Finally, an update. The last years have been hectic and I just don’t know where they went!
Last March found me facing the ‘alleged’ murderers in court in Mthata in ……, or at least the four that are still alive. It was something I didn’t want to do but I had always said to our advocate in South Africa that if she felt it would help our case for me to be there, then I would. Although Bronwen offered to come with me, I felt this was something I had to do alone. She had been the one that went to South Africa for me when it happened – I couldn’t face it. I still feel, just a little, guilty that I let her and her family go over on their own.
But back in 202, it all felt a bit surreal. It was just as Covid 19 was making it’s presence threatening and travelling on the London Underground felt menacing – why was everybody touching everything? I wished the man next to me would stop sniffing, the woman across from me coughing with no regard for shielding the germs from the rest of us. Little was I to know what would follow.
The flight to South Africa was good and I was met by Ryan, one of Jeremy’s best friends from school days. This is a youngster who had often stood in for Jeremy when he was on his travels and had even helped us build our house there in Muldersdrift and cooked the most amazing lamb on the spit for Bronwen’s 21st when Jeremy was, yet again, MIA (possibly pig farming in England to save enough money for his next adventure).
I had worried about seeing Ryan again. Now married to lovely Chrissie, with a toddler of his own, how would I react? I was scared that emotions would overwhelm me, for the loss of what Jeremy never had and by consequence, we had never been able to share the joy of. The mixed emotions of my child never having married or his own child – would the pain be greater or lesser if he had? That is a question I still can’t answer.
The best bit was that all I could feel on meeting Ryan and his new family was joy. The unreserved love and emotional embrace they gave me was something I’ll never forget. I still, at some level, had that connection with Jeremy that I feared I’d lost forever. His friendship with Ryan, our shared and different memories and recollections, meant that I still had someone that I could laugh with about the mad boy that was Jeremy.