Uncle John has always been a man to himself; different from most. His character plotted out as reserved, humble and rendered the last words garnished as both contemplated and thoughtful in all his conversations. He adored wisdom like a blanket and was well versed in the way of our people.
His entire persona hedged the beauty of simplicity and presented him as religiously pious, for which he was. His time at home would see him lingering onto the pages of his Bible, the only book he would read. Attentively he read each sentence that proceeded forth from the pages with such focus as if each word of the text had struck a chord so melodic, that the continuation of reading meant the employment of heavenly music rung deep within his heart and thus in conversation with his maker, who as it seemed, was orchestrating direction in his life with such clarity as he sat in his study.
His was the book of humanity and the story of life and the pursuit of substance in the form of knowledge. Planted within the columns and paragraphs of sheets bound together between covers of leather, he would consume it as he flicked from one page to another. And suddenly burst back to the previous page with such vigour as if to discover a hidden map drawn amongst the lines of his book.
Taking in each phrase through every word, tactically aiming to understand and interpret with due diligence the springs of life he had stumbled across. Occasionally pausing to stare frantically at his empty wall provided somewhat rest from his studies. Lost in a gaze that indicated he was still miles away. Taking in the severity of the moral lesson he had just learnt and seeking out the practical manner to implement it in his humble homestead and life. Being around him would spur a light and the warm fuzzy feeling of being protected by an angel.
Today, even with the sun fully stretched out without a cloud in the sky, the light is gone and the fuzzy feeling is replaced by nausea. A gathering of mourners, parade elegantly across the yard, to pay their final respects. In the multitude of familiar and new faces, race words of condolence that even then I was not yet ready to accept as a true reflection of what we are doing here.
And what were we doing?
We were an ensemble of devastated people propelled to grieve the death of our uncle. A father to others and a friend to many. Instantly a breeze felt as corrosion unto my skin, gradually making me feel rusted and weary to eat or speak. My eyes, heavy from avoiding sleep and the many scenes that make it seem as if the pages of his favourite printed work, the bible, are still rampaged by his eagerness to learn the manner in which man should live. The accompanying sound that a page makes when one hastily swirls through in the distinguished fashion attained when excitement and passion of attainment takes hold.
Yet in that moment wide awake to the rude awakening of this uneasy reality of his sudden departure, a gush of tears streams uncontrolled and autonomous. His car collided with another and instantly he was dead. The stories differ from one source to another but all agree that a motor accident was the instrument of destruction that claimed his life.