngsfield Military Base.

We attended his funeral as a family and I felt so shocked as I didn’t quite understand what was really happening as I was only seven years old at the time.

Years later I would find his grave and then I really cried my eyes out and understood and comprehend what had taken place in terms of my emotions. I had lost my best friend that was like a brother to me. Memories flash as I remember the rides on the back of his motorcycle his dad bought Deon. Remembering the excitement I felt every time he came home from school, as I anticipated the adventures and exploring we shared.

I miss him still up until today as I have never forgotten him. We were quite close and his mother knew and could see he had quite an impact on my life. His death was a huge loss to his family and friends. His parents remained in their flat for many years after we had moved out.

In 1982 I had changed schools as I was diagnosed with being dyslexic. I was now in a completely new and different type of school as it was an enormous change and I faced numerous challenges, struggling to adapt and fit in with the rest of the school and curriculum.

The first three years were the most difficult as the class teacher was a very emotional destructive person and turned out to be very damaging to me as a person as it made me feel very insecure and frightened. I didn’t know what it was like to have fun anymore as I was scared and felt anxious for most of that time but nevertheless, I did make very good friends over the years at my new school.

Feeling so emotional and vulnerable at times had me landing up in detention after school as I became despondent and I didn’t know how to deal with the issues at the time. I had my friends that would keep me grounded over the years as well as my mom and dad. I would look to my friends for fun times in terms of my situation at school.

I did suffer a lot of mental anguish under my first teacher at the new school but over time things got better as I advanced to higher grades. In the tenth grade (std 8) 1988, I decided to drop out of school and join the military to complete my military service. My dad was adamant that I complete my military training, even if decided to go back to school the following year but my mind was made up not to return to school.

Joining the military I felt it was a huge change in my life and adapting to military life was not easy at first as I wasn’t the type to fit in very easily with big new changes and strangers etc. By the second month, things seemed easier and I felt more relaxed. I managed to get a transfer to my dad’s unit back home as I initially did my basic training in Kimberly over 1000 km away from home. I was very happy to be back in my hometown.

Later that year I applied to Technical College Cape Town and was granted a sleep-out pass which allowed me to move back home as I was compelled to live in the military base due to my military training. I started studying at the college by attending classes at night after work two to three times a week. I was determined to get my national senior certificate but as luck would have it, I lost interest and didn’t complete the following year at college. So I ceased all studies especially after I left the military service in July 1990. I found myself unemployed and looking for work for the first time at the age of 19. I found a job at a motor company where I worked as a driver for the first 8 years then as a parts manager after which I was retrenched in August 1999.

In 1993 my dad fell ill with having complications with his heart and as a result, he passed away three years later on April 7th, 1995. I was devastated after losing my dad. For years I wore black; mourning my dad’s passing and important dates like the date of his passing and burial as well as his birthday were very sad days for me. I struggled with great difficulty processing my dad’s passing. My dad didn’t have any life insurance and we were forced to sell the house where I grew up. Mom and I purchased a flat jointly just down the road from where we used to live.

After being laid off in 1999, I spent three years looking for work. My mom covered all the bills for those three years and I thought I would never find employment. In late 2003 I found employment with a service station and I was put in charge of their car wash. It didn’t pay much at the time but I was very grateful for the opportunity as it covered my bills and my mom could breathe a bit. Money was always tight but we somehow managed and made it work. 23 years, a lifetime full of lessons. Lots of good memories with some sad days as well.

In 2000 I met a neighbour who lived across the road from me in a house. Her name was Cathy and she was 18 years my senior. I fell in love with her and she was my rock for a short few years. She used to listen to all my trials and tribulations. We spent a lot of time together and went out quite a number of times. I felt wanted again and she meant the world to me. In 2001 she fell ill after being hospitalised for a hip replacement and passed away shortly after. I was once again left in a state of shock but I was able to process Cathy’s death much easier than my dad’s passing.

