The Big Shakeout — Part 4 | #MyFridayStory №262

Maria Orlova | Pexels

Relationship disappointments and material loss. Terrible twins when it comes to my Big Shakeouts. I have since added a third to the list.


If you are over 50 years of age and you look back over your life, it would be characterised by defined periods. There will be periods of “gathering” — gaining in material wealth. These are times characterised by career growth and living comfortably. You are climbing the ladder of success and you are gaining material wealth.

Then there will be periods of “trauma” — signified by some or other loss. Maybe the end of a dear relationship through death, breakup, divorce or some other form of separation. Or it could be signified by the loss of material wealth. A business partnership goes sour and you’re left bankrupt with a massive debt to pay. After years of marriage, a divorce knocks you on both counts as you try to pick up the pieces of your life.

Well, that’s my Shakeouts, yours could be different.

I went to Scotland twice to try to convince my ex-wife’s Parents to allow her to come back to South Africa. They declined both times. 2 years after they originally immigrated back to Scotland, I bought her a ticket to come back to South Africa. This time she arrived and a year later, we were married on her 21st birthday. Her Parents never sanctioned our relationship and were not going to attend the wedding. In the end, they did attend, her twin sister was her maid of honour, and by all accounts, it was a lovely event.

Over the next 17 years, we had two children and managed to gather material wealth. Despite an earlier setback with the loss of a business, the next decade saw rapid growth. We were moving up in the comfort and luxury departments. We moved homes a few times, upgrading each time. Our cars became larger and more luxurious. We had nicer houses filled with nicer stuff. We went on regular family holidays, local and overseas. By all accounts, everything was going well.

In truth, my marriage was in trouble for a decade. The problem became bigger and bigger over a long time until it was too big to ignore. I started drinking. First a little now and then on weekends. Over time, my drinking became a problem. It escalated when I discovered party drugs, putting an end to my marriage.

I entered a rehab program and started to build a new life as a sober single Parent. I walked out of the marriage with a TV and my Hi-Fi. The next 17 years are signified by attempts to regather material wealth and social standing.

My Dad passed away shortly before I got divorced. His death rocked me. He was my biggest fan, my best pom-pom girl. We thought my Mom would follow shortly after my Dad — they were married for 60 years. Yet, she stayed with us for another 15 years! I was blessed and spoilt for the extra time I got to spend with my soul mate. When my Mother crossed over at the ripe age of 92, my life changed forever. 2 Years later, my older Brother, my mentor and best friend in the world, died at 72. I still haven’t recovered.

My baby Granddaughter’s recent passing made me reflect on The Big Shakeout’s in my life. Life is about the people we love and who love us back. Shakeouts happen to everyone, they don’t discriminate. But it’s those people you love in your life at that time of a Big Shakeout that will see you through.

Thank you to everyone for the kind messages of condolences — they are greatly appreciated.

Have an awesome weekend and please be generous! 😄

As always, thanks for reading 🙏

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