Zinakekele – Care for yourself

This time of the year is often experienced as a time for care – caring for others; caring for ourselves.  Time for rest, and time for others we care about.  Time to reflect on the blessings that are part of our lives, even as for many they are daily filled with difficulty.  Today my unexpected blessing came in a dynamic little package called Blessing.  A little boy, mischief on two feet, who had been referred to our hospital team more than a year ago for help with placement.  He had already since his birth spent more than six months in the hospital, his mother having died soon after and his father becoming scarce.  Family not able to care for him, and Blessing still a scrap of a little thing at that time, was in need of care.  And with help, care he got.  A hospice and home that has given him love, health, attention, and energy all this past year, enabling his personality of mischief and activity to shine.  A gift of a blessing.


Caring, we all need to survive and to thrive.  A young mother this week reminded me, “We all need just a little bit of care.”  She had phoned me to ask, could I come in to the hospital where she was three times a week with her son for dialysis, a part of my ‘kids’ now for the past three years.  A single mom herself with many life challenges to overcome, including not being employed.  She had found a job advertised at the hospital itself she could apply for and needed my help with the application.  Simple help like filling out the form itself, and being assured that she and her son would cope with this change.  When I teased her about getting me to come especially for this to the dialysis ward on a public holiday she replied “Doc, you know, we all need just a little bit of being cared for sometimes.  I am so much alone in this!”, and how right she was.  We all just need to be shown some care, some attention, and some love to make it through and thrive in this seemingly difficult world of ours.

My father recounts how when he was a young man, finding himself in a strange city, struggling for a place to stay, employment, schooling, sleeping at the train station and surviving on five potato rosti a day, he was shown care by a chaplain who seemed to keep an eye out for young displaced men such as him.  He inquired about my dad’s life, his history, the trade he’d learned as bricklayer, and by the next day returned to meet him with an offer for employment, a place to stay, and eventually somewhere to finish his schooling which enabled my father to get to university and gain a profession.  Without that first act of caring life would not have unfolded for him in the way it had.  Caring, that now gets handed down through the generations.

In response to the terrible violence of this past week my youngest expressed a desire to visit again before Christmas the hospice and home she volunteers at for community service.  A home for ill and orphaned children that takes in some of my hospital kids, and where we found a place for Blessing last year.  My daughter had felt a deep desire to show some care, to share the gifts of love and health and family she has aplenty with little ones not so blessed.  To continue and pass on the care for self and for others.

So even as you may find this time of year one of difficulty, of grief, of experiencing loss, of perhaps being alone, take some time to care, for yourself and for others.  The gift of being able to care is a blessing we can all share in.  One of our social auxillary workers, who sadly died this year, wrote the following poem for the closing session of a mindfulness program that the staff had participated in.  She had an enormous capacity for caring, and always had a house full of children, but during the program she also learned the necessity to care for herself that supported the caring for others.  She has expressed this caring so much more succinctly than anything more I could write.

Wishing you well this season of rest, holiday spirit, endings and renewals into a new year, new moments of caring and being cared for.

The Positive Side of Life

Caring for yourself

You may think living on earth is expensive

It does include a free trip around the sun every time

It depends on you how are you using that free trip

Remember, just care for yourself.


Care for yourself

It is not late to do that

Once you do that you will learn to

accept things that you cannot change.

Courage to change things you can

Remember, just care for yourself


Care for yourself

Make a space for your thoughts and yourself

Notice and listen to your body

From head to toes

Attend to each part of your body

And the sounds around you

Then courage to change things you can.


Care for yourself

Then you will learn to look after others

You may be the world to another person

Just remember to care for yourself.

Care for yourself


D R Khambule

About amindfullife

Passionate about living every moment as best I can. Continually emergent and a work in progress
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3 Responses to Zinakekele – Care for yourself

  1. John says:

    Hello Trish,

    A very well-written and meaningful post (as usual). Thank you for sharing. The depth of caring you write about and share is a much needed quality on earth. Good on you for caring so deeply.

    Warmest regards to you and your this Christmas season!


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