Oscar to gran: You know I love you. Be brave

2013-02-17 10:00

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Just last Sunday, Oscar Pistorius invited his girlfriend, Reeva, to meet his grandparents for the first time.

They had lunch together and his grandmother, Gerti Pistorius (89), was very impressed by the beautiful Reeva.

On Friday, Gerti heard from her grandson again.

This time it was a text message with the words: “Hang in there, Oumie. You know I love you. Be brave.”

Reeva was dead and when the message was sent from Oscar’s phone – by Oscar himself or on his behalf by his lawyer – he was waiting to appear in court for her murder.

Gerti and Oscar’s grandfather, Henry Pistorius (95), who live in an old age home in Pretoria, have been on medication since Thursday.

Their daughter, Heidi Drew, Oscar’s aunt, is staying with them.

Drew has been sleeping over at her parents’ home since Thursday, “because this news could mean their end”.

Nearly 2 000km away in Port Elizabeth, it is Mike Steenkamp, the brother of Reeva’s father, Barry, who is handling the affairs of the distraught parents.

Mike told City Press yesterday: “Barry and June (Reeva’s mother) are suffering terribly. Fortunately, their other two children are arriving from England today.”

Drew says her parents are shocked and cannot believe what happened.

“My mother is shattered. She is praying for her grandson,” Drew said.

For Drew it was as big a shock.

“It felt as if someone had torn out my heart. We know Oscar and Reeva as a loving couple. All these things we’re hearing about anger and shooting, that’s not our Oscar. We still love Oscar. It’s the end of two people’s lives. Our family is broken. But we continue to pray for their families.”

She said her brother, Henke, Oscar’s father, drove straight to his parents’ home on Friday afternoon, shortly after his son appeared in the Pretoria Magistrates’ Court on a murder charge.

According to Steenkamp, they are coping with their “deep sorrow” by focusing on their good memories of Reeva.

“We are not focusing on Oscar and the legal proceedings. We are concentrating on Reeva, on our wonderful memories. If we shifted our focus to the other side, it would destroy our souls.”

He said: “There is a long road ahead, especially because it is a high-profile case. It gives us strength to stand together as a family.

“Our faith is carrying us. We take it day by day. That is also why the family has decided to stay away from the TV and the radio.

“A more loving, family-oriented, kind, spontaneous person than Reeva you would not find. She was intelligent, loved children and the outdoors. ‘Family first’, was her motto. Wherever she went in the world, she kept in contact with her parents.

“Whatever she did, she did with passion. That’s why she wanted the spotlight placed on the ill treatment of women.

“It’s dreadful to think she was the victim of what she wanted to make her life’s work.”

Carl Pistorius, Oscar’s brother, wrote on Facebook on Friday: “Thank you to all who have shown their love and support for both families.”

Grandmother Gerti will hold a prayer meeting in the old age home for both families tomorrow.

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