I got this email from Justin Nurse, whom I first met back in the day when I joined in the march to the High Court in Cape Town for his ‘Black Labour’ court case issue. The story about what happened to his little girl is beyond tragic and I know he has written these words for publication but I want to share this because of the message towards the end; about how he and the family are choosing to focus on her life rather than blame or get angry. Such strength and bravery in the face of something so horrible and incomprehensible.
Statement from her parents, Justin Nurse and Camilla Colley.
Vanilla, our beautiful angel, passed away last Wednesday, on her second birthday. She lived a full, happy life. She was very much her own person, with an enthusiastic curiosity that was infectious to all those who knew, or only just met her.
Vanilla was blessed in that her life on this earth was filled with an abundance of love and vitality. Life is all that we have, and the loss of it — whether it be your own daughter, a parent, a loved one, or a favourite pet — is almost always tragic at first.
But when you begin to be able to see through your own tears, you can catch a glimpse of a prism of colourful refracted light that playfully reveals itself in a fleeting moment. And you find that the reward of truly embracing life and its challenges, day in and day out, comes from savouring each precious moment — catching as many glimpses of the rainbow as you can.
We would like to express our immense gratitude to the family, friends and complete strangers in this beautiful country and indeed, this world of ours, that have compassionately cried with us, and have expressed their grief, love and care. South Africans at home and abroad have revealed their true colours to us during this tragic time.
We are united by our tears of sorrow and our tears of joy. Displays of love, kindness and support in the form of flowers, phone calls, text messages and prayers, have touched us deeply and we can now take steps towards healing — feeling nourished, supported, held and loved by so many.
Honda SA have been gracious and empathetic in their dealings with our family. We have chosen not to focus our energies on attributing blame or cultivating anger. Why, when love and life are all around us? With time, our hurt will turn to happiness and baby steps will become confident strides.
We have chosen to celebrate the birthday that Vanilla never had by celebrating the present, every day, and with love.