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Posts Tagged ‘brother’

I caught a vision of you
I peeped into your room and there you were. Sitting at the tangled mass of wires and electronic equipment that stood piled up on your desk. This was hallowed ground and a place where I did not venture unless I was invited. After all he was my big brother and someone who I looked up to as a child.
I’d always wanted me to follow where you walked.
The call came out loud and strong, “ZS1MJ…….calling ZS1MJ.” I sqeezed through the opening and made my way across the room to the voice beaming from the speaker. My brother was a HAM radio enthusiast, a hobby which he began as a young man. This was before the internet boom and when radio played a huge part in our entertainment and leisure. I edged closer and he gestured towards a chair. I was always thrilled to be part of this action and to be able to connect with him in this manner. I was so much younger than him and I was still in my doll- playing phase. Hence the lack of common interest! It fascinated me as he spoke to people all over Africa. He even assisted in relaying messages during a disastrous flood in the arid Karoo in South Africa, when all normal forms of communication had broken down. Some stranded farmers were able to get messages out via their shortwave radios. My brother picked up these calls for help and passed them on to the relevant authorities.
The sand it falls away into the hour glass.
My interest in the radio activities was soon to change direction as I moved into adolescence. There was an upbeat radio programme that used to beam out from Mozambique. It was known as LM radio and those of you that are old enough would remember it! It played all the magnificent 1970’s music late into the night. Before my brother moved away to go to university, he set me with a huge old submarine valve radio which was able to pick up this station loud and clear. I still recall the big black box with the name HALICRAFTER emblazoned across the front. My favourite for the week was The Top 20 programme. The problem was that it went on till the wee hours on a Sunday night. It called for ingenious methods so that I could break my bedtime curfew.

My brother with me on the end.

My big brother…..

The years passed and we went our different ways as young families do, but he was always there. We kept in touch even after he made a move over to the United States with his then young family. We did manage to catch up on visits back to South Africa and we made the trip over a few times too.
We may have built a life away in other towns. But blood is thicker than the water in the ground.
Little did I realise that we would make that trans Atlantic move too but ours was to Canada. He was a pillar of strength especially in those early years when everything was so new. He had walked that road with his own family.
Some things in life were made to last, like brother when I see you, no time has passed.
So today I want to wish and honour you. May you continue to grow as I know you will…..there are not too many people who go back to university in their 60s to get their Masters Degree and who read and widely as you do. I am proud to have you as my brother.
Happy birthday!

Out exploring in Toronto with my Boet....

Out exploring in Toronto with my Boet….

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She ran down the stairs and a door slammed shut. I heard a shout and then another loud bang. Mother was up and running around the house with a ‘flea in her ear.’ This is what my dad called it when mom got the sudden urge to turn the house upside down and to clean everywhere. As a young child I did not see the need for all this order and cleanliness but I tagged along with it. I knew full well what the consequences were if I did not! I definitely did not want to get into the firing line.

 So we all dragged ourselves out of bed and marched around and joined in on the holiday spring clean. What a way to spend my first day of the holidays! All this cleanliness had certainly not been part of my envisaged plan. I often pondered the merit of all of this and why it had to be saved for our holiday. Why could it not have been done during school time when we had domestic help? But in mom’s wisdom there was a plan…… It was only many years later that I realized this was her way of getting some kind of discipline and routine instilled into all 4 of us kids over the long holidays. After all, we were a lively and headstrong bunch and we all pulled in different directions. What a marathon task it must have been to get us to ‘tow the line.’

There were electric cables lying around with my brother’s latest invention. Tennis rackets and sport equipment strewn around from my sister following her passion. Cricket bats and fishing rods and other little boy paraphernalia lay all round the garden left by my youngest brother. Then added to the mix my dolls with their latest homemade dress ensembles would get in everyone’s way.   So a holiday would have been a nightmare with us all trying to do our own thing. But once we were ‘pulled into shape’ we were much easier to handle.

Those were the early years. Later on as we matured mom was able to share her creative side with us. There were wedding dresses that were carefully sewn for us, pots of her famous marmalade were stacked up on the shelves or she would sneak away and paint in her studio. She was warm and welcoming and our house was always a hive of activity. She spoilt us with the most delicious meals and always made a fuss over our birthdays and special festivities. She had the most amazing capacity to love and welcomed all her grand children and great grand children into her fold.  

Our dear mother slipped away peacefully today and is up there with my dad dancing among the stars. She will be delighted to be reunited once more with her handsome pilot. I am so incredibly grateful for our wonderful mom and the love that she gave so freely.

You will be forever in our hearts.

Moments to treasure....

Moments to treasure….

Our beautiful Mom....

Our beautiful Mom….

 

 

 

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