Today is the anniversary of My Dad passing, it's 12 ago that We got the phone call. Do you know I don't even remember who call me right now, I think they called and spoke to George. I just felt this huge hurt and sadness, I don't want to go down that road again, so I tried to shut it out, never really accepting he was gone. I was so disappointed he never made it over to Australia as we had planned for the 2000 Olympic Games, just a few months off. The last time I had hugged Dad was a few days before we left for Australia, we spoke on the phone a few time and wrote a few letters.
What can I tell you about My Dad. They came from the poor class folk of Johannesburg, living in a red bricked semi-detached house, the front door just about on the road, only a brick wall separating it. Grandpa van Niekerk worked on the railways as most men in that neighbourhood did those days. Grandma was a seamstress and even turned her hand making beautiful wedding dresses, all to help support 3 boys and their youngest a girl. Those were the days when most cars were all black heavy beasts. I remember when Grandpa died there were so many black cars parked down the street and everyone was dressed in black. I was only 4 years old then, the world looked very scary. The day before I had landed in hospital, my little finger was jammed in the backdoor, Mom closed the door and locked it before realising what happened. I lost the tip of my finger.
Anyway Dad was probably rebellious, cause he ended up going to a boys boarding school in the eastern Cape Provence. Where he must have excelled at sport esp swimming, cause many year later He went there and his swimming record was still standing. Dad worked on the mines for a bit. Mom tells the story of when they helped move my Grandma, with a ute/bakkie, they loaded up the ute with some of her belongings and then her chooks in a crate. Dad being a smoker flicked the burnt cigarette bud and it landed in the back of the ute. By the time he noticed there was smoke, he panicked and ripped everything off the back, only to inform them afterwards he had a few sticks of dynamite on the back.
Dad joined the Police Force Later he joined the Correctional Services and we were stationed at Barberton. Somehow he was involved with riding horses in a parade in full uniform, that is a very faint memory. Mom came from good breeding stock as she used to say, never heard the end off I helped put your Dad through university. Dad was a bit of a Hermit, happy being by himself, spending many nights studying and finally receiving His Honors degree.
Dad dreamed of having a son, the go cart he built while Mom was pregnant never got used, cause on 12th January they had me. I had a happy childhood, Dad taught me to drive when I was just 6 yrs old, really only steer the car on his lap, he did the gears and clutch. I remember Dad having these coffee tins with holes punched in them in the garage, with snakes he caught while on duty, waiting to be posted off to the Hartebeesport dam Snake park. They used to milked them for anti venom. Never got to close to those coffee tins. Later Dad got a job in a Government Department and we moved to the city. Mom squashed so many of his dreams and schemes, 24 years later they divorced.
There's heaps more stories about Dad, he was one of the best. Love you Kosie
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