Barbie Daniel was a long time friend of Tara. This is her story.
Tara was filled with light. She brought colour and life to every situation and it was such a privilege to have her as a friend.
I remember, pre-Mark, how we would do giggly, girly-things and our daily phone calls became a joyous part of the fabric of my life. She had a real capacity to listen and be interested and be concerned and loving.
Your first meeting, at Mt Edgecombe, during my Mum’s last tournament as South African Ladies Golf Union (SALGU) President, was fascinating as onlooker. For you both, it seemed the attraction was instant and riveting.
And then came the fun times, with Mark, the Social Secretary. Each weekend, some or other adventure was planned. The movies and theatre, braais and dinners, all manner of “Things to do in Durban”! One of my favorite memories is of our antiquing and then meeting you for lunch at Charlie Crofts - and the spontaneous, boozy car park geselligheid with some school parents! Your coffee table came from that trip but you never got to enjoy the carved candle sticks because Tara gave them away!
She was just that - generous, fun, amusing and quick-witted. And sometimes pig-headed and stubborn, determined and occasionally blinkered. But the wefts and warps in us all give pattern and shape to who we are.
It was a sadness when you left Durban but you never left my heart.
I celebrated with such pleasure your marriage in Richmond, as I knew, with such certainty and conviction, that your relationship would stand the test of time - and so it has.
As has ours. For me, a true friendship is one which never counts the cost, never measures the reciprocity but is just a heart beat of knowing and recognition, of familiarity and constancy. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for that which you and Tara have been to me. Hearing and recognising your “Barbarosa” anywhere, anytime.
I am so glad for the many memories, not least of all our Egypt trip. My, Tara could barter a bird into giving up its nest! Those perfume traders never stood a chance. And that holiday is also a testament to Tara’s strength of mind, of her perseverance and determination as she battled through the journey of recovery.
And contributing to this testimony was that essential element in Tara. Her spirituality. She was convicted and certain, a little mystical but also always searching, almost a little fey.
There have been ups and downs but it was in the hard yards, my dearest Marcus, that you showed the true nