Written by Chris De Flamingh
Memories with my Dad (Adolf)
As a kid, I did not spend much time with my dad as he was not always the emotional type but loved him to bits always. The times we did get to spend together, were always very special to me.
When I was still very small, my mom used to buy the weekly magazine that included a children’s magazine inside. Saturday afternoon dad and I would lie in bed as he read me the stories out of these magazines
In 1988 I was getting ready to embrace life and my 2-year military service, dad took me for an afternoon drive. Just the 2 of us.
We drove all the way to Fish Hoek and Simonstown where dad shares stories of his younger years as we visited some of his memories. He pointed out the house he shared with his previous wife, his favourite haunts along with his memories of that era.
Years later, I paid dad a tribute by revisiting his memories. It was a perfect way to mourn dad as I was sure I heard his voice and the twinkle in his eye as I walked around picturing dad as a young man.
The drive we took together was in December 1988 I will always remember it as one of the highlights in my life as it was one of those father-son moments we spent alone together.
In 1989 after writing my Cape College exams, dad picked me up. He noticed that I was upset. I told him I was still waiting for my results, that everyone had received theirs but I did not. Even though we had travelled for almost 40 minutes, dad turned the car around and drove back. This time around, my results were waiting for me. The first time I saw Dad with tears in his eyes was when he received the news that I had passed. The trip back drew us closer together as father and son. It is these memories that make thoughts and happy moments like this make me remember my dad as my hero. He was hard on the exterior but very much a softy on the inside.
Dad was an excellent handyman, quick to repair stoves, washing machines, door locks or any general maintenance around the home. Dad taught me well, and often I fixed the vacuum cleaner when minor repairs were needed. Thanks, Dad!
In 1993 after my dad had fallen ill, I went away on holiday for about two weeks and when I arrived back home my dad was in tears to see me and so I hugged him and told him “do not worry I am home now” I miss my dad like mad and wish he was still here on earth with me.
Memories with my Mom (Christine)
I was a mommy’s boy when I was a small kid as I was the youngest and probably got away with more than my siblings. Those were my favourite years as I had mom’s undivided attention.
I spent most of my time with my mom as my dad was at work all day. So my mom would walk me to school early in the morning and then I would get so lonely because I saw my mom walk away going home after dropping me off at school and felt very vulnerable and would burst into tears 😭 but over time it got better and I got used to school.
My mom left to attend her brother’s (my uncle) funeral in Pretoria and I would be alone with my dad but missed my mom so much. Then when she got home after about a week I was overwhelmed with excitement and could not wait to see her after I got home from school that day. I always felt my mom protected me when I was still very small. My mom was my everything at that point in my life. She and I used to play a lot of games and jokes over the years even until shortly before she passed away we had our little games and jokes we used to play. My mom told me quite a lot about her mother (my grandmother) and I wished I had known her personally.