My brother left for Dubai in November 2003 and shortly after I found employment at the Engen service station where I was in charge of the carwash. He used to send us money which was a great help financially. As life got more expensive with time I found employment with a paper vendor and left in 2012 to venture out on my own as an entrepreneur to start my own business and make a living for myself to try and have a better quality of life.

Due to my mom’s health which was also on the decline, it was the best decision to work from home as mom assisted me in taking calls for the first 3 to 4 years. I later approached friends of mine who were unemployed as the business had now grown considerably and needed help keeping up with the demand and service I was offering to clients.

In 2018 the business failed due to the economy and I had closed the business and lost my staff also as a result. I continued to get the odd call for business but eventually died off completely. I found myself once again unemployed and at the mercy of debt collectors and by now my mom’s health had deteriorated considerably and I could see the stress of losing our home started taking its toll on her as well as on me as I found myself very depressed many days and didn’t know how to deal with this situation.

My brother had also lost his job in Dubai and came home and was living with us due to him also being unemployed. Things would get rather tense and stressful as money was little to speak of. We were forced to put our flat up for sale to get out of the financial predicament we found ourselves in. My business which once provided for me and my mom’s needs was also up in smoke and I felt like I had also nothing left to live for any longer.

In March 2019 we signed the transfer documents for the sale of the flat but before the transfer would take place, my mom passed away on April 28th, 2019, one day before my 48th birthday.

I was once again dumped into absolute devastation and depression. By now I had been on anti-anxiety and anti-depressants for some time prescribed by my doctor to help me cope with all that was taking place in my life.

It’s been a few years since my mom passed away, the flat has been sold, I moved out and life happened. My health has declined, but live to fight another day every day. Each day is a challenge for me; I thank God each day that I am still alive. I don’t always have the physical strength to get out of bed but I do my best as each day is a new challenge.

I miss my parents dearly and wish I could turn the clock back to have some more time with them. But I would never stop loving them because they brought me up in this world and I would always be thankful to God for the time I had with them on earth.

God is the only real rock I can lean on as I don’t have my mom or my dad to fulfil that task for me anymore. I feel lonely many days but take each day as it comes. Right now I just fight to survive and to stay alive mentally, emotionally and financially.

Tribute to My Mom & Dad

Written by Chris DeFlamingh

My dad was born Adolf Jakobus DeFlamingh on 23 December 1928 and passed away on April 7th, 1995 at the age of 66 (I had just turned 24 at the end of that month 29 April 1995). He was buried on 12 April 1995.

My mom was born Christina Jacoba Hitchcock in Tanzania on 18 February 1940 and passed away at the age of 79, on 28 April 2019 and I turned 48 just the following day. My mom was buried on 9 May 2019.

It was my calling to be here on earth to look after my parents should they become ill, frail or reach their “golden years” to be there until God called them home to His kingdom to be in the safety of His care.

I love my parents and I will never stop loving them as if they were still living here on earth and I being by their side but instead, they are now by my side and guarding me while they are up in Heaven, in the Kingdom of God.

One day out of the blue I told my mom “you know that I love you, hey” and she was taken back for a second as she didn’t expect me to ever say something like that.

She realised what I had told her, her face lit up like a diamond sparkling like a clean dish that had just been washed spotlessly clean. She couldn’t believe her ears and I felt great and very proud that I had told her as I had never ever told her that before; about a month later she had gone to be with the Lord.

So I will always feel some form of guilt that I never expressed anything like that to my mom & dad more often.

As I commemorate the passing of my mom on this day 28 April 2020, it is with great sadness but also with some kind of inspiration that I was called by God to take on this task and that was so clear to me from a very young age.

To stand by my parents no matter what. It’s with great pride and satisfaction that I could fulfil that task in Gods glory & stood by my mom until it was her time to leave this earthly place and be with the Lord as my mom was a very devoted Christian and stood by her beliefs and many nights she would read out loud and held bible study before we went to bed.

If I could go back and face the same tasks again, (some people would call it challenges), I would do it all over again without a doubt. For me it was an honour. So today I celebrate my mom’s life as opposed to mourning her passing.

Rest in peace mom & dad until we meet again ….