So long, Dad.
You taught me how to ride that little red bike that never had training wheels. When still in primary school you took us on long Sunday-afternoon rides to the Fisantekraal airfield to watch model airplanes and Cessnas. To the Zoo on shorter Sunday rides. You played guardian for all my friend on numerous Apple Tours - 200 kays over two days, while watching over all the neighbourhood's kids that wanted to tag along.
My geek-streak probably come from you - I am now the proud owner of your miniature hit-camera.At the end of each school-term you bought us each a lego-car. Which used to be your own until about the next morning, when the legos went into the big communal lego-bin from where our creativity could run wild.
You wrote poems and had a collection of books bigger than I could read through all the Sundays of my high-school years.
You taught me to play tennis, you played putt-putt with us, hiked with me and swam in mountain pools and in the sea. Sunday drives around the peninsula to find a nice braaispot, or to Ceres or Worcester to find the first winter snow. Visiting the grandparents in Ashton.
There were summer holidays in a caravan in Struisbaai. Kerriebraaivleis. Long hikes on the beach in the evenings. There were winter-holidays in Hartenbos, and road trips to far-away family in the Free State and Port Elizabeth.
On Sundays you braai'ed. Skaaptjops, Boerewors en Braaibroodjies. En swart koffie.
Coffee and cheesecake over lunchtimes when I was a student in Stellenbosch.
A very windy big wheel at the Waterfront.
You dunked your pizza in coffee.
You wrote love-letters to my mom when she was sick. You recorded songs for her. You wrote beautiful sad lovesongs for her when she left us too early.
A sense of humour to get you through everything, and a poem for every occasion.
You were a model granddad and hero for your grandson. You cycled with him (like you did with us) and taught him to play rugby and cricket.
You'd come fetch me on Saturday afternoons at the business school after a block of classes, and then we'd have coffee, sometimes cheesecake. Or a hamburger.
On Friday evenings when I arrived in Capetown for the Argus, you'd talk till 2 in the morning. Showing pictures of the latest hike and telling stories of the latest adventures with your grandson. And on Sunday after the Tour you'd wait with Braaivleis and a Braaibroodjie.
There was no Argus and no braaibroodjies this year. You were in hospital, freshly diagnosed with the sickness that took you so quickly. We thought you would be able to fight it, then.
You were so healthy ... your idea of life wasn't a hospital bed. The cancer had no mercy. It caught you off-guard, you said. It caught all of us off-guard.
You never managed to teach me to sing, but I did learn to listen when the whole family made music :)
May there always be music and bicycles and mountains and forests and beaches to remind me that life is precious.
Totsiens, Pappa. Sê groete vir Mamma.