this is the edited eulogy i did for my father on 31 May 2012.
Thank you to everyone for being here today. I know that there are many friends and family that wanted to attend and our family appreciates the sentiment. I also want to thank everyone for their very kind messages on Facebook, Twitter, via texts and calls and emails and various offers of help and support. If I took up every offer of a glass of wine, I’d be in a lot of trouble.... but thank you. J
And now... I want to tell you about my Dad.
Everyone I’ve spoken to has said what a kind and gentle person he was. And quiet... very quiet. Which is why I felt like I needed to tell you who he was to me.
My father was a brother. He grew up as a farmer in Lugar de Baixo, Ponta do Sol in Madeira. My father is survived by his twin sister, Mariazinha who unfortunately could not be here today but sends her condolences. Please keep them in your prayers.
He left his family and his farm to come to South Africa in 1962 where he worked in the Free State and eventually moved to Cape Town, where he met my mother. My father provided for his family by working single every day and night in his shop. To many people, he was simply known as Mr Rons. We had a Rons Cafe in Woodstock and then moved to Table View and Muizenberg and then finally settled in Maitland for almost 20 years.
My father was a good dad. There are many things he did that, I guess, we all just take for granted. I loved working in the shop with him. We would write the prices on all the tin food together. He would take me shopping with him to Makro and I would help him pick all the stuff for the shop. He once bought me a big fluffy teddy bear that my mom said I was too old for at the time... I still sometimes sleep with it.
My father did some interesting stuff. He makes the coolest gadgets and things around the house. He designed this rather complicated watering system for his fruitful garden. My dad loved to garden. He would spend hours in his vegetable patch and tending his flowers. He used to play the accordian.... which I thought was just so cool. And probably inspired me to play the piano. He would always carry a pen in his shirt pocket. He was good at Bisca and Domino and Casino... and he taught me all these games. He was a bit of an experimental cook. I will miss his concoctions. J
It is often said that when you leave this world, make sure you leave a legacy. My father’s legacy will be in his children. I see my father’s kind and gentle nature in my brother, Nicolau. The way he quietly goes about his work and life makes me smile as it reminds me of dad. I, of course, have my father’s face... so I will embrace these chubby cheeks... and I think I inherited some of his cheeky humour too.
A special word for my mother. Mae... Obrigado para tudo que a mae fez para o pai. Ele esta em paz agora.
Dear Pai... as we approach Father’s Day, I would’ve loved to give you another Old Spice aftershave or soap on a rope like we used to. This year, I will just say thank you for all that you have done for us.
We love you and miss you.
Rest in Peace.