A tribute to my grandad

We went from playing cowboys and crooks and the odd Barbie rescue, to growing up and having weekly tea dates.

Like all good things that must come to an end, time ensured it. So, Captain Blackman, are all the controls in check, because we’re heading out for one last flight.

My heart is hammering in my throat and the hurdles in front of me tower like giants in front of me. “Just calm down, Princess.” That’s all I heard and there he was with his grey mark of wisdom fluttering in the wind and his eyes fixed on me. “Jump” is all I hear and when I reach the end of the long track, he’s there waiting for me with a packet of Super Cs, because after all, which superhero doesn’t eat Super Cs?

They say your grandparents’ house always smells like cookies and baking. I never quite got that smell, instead I got the sizzling of the sausages in the oven and the smell of potatoes and gravy in my nose.

Those Easter egg hunts and clues were the best of times, like the night we caught him putting all these small presents under the Christmas tree, eating half of the mince pie and swallowing down the milk, even though he didn’t like it.

Then it was time to grow up, so we did. We started high school, and there was no longer time for mashed potato mountains drowned in gravy, and the Easter Bunny became just another story we told kids. We moved to more grown up things. Drinking tea and talking about the economy as if we knew what was happening in the world. I wasted time by postponing our little dates, when all you ever wanted was for us to spend time together.

Since your farewell, the days have been longer and the seconds mocking. The universe is cruel and life got hard. The sun is hiding earlier each day as she can no longer bear the pain of losing you.

I wish I’d had the time to say thank you for the fulfillment that you gave to my life. My eyes betray me, as they carve rivers on my cheeks, but now they must adjust to the dull and silent life without you.

But for now, Captain Blackman, enjoy the flying in heaven – one day, I’ll see you again!

Janine Viljoen

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