My liefste boykie,
January was marked by incredible grief and sadness. First Lize’s two aunts died days apart, then oom Altus’s death on 6 January, then Dawie’s grandmother, then your oupa on 18 January, and you on 28 January. I kept thinking…. how much grief and heartache can one family & friends group take before we all just lose it? How much tears can we possibly have left?
February brought your service and incredible kindness. Kindness from those in our inner circle, our family, and even strangers.
I received the call mid-morning on Monday the 11th from Avbob. ‘Kyle Taylor Noble’s remains are ready for collection.’ Remains?! What a horrible, horrible word. I don’t know if it was shock, but I felt strangely detached. Pappa phoned me not long after that and I told him that I’ll be collecting you. He asked if he should come home but I told him I’m fine. I can handle this. I have big girl panties.
Outside Avbob a bunch of black dudes were sitting on the side walk, their lunch hour maybe. Don’t really know why I noticed it. Walking into Avbob I started trembling. I then still had to pay for their services, and for the life of me, I don’t know how I remembered the PIN. They then handed me the paperwork, and your little box. In. A. Bloody. Avbob. Gift. Bag. Thingy.
I clutched you to my chest, and when I opened the door to leave, it struck me like a hammer between my eyes. Your weight in my arms felt the same as when I left the hospital with you years ago. My legs just buckled under me and I collapsed on the sidewalk like a peasant, crying uncontrollably. One of the black dudes rushed over, took my car keys, wallet and whatever else I had with me out of my hands (except you), and half carried, half pulled me to my car where he unlocked the car and helped me in, all the while saying, ‘Aww, sorry, mammie’, over and over again. A coloured lady ran across the busy street, motioned that I should wind down my window and wriggled herself through the window with her arms around me, praying out loud. Both of them stayed there until I was composed enough to drive back home. In our country, where there is always comments about other races ‘trying to get you wherever and however they can’, just proves to me again the absolute kindness of people, regardless of race and social background. Grief and loss knows no colour.
Remember when you were around 14 and you and pappa were looking for a place (you were meeting friends somewhere)? By the time you circled the block for the umpteenth time a ‘lady’ approached the car. That was you first encounter with ladies that do business on street corners. Pappa would crack up laughing every time when he told the story, because evidently the expression on your face was priceless. I always had a giggle when I drove by that corner, which just happened to be almost next to Avbob. I just hope in time that that happy memory will override the horrific memory from Avbob, and that I’d be able to giggle about it again.
Since 28 January, I’ve been shown kindness over and over again. Carlé literally took over the back end of Jaarn and sorted out a lot of stuff, despite the fact that she has her own business to run. The crochet & knit community sent so many messages, and a lot of people are still messaging me regularly. I don’t always answer, and they understand. Gina gave me a stunning votive candle holder. Adele knitted me a stunning shawl. Charnelle sent me a beautiful print, with a heartbreakingly beautiful letter. The list goes on and on and it is impossible to name everyone here. People brought food, and so many bouquets of flowers were delivered that the guy from Kikka even knew Sam’s name and shouted at him to get out of the street.
I don’t think people really realise how much this means, how they carry you through times like these, when you can hardly stand. I’m eternally grateful for all of them.
At some point I spoke to Linda and I told her that I need to go buy a tree to plant in our corner; where we had our mommy & Kylie time. Once the tree is strong and settled and I’m ready, I will be placing your ashes at its roots. I know that you said that one day (!) when you die, you’d like a portion of your ashes to come to me, a portion to Teri, and the rest scattered on our rock on the top of the mountain. I won’t be able to do that, so please forgive me. Just the thought of you scattered there, and if the mountain burns again, would be too much. For the moment you will just remain in your little box. When we’re ready, Teri & I will do what has to be done, and I will place (most) of you under the tree. Right now, I can’t even touch your box, let alone split you up. Plus, you know how I kill plants. I have to be one trillion percent sure that the tree won’t die, before I lay you to final rest.
I’m so glad the tree comes from the farm. You loved it there and couldn’t wait for Skylar to be big enough so you could go and show her the alpacas. Now you’ll always have a bit of the farm around you. The hen & kuikens at the foot of the tree are descendants from Moolman Street, so you’ll have a piece of your childhood with you as well. Can you believe that they survived to grow in the Sunward house and then another piece survived to come back here? Seems there are plants that I can’t kill, after all. The bougainvillea looks terrible. I had to move it so the tree would take centre stage, but I think I damaged the roots. If it doesn’t survive, I’ll replace it with Jasmine or something that smells awesome.
Skylar has developed a taste for McDonald’s chips. And she’s sitting all on her own. I think she’ll soon be crawling. It breaks my heart that you won’t see this. You were so excited about each and every milestone she reached.
Oy, boykie. As each minute goes by and it gets closer to 18:30, my heart beats faster and faster. I miss you so much. I have to make sure, when the questions and the anger boils up, to remind myself that we (as a family) have always lived with gratitude in our hearts. I am so grateful for Jaarn – it keeps me busy and my mind occupied. I would surely have lost my mind already if I didn’t have so much work to do. I am grateful for pappa, he is so patient with me, even when I’m mean to him. And your brother and sisters. And all our terrific friends. And I’m grateful that I only have beautiful memories of you.
Al die liefde,