“You seem like a sweet and amazing person and I just had to speak to you…”, he said, his light blue eyes twinkling in the afternoon sunlight.
I blushed prettily and thanked this kind and soft-spoken cute guy on the bus for his compliment:
“You’re too kind, sir.Thank you for being brave enough to talk to me. I won’t forget this unexpected encounter”
He disembarked soon after, leaving me to marvel at the wonder of life and surprising moments…
Sounds like the makings of an incredible meet-cute, right?
Well, my sweet and cute guy was an 80-year-old Greek man who felt moved by the Seven to talk to me on a winter’s day in 2017.
Usually, my resting bitch face was enough to stop anyone, except my loved ones, from even attempting to talk to me on a MyCiTi bus ride to or from home.
As you may have noticed from years of living with me, I am NOT a morning person… I am not much of an afternoon person either, depending on the type of day I’ve had.
And on this particular Friday, after dealing with an egotistical radio personality at the summit of Table Mountain, I definitely was not in the mood for any kind of chatting up by anyone.
Santos,proving that they just don’t make gentlemen like they used to, didn’t let my scowling demeanor deter him, though.
“Can I offer you some advice from an old man? No matter where you go in the world – Russia, Greece, Spain, America, there is no place better than Cape Town. You will do well to come back here again – where are you from? You’re not from here, right? You don’t look South African. Come back here and settle in this beautiful city.”
I smiled, temporarily shaken out of my bad mood, and pleasantly surprised by Santos’s confidence:
“I am from here, born and raised in Cape Town. You are right, though, there is no place like the Mother City”
In the space of 5 minutes from the Gardens Centre stop to his Highlands Avenue one, Santos reaffirmed my belief in men, people, love, family ( he had his first child at 32 – “There is time,my dear, there is time. You will be a mother when it is meant to happen”) and that making your destiny happen is up to you.
“My darling girl, God/Allah/Buddha moved me to speak to you today so before I go, remember this: Where there is a battle between will and imagination, imagination always wins. You can do, be and have anything. Keep smiling that beautiful smile. Until we meet again…”
It was enough to make a grumpy girl swoon:
You were way out of my age category, Santos, but yes, until we meet again …
Kids, a huge part of why I took so long to meet your father was because I had experienced most of my dalliances a long, long time before then. Today, I’ll tell you about my brush with preteen romance…
I was 12 and experiencing my second real crush … His name was Shafiek and he was a 15-year-old school dropout turned mechanic with dimples to die for and a heart so beautiful I couldn’t bear it.
It was like that 90s classic My Girl but set in Cape Town:
I know he doesn’t sound like much of a teenage Lothario but bear in mind that at this age, I was trying really hard to fit in with my older half-sisters and their blossoming relationships ( a habit I’d learn to break years later when I was on the brink of turning 30).
Shafiek was sweet, a simple guy with simple thoughts and he treated me like a princess.
I remember long nights of doing nothing but talking, lying in his arms and listening to him tell me about his amazing father and his dreams for the future, whilst he rubbed my back and I fell asleep. Again, I was 12 and staying up with the older kids was not my forte at the time.
In the mornings, he’d wake me up with a gentle kiss on the forehead, telling me he was going to miss me all day before he left for work.
And that’s how life in the autumn and winter of 1998 passed us by -evenings spent at the Strandfontein Pavillion, talking in his truck; playing card games at home or double dating with my half-sister and her boyfriend.
Let’s just kiss and say goodbye …
Life as a tween moves pretty quickly and after a few months of not seeing Shafiek, I had met and fallen in love with Zunaid (even though it would take us another year before we actually started dating).
By this time, Shafiek had moved on to his ex-girlfriend and while we never saw each other again, I always hoped he was happy and loved.
In many ways, this short-lived romance of my pre-teen years formed the basis of what I wanted my forever relationship to be about: love, respect, trust and friendship.
And it did… which ultimately led me to you, my beautiful babies xx
Kids, on Valentine’s Day in 2017, I found #LoveAtFirstBite with Dunkin Donuts…
Ok, fine, I fell in love with their quirky heart shaped offerings BUT I also experienced a resurgence of faith in the speed dating industry after attending the Dunkin Donuts ‘#LoveAtFirstBite speed dating event on Monday 13 February, 2017.
