Why hello! It’s good to see you again.
We’re officially back from our little trip to South Africa, and it’s seriously good to be home. We’ve spoken about me and my routine before, but you don’t really realise how much you cling to your routine until it’s broken. Friends, much as I loved seeing family and friends in SA, it’s wonderful to sleep in my own bed.
So please, you South Africans we love, get on a plane and come settle in Canada. Then I can have my own bed, my routine, and the people I love. Make it happen, mkay? 😛
Anyway. If you’ve been around the blog, you know this trip was a bit unplanned. We had to go to SA to renew our passports, sort through some of the last stuff that had been gathering dust in storage, and handle a few admin issues. And all of this in two weeks.
We arrived just before midnight on a Sunday evening, jetlagged and TIRED after 22 hours of travel, but had no choice but to visit Home Affairs the following Monday morning to get our passport renewal rolling. And folks, the timing was everything. Had we not gone that Monday, so jetlagged we all nodded off while queuing to get to the Home Affairs agents (queuing for four and a half hours, I might add), I wouldn’t be back in Canada to write this blog post.
We literally got the texts that we could collect our passports the last Friday afternoon of our visit. No, let me rephrase that. We got to collect our passports on the day we flew back out. It was intense, and to say we were completely stressed out is an understatement.
On top of that, we had some other minor stresses concerning shipping the goods we’d gone to sort out. In the end, we had to let go of a lot of the things we’d planned to bring to Canada, but it is what it is. At least we’re all safe and sound, and we didn’t need stuff to make it that way.
Admin aside, it was so good to see our loved ones. We got to meet new family members, braai like only South Africans can, we laughed and cried together, and the kids played as if they’d grown up next door from each other.
One of the most emotional aspects of this visit was when I got to choose something to take from my aunt’s remaining things.
I took one of her bracelets. It’s worthless, really. Just a few strings of grey and pink beads. But it’s priceless, you know? I was there the day she bought it. I remember her face when she picked it out, then picked out two others she’d seen me ogling. Without even asking, she’d paid for all three, then handed me the two I’d liked. I’d been poor as hell, fresh out of high school, and she hadn’t had millions, but had always, ALWAYS, loved to spoil everyone she loved.
Now I have all three bracelets. I’m so thankful to have this small thing of hers, something anyone could have taken, but nobody did. As if they knew it would mean most to me.
Returning to the place where I’d left her and not finding her there was probably one of the saddest things I’ve ever had to do. The night before we flew to SA, I had a dream that my aunt waited for us at my parents’ house. When I went through the door, she came over with arms wide open, walking fast (she’d lost a leg before the end). I said, ‘I’m so glad to see you, but you’re not really here.’ And she said, ‘Nonsense, where else would I be?’ then laughed and squashed me in a hug.
This dream was so vivid. So real. Her perfume is still lingering in my nostrils and her laugh still ringing in my ears.
I can’t believe she’s gone.
What sent me over the edge was the birth of my cousin’s son, Joshua. He’s such a tiny little person, so beautiful and so loved, but I got to hold him and Aunt Flora never will.
She loved the kids in the family. She loved each new baby as if they were her own, and showered them each in love. She was too sick to do that before Joshua was born. Still, the family loves this kid enough to make up for what he’s missing out on from our aunt.
Before this post takes an even sadder turn, I just want to tell everyone back in SA again that I love you all. You’re my people, and I’m so thankful for each of you. Thank you for being a part of my life. And for those of you we’ve collected in Germany and Canada, thank you too, and we love you just as fiercely.
And finally, have I said it’s good to be back?
Vacation photos on Thursday, so tune in for that! Thanks for stopping by.