I am systematically packing up Vic’s belongings. It has been a humongous job! Vic was a squirrel – she hoarded! I have discarded hundreds of old VCR tapes….thousands of photos and many hundreds of cards. The “Good luck with exam cards” were totally wasted on Vic – I came across her school reports again…; get better cards, I love you cards and thank you for your friendship cards from her school friends; lots and lots of Valentine cards… The one card that got to me was a card that read:-
“To My Daughter
So many times
When you were a child,
I looked upon your
What kind of woman
You’d grow up to be?”
Then on the inside of the card it reads “You grew up as wonderful as I imagined” Today I can categorically state that was not true. Vic grew up to be a far more wonderful person than I could ever have imagined. Vic was kind and generous. Vic always smiled. Vic loved unconditionally and never judged. Vic was devoid of bitterness and hate. She never spoke unkind words. Her bravery goes without saying… Vic is the bravest person I know. Vic always said “I am fine thank you…” The shrillness of the “fine” was the “stress-indicator” of how ill she was.
The cards her school friends wrote were to thank her for her friendship and support. Gia wrote on the 26th of March – year unknown: “This is just a short note to say thanks for all your help, attention, help and love while I’ve been under the weather…” On the 28th of October 1991 Tatum wrote “You’re a great friend and I am dreading this time next year when we all have to say goodbye. Thank you for being you and putting up with me…” Monique wrote “Thanx for everything. You know what everything is.” One of the Vicky’s wrote “as friends we have walked together sharing joy, laughter and tears. Though time may pass and things may change, I’m sure you’ll agree, That one thing always stays the same…each other’s loyalty” Mouse wrote “Vicks thank you for willingly giving help – be it a smile or a thoughtful thought – It may go unnoticed but it is appreciated” Gia ended most of her notes, cards and letters with “I’ll meet you at the end of the earth”
I truly felt like a grave robber going through Vic’s private correspondence. I cannot keep it all – there is just too much and I did not want to discard her whole life. So I have made a memory box of all her school dance invitations and photos, her friends’ notes, some boyfriends’ letters and her theatre season tickets. I have added some of the hundreds of cards I sent her over the years. Yes…Vic kept them all!!!!
How can I just wipe out her lifetimes memories? Vic treasured these items and I will keep it safely for her grandchildren to see one day… This memory box is her memory box. A tribute by her friends… It was an experience to “see” Vic in high school. Vic insisted on going to boarding school in High School, and she was accepted at one of the most prestigious girl schools in South Africa. Vic LOVED the freedom and camaraderie of boarding school. She got up to a lot of mischief! I have now personally seen the photos of what the girls got up too… But I am so glad.
I have come to realise that I never truly allowed Vic to grow up. I was an over protective mother and quite honestly maybe even a little overbearing. Vic always remained a child. Albeit a mature child and an old soul but never the less a child. From the day my beautiful baby girl was born I knew I had to protect her from the world. She was too tiny and beautiful for this horrible world we live in. Now my beautiful baby girl is safe from pain, hurt and the ugliness of the world.