I know I said I’d NEVER attend another speed dating event after the disaster in 2015 but you know, hope springs eternal and come on, who can say not to donuts?
Here’s why the #LoveAtFirstBite experience rocked my dating world:
Men, men, me EVERYWHERE:
I “dated” nine men in the space of 40 minutes …the fact that there were so many guys for the first time at a speed dating event was heartening AND they were relatively good looking!
2. Talk to me, baby:
Behold the blessings of a good conversationalist! A few of them, like Ryan, the hot primary school teacher ( awww, he loves kids and giving back to the community!) made the five minutes allocated to getting to know each other fly by with their interesting anecdotes.
3. Keeping things sweet:
Look, I’d be lying if I said the real reason I was there was to potentially meet your father … because let’s be honest, I love sweet things and, donuts, like a lot!
Besides the romantic #LoveAtFirstBite deal Dunkin Donuts was running for Valentine’s Day, they kept us sweet all night with special editions of their famous product and ice coffee. My favourite was the Hazelnut flavour and the choc choc heart!
Did Cupid’s Arrow hit my voluptuous butt at the Dunkin Donuts event? Who knows … the point is, the evening gave me renewed faith in love, sugar and singledom and that, Kids, is all I needed to meet your father.
So it’s that time of year again and you find yourself Bridget Jonesing through life, do you stay at home and hide or do you celebrate?
As tempting as it is to stalk your crush’s profile for the umpteenth time…don’t do it for the love of your own sanity. You know that he knows that you’ve been watching. So put down the ice cream and step away from the computer or close the app on your phone. There is only one option for us single gals and that is to throw yourself a Big, Phat Party and celebrate! How? You ask. Here are my Top 10 survival tips for single gals on Valentine’s Day:
1. 50 Shades Darker – oh come on now let’s not be coy you’ve read all 3 books so go grab a group of your nearest and dearest gal pals and go watch the damn movie!
2. How about a good old fashion book club (*wink*wink*)? Discuss the 50 shades book with your girls whilst imbibing copious amounts of bubbly and discussing at great lengths why piercing blue eyed Ian Somerhalder was not cast as Mr Grey.
3. You know those 2 for one happy hour specials? Now you can have BOTH 🙂 Get your Carrie on! Yay you! (please don’t drive if you choose this option)
4. How about a Movie Marathon? Jacob and Edward vs Carrie Bradshaw ? Take your pick…or why not watch both…?
5. You know that ridiculous amount of money you would’ve blown on a romantic weekend away for two? How about that awesome pair of Manolos that you have been eyeing since well before christmas? Go BUY those damn HEELS!
6. Hop on to The Entertainer App and find a great spa deal for you and your BFF…or take the whole gaggle of girls. What could be more fun than being pampered with your friends?
7. Travelstart has some great domestic local flights for only R499 one way, so perhaps you should still take that weekend away for yourself! Enjoy the Dolce far niente….’the sweetness of doing nothing’ on your own weekend Eat, Pray, Love.
8. How about spending some time with your loved ones? Prepare a nice home cooked meal for your family, crack open that bottle you’ve been saving and share some good laughs.
9. Do something you’ve always wanted to do. That chocolate truffle making course? Abseiling off of Table Mountain (not me) ? Learning how to surf (maybe)… cute instructor included 😉 #Justsaying
10. Last but not least, most importantly, is make time for you. Don’t get so swept up in the day’s activities that you forget the greatest love of all is self love. Take time to nurture that with perhaps a quiet stroll on the beach to gather your thoughts. Or pen your thoughts in a journal. Create a Vision board of your goals, dreams and desires of where you see yourself in the next few years. Don’t be so hung up on not having a romantic partner that you lose sight of the most important person in your life……YOU!
There you have it ladies, whether you’re a Carrie or a Bridget wishing you a fantastic Valentine’s Day filled with Love!
“Say you’ll share with me one love,one lifetime /Say the word and I will follow you”
Kids,as my solo trip to New York came to an end in early January 2017, I was no where near ready to say goodbye to the Big Apple.
More importantly, I wasn’t ready to take my leave of the person I was there – a confident, free-spirited traveller who wasn’t afraid to take on new and amazing adventures or experiences.
The girl you see in the picture above is radiant with satisifaction; has a lust for life and most importantly, she is happy …
Happy,guys, honest-to-the-gods happy – the black moods that sometimes dominated my Capetonian nights and days;the insecurities that overwhelmed me at home didn’t exist in New York.
And while I know I was living in a bubble because life isn’t all subway rides and walks in Central Park; I wasn’t in a hurry to get back to the Mother City to be the awkward singleton who doesn’t get invited to her godchildren’s birthday parties because her status makes the other guests uncomfortable.
In New York, I grabbed opportunities to be the centre of attention by the balls (including being the fake VIP guest on an NBC Tour show):
In Cape Town, I was so used to being second or last choice, I didn’t even bother volunteering for shit at all.
In New York, I rode the subway often and only got lost a few times -in Cape Town, the train was a last-minute,I’m fucked and I need transport resort:
I fit in New York – for the first time,it felt like I fit my surroundings.In Cape Town, I was always a beat or two behind everyone else -people who had their shit together; people who shared the same sense of humour and the same boring plan for life; people who effoetlessly met their spouses/co-parents/lovers/partners and lived the picket white fence lifestyle. I couldn’t catch-up and I was tired of trying.
I wanted to stay in New York where I belonged,Kids …
But all good things must come to an end and,though I had to leave , I made a promise to myself (and one that would set me on the path to meeting your father and finally having you!) : I’d live every day of 2017 as fearlessly and passionately as if I were in New York!
Kids, dating at the best of times is a minefield of awkward moments but online dating takes it to another level of “dear gods, why?!”
Your poor spirit mom Leo and Uncle Tendai were privy to my almost daily assault of just what the actual f*** opening lines or messages from wanna-be suitors, like this one:
Really?! Judging from my sweet profile pic where I am posing with our family fur kid Tigger, this guy thought I was into BDSM?
I didn’t even bother responding because a) he was not the Swedish god I want (Alexander Skarsgard shall forever be my one and only) and b) idiots and perverts aren’t worth my precious time … F*** it, NEXT!
Here are 30 things I learnt about myself and life after turning 30:
I have no more f***s to give and it’s ok:
No, really. Before 30, I would be stressed about what people thought of me and whether they’d accept me for the weirdo I was.
After 30, I was like “well, f*** a f***ing zombie, if you don’t like me, screw you!” I liked me:the dressing like a hobo writer; dance in the car and the supermarket; can’t be bothered to even pretend to like people I should me and that was all that mattered.
No was my new favourite word:
As in “No, I am not attending a family function where I have to pretend the perpetually divorced aunt’s comments about my inability to land a man doesn’t hurt my feelings” or “No, I really don’t want to pay for your mother’s birthday cake just because you’re broke AF and didn’t plan ahead”.
I especially loved saying Hell to the f*** no when friends, acquaintances and potential dates tried to talk me into going to places or doing things because it was more convenient for them.
My comfort, after 30, came first… f*** the rest!
Here are my boundaries, now f*** off:
So-called friends who couldn’t deal with not being the centre of my universe whilst I was in the middle of taking care of my dying grandfather and dedicating myself to passion projects or clients who contacted me after hours were not so graciously told where to f*** off to because I have boundaries.
Staying home was my new favourite past time:
Time was when I’d be out there with the most narcissistic of socialites, snapping pics on red carpets and attending every event or show opening under the goddamn sun.
By 2016, I was tired of the constant fake behaviour and forced friendships with so-called celebrities so I found new events (GOT premieres) and red carpets (my bedroom’s) to frequent.
Shutting myself in my apartment for at least one day a weekend where I didn’t have to go out at all because it was too peopley out there was how I held onto my sanity during all of the adulting I had to do.
Holding my tongue was no longer an option:
I learnt to be blunt AF because it was the only way people would understand me when I kept saying no (see point 2).
My entire life, I was always worried about protecting other people’s feelings and not daring to retaliate when they hurt mine.
New me didn’t have such qualms. If you were a guy wasting my time with small talk about the weather or asking me to send you boob pics on dating sites, I told you exactly where to stick your small member and not ever f***ing contact me again.
If you were a client who wanted me to rise at the crack of dawn to fill in for you because you were going away for the weekend, I told you where to get off on the bullshit train.
Biting my tongue to keep the peace was no longer my modus operandi.
I am a cosplaying freak:
Who loves nothing more than donning tights and a cape and showing off at events to other geeks.
Your aunts Sam and Mishka and your godparents Leo, Tendai and Leon are the only five people in Year 30 that I felt completely at ease with.
They loved me when I was crabby and happy over silly things; they let me cry when I needed to or just be quiet when I couldn’t put into words the things that hurt me and they weren’t afraid to call me out on my crap when they needed to.
Feeling guilty is a waste of time:
So I finished yet another tub of Nutella without using it for the pancakes I actually bought it for… so freaking what?! Did anyone die? No? Then, shut up, Brain, and just let me enjoy my chocolate high right now.
Ditto for not finishing blogs, reports etc for work when I was ill. I was delirious on medication and sleep deprived, for Drogon’s sake, it’s not like the company would fall apart without me!
I am worth showing up for:
Old friends who bailed last minute on plans and dates who stood me up were no longer worth my tears.
Spending time with me, especially when I had to rearrange shit so I could see them, was a f***ing privilege. If they couldn’t be bothered to show up, I wouldn’t be bothered to answer calls and texts in future.
I will not settle for mediocrity:
I deserved the very best I could give myself – from a future partner to what I ate and who I spent my time with to where I travelled to – so if those things were not up to par, they had to go.
We are so focused on making sure everyone else (family, friends, significant others etc) is happy and getting what they deserved but what about ourselves?
In 2016, I made myself my priority – f*** anyone who thought that was selfish!
It’s never too late to do anything:
Like read the Harry Potter book series for the first time (yes, I know, considering I saw all the movies and worked in magic, I should have done that yonks ago but whatever!)
If I don’t know how to do something, I’ll ask Google:
Dudes, what I knew about being an executor of an estate or how to process a medical aid claim back was dismal. Being an adult doesn’t come with an instruction manual so thank the Seven for Google!
Eating breakfast for supper is ok:
As a kid, I would laugh at my Dad and your Aunt Sam for tucking into a bowl of Kellogg’s at 6pm but I came to appreciate the wonders of a good scrambled egg or waffle at supper time.
Life is short, do shit that scares you:
Like training for and running a 10km race or lasting five minutes in a paint ball game (I am NEVER doing that again!)
I felt broken and strangely well-put together at the same time. I cried at the most inappropriate times, like being surrounded by 13 000 people at a public running event or went for weeks without shedding a tear because I was so busy organising his affairs.
I laughed at his multiple memorials because he would have loved seeing his entire family together for once.
There is no rhyme, reason or quick fix to grief and I had to learn how to be patient with myself until I got to the other side.
Being afraid and insecure are realities of adulthood:
I can’t take money with me when I die, so I spend it:
I splurged on spa days at the Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel with your Nan and went to several 3D movies with Leo a month.
I did body shots at Beefcakes; applied for loans to go to Mauritius and bought multiple cosplay costumes because I could. Life was for the damn living!
I can let it go:
That grudge I have against the boy who broke my heart; the too tight dress from 2007 I’ll never fit into again and the paperwork of things I sold eons ago – I’ve cleared them out.
The awesome Bennii was a HUGE inspiration to me in this regard. I watched her give away sporting equipment she didn’t need; disperse advice freely or say exactly what she was thinking and it made so much sense to me.
Cleansing yourself emotionally, mentally and physically is important so be like Frozen’s Elsa:
I will not compete for anyone’s time or affection:
Throughout my childhood and early adulthood, people, especially family members would compare me to my siblings or cousins, making me feel like I had to compete for their affection because I wasn’t good enough.
That belief spilled over into my friendships and working relationships. By 30, I realised that this shit had to come to an end and it started with me.
I was f***ing awesome just as I was – I didn’t need to be more like anyone else. Again, if you didn’t love or appreciate me for who I was, f*** you!
I hate SMS texting:
I also hate people who use it. If you are over 18 and writing lyk dis, I will f***ing disown you.
I detest selfie sticks and their users:
Unless you’re Zoolander and Hansel – then let’s do a #selfiestickselfie and can Alexander Skarsgard be in it before I lure him away for a long, LONG stay in my love dungeon?!
