Sunday, 28 May 2017

Stranger in the Crowd

I gazed over the crowded ballroom at the Johannesburg Country Club and suddenly felt a stranger, not that it was a tough crowd but strangely there was no one in this crowd that I knew, no one at the Celebration of Kevin’s Life.

For those who never had the privilege of knowing Kevin, and why we are celebrating a life lived to the fullest today, Kevin was about to finish the last 5km of the 260km Camino de Santiago pilgrimage, within sight of the Santiago Cathedral, he had a heart attack and was in a coma until he died a few days later. The news from Spain was a shock to all who knew Kevin and his wife Genevieve.

My friend Kevin, who I met a few years back at one of the earlier Joburg Photowalkers meetups, had a friendly smile and character that a person was naturally drawn to. Every photowalk that I arrived to, Kevin was quick to come over, welcome me and catch up with his big smile. Now here I stand at the celebration of his life and I knew no one at the chapel or ballroom. No photowalkers that I knew if there were any there. Yes there were lots of family, work colleagues, beer brewers fraternity, water polo players, Delta Park runners, and many many friends but I knew none of them. If Kevin was here he would have quickly come round and drawn me in with his warm friendly way of doing things, and I will be a stranger no more.

Kevin’s requiem, The Pilgrim, a beautiful hymn that we were told that both Kevin and Genevieve loved was softly sung at the chapel in St David’s Marist Inanda by Carol while Jude played on the harp.

My soul doth long to go where I may fully know the glory of my Saviour; and as I pass along I’ll sing the Christian song, I’m going to live forever.

Live forever, reminds me a little of that Alphaville song Forever Young. Who wants to live forever, would that be the words that will remind me of Kevin, live forever. Anyways so there I was a stranger in a crowed room, with images of Kevin projected on the screen, I stood knowing that one day in the forever future, Kevin was going to come over and welcome me as if we never parted. And until that day I am going to live life to the fullest. Here's to you Kevin.

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