Hello Philip & Jualeen and the rest of the family (whom we have not yet met)

 

We are battling to find the right words at the moment, nothing but time is going to ease the tremendous pain being felt by all.  I have not experienced emotions like this since my Father’s murder in 1998 and through that experience, I think that I can understand & share some of your pain.  Jonno and I cannot stop thinking about you and your family and all I want to do is give you a big hug and tell you that we love you.

 

Elmer and you were so much in our thoughts over the Roof last year – we missed you guys tons.  I asked a biker who came in for lunch if Elmer was riding – hoping that at the last minute he had decided to pop over, and in hearing that Elmer was going to do the Dakar – we felt an enormous sense of pride for Elmer, a guy who stops at nothing to reach for his dreams (and who simply kicks butt!!!). ?

 

With the Dakar starting on my birthday, Jonno and I knew that you guys were out there somewhere… and in hearing about Elmer’s death on the radio driving back from Maseru we have been in a complete state of shock and disbelief!!!  The last few days have been a complete blurr, with emotions ranging with shock, denial, sadness and immense anger to knowing that one day we will accept that Elmer died doing what he is passionate about.

 

I went back to a diary from 2001 where I knew Elmer had given me his sister’s fax number – not even a name –clinging to that thought I’ve been trying to put something down on paper to send through - and then I remembered Elmer telling me about his website.  Out here despite now having telephones and email (no fax lines as yet) we still seem lost in the world of technology and it only dawned on me this morning that I could reach you this way.

 

Philip – the last time you guys were in Semonkong – we had one of the happiest and most chilled out days ever – may you and your family repeat that when ever you need some mountain air, at any time of day or night you know there is always a bed for you here. Despite the fact we see each other in a blue moon or two, we consider you guys as true friends and will always feel Elmer’s spirit out here in the mountains.

 

May each new day help heal a wee bit more and if there is anything at all that you need doing, we are at last only a phone call away.  You are all continually in our thoughts and prayers, and may these words help you in the way it helped me.

 

Death is nothing at all.

I have only slipped away into the next room.

I am I, and you are you.

Whatever we were to each other, that we still are.

Call me by my old familiar name,

Speak to me in the easy way which you always used.

Put no difference in your tone,

Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.

Laugh as we always laughed,

At the little jokes we enjoyed together.

Pray, smile, think of me, pray for me.

Let my name be ever the household word.

It always was, let it be spoken without effect,

Without the trace of a shadow on it.

Life means all that it ever meant.

It is the same as it ever was;

There is unbroken continuity.

Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?

I am waiting for you, for an interval,

Somewhere very near, just round the corner.

All is well.

 

Henry Scott Holland (1847 – 1918)

 

With lots of love

 

Armelle & Jonno

 

Semonkong Lodge (Pty) Ltd