Oom Koot: While I sit here teary, I know that this morning, for the first time in almost 3 years (You’d be able to tell me exactly how many days and hours) you are the happiest you’ve ever been. Reunited, finally, with the love of your life. I hope the reunion was everything you thought it would be, and more. One of the last memories I have of you is etched in my head: squiggles, hundreds of them, snaking from the front gate of the farm house to Laetzie’s grave. You wheeled yourself there in your wheelchair everyday to spend time with her. I tried to photograph it. But somethings are just never meant to be on film.
You’ve taught me an incredible amount over the past few years. Most of those lessons revolve around love, hard work, and jackals, of course…. You taught me something that has taken a few years for me to understand…I don’t think I got it at the time…but I said it out aloud to someone last night and all of a sudden it felt like a pin dropped. You taught me that sometimes there are connections between people that simply can’t be explained. Some call it soul mates – but I’ve always had a problem with that term. I understand it more clearly now. Those connections are the strongest ones you’ll have in life and are the ones worth cherishing the most. You don’t necessarily get to choose who those people are. Those people happen. They just happen. They might rock up at your house, in the middle of a night in a Landrover, lost, looking a little disheveled (and filthy), and in need of a place to pitch a tent. The rest, as they say, is history….
When it comes to love – you set some incredibly high standards. Your and Laetzie’s love for each other, and the obstacles you overcame together, will remain what I set my relationship standards against. Probably to my peril… 😉
If you feel something, feel it deeply. Love undeniably, laugh hard, smoke like all the worlds cigarettes will soon disappear, work because your life depends on it, respect people. But not jackals. Never jackals.
I made this video when I was on the farm last. And I took hours and hours of video footage. Its been sitting on my harddrives….think its time to press play…
Rest in peace. Hope some of those red Kalahari dunes that you cherished are also up in the heaven that I know you believed so much in.
Send my love to Laetzie.