Many years ago I read an article in the Reader’s Digest, I can’t remember why but a Mom and daughter started calling those days that you will cherish forever in your memory red letter days.
Last night I started to think about mine and I am so fortunate because I have so many I have tried to put them together in a chronological order:
All the days that I spent on my grandparent’s farm as a little child were red letter days. I would be woken up with a cup of coffee. (I hated coffee when I was a child but because my Grandfather made it for me I would drink it) My Grandmother baked her own bread and the heavenly smell filled the farm house. My Grandfather and I would walk hand in hand all over the farm. At night my grandmother would bath me in the tub in front of the coal stove.
Every Christmas day of my childhood was a red letter day. All our family would usually come to our house. We would play games, open presents and eat delightful treats.
I remember some New Year’s days on my Grandparent’s farm (which now belongs to my Aunt and Uncle). During the day we would swim in the streams and play “kleilat”, it is a game where you put clay on a long flexible stick and swat your opponent with clay. In the evening we would put on pageants and play a game called “lepeltjie” which translated means “little spoon”. The older members of the family would go to the New Years dance and the younger ones would stay at the farm house telling horror stories.
My brother grew up with my biological father and came to live with us when he was 16. I had a red letter day with him on the farm where we both built villages out of clay and then proceeded to go to war with each other using “kleilat”.
Most days spent on holiday at Drakensburg Gardens in July were red letter days. Usually my childhood best friend Rachel would be with me walking around on the trails. We would go on horse rides or play board games. The food was buffet style and I had some of the best meals there.
Holidays spent at the beach in summer were red letter days. Swimming in the ocean is my favourite thing to do.
My 16th birthday was a red letter day. Hundreds of kids arrived and I had sooo much fun.
The day my Mom took me to lunch as a young woman just so that we could chat and spend time together.
I am sorry to say but the days that my daughters were born on were not red letter days. My body went into shock after each child’s birth and instead of holding them lovingly as I see in all the television shows and movies, I was shaking violently and vomiting. I would say the day after was a red letter day when I could finally properly bond with my new born child.
Of all the milestones the most red letter day was when my daughters’ took their first steps. It is such a joyful moment for the child when they realise that they can take those steps independently.
Carmen and Raewyn’s school concert at FDR was a red letter day. They were both so cute, Raewyn was a sunflower and Carmen was so mortified because she was Barbie. All the other school concerts have been red letter days. Yesterday we went to watch Jess’ showcase I was so amazed at how brave she is she went in front of the audience and did her monologue and it was brilliant. I know if it was me, I would have been choked up with stage fright. Definitely red letter stuff.
The day my Dad opened his tin with photos in and told me about his war days was a red letter day. My Dad was rather a stern man and I spent most of my childhood being rather scared of him not realising what a soft heart he had under all that.
The day after I met Michael and we went on our first date was definitely a red letter day. Our wedding day was also a double red letter day.
All the days of our first family holiday that we had in Durban were red letter days.
Every day of Michael and I’s holiday in Cape Town and a few years later on the North coast of Durban were red letter days.
The night that my family (Sayaka was there) and I spent in the pool at Fairland playing Marco Polo was probably a double red letter day.
Those Christmas days when we were expecting just to be a few family members and heaps of people arrived were all very special red letter days.
Doing this exercise has made me realise how lucky I am I keep thinking of more and more special days. How many do you have?