Most people who know us associate ‘the 3 of us’ with myself, Jurgis and Tatiana. This goes back a little further to the first ‘3 of us’.
I married young. Jurgis had just gotten a transfer from Port Elizabeth to Cape Town, so we decided to cut our two year engagement back and get married right away. I look at this photo and I can feel that youth and all the uncertainty that came with it. In Cape Town, I struggled to find work. We had one car that Jurgis used for work, so I was stuck at home and intensely bored. “Have a baby,” he said. “It will keep you busy,” he said. Right. Oh the folly of youth! I don’t regret the baby for a moment, but we really could have waited a while.
Ceinwen was born on the 28th of December, 1987. I had just arrived home after my caesarean. It was a typical summer’s day in Cape Town with hot, bright sun. It was a proud day. We had our little girl and Jurgis had just bought our new car, a Toyota Avante Twincam – our idea of a Porche. I still remember its colour! Desert Rose. It’s funny the kind of thing one remembers. When I went into labour in the wee hours of the morning, Jurgis pushed the car, with me seated inside, down the driveway and to the corner before starting it, as he didn’t want the neighbours to know. We had one particularly nosy neighbour. It was this little photo shoot that brought her out. She couldn’t understand how I’d managed to have a baby without her knowing.
We’d barely gotten in with my tiny new-born bundle when Jurgis’ dad arrived. That’s his car in front. I was ecstatic! Not. He was absolutely the last person I wanted to see. The morning after I got out of hospital, Jurgis was outside mowing the lawn and his dad actually berated me for letting him do what he considered women’s work. Oh yes, we had an enviable relationship. If’ I’d just had some inkling that day of what the future held for all in the photo, I certainly would have treasured the moments all the more, even those moments with my father-in-law.
There’s an oft-repeated and very, for me, poignant lesson in this post to treasure every moment of every day. It comes at what is usually a very sad time of the year for me. Today, I will celebrate her life and I will celebrate the life of my other daughter and best friend, Tatiana. I will celebrate the time we’ve had and all the time we will have together.