My history with Struis Bay begin around 1994, when I went with a group of friends. I fell in love with Struis, the moment we arrived. I visited it a few more times, and on one occasion even invented “car trouble” to stay another day.
In 1995, I met a beautiful blue-eyed girl in my office, which I liked but did not think of any further as she was in a relationship with a friend of a work colleague. Later that year we met again at a function, and I gave her a lift to her vehicle, chit chatting all the way. When I got home, I told a friend, I met my wife in a tongue-in-cheek manner. I, again, did not pursue the matter due to the aforementioned condition.
This was a great time of getting to know self for me. I was coming from a 6 year relationship, and at that stage, I was in another on off relationship myself. This was to be an important time, for a boy was becoming a man learning and thinking about respect, love, honor, religion and many other life lessons through reflection and discussion with amongst people, my dad. I learned all about who I was and accepted myself and was comfortable with myself, recognizing where I could improve as well.
February 1996, I was not in any relationships, nor was she, so I asked her to an evening out. We had a great time, dancing and although she had a few suitors, I eventually got the nod, which also nearly did not happen, as I wrote her a letter, stating my intentions, which got lost behind a table (fell off) and she only got it 4 days later by pure luck.
I was in love and so was she. We loved talking and we spent hours doing that, nearly talked ourselves out of the relationship also, but by October that year we took the important decision to go on holiday together and it was at that point we both realized we wanted to get married. A few months earlier her mom was diagnosed with cancer, again, which was to play a big role in our eventual marriage date.
Pondering the future on the garden route lookout.
One of the big trees in the natural forests of Garden route
My first job was to ask fer her parents blessing and I made a date with them on a Friday morning. They lived in Struis Bay at the time, so I left at 6 am, and drove the 2 hours, stopping at a petrol station to freshen up, nervously fumbling with my hair brush. On arrival her mom had breakfast ready, which immediately made me feel a little more comfortable, and I asked for their blessing. She made me promise to look after their only child and I told them that I know she was their most precious gift and so is also mine and still is to this day.
In the second week of November we were back in Struis Bay, and we took a walk to the beach, specific part, called “Skulpiesbaai”, translated means “Bay of shells”. I had the ring in my pocket, constantly checking, because if it got lost there, it would be gone for sure. At a point, I dropped to my knees and asked her to be my wife. She accepted and I was as happy as a clam, excitedly walking back to “break” the news, only then did they cry (mom and daughter) and to be honest I felt cheated that she did not cry when I asked…just a joke, she obviously knew about it all long before then.
We planned out marriage for the end of 1997, but as time passed, her mom got sicker and we took the decision to move the ceremony to 12 April 1997. This ended up to be a great decision as my wife had both her parents present, as did I, on our important day. Next to the day Boeta was born, the best day of our lives.
After our 2 week honeymoon, we ended again in Struis Bay for our last stop, visiting “our” parents as a married couple for the first time.
So as you can see Struis Bay is like the “flame of a candle”, we keep getting drawn back to it and the “warmth” of its never-ending flickering light. The lighthouse at the point is not only a warning for ships passing the point of Africa, it is a beacon, a grounding point, to which we refer and come back to, every so often, the rock on which we built so much.
In part 3 (pain), we will continue the story.
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