The summers were sweltering. Walking towards a braai fire to greet you, I remember the extra warmth of the fire clearly. I remember your smile and the true happiness as we said hello.
You had clearly already started the Merry part of Christmas. I expected nothing less. You always were more of a bottle than a glass kind of guy. The Vaal river was running strong behind the trees and it soothed our souls.
I hear the laughter coming from the kitchen. Hands clapping. My face exploding in a smile as I enter the house and I know I had been spotted. Hugs so pure and with such delight that it had the power to raise the dead.
All was well in the world.
Even if contact was broken over long periods of time, I always knew you loved me, as I loved you. It was a rare connection.
I think of you and the river, with a hole in my heart, a tear in my eye and a smile playing on my lips as I close my eyes. I’m a “monkey’s wedding”. Raining with sunshine.
Since you left this earth earlier this year, I’ve been more aware of you. Somehow you are closer. I’ve told nobody for the fear of sounding more absurd than usual. Maybe I needed the shoulder to lean on. Thank you for lingering.
Even though we both know you were not an angel, I felt safe knowing you are in my world. The landscape is forever changed.
I know now that the river had nothing to do with soothing our souls. It was the people that surrounded us with their love, acceptance and our sense of belonging. The laughter, catching fish and swimming with frogs is gone. Those hugs that could raise the dead, has died.
Just as we were, in that moment, we were enough.
PS. “Jy weet mos”.