Mike Has a Problem…


Today I was getting dressed and picked up a pair of jeans that were hung over a chair. As I started putting them on, I realised they weren’t mine but I still continued. They fitted like a glove. There is only one other in my house, living in my bedroom, putting jeans where mine usually hang out….

I can NEVER find jeans that fit me. They are either 38 and too big or 36 and too small. I’m 37 and they are nowhere to be found, except, I have discovered, in Mike’s wardrobe!

Men’s size 34 is perfect for me.

Mike now has a problem. He has officially lost two pairs of jeans. Hey Grandchildren, Great grandchildren,, when you read this in the future… here I am in Granpa/Great granpa’s jeans!

I’m very happy with them! Mike doesn’t really mind. I never thought I’d ever fit into a 34 again! I just had to pick the right department!

Today has been a blended day of work and rest.  I also jogged/walked to Fish Hoek and back.. I have done some research and it is recommended for my age, that I should exercise at a heart rate of not really more than 140. Today I tried to slow down so my heart rate didn’t go up to a horrific 182 which is where it’s been before. Usually, I find I get a bit of discomfort (sore heart muscle) when it hits 170. I don’t want to overdo it, so I read up to find out what it should be. I was horrified when I realised I had been running at my maximum or higher. Gasp!  It took me a lot longer to cover the 8km but I was not exhausted when I got home.  Comparison between Friday and today, although Friday was a treadmill run followed by weight machine exercises.

Nugget from my journey: Moving to Paarl was a big step for Mike and I. It was very Afrikaans and I went to work at Paarl Hospital. This turned out to be a bit of nagmerrie. My Afrikaans was just not up to it. Blessed with a new Afrikaans surname didn’t help. I was given a tour of the hospital and introduced to everyone as “Sr van Niekerk sy-is-hoog-Engels”. It was like an extension of my name!  I worked in casualty where that most amazing incident happened.  (It’s at the bottom of the blog you can read here.) Perhaps that was the reason I spent two months working at Paarl Hospital. One month I worked and one month for my resignation month. The Lord intervened and opened a door for me to go and work at the Paarl Blood Transfusion. Here I worked with very bilingual colleagues who were happy to translate if required. When I was six months pregnant with Stacey, I was granted early maternity leave as they found someone to replace me and they were available immediately. I had actually arrived at the job pregnant which is pretty bad, so I was happy to oblige. From there, the Lord opened another door – this time I was to look after an old Jewish lady who had a brain tumour and not much time to live. I would go to her home three times a week and give her a bed bath. I had lots of opportunities to pray for her. Not out loud but just in her presence. She was Jewish and did not believe in Jesus. She could not speak but I would chat away. One day I mentioned the name of Jesus and she physically recoiled. It was the biggest reaction I had from her in the time I nursed her. She slowly deteriorated and one day I got the call to say she had passed away and could I please come so that I could preserve her dignity as the undertakers took her away. I got in my car and drove to the wine farm on which she lived. Her family were all there. I was taken into her room and I washed her, covered her and ensured that she was handled gently as she was taken out. It was the strangest thing. I was standing in the lounge waiting for the family to say their goodbyes. The undertaker had arrived and we were standing around when the son asked if we would like some wine. I declined, but the undertaker accepted the offer. As I say, it was the strangest thing!

In the course of my nursing, naturally, I encountered many people who died. It may seem a bit macabre for me to write about it, but when you are in the medical profession and dealing with sick people, it is part of the job. It is one of the hardest things to see life ebb away. To realise organs are shutting down until eventually the heart rate and breathing slows. The end is not far. He’s gone. She’s gone. Yet, like a ship disappearing from view across a vast ocean, there are people on the other side rejoicing. Here she comes. Here he comes. Believing in Jesus makes me know for sure that this is not all there is. When we breathe our last, there’s a lot more ahead….far better than the life we experience on earth – heaven awaits!

Psalm 4:8

In peace I will lie down and sleep, for You alone, O Lord, will keep me safe.

These are the days.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Helga xx 🙂


Yesterday I did not swim. I did get to about 7500 steps. Today with the 8km walk/jog and a walk to and from the Mall , I’ve done more than 17000 steps.


Day 222




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