Do you wonder, when a specific day of the year rolls around, about it all? Such a day is this day – 21st August. Each year, without fail, I’ll think of the past and of happenings and events that helped shape my core – my values, my way of interpreting life. Why? Because today is my long-gone grandfather’s birthday. Oupa Bokkie, as we knew him. Grandpa Bucky, I suppose would be the translation.
A staunch Christian – truth, fairness, honesty and justness were some of the core values he lived by. A stern man… a hero and father figure to admire and respect at the same time. You just didn’t cross him and come off lightly – many would testify to that! Knowledgeable, trained as an accountant but farming was always in the blood so he ran a farm with the grip of a numbers man. Fully ambidextrous… yes, I loved watching him write and switch hands, while busy in his ledger – you couldn’t ever see a difference – or smudge.
He, together with my granny, mostly raised me as their thirteenth child – the lucky thirteenth? My mother often worked away in my early years – life wan’t easy then but that’s not the point – the point is they were there for a little boy, the three of them along with my aunts and uncles. Yes, indeed – the lucky thirteenth! Maybe that’s why I called my first collection of short stories the Lucky Thirteen… subliminal?
So, I’ll most likely wonder again about it all today… if Oupa Bokkie was still about today, what would he make of AJ of OMBH and his life to date? I hope he wouldn’t be too disappointed!