Father, brother and friend.
August 2001 was a time that i will never forget. Standing at the airport in Cape Town with my brother, Shawn, preparing to leave on a new adventure and a new life. I remember my brother telling my mom, “don’t cry now otherwise you will get me going!”
It was hard, watching my boet walk away. But i knew why he was doing it. He was heading off to the UK in search of a better life with which to support his daughter. And that he did. He put her through school and college and gave her all the support he could from a distance and made sure he came out whenever he could.
Shawn came out for his first holiday in December 2002 – and what a holiday it was. We had a braai at my little one-bedroom place before heading off to the South Coast for some R&R. We went to Pirates Creek (formerly Lakes) and then to Tsitsikamme Lodge and Knysna.
Fond memories! Every time Shawn has come out, there has been fun, reminiscing and just good old times.
It’s days like today, National Braai Day, that i miss my boet the most. Lighting up the fire, pouring a drink and having to watch the flames by myself that i realise i miss my best friend ion the world.
Whenever i go camping, I miss having my brother there, enjoying the countryside while waiting for the sun to go down to light the fire and enjoying the evening.
My wedding brings on a fond memory when Debbie and I got married. We had planned to enjoy the ceremony and head home afterwards before leaving for our honeymoon on the Monday. But Shawn, as is his nature, announced during his speech that Debs and I would not be going home, instead spending the evening at the Zevenwacht honeymoon suite as all newly weds should. It still raises a lump in my throat when i think about it. That is Shawn!
I always get excited when Shawn announces that he is coming out for a visit, because then i can get the house in order and plan where he is going to sleep. Then enjoying waking up in the morning and walking in to the braai room and having a cuppa with my bro! It is frustrating at times when i still have to head off to work for the last few days before going on leave but the anticipation of knowing when i go on leave, my boet is there for me.
Shawn is someone i always look up to, aspire to. And it is this National Braai Day that i dedicate to you my brother. I miss you.