I knew an angel

I would like to share a brief moment, and dedicate it to a person who I can only describe as an angel.

Christaline Roussou. Fondly known to me as “Tannie Blom”. We met by chance, but a meeting that was meant to be. For the next 14 years of my life she quietly and lovingly influenced my life in her subtle smiling way. Always having time for me and solid advice, never was anything not possible or too much for her. For all the years that we knew each other she would, on a weekly basis fill my restaurant with flowers, arranging them in her own style, brining a personal touch and warmth to it that was noticed and commented on a daily basis. It was always spring in the restaurant.

Blom ended up being one of the biggest influence in my running career, sighing me up to my first running club as a member and getting me to run on a regular basis. I will never forget her saying to me. “Luister nou, dit gaan jou goed doen en jou kop reg ruk.” It really did give me a stable healthy platform.

At the age of 70, a month before I left for China, Tannie Blom’s life was brutally taken from her. I have struggled to come to terms with this, or even begin to find answers to why? What? And all the rest. On leaving South Africa her grand daughter gave me one of Blom’s running medals. This has been in my backpack for over 3000 km.

Today while climbing one of the highest peaks on the wall, it just continued up and up, bending towards the clouds, and then flattened out for a few meters and then cascaded into the valley below. In the middle of this desolate broken weathered piece of wall was a natural bonsai tree growing, (nearly 200 years old) the whole place felt special and inspirational. I stopped, just absorbing this desolate beauty ,taking off my ruc sac I knew this was the place, and dug for the medal, I knew in my heart she would have loved it here. I climbed down the wall and found a place deep in the foundation rock for this memento. I then sat crouched, with my back to the wall looking over the endless valleys and mountains, a little time to reflect on the privileged years that I knew and times that I shared with her. I could hear her laughter and see her smile as my thoughts danced over the hills, farewell Blom, I can now move on, I put my head back and looked to the heavens,lightly sobbing, why must ones life be so washed with tears of grief?

Please oh please my country SILENCE THE VIOLENCE.

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