Dear friends and other interesting creatures, My genes, my love, are rubber bands and rope – make yourself a structure you can live inside. – Aimee Bender Growing up, my entire existence revolved around the blessing, forgiveness, joy or occasional disappointment my grandparents may have felt about me. Oupa Mike and Ouma Chrissie were the genes, love, rubber and rope that held the family together. I only realised after Oupa Mike’s death in December 2007, that we had lost not only lost a grandfather, a father, a friend and talented, funny and gifted storyteller, a giant – but our moral … Continue reading Only love.
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 … Continue reading The River
Dear Tim, I’ve told you before.? The thing with death is,? I have no new pictures of you.? So I had to improvise a little. As I have been preparing for my Grahamstown festival trip next month,? I could not help but think of you.? Do you remember? You were in school uniform. Matric blazer. I was sitting on the steps of the church on the square in Grahamstown. I went to a private school so no uniform.? I remember I was wearing a very stretched out purple jersey and brown leather shoes I had bought at the festival. (Remains… Continue reading 42 you said?
Dear Kev, Liam James and Victoria, I miss you tonight with a pain so intense in my chest, it makes breathing difficult. Tears burns my eyes silently. Remember when we were all we had? Burning marshmallows over a candle on the bedroom floor because I was a “cool” mom like that? I always wanted to be a Mom. All four of us sleeping in the same room because we didn’t feel safe? Kev doing us all a favour really… Fighting to get Liam James to put his socks on for school…or get out of bed … or brush his teeth … Continue reading I winked and you were gone.
Dear friends and other interesting creatures, This reminded me of beautiful you, Victoria . My youngest biological child. The way you use to look at me with wonder when you were little. I told you if they could one man on the moon, why couldn’t they put all of them there? 🙂 You seemed to think I knew answers. I love you chicken little. I’m sorry for the bad times, let’s raise a cup of tea to the good times. #theoriginalcast I wish for you never to be afraid of depth. Momma xxx Posted from the galaxy of Samsung from … Continue reading For the good times
As die reën van stof en roet verby is en die rook verdwyn Sal daar in die sterrelose hemel ‘n neonboog verskyn En kyk maar goed, want as jy hom vind vertel ek vir jou ‘n sprokie my kind, van ‘n skatkis met ou kettings gebind aan die neonboog se punt Volg hom elke nag oor swart riviere Oor kranse van beton, as jy aanhou stap tien duisend ure sal jy dalk daar kom Maar hier moet jy jou nimmer laat bind want so lui die ou, ou sprokie my kind, As jy geluk en vreugde wil vind soek die … Continue reading .. so lui die ou, ou sprokie my kind
Dear friends and other interesting creatures, 14 December 1984. I always count until a second before 19h00 thinking…. I also had a Dad. After that, nothing. At 19h05, I dry my face and resume life. I’ve done this ritual for as long as I remember. My life was forever changed from that moment. I was 11 years old. Oupa Mike was crying. I felt confused. Oupa Mike didn’t cry. I remember just observing, not grasping the depth of what just happened. I do remember my Mammie’s desperate grief, the tears that made her physically ill, the hopelessness and the forever … Continue reading … love never ends, if you keep it alive.
Dear friends and other interesting creatures, Every year, I do my best to approach December as a passage of time, just another month. Some years I do better than others. The anniversary of my father’s death is on the 14th, and my Oupa Mike on the 12th… Just before Christmas is Oupa Mike’s birthday. I remember the eleven year old me running into the safety of Oupa Mike’s arms the night my father died. I remember a 14 year old Kev holding me the morning Oupa Mike died. The unsure reassurance we offered each other. December holds memories I don’t … Continue reading Shut your eyes and see.