…my parents had split up after a very long and disruptive marriage. They came from two different worlds. My father wanted to please his mother, and my mother wanted to please her father. Their commitment to these ideals made them stick it out for almost 28 years give or take a few years. That’s more than just a few of my lifetimes which in some ways is impressive by most counts, but in other ways it’s sad beyond belief. Being a family of six kids, plus my eldest brother that passed away when he was a precious six months old, and another miscarriage, it was a miracle that the stress and strain of all that responsibility, a low income, and a lack of real interaction between my parents allowed them to persevere for as long as they did.
They were both admirable in many ways. My mother was always striving, and still continues to strive to improve the quality of her life and of her family’s. She never backed down from a challenge to supplement my father’s income by doing more than her fair share of work from home. My father worked as a warehouse supervisor for a leading clothing wholesaler at the time. This in itself had its perks because we would often end up wearing the sample items of lines that they never brought into the South African market which automatically allowed us to be fashionably dressed at the lowest price. However, not all the clothing samples were fashionable, and not having much choice in what we were given to wear, it was sometimes embarrassing to be seen in some of the clothes that we received. But the important thing is that we were always neatly dressed and never went hungry. So despite my anger and disappointment at some of the events in my life relating to my parents or my relationship with my father, that is something that I’ll always be eternally grateful for.
Excerpt from Ramblings of a Madman. The book I never wrote.