May

“Give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak knits up the o-er wrought heart and bids it break.”

Macbeth by William Shakespeare

Dad and daughter
L-R: My Dutch granny, Dad, little me, Mamma circa 1974.

On 1 May 2018 it was cold and raining in London, but in Morgan Bay the sun shone as my Mamma and Little Sis walked the 4km length of white beach in remembrance of my dear Dad. It’s been one whole year without him and we have all felt the loss in different ways.

For my part, I’ve learnt that some of my grief is wrapped up in guilt.

Was I a good daughter? Did I love him enough? Was I there for him when he needed me? Should I have moved back to South Africa when he got ill? I should have forgiven him his faults swiftly ,whether he asked for forgiveness or not. Why did I hold onto silly things which, now he is gone, matter so little?

How typical of a child to put her Dad on a pedestal and then get angry if he falls!

I can no longer ask my Dad for forgiveness, but thankfully I have a Heavenly Father who is slow to anger and rich in love and has helped me deal with, not only the loss of my Dad, but the missed opportunities to love him and thank him for the wonderfully privileged and happy young life he gave me.

Dad was a war baby. He did his best for us. He worked hard. He loved us so much and this I’ve never (not for even one moment) doubted.

So in May I celebrate Dad.

We will celebrate you this May, Dad, with biltong and braais (not that Hubby or I ever need an excuse for biltong). We will spend a week in  the Kruger Park for you, Dad – you introduced me to the bush and it was love at first visit. We’ve planned an adventurous road trip via Swaziland (or eSwatini) – you loved a good road trip, and pad kos! We will see as much family as possible, toast you, share stories and memories. And we will look after Mamma for you.

Your loving daughter, Nyamazela.

SMALL PRINT:
P.s. Visits to the Kruger and other game reserves with Dad meant having a note pad and pencil to jot down all sightings, binoculars, bird books and a flask of tea and rusks for dipping. Those were the tools of the game-watching trade.
P.p.s. ‘Pad Kos’ is the colloquially South African term meaning ‘snacks or food for the road’ (Language: Afrikaans).
P.p.p.s. The Swazi king has decided to rename Swaziland, eSwatini!
P.p.p.p.s. Happy anniversary for today (5th May), Mamma and Dad – 44 years married!

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