I was a little angry with you for leaving when you did.
It was annoying that you had to wait for me to be out of town to have a stroke, but yes, you did wait for me to get back before you started your final journey.
At your funeral, it was expected of me, as the eldest son present, to say a few words. I struggled with that, as the lies didn't come easily. When I decided that I would just tell the truth, it all came together. And I'm glad.
You were difficult. You were obstinate and headstrong.
But you had a streak of tenderness running though you a mile wide.
I recall how you would pick wild flowers for mom in the field opposite us. I still chuckle when I remember you bringing her stones, because you hadn't seen one 'quite like this one', even though it was just a stone.
Your happiness when I gave you a bottle of soil from the garden of the house we had lived in in Port Elizabeth was almost overwhelming.
You rode a motor-bike, and you had to have surgery to fix your nose after a wrestling match. You spent months in hospital recovering from a motor-cycle racing accident, and lost a finger in a work related accident.You played with Nico Carstens in his Skoppelmaai band, and you were a regular feature at the Paarl Wine Festival, keeping Dennis Souma out of trouble. You told a surgeon, minutes before undergoing major surgery, that you weren't at all concerned, as he was the one who would have a problem if you died during the procedure.
As a child I don't remember much of you. You were the guy I was so shit scared of. You were in the house only at night time.The rest of the time you were working. I realise now that you worked as hard as you did in order to give us as much as possible.
You gave me my love for wood, and taught me all I know of working with wood. You encouraged my sailing.
The last I saw you was just after you passed away. I did two things I had never done before.
I kissed you, and told you I love you.
Thank you for my being my father, and for being my dad.