On the day my father left, I had to kill a fish.
Zelda Pinwheel

My Mother committed suicide when I was 7. I was playing in the field when people came to fetch me and take me away to the house in town.

Then later my Father came and held me tight while he and my elder sister cried. I did not understand. only when they started to push the coffin out of the church did I sort of understand and helped to push her on her last journey.

My father had survived WW2, the fighting in east africa, the desert campain, the two years with the Partisins in the brutal fighting in the Balkans.

He died when I was 11, of a broken hart.

I became a man when our first daughter, Anthea, was born and I held her first while the nurses attended to my wife, Ursula.

Three years later we lost our unborn son.

Three years later, our second daughter, Simone, was born.

They are both adults now, and thriving.

When I held my just born child in my arms and she squinted up at me, I understood what Love is about. There is a saying, “ If you love your children, you must love their mother”. 30 years have passed, and no storm has not been resolved, with affection and understanding.

I hope that I have been worthy of being a Father and Dad, and Husband to my family. For I have seen what hurt has been caused to other children by their parents. We have always strived to make our Home a “safe haven” for our children’s friends. For the world is not a kind place. Only some people who gain understanding know that they must strive to make a difference.

Kim, and the other readers, be kind to yourself, your family and those who are true Friends.

Like what you read? Give John van Heerden a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.