I can’t party like a 22-year-old anymore:
Dear gods of Westeros, my liver roared its dissatisfaction at being used as a chemical waste ground the minute I turned 30 and I couldn’t manage more than one glass of bubbly or four watered down cocktails on a night out.
Gone were the days of bar-hopping with Tendai and Leon down Long Street …a damn shame!
I can still shake what Soraya gave me:
Sure, I couldn’t down shots anymore but man, could I still dance like no one was watching!
Clubbing occasionally whilst sober or you know, giving everyone in my local Spar a show by dancing in the aisles still felt really, really good as I got older.
I do not have to pretend to like every theatre show or movie I’ve seen:
Man, I wish I had learnt this earlier so I could get some hours of my life back.
I love babies, children and animals:
It is other adults I have an issue with. Seriously, if people could just keep their unwanted opinions, their filthy habits and oversharing to themselves, that would be great.
I adore food:
I will eat anything and everything and I will not feel guilty about it.
If you are going to be one of those annoying as all hell women who talk about how many calories are in curly fries, I will silence you with a death stare or get up from the table and let you eat your cardboard in peace.
Spending time with my family and friends is more important than anything else:
I don’t care if there is a conference or launch happening that simply everyone has to be at – I am not everyone and the people of my heart come first.
Tag me in shit if you have to and I might retweet, repost or like it but my must-attend moment is where my tribe is.
Equally important is me time:
Even Wonder Woman needs a break from everyone else’s troubles and to find her centre. When I am having me time, I am not doing nothing, I am being me.
Age ain’t nothing but a number:
Aaliyah was right (though she may have been referring to something else!).
Age is a state of mind – at 30, I felt more in tune with my 18-year-old self and rediscovered the values I had as a teenager. When applied to my adult self, those ideals made life really simple for me and I was far happier for it.
Here’s why the Afternoon Bliss package at the Belmond Mount Nelson hotel is a must-do:
It ain’t expensive to treat yourself like a movie star:
I’ve had people the world over tell me that Cape Town, and especially its luxurious hotels are pricey… they’re not.
At just R2225 per package for two people, the Afternoon Bliss package is well worth it. Weighing up what the usual cost of a full body massage, followed by lunch at a restaurant would set you back, this package is value for money.
Location, Location, Location:
Gods, the Nellie is beautiful! It is also so multi-layered with seemingly endless gorgeous places to relax (snag a table in the luscious garden if the weather is good and keep an eye out for a visiting Hollywood star every now and then).
While the Lounge is the spot to be, I adore the Planet Restaurant &Bar for its amazing cocktails (my favourite being the Alexander, a perfect concoction of Van Ryn’s Brandy, crème de cacao, fresh cream and nutmeg, of course!).
Heaven is for real:
And it is located at the Librisa Spa!
From a statuesque chandelier in the foyer that demands to be swung from (don’t worry, I didn’t!) and the healthy but tasty fruit and tea bar to the oh-so-gentle touches of the talented therapists in suitably styled rooms, being a pampered angel is a reality.
Drink tea like the English:
With cucumber sandwiches, mouth-watering chocolate cake, scones with clotted cream and an endless array of the finest teas (or speciality coffees if you’re a caffeine addict).
The Nellie’s Afternoon Tea buffet is renowned for being one of the best in Cape Town, laden with every savoury and sweet treat imaginable and it is quite difficult to know where to start!
The super cool but still dignified ambience:
How often do you actually get to dress up smartly and rub shoulders with the rich, famous and fabulous?
At the Mount Nelson, that could be any day of the week! With its old school glamour, classic décor, soft music and excellent service, this world-class establishment made me feel like I was Romola Garai in Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights, about to meet my parents and lover for a dance in the 1950s.
I know you’re wondering what the heck this has to do with meeting your father but what I learnt about the search was that sometimes a girl has to stop and eat a cream puff or three whilst being pampered and spending time with her Mama in one of the Mother City’s most luxurious hotels. A happy me is a more attractive and holistic me, right?!
I can’t wait to go back to the Mount Nelson Hotel soon!
“Travel far enough, you meet yourself…” Cloud Atlas
Kids, in 2016, I was in a bit of a rut… seeing friends’ engagement, baby and new job announcements on social media gave me huge FOMO (fear of missing out).
