There are people in our lives, they are not the everyday fundamentals, they are a lot like film extras with occasional starring roles, but the knowledge that they are there, a phone call or road trip away enriches our lives. And just as often, these people are snatched away from us. We do not question His will, His master plan, we must learn to roll will it, be one with it, but there is that watershed moment in which we realise the vacuum created by the loss of just one person.
My younger sister is generally the better liked of the two of us among family friends. She’s more chatty, more boisterous and generally better at ease. But I was Uncle Anver’s favourite, so much so, he wanted his son and I to get married. We were momentarily foolish enough to like his idea and think we liked each other, thank the Lord he met Mary soon thereafter. One night , while Uncle Anver sat chatting to Mum and Dad, I offered him a chocolate and belatedly realising his diabetes told him he couldn’t have it after all, he teasingly unwrapped it and told me one chocolate wouldn’t make much of a difference. Four days later he was shot dead on his way home.
Uncle Hoosen was a business associate of my dad’s, during our trips to Mpumalanga we looked him up, became family friends and long after the business relationship became redundant, the familial relationship stayed. During a trip out east two years ago, I remember standing on the upper deck of a restaurant on the banks of the Sabi river in the Kruger National Park. Together with my brother, we watched the hippos in the river below, a consensus of silence between us. He passed away this morning. I haven’t found the space to cry, it’s a little surreal, some part of me still expects him to be there when next we’re out in the Kruger.
To Allah we indeed return.