Of Coffee With Remembrances and Reunions

If you were having coffee with me I would welcome you to a new month of May flowers after the April Showers…..

I have this irrational fear of phone calls, when my phone rings, I look at it and my mind just imagines all sorts of (usually terrible) scenarios from missed deadlines to tidings of death, that warrant someone calling me, then I get this anxious feeling of dread…. So when I got a call from my mum at 4am I instinctively braced for bad news… My maternal uncle who had been unwell, was now resting eternally.

He was an eccentric sort of man, who liked to dress in a shirt and tie and would insist all his meals be served with a fork and knife. He was affectionately known as Surge by his peers, though I have no idea how he got that moniker, we (the family youngsters) called him Resi G on account of how he always answered the phone saying This Is So and So Residence hello… of course in our then youthful and blissfully ignorant selves it sounded like This Is Resi G.

Growing up he was in and out of psychiatric care, he taught me how to recite the Lord’s prayer in Latin, although I only realised thats what it was when I went off to a Catholic boarding school otherwise I had just shelved it in the same part of my mind where I had filed away his ideas to build a Resonance Particle Thought Generator which would blow up the brains of all the people who did not pass O Level Maths while simultaneously enhancing the cognitive abilities of those who could handle it, creating a generation of people who could take better care of the world…

Later on in life, I would learn to appreciate that his seeming ramblings where those of a literal mad genius. I owe my A Level pass in Physics to him and also a curiosity to learn why and how things work. He used to write copious amounts of notes and I hoped to one day introduce him to the world of digital archiving…. I used to wonder if he remembered or recognised the man I had become.

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that when I introduced myself to my uncle’s care giver, he was delighted to finally meet me, like “You are Beaton!!! I have heard a lot about you..” Naturally I asked what he had heard about me. It turns out when he wanted to give my uncle a haircut and asked the sort of haircut he fancied, he had requested that he have his hair cut in a style similar to mine….

When he passed he had put on a shirt and tie and said he wanted to go home… When we did the last body viewing just before burial he indeed looked like someone who was now home…

If you were having coffee with me, I would tell you that for the long weekend courtesy of Labour Day we went to back to my roots for a family reunion where we also fixed up the graves for my dearly departed kin who lay at rest in our family Heroes Acre.

My paternal grandparents got granite tombstones and everyone else had black tiles paving their graves.

I had a bit of miniheart attack when I saw the headstone for my namesake;

Anyway when our time comes hope those we leave behind remember to add Jnr to our tombstones lest the next generation be super confused as to who was who….

my brothers and I at my dad’s grave
Mabaso Family Heroes Acre

Family reunions are always dramatic but funny how things all come together… because family.

If you were having coffee with me, I would tell you, we slaughtered the last of my grandparents’s cows for the function and a chapter has ended. Maybe the next herd of cattle of will be a new batch, mine peharps, who knows, a new legacy, we grieve and we remember and we move… and life, it goes on.

Whats been happening in your neck of the woods?


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  1. I’m sorry to hear about your uncle! It sounds like he was an interesting fellow!

    If I ever get rich I’ll buy your family some more cows. I don’t know anything about buying cows but we’ll figure it out 😂


  2. I’m so sorry about your uncle’s passing, such a lovely tribute to him and your wonderful family heroes acre photos are beautiful. Family reunions can have a lot of drama but I’m sure also good to have that fellowship. You said it best as we mourn the loss they are resting at peace and life as it were goes on. Sending warm thoughts and hugs your way! 🥰


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