Monday, September 5, 2011

Walking down memory lane

Photo of 5 year old Kobus Jr and 3 year old Wynand.(See how much Lukas looks like his daddy;-)

A fellow blogger's post stirred up some old memories.  When I married DH way back in 1979 he was working for a large supermarket group.  In those days management were expected to start work a hour before the store opened and until the store was clean (up to an hour or more after closing time)  It wasn't unusual for him to work 12 hours straight each day...and there was no such thing as lunch hours.

This meant that wives raised their children alone. I remember how often a week would go by without him seeing the children awake.  They would be asleep when he left and asleep again by the time he got back home. The children still fondly remembers how he came home and would go and lie down next to them and wake them, telling them how much he loved them.   Those were not easy days.  We saw so many marriages fold under the pressure of having an absent husband and father.  The funny (tragic) thing is that they was so brain washed into believing that this was normal that nobody ever complained.  DH told me a few days ago that one of the guys that worked with him at the time recently retired and he took his family photo album to the owner of the stores and told him to look at his photos...after it was paged through he asked a pointed question.  "Did you notice that I wasn't in one of the photos?"  Sad!

I remembered many times standing at the athletics/rugby/gymnastics...ALONE!  I remember how I attended prize givings ALONE.  I was forced into the role of being the disciplinarian of the house because DH was never home and I didn't want him to scold the children in the little time that he spent with them.  (My oldest son  was always the naughty one at school and when he was called into the principal's office and told that they would be phoning his dad about his behaviour...he was relieved that they were not going to phone his mom;-)

Added to this was the fact that during the early years of our marriage, army camps and regular border duties had to be performed.  So when Kobus Jr was six months old, DH left for the border for 3 months.  When he came back...our little boy was already walking and couldn't remember his daddy.   That was in 1980 and Operation Smoke Shell in the then South West Africa.  He was called up for border duty every second year.  

Do you have any idea how long three months can be...when you are all alone with no family living close?
Do you know that Murphy somehow always knew he was away...and the TV would conk in a few weeks after he left?
Do you know how much I hated mowing the lawn?
...and how long a weekend can become?
I realized how difficult it must be for single moms to raise their children on their own and I was thankful that there was a date and a time when DH would come home and it would all be over.

Isn't it amazing how we can live through such difficult times...and actually forget them.  I am thankful that the things that could have driven us apart was also the things that bound us closer together.

Was your early years in marriage also challenging?  What was the most difficult thing for you?

I just want to share this layout based on The Scrappiest sketch no 135.  Liz will be taking a break from sketches this month so this will be the last one for a while.




  1. oh this is a beautiful layout of you lynette,and what a lovely share down memory lane:)

  2. What a beautiful and touching story! My parents had to work a lot when I was growing up...and I had to become the "Mom" when I was 9... but I know they did it to help us out :):):):):):) I loveeeeeeeeeee that lo! I loveeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee that photo of you and loving the flowers! :):):):):):):):):):):)

  3. Hi dear Lynette.I didn´t leave this situation and I always appreciate that my dh always arrived on time to have dinner all together every day,but I know this is not very common and I so so appreciate this.
    I love your beautiful layout my friend.

  4. awww.... thanks for your story, it is so touching, I can almost feel you.
    A lovely layout for YOU, a beautiful lady!!

  5. Oh yes, he looks just like his daddy :)

    I loved your trip down memory lane - it must have been so hard. How did you do it? ;)

    I honestly think the only hard thing we had in the beginning was not enough money but then we started tithing and very soon, God started blessing us with money and LOTS of wisdom :)

    But the hardest thing we've gone through was our infertility and then of course, the newborn stage with the twins.

  6. Thank you for writing this post. It made me see that I'm still very blessed. At least my DH doesn't work on Sundays or on Public holidays. My brother works as a manager for the same retail outlet that you are referring to. He is reaping the rewards financially but not in his personal life. He hardly sees his kids and has not been able to maintain any kind of romantic relationship since he started working in retail. Much of this stems from the long hours issue.
    And my DH also somehow thinks that this is normal - I keep trying to tell him that it's not! Hopefully things will get better for us.

  7. I remember my dad also had to leave very early, and he only came back late at night. Because there was church and school events to attend to as well...
    Luckily, times have changed, and men demand to have more time with their families! My husband do make the effort to be available!

  8. Love your walk down memory lane. I can so identify. If I mention the amount of time he spends at work I get told it is the job.
    I needed this reminder today.

  9. shame Lynette! that wasn't easy for you, I can't even imaging! it makes me think how blessed our family is! there were days when my husband needed to work late, but for the past 5 years he is working from home, and I understand how privileged our boys are to have both of their parents around almost all the time.
    and that picture - the resemblance is simply unbelievable!

  10. Wow Lynette, that must have been so difficult. I can just imagine.

    For us, the first years with the twins. But I ma sure you would have guessed that one.

  11. Lovely photo of your little boys and your take on the sketch is beautiful! I really like the title. Very interesting to hear of your early years. I agree that sometimes it is times like this that pull a couple closer together. We had no family living near us for the early years of our marriage. My DH was a police officer then and worked lots of shifts but on the plus side he was also around lots in the day and could do school field trips and be helping Dad at school when other men never got the chance. There was definitely some lonely times and when things were rough we only had each other to lean on. I think this made our marriage very strong from the start.

  12. Ahhh THOSE memories.
    THAT has to be the hardest part about kiddos....not having someone to help out along beside you.
    I have to say the most difficult times in our marriage has been when Hubs took over his dad's part of the farm. We don't see him a third of the year. I have grown to accept it- but until I did-it was a nightmare.
    Thank you for sharing.
    Lovely picture!

  13. cute layout L!! shooo our first year of marriage was so difficult - having two people set in their ways coming together was no easy task! {but we are figuring it all out as we go along!}

  14. Wow! Thank you so much for sharing your memories. How wonderful that you and your hubby were able to stay together during such hard are a strong woman. And so blessed to have a hard-working husband who loved you so much.
    It is amazing how we can go through rough times and then not remember them. I guess we only need the strength to get us through our current trials and feel so blessed at where we are now.
    Love your layout! xoxo

  15. I'm so touched and filled with admiration for you!!!

  16. How many women can take a pic of themselves with a camera and look gorgeous you are the only one I know. Love the lo too.

  17. I can relate to this Lynette. DH works a lot and atm he is in China for three weeks...
    I have been backtracking your blog and have enjoyed reading your musings and looking at your very lovely art.
    À big congrats on your success at 2Peas too.

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  20. Oh friend, your post brings me so much hope. My hubby and I work different shifts and only see each ohter on the weekends...sometimes he is even working then. I am always doing things alone. As I was a single mom for many years (16) I find myself wondering how I wound my way back in the same posistion with my little one. I am often sad thinking that at least when I was a single mom I expected to be alone now I just find myslef alone. I try to stay strong. Your post makes me see that if I do it will be worth it.

  21. What a lovely layout of you & such a touching story!! My hubby is away a lot and also works incredibly long hours and has done it for YEARS so I am far handier around the house than he is & much more in tune with the kids, but I accept that he does it for us & love that it means that I can work doing what I love instead of having to go out to work away from home each day!


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