It made me nostalgic for a time when I was doing something epic – like travelling to the US solo for a two week Contiki trip across Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas and New York in the (South African) winter of 2014.
Sometimes I need to leave home to get some perspective
It’s all too easy to get caught up in the fishbowl that is your life when you stay put. In 2014, I was up shit creek with the disastrous Monroe flirtation, hating aspects of my job as a Cape Town marketing writer and trying to figure out what to do with my life.
Travelling to the States wasn’t so much running away from my problems as it was getting a new perspective on them. Seeing world-renowned icons like the Statue of Liberty, the Grand Canyon and the Golden Gate Bridge up close, made me realise that while my problems were important, they were small in comparison to the rest of the Universe.
Looking at it that way made me calm the f*** down and just enjoy being me.
Conquering my deepest fears was possible
I’ve had a paralyzing fear of theme park rides since I was three-years-old and your grandfather decided to rock the cabin of the Ferris wheel we were on, scaring the hell out of me.
That fear, though, wasn’t going to stop me from enjoying or at the very least, attempting to enjoy the rides at Universal Studios in Los Angeles.
I’m not saying all of it was fun – in fact, between the Transformers and The Mummy rides, my pancake breakfast kept threatening to blow all over my fellow riders – but I pushed through my fear and did it anyway.
I held hands with complete strangers in the Haunted House; screamed for all I was worth during the King Kong ride and held on for dear life in that final drop of The Mummy roller coaster but at the end of it all, I was extremely proud of myself for conquering my deepest fear.
Being just me is more than ok
The greatest thing about travelling solo is the chance to shake off all of the labels and personas people you know impose onto you or force you to be (you know what I am talking about – some relatives, co-workers and friends push your buttons so much that you react negatively and get labelled as the nasty/mean/perpetually single one in your social group) and rediscover who you are.
On this trip, I discovered how much I actually enjoy magic, separately from it being a requirement for my passion project. I was totally prepared to attend Criss Angel’s Believe show in Vegas on my own but just by being so excited and passionate about it, a few of my tour mates eagerly joined me too.
People liked me for being the weirdo, magic-fanatic I was and you know what? I liked me too.
Most importantly, I also realized that I like doing things solo – something I’d be reminded of again a year later in Mauritius.
I am capable of pretty much anything
A week into my trip, I was standing in front of the fountain at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas and I suddenly had an Oprah-style A-Ha moment…
I realised that little ol’ me, who had sold my first car, worked crazy hours and saved for eons just to be able to afford this trip, had actually done it! As I stared up at the full moon in Sin City, I realised that I could, and was capable of doing just about anything I set my mind to.
I knew I’d wanted to visit all of these cities since I was a teenager hung up on Sex and the City and I had made my own wish come true. I was my own Fairy Godmother, Superhero and Guardian Angel and I was awesome!
Letting go of my inhibitions every now and again is a good thing
A lot of crazy things happened in the Big Apple, like Drew, and that one time I wandered around Times Square high on Nyquil trying to treat a cold while almost being kidnapped by a Hispanic man (don’t tell your Nan – she will never let me travel alone again!).
My favourite memory of New York, though, is the final night of our trip when my Contiki group and I visited a local karaoke bar. Emotions were running rampant in the group, knowing we’d have to say goodbye to strangers who had become family in the two short weeks we’d been travelling together.
With various tour mates getting up on stage to humiliate themselves belting out their favourite hits, it was only a matter of time before my three closest friends Candice, Natasha, Cheree and I followed suit.
Yes, we were totally out of sync doing the mermaid dance to Cher’s Shoop Shoop song but boy, was it fun and the perfect way to end off a trip that had totally changed my perspective on life and my own capabilities.
By 2016, with all of the adulting I’d been doing, I was aching to rediscover myself via travelling again. All I needed to do was choose a destination … but where to next?
“Dear Fuzzy, I am sad to hear about your grandfather. You are very lucky that you had a grandfather your whole entire life. Love from Kris.”
Kids, your Great-Grandfather, Mogamatdien Shellar nee Percival Francisco Shellar, gently left this world on Thursday 30 June, 2016, causing my Universe to come to an abrupt halt. Of all the condolences I received, this one from your 11-year-old Spirit brother really hit home.
Kris was right – I was indeed ridiculously lucky to have had a grandfather my whole entire life. Bittersweet moments from more than 30 years flashed through my mind but they didn’t seem to be enough.
Eulogies aren’t really a thing in the Islamic faith the rest of my family follow but I’m a rule breaker of note so, here is what I would have said if I had had a chance to speak at Pa’s funeral:
A week ago today, you took your final breath and left us to join your beloved Tiema in Heaven. I know you’re super excited to get all of your kisses and hugs and make up for lost time (away from prying grandchildren and great-grandchildren’s eyes) so while you’re doing that, let me look back at some of my best memories of you…
Last year, I lost you in a Strand beach parking lot. Sameehah, Freddy, Mishka and I had treated you to an afternoon out and you gave us the slip so you could go on a walkabout like a naughty teenager.
I don’t know how you did it with an aching leg and a walking stick, Percy, but like a magician, you were there one minute and gone the next!
Sam panicked and call Hiema – I took a deep breath and realised you probably needed some me-time, something you’d had fairly little of since your health starting deteriorating.
I found you eventually, sitting on a bench that you and Mama often visited on your day trips to Strand, gazing out on the crowd and view. You had a wistful look on your face and I realised that what you had needed was to be close to her – the only time you ever let on that you were still mourning.
The love that was evident on your face that day and whenever you spoke of her since, makes me want to live long enough to experience my own someday.
I freaked out when I received my first ever traffic fine for Mr Winchester, my Opel GSI, and couldn’t for the life of me remember when I had been speeding along Vanguard Drive.
I checked the date and looked at the photo and saw that actually, Old Man, you were the one breaking speed limits as you cruised in my sports car. By then, you weren’t allowed to drive your own vehicles anymore so you had taken mine for a joy ride under the guise of returning it to me ahead of a magic event.
I couldn’t stay at mad at you for that – after all, just a month earlier you had held my hand while yelling at me for crashing it into another car on a highway.
Buying, driving and fixing that car together are some of my favourite memories with you because as much as I was coming into my own as an adult, you were right there with me every step of the way, guiding me as you had in my childhood.
And yes, you still don’t know that I have the worst road rage known to man – I never swore when you were my passenger 😉
I’m 15 and going through an “I hate my life and my family” phase but you insist on taking Sam and I for our weekly Sunday drive to Sea Point.
On the way back home, I am wedged between you and Mamma on the front seat of your van and the two of you are pointing out the landmarks of where you first met.
You turn to me and say:
“And that is where your grandma and I used to park and “watch” the view at night. I showed her things she’d never seen before.”
I protest and mock vomit because no teenager wants to know their parents, let alone their grandparents, did things like that but secretly, I like being entrusted with details of your courtship.
That courtship gave birth to the lasting love Sam and I were raised in. How lucky were we?
I’m 11 and I wake to the sound of you crying … in all of my life up until that moment, you had never done that sober so I immediately knew something was wrong, horribly wrong.
My dad, your son, was dead and you were inconsolable.
Your sobs were so terribly heart-breaking but soothing too because if you were crying, it was ok for me to cry too. You showed me that you were human- that we all are and it’s ok to miss the people you love most when they’re taken from you.
Today, I am a heart-broken, grown woman trying to be strong for the family when all I want to do is be the tiny, sassy little girl you taught to read time; called your “Charra Meid” ( Indian Girl) and gruffly held tighter when I tried to squirm out of your hugs.
I miss your hugs.
I miss your smile.
I miss your voice.
I miss hearing you say “Ok, I love you too, Zielah”.
You were so proud of the eulogy I wrote for Mamma on “Facebrick” as you called it, I thought it only fitting you get one on my blog too 😉
I love you, Pa – I don’t know if I said it often enough, but I do. I don’t know if I said thank you enough too – there aren’t enough words in this world and all of the universe to express my gratitude for loving, raising and being there for Sameehah and I.
I will miss walking into your house, my childhood home, or calling you up and saying “Hello Percival!” and hearing your voice light up at the sound of mine for the rest of my days…
Give Mamma and Daddy a hug for me and know that I love and miss all three of you so very, very much!