He Loved Simple Things

He loved simple things: the rush of the wind as he rode his bike along Honeydew’s lakefront; the sudden bursts of spring bathing the city in shades of green…… Johannesburg was his playground, and he embraced it with a lover's passion and a child's wide-eyed wonder. Under his nurturing strokes I blossomed, discarding the cocoon I'd developed to shield myself from the pain of life and love.
Friend, like love, is a word that is often misused. But I called Francois my friend. At 26 he was killed in a car accident, and the word took on new meaning - it became synonymous with Francois. I began to reconsider those people whom I'd once casually and quickly called friends.
He was a good listener and had a sincere love of people. But he was also challenged by the complexity of things around him, and he loved finding solutions to people's problems.
Francois was not perfect; he had human frailties, but he also had enduring, endearing qualities. He was compassionate and caring. He was young and talented, and he gave little thought to death and dying.
I met him about eight years ago, and we settled as comfortably into each other as nesting birds - perhaps because I needed someone, and he was willing to give. I had been disappointed in my relationships and had grown cynical and distrustful. I deemed life unkind and approached it with my guard up, ready to battle. But Francois wove himself into my life, enduring my mood swings simply because he felt I was worth the trouble. Where others (and even myself) sometimes questioned my sanity, he simply said that I had depth and sensitivity - rare gifts, not handicaps. He was patient and loving when I found it impossible to love myself. He talked me through fitful nights when there seemed no way out. His love was a refuge for my bruised self-esteem. I can't count the times he told me to look to myself for happiness because it was something no one else could give me.
Sometimes I felt selfish. He seemed to give until he was exhausted, and then he would give more. But I've come to realize that this was the role he chose and embraced. I gave by being there, by needing him. 
We often took long drives. I felt so relaxed and safe, I'd curl up and sleep as he drove. But this never stopped him from talking: He simply went on chattering, and I'd mumble occasionally to let him know I was still there. He was my living reminder that men could be friends in the true sense of the word.
His obituary stated that he was "wise beyond his years." I had to smile at that simple truth. I have yet to meet a man who was so wise and yet so willing to give to others without seeking rewards. 
When he died, I asked myself why it had been he and not I. I would gladly have given my life for his. Why hadn't I been in that car as I had on so many other occasions? He was the one who enjoyed life, not I. He embraced it, treasured it. He was one of life's survivors. But I've come to understand how selfish my reaction was. My first thoughts had been for myself: What will I do without him? I had forgotten all he had tried to teach me about loving - life and myself. I have begun to remember his precious lessons.
I am slowly learning not to dwell on the past and not to spend my life trying to regain what is gone. Sorrow, like all things, has its season, and if we allow it to teach us, it can heal us.   


More by :  Flawsome A

Top | Memoirs

Views: 3411      Comments: 18

Comment have no words to express .........

28-Oct-2010 09:42 AM

Comment Peruuu, i shed a tear reading it ....
Donno what to remark......
Me the Emotional Fool or U the Great Author....Will settle for the latter.
Keep going buddy! Continue to be the Best you are!

28-Oct-2010 02:09 AM

Comment Doc, if you want me to write will it be an autobiography :)

25-Oct-2010 05:28 AM

Comment Thanx all you wonderful people. Appreciate all your comments. I truly hope this is the start of something more to come. And as it's famously said, "And miles to go before I sleep......"

Lots of love and light

25-Oct-2010 05:26 AM

Comment Thanks Perrin, reading it again after so many years gave me the same chills I experienced the first time. You've managed to capture his essence, and if heaven is truely heaven, Francois will have access to this blog and know how his short life has touched others.

From Francois' Friend

25-Oct-2010 02:12 AM

Comment Hey Perrin!
i've been going through the years i spend in Pune and to all those qualities u have.
Great going ....the article sure does give a shrug to feelings n logic.

22-Oct-2010 07:37 AM

Comment Perrin, this is very moving. You are a great writer, keep it up please! Miss you xoxo

21-Oct-2010 18:28 PM

Comment Hey Perrin!
that is one side of you that I've never seen. Touched my heart. Will you write my autobiography?

Ramraje Jadhav
21-Oct-2010 15:25 PM

Comment Beautiful... makes us stop, think and realise that we have so many things to be thankful for....

21-Oct-2010 14:16 PM

Comment well written :)

21-Oct-2010 13:38 PM

Comment Do not stand at my grave and weep;
I am not there, I do not sleep
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.

This poem was read out on BBC Radio many years ago. The author is unknown, but it was written by some soldier who sent it to his father and had written on the envelope - "Open it after I'm gone"

21-Oct-2010 11:36 AM

Comment makes methink and review they way I look at life

21-Oct-2010 07:37 AM

Comment Thanks guys. Do check out my other posts

Love and light

21-Oct-2010 06:41 AM

Comment nice one P :)

21-Oct-2010 06:35 AM

Comment Very touchy.. well written... I need to talk to you about this, when we meet next..

Ali, Nayeem
21-Oct-2010 06:29 AM

Comment Well written Perrin..Truly touching & inspiring...Keep it up...!!!

Ghazala Khan
21-Oct-2010 06:00 AM

Comment V touching nanu

The Think Tank
21-Oct-2010 04:42 AM

Comment This is about Francois, my friend's friend. I have woven my own life experiences into the article along with his. And although I never knew Francois, his ways of life and subsequently his tragic death, moved me enough to take a good, hard look at my own ways of being.

Thank you Francois...wherever you are.

21-Oct-2010 00:25 AM

Name *

Email ID

Comment *
Verification Code*

Can't read? Reload

Please fill the above code for verification.