‘A long long time ago
I can still remember how
That music used to make me smile
And I knew if I had my chance
That I could make those people dance
And maybe they'd be happy for a while
But February made me shiver
With every paper I'd deliver
Bad news on the doorstep
I couldn't take one more step
I can't remember if I cried
When I read about his widowed bride
But something touched me deep inside
**The day the music died**’ ~ Don McLean
Dennis captured a shot of this cantankerous monkey swinging from a coconut tree.My elder cousin, Dennis Varella passed away early this week. It was a sudden and unexplained. I was teaching a class in Saudi Arabia, when my expatriate cousin sent me a text message on his demise. I was stunned, however I had to brave on and continue teaching.
A few months ago, he stopped sending out his weekly e-mails. He would share his childhood memories, filled with wonder, joy and sorrow. It read like an interactive history lesson, yet filled with family value and a notion of ‘the good old days’. He was attending to his convalescing mother during that time, traveling from west to east daily. I was keen to read them every time I received them. His wife Lemar shared with me how he would dedicatedly read my daily blog almost everyday. For this, I am touched for I have borrowed some of Dennis’s photographs. He also creatively produced interactive multimedia presentations of his research on family history. There will be a screening of some of these films at this Sunday's memorial - which will be a day of joyful remembrance.
I will miss this writer’s musings, yet I will still have a treasure trove of beautiful memories to relish when I like. Rest in peace, dear cousin.