Welcome To My Blog

Welcome To My Blog

I’ve been looking forward to having a place where we can chat about Shirley’s (and therefore my) journey with cancer. As I journey on one of the things I’d like to share is my experience with grief.

To provide more background to the book, I open the blog with three short bios:

  • Meet Shirley’s Dad Brian. You might want to say something to him?
  • Meet me – Thy – who wrote the book. I’d love to hear from you.
  • A Short bio of Shirley – comments are welcome.


Who was Shirley really?  Let’s start with her Dad:

Brian’s arrival more than seventy years ago was such a joy to his mother and father. Their oldest boy – Ian – had turned six, so it had been a long wait. Hopes had been followed by disappointments, which were followed by new hopes and disappointments but now, at last, Peggy cuddled the baby for whom they had longed.

But only too soon, tragedy struck. Ian and Brian had gone down the road to the bus stop to meet Daddy. Alec misstepped and fell and rolled under the wheels of the bus. He was rushed to hospital but did not live long.

How much of this the boys saw I don’t know. Brian was not yet three but he does remember people, very upset, milling around until the ambulance came.

Huge changes followed. There was no money and Peggy moved into a flat in Hillbrow and had to go out to work. Her self-confidence, always at low ebb, was knocked for six.

Granny, who came to South Africa when nine years old and never lost her Scottish accent, moved in next-door. The extended family all helped. Brian remembers holidays, all paid for, by train to Durban.

The boys were sent to church. So it was that, with the visit of a special speaker, eleven year old Brian committed himself to follow Jesus. If losing his Dad was a big thing, this was the second and the biggest thing ever to happen to him.

In fact, it very much determined his future. In time he fixed his eyes on becoming a pastor and also completing an academic career.

 He always worked hard – at school, in the bank where he began his working career and in his studies, at night, with Unisa. He says it was Thy’s crunchies that got him through his three degrees but Thy will not take the credit for his success in any way.

In her first year at teachers’ training college Thy came into the picture via a blind date This was arranged by her friend’s boyfriend who, in turn, had become friends with Brian in the military gym where they sweated and worked for ten months.

For Brian, serving God through focused dedication to his work always remained his priority. Although he pastored a church and started another while in Pretoria – nineteen years of unhesitating hard work – it became more and more obvious as the years went by that his main gifting was in organisation, administration and committee work.

When we moved from Pretoria to Cape Town and he joined the team at St James Church, Kenilworth, Brian stepped into a job tailor-made for him – organisation and administration. Few people really thrive at doing this and, therefore, in time he quite naturally took on this line of service for his whole denomination and became their chief administrative officer.

Although retired now he still comes alive when he has work to do for his denomination’s pension fund. Don’t get me wrong, because of his love for watching sport, he watches every ball hit, chased, batted, grabbed, skied high, clubbed etc. on TV that he can, no matter who is playing or that it’s the last five minutes of a game. In fact, he loves TV! 

Brian Relaxing At Home

At a know-yourself personality course we were given the prayers that would suit each of us best. I still smile at each of ours. Brian’s is, “Lord, teach me to become laid back and relaxed and help me to do that from 11.42 am tomorrow morning!”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *