I am already well into my twenties and Dad has been dead since I was fourteen years old, so it has been at least ten years of not being able to visit the place where he drowned. I am now an adult, old enough to earn my own money and definitely old enough to go into bars and get a drink if I want, but going to Mbolompo point near Mpame where he was washed off that fateful bridge all those years ago, I cannot do. Why? Because apparently the Transkei is not a safe place for a woman.
What poppycock, why can I not go and visit the place he drew his last breath, why can I not go and sit on that ocean edge and once again get close to him because for me that is where his spirit now lives. Too young and naïve still to fully know that he has never left me, and his spirit actually lives within my heart and with every thought of him drawing him closer. That every time I talk out loud to him, that small whisper in my head is his response. Instead I feel so strongly that every attempt I have made to heal my broken heart caused by his untimely death is just a makeshift patch on a bucket that looks like it has been shot with a shotgun. Going to where he drowned, that is what will bring me peace.
Exasperated, I find a counsellor because no one else is prepared to listen to me. Begging and pleading with a tear stained face I sit in the chair opposite her no longer knowing which way to turn. She is a trained professional and my final hope for salvation, no more pleading, begging, or praying. I know she will convince the parental units that this is the best thing for me right now. I can only hold my breath and wait.
My prayers are answered, in a borrowed land rover we are on our way to Mpame. The day has finally arrived, I get to be in the same exact place he was moments before he left this earthly world. This is it, after this I will be able to put my life back together and everything is going to be so much better! How naïve I was to pin all my hopes and dreams on this one moment.
Little did I understand at that age that it would be at least another 10 years before I would another breakdown. That in hindsight was just a breakthrough or that it would be at least another ten to fifteen years after that, that I would find some form of inner peace, flowing yet another breakdown. Sorry breakthrough.
The advantage I have over that twenty something old version of me is that I can see how every decision, every choice, every wrong turn and every right turn that I have ever made had led me to this very moment. She has helped shape the amazing woman I have become, and I must confess - I really love who I am!