Birth – Death – Rebirth!

Hey Milieu Pals,
Quite a few things have happened within the past two weeks, but I have been unable to post any new topics because I inadvertently used up our monthly ADSL cap (I quadrupled what we were allowed to download). Really, I don’t understand why we need a cap in the first place. Well, these are the perks of living in Sunny Capitalistic South Africa with our brilliant "Gov-eh-ment"!
On the 15h May 2006 at 12:55 pm, Debra Swanepoel (Labutte) was born. Weighing in at a healthy 2.91 kilograms she is a little beauty. Debra is the shining star of Xavier Labutte and  Sanita Swanepoel.
Currently Deb’s is a Swanepoel, until Xavier eventually pops the question… something we are all waiting for! The cool fact is that she is the first Labutte grandchild of Aunty Marilyn and Uncle Gilbert. They are simply ecstatic over this little bundle of joy. I can’t tell you how long Aunty Marilyn has been waiting for a grandchild. I’ve never seen her happier before. Xaviers brothers, Freddy and Julien, are as excited and thrilled about their little niece (even becoming broody at times). Congratulations to you all!
For every birth there is a death and for every death is a rebirth. That seems to be the way in which the world works. It is a strange notion but one which is present within the very fabric of our perpetual existence. The most pain during this cycle is often from the experiences associated with that of death. When someone passes from this world to the next they leave their tangible part behind, the part of the individual that their existence was essentially based around (what you would see, hear and feel), and leave us only with individually tailored intangible memories. It is the pain of this tangible loss that is most excruciating, however, the memory of who they used to be offers hope to the future in the sense that they will never be forgotten and will remain with us always.
Recently Pierre Roland Chiniah (03/11/1930 – 22/05/2006) passed away. He was a loving father, doting husband, spectacular grandfather and a highly respected man who touched the lives of all those he knew and loved. After many long years of battling with emphysema Papi Roli passed away in the early hours of Monday 22nd May 2006. He’s vibrant and positive attitude to life, not to mention he’s resilience to live, made him an individual that will never be forgotten. We know he has travelled to a place where he no longer suffers so even though we miss him dearly we celebrate the fact that he is well and watching over us all.
I wrote your name in the sand, and the sea washed it away;
I wrote your name in the sky, and the wind blew it away;
I wrote your name in my heart, and there it will forever stay!
As I said before, the cycle of life continues after death with a rebirth of some kind. Often it takes place within the metaphysical realm and consists of the healing after suffering.
On Saturday the 27th May 2006 my parents and I attended the Faithful CD launch of Charissa Cross. Charissa is the daughter of Darryl and Carol Cross whom my parents have known for over 25 years. The venue was that of the Johannesburg Country Club located in Woodmead. It is a beautiful place and definitely a prime spot for launching an artist’s career. After our entree’s and main courses it was time for the actual event to take place.
Charissa was simply stunning. She wore this red velvet dress that hugged her toned figure and had, what could be described as, a gold vertically positioned symbol for infinity that crossed her bosom. She really looked amazing and would have been perfectly suited for a red carpet event such as the Grammy’s. For the event she was accompanied by the band One Eighty (180) who performed all of the back tracks for her CD as well.
It was really awesome to see someone I know personally act like a superstar. Once Charissa got on stage she wowed us all. On top of the music, lighting, back up dancers, smoke and bubble effects , there was her voice and stage presence. At first she was really rather shy, this was her first public performance after all, but eventually her voice warmed up to the event. The odd part however, was that she was  launching a Gospel CD. If you didn’t know any better you would have thought it was pop. Only the words of some of the songs give away the true nature of Faithful ( her debut album’s name).
After performing a few songs Carol (Charissa’s mom) made her way up to the stage to say a few words to everyone who attended. It was during this time that she thanked all her long time friends and family, which included my mom and dad. What many people won’t know is that Darryl and Carol used to have a church and were pastors. They are still deeply religious even though, due to life circumstances, they no longer have a church or preach as much as they used to. It was when they were still pastors that they met my mom and dad. Now this is where my story comes in. My parents, after getting married, tried for nine years to have a child, but to no avail. It was then that they heard of a church who prayed for people to be blessed with children. So, in a last attempt, my parents attended this church and met Darryl and Carol. I’m sure I don’t need to elaborate on what happened next, so I’ll simply say… and the rest was history (via a miracle)! Anyway this relates to the event because it was the story that Carol told to everyone (in more detail of course). I was then told to stand up so everyone could see this ‘Miracle Baby’! My mom then started crying and my dad’s eyes watered a bit. After being exhibited, they moved on to a raffle to determine who would win ‘free’ copies of the new CD and guess who won one…! Honestly, I was so psyched. I really wanted one and then I won one. I got it signed too. LOL!
Charissa and her family have been through some hard times over the last few years, but like I said before there is a stage for rebirth. I have changed the music on Hans’ Milieu to a particular song from Charissa’s debut album called Lost. This song was chosen particularly for what it resembles (rebirth). About two years ago the Cross family lost their son Vincent (he passed away). He was the middle child of three. In that same year Charissa’s best friend also passed away. Lost was specifically written for them both (Charissa wrote all of the songs on her debut album) to signify their loss. However, her debut album is proof of her (and her families) willingness and resilience to persevere through all via the faith of our Lord God.
The cycle of life continues, never to end… well unless we have some kind of cataclysmic event of course!
I can’t believe that within the next week I will be 21. I just can’t believe it. My life just seems to be passing me by. I am however really looking forward to my birthday party. It will be on the 10th June (my real birthday is on the 5th) with a Masquerade theme. Basically everyone must be dressed in strictly formal wear and must also be accompanied by an elegant mask to hide their visage.
For my friends and family who have been invited, please remember to RSVP by no later than the 3rd June.
My invitations for my birthday are taking forever to create. Unfortunately most of my friends will never see one (they were invited telephonically) due to the length it takes to make and the inability to visit them all individually (like a postman). However, I have included a picture of what each looks like and a detailed overview of how it works.

Each of the invitations have been individually crafted by me.

They consist of a ‘Phantom of the Opera’ like mask (which has been modified with glitter and a blue feather)

The mask lifts up to reveal gold parchment (cut to the shape of the mask) which has the details of my birthday on it.

A  ‘gold key’  was added to the bottom right of the invitation to signify that it is a 21st birthday celebration.

A gem stone was added onto the gold parchment, which is exposed to the masks eye socket, to resemble something of an ‘eye’.

The real thing looks much better than the picture! LOL!

Well Milieu pals, that seems to be all for now. I do have exams coming up (three for next week… oi vey) and will thus probably only update my blog again once my 21st Birthday Masquerade Ball has taken place… and I’ve recovered! LOL!
Nevertheless, remember to check back soon when you can!

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