Tough week



It's my Friday night. I thought of watching some TV, have a lazy night, but as usual, my mind was racing and wanted to put down all my thoughts and feelings 'on paper', so to speak. Only then will I probably be able to sit still and relax, or fall asleep in front of the box, or rather, the screen.

This week has not been an easy week, from a personal point of view. Some things of course I prefer to keep personal. However this week I learnt of sickness, physical abuse and death.

I want to start off with saying how sorry and saddened I was to hear of Sharon Sapienza's sudden demise. At 38. How unfair. A lovely girl, great talent, so bubbly, a little bit like me from that aspect, a great Flamenco dancer. Malta and Sevilla lost a gem. She will sorely be missed by her loved ones, her parents, Frank and Edwige, her husband Jose Antonio, relatives, so many friends. Her passion for dance was incredible. I first met her back in 1993 while I was living in Madrid. She had just moved to Sevilla at the time. We hit it off instantly. I met her a number of times on my trips to Sevilla and on her trips to Madrid. I could see her dedication and love for flamenco, it lived in her. It ran through her veins. I would say she was a female version of Joaquin Cortes. I also had the pleasure of spending some time with her on three occasions she came to Paris with her dancers and after the shows we went to supper together. We never stopped talking always having so much to talk about. I will forever cherish those moments I spent with her and treasure them for the rest of my life. When I was informed of her sudden demise I felt so cold, shocked, it sounded surreal. Sharon, when you think some people like her are immortal, death knocks at their door without even being given a chance to fight for life. She will remain a legend, a beautiful face, incredible talent. The world has lost an angel. And I quote what was written in her obituary, "Those we love don't go away, they walk beside us every day, unseen, unheard but always near, still loved, still missed and very dear". A beautiful life taken away so abruptly from us all. Rest in peace dear Sharon. She will be laid to rest on Monday 18 February.

Oscar Pistorius .. A hero, a legend, an Olympic champion, South Africa's pride and joy, and I don't blame them. He had it all, as he said "You are not disabled by your disabilities, but able by your abilities". Those words struck me. He was born with a congenital absence of the fibula in both legs. When he was 11 months old, his legs were amputated halfway between his knees and ankles. He lost his mother at a young age. Yet despite all, he went on to be an Olympic World Champion. What happened on that fateful night of St. Valentine's Day at his residence in Pretoria is not entirely clear yet. Except that of course his girlfriend, supermodel and law graduate Reeva Steenkamp was shot dead at his residence. Some said he may have mistaken her for an intruder, but then this was dismissed. I have no words for what happened. I cannot and will never speak against him because I do not know what really happened. Having said that I do condemn what happened. No one has a right to hurt or kill anybody unless, of course it is self-defence. Why, what was going on through his mind? Was he troubled? Disturbed? It seems it was not the first time that the police was called to the house on occasions which considered as that of a 'domestic nature'. They could have had the world together. Love and passion unite so they say. They were known at the Posh and Becks of South Africa. I have a great affinity for South Africa, my dream of visiting it soon, some wonderful people I have grown to know and whom I worked with over the past years. I could never stop writing about why and why such a beautiful country, with a scenery that goes beyond our dreams, is still victim of so many acts of violence and crime. Innocent people, hurt, robbed, raped or killed. Back to Pistorius's case. As much as I condemn what he did, I still strongly feel that there is more to it. Perhaps a momentary madness that overcame him, fear. But now it happened and everyone is trying to pick up the pieces following such a terrible tragedy. What a sad ending to what was believed to be a fairytale love story.

I also want to talk about a dear friend of mine, who is suffering from Myalgic Encephalomyelitisa, also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, in short ME. It breaks my heart to see someone at such a young age having to live with this condition. And I am sure he is not the only one suffering from ME on our little rock, Malta. I feel that there should be more awareness and more explanation given about this condition, which could be so easily misdiagnosed. The majority of ME cases start suddenly, usually accompanied by a "flu-like illness" while a significant proportion of cases begin within several months of severe adverse stress. I want to help raise awareness of ME and wish that all necessary health care and medication is given to each and every person suffering from it. I have read alot about it and recall studying about ME when I was pursuing my studies as physiotherapist some 20 years ago. What I want to say is that people suffering from ME should be given the appropriate treatment, physiotherapy where necessary and assistance they deserve. It is of utter importance to me as it is of many who have relatives or friends suffering from this condition. Kevin, you have my support. Hang on in there ..

I am getting sleepy now and I guess it is time to switch off and have a rest although I need to do some more studying before I hit the sack. I just want to say that my heart goes out to all those who in one way or another are going through their own sufferings, difficulties, sadness and pain. No one deserves to be unhappy. Finally I want to say that those in my heart will remain always there, in my heart.

Goodnight xxx

stef