Saturday, November 5, 2011
27 November 1936 - 27 October 2011
Your life, my sister, has never been straightforward. Yet you have always been straightforward, honest, loving and true.
I remember you being there, all my life.
I have a picture of you holding me as a baby. I cannot remember, but I know you did it.
I remember how, without any hesitation, you pushed our new baby in his pram, with such pride, through Cresta shopping Mall.
I remember how you brought your small children to our parent’s house on a Sunday, to give them a decent meal.
I remember how you loved every child that was lucky enough to find you.
I remember you singing “clap handies, clap handies, till daddie comes home”.
I remember the flat in Sonja Court, with its two-bar heater, that didn’t work. And its courtyard of tar, where your boys grew up.
I remember going fishing with Johnnie in his red Prefect at the Vaal and how exasperated you were when he stopped to help every broken-down car on the road.
I remember the Cottage.
I remember146 Henrietta Rd, where you squeezed in, not only your children, but our parents and me – with my piano, practicing every night until midnight, for matric.
I remember you gave Jane a home there as well. That house had elastic walls and a heart of Platinum.
I remember you working till 2am in the morning and getting up at 6.
I remember “Conference”, every year.
I remember you telling us how Simpson Frankel was going to be computerised.
I remember how fast you typed.
I remember how fast you knitted.
I remember, when Brian killed himself, how you arrived with a bag packed to stay the night with me.
I remember how you stood by each one of your sons – and me amongst them – when we were in trouble.
I remember how you rejoiced in our successes.
I remember how we laughed about Claude.
I remember “A Rich… a Greg … a Stephen … a Ribs”.
I remember you getting off the bus after a long day at the office.
I remember the piles of library books you would get through in a week.
I remember “one-two-cha-cha-cha” in the lounge.
I remember Fred jumping naked into the fishpond.
I remember how you loved my marmalade and Leon’s Christmas cake.
I remember how you loved my children and how proud you were of me for being a father to them.
I remember that crazy holiday in Durban, when Alan made us miss the train home.
I remember how much you loved rugby.
I remember how much you spoke about Stella and how much you missed her.
I remember Suzie, the mad dog.
I remember how happy you were at Sonneglans.
I remember how all your friends would come and visit you.
I remember the cups of tea you made me when I visited.
I remember how we laughed at the same things.
No-one could have a better sister, or mother, or friend. I can’t think of a better human being.
You had so very little.
You gave so very much.
You gave everything you had.
You gave yourself.
I remember you and I miss you.
Your brother, Michael.