I meet him as an Afrikaner with a rifle and a moustache. There is a shyness in him, an awkwardness that makes him mumble and stare at his feet.
I prod. I probe.
Eventually I undress.
Fast-forward to hot summer days, red bricks and hadedahs on the roof of our little house with the pink kitchen he hated.
Searching through papers last night, I discover a few treasures I had forgotten about:
“In amongst all of this I feel this really deep incredible love for Ant. He has been so kind to me. This morning when I cried, he just held me and I felt so safe. I could have stayed there for a very long time, buried somewhere beneath his arms and t-shirt. And then he said I couldn’t deal with my emotions. Sometimes I think he is far older than I am”.
In between, lots of mistakes. Decisions that now only leave regret.
Our last conversation is jovial, you will come visit me in the summer and laugh at my stories of mechanics. And then somewhere in this world full of promise and things to come, you exit.
I drive through the night. I can feel an urgency to get to you, well what’s left of you.
I rush to the hospital. You are lying there with tubes and pipes, your life a constant beep in my ear. Your energy lingers around me, delaying a reality I will have to accept in due course although initially I feel quite angry with you. Who is to take pictures of me now? Who is to give my work its creative vision? Who is to love me for all my imperfections? My tummy, I hate but you loved the most. Promise me you wont forget me. Promise me you’ll visit me in my sleep. And if I ever have a baby, you’ll be there when it arrives. Promise me…
It all gets quite desperate at that stage because I have to let you go now.
The following Sunday we place your ashes around 3 trees we plant in memory of you. Your mum and dad look so beautiful together as they scatter the grey powder that is you. He keeps looking at her, as if awaiting her instruction. There is something quite innocent about her energy – barefoot, blonde and broken. Perhaps she finally appears harmless. You get under my nails and this perturbs me somewhat. I sob then, and lovely Anthea, beautiful Anthea, holds me like you did once. She makes me feel safe.
Now the road is dark, long and winding. I pass through places that I do not know, but are strangely familiar to me. Like hugging your dad.
I spend my time looking for traces of you – photographs, letters, cards. I might find something I overlooked once, thinking it unimportant, trivial, foolish.
Your birthday speaks of opening your heart and letting the sunshine in. I keep getting messages from people saying I was the love of your life. What they say is only really hitting home now. Its funny the way things work… Chunky summed it up for me the other night, when he recounted the Queen’s speech to me.
“Grief is the price we pay for love.”
Looks like you have left me bankrupt, again.
So, to Anthony…
who has taught me the love of flowers and the quiet beauty they possess.
who has captivated me with magic tricks and juggling balls
who has shown me i can be happy without money and material possessions
who has taught me the cleverness of words and punctuation
who has pushed me to the extremes of anger so that i may know what rage is
who reminded me constantly that i am a powerful princess capable of daring feats
that despite my background, social status, my wounds, my fears and inadequacies that i am worth it
and who comes to me in the strangest of places – whilst driving in the car, watching the sun rise even washing dishes
and reminds me that he will never leave me even after he is gone
i am eternally grateful.
thank you for sharing your sand dune with me xx
The last 2 years have been punctuated with the loss of a lot of important people in my life. I had originally thought to create a photo album just of them but decided against it at the last minute. My life with these people, and now without, was full of bright bursts of colour, things that made me want to celebrate being alive. The following photos lay testament to this and are some of my most memorable moments during my short little life thus far. It gives me great pleasure to share them with those around me.
September 1, 2012 | Categories: Latest | Tags: 25 October, 3 trees, accident, Anthea Gibbs, Anthony Delport, ashes, Commando, creative vision, death, dying, funeral, life, loss, love, mum and dad, pietermaritzburg, Ryan Woodroffe | 1 Comment