Will need to split this post or it will be too long.
I will start with the memorial service on Thursday.
Wendy worked for the goverment.
And it was her work colleagues who arranged the service.
It was held in a glass covered courtyard in the goverment building in Bhisho.
About 60 kms from East London.
It was her partner,Mark, her maid of many,many years and another friend, Ian and me in the car.
After we had found parking…which was a nightmare…we went up to the security desk to sign in.
The first thing to hit us was a giant TV screen on the wall behind the security desk.
With a slideshow of photos of Wendy.
Photos they had downloaded from her home computer.
I even saw one with a photo of my eldest grandson in the background.
We then went into the venue.
There were huge photos of Wendy everywhere and TWO more giant TV’s with the same slideshow.
Apparently, these tv’s were all over the building and the slideshow had been running for a week.
The Africans know how to run a memorial service.
It was a unique experience.
There was a programme with her photo.
Everywhere you looked…there was Wendy.
Smiling and happy.
And I was so sad.
The service started at twelve.
It began with a group at the back singing.
The most incredible singing.
And that was me.
The tears started and never stopped for two hours.
Every speaker was introduced with a song.
The respect they felt for her was palpable.
The love of her co-workers shone through.
It was so beautiful.
Finally, they said that a family worker or friend would come up.
I looked at Mark.
He just shook his head and I could see the pain and panic.
So I went up.
I have no idea what I said.
But Mark and Ian both said it was great.
I do remember that the tears were streaming through the whole speech.
On the upside….I am a good crier.
The tears just roll.
I don’t get swollen eyes.
And my make-up doesn’t run.
There is ALWAYS an upside.
After the service they laid on food and cooldrinks.
And we interacted.
It was good.
Now one last picture of Wendy that I got off her computer.
Then I will leave her to rest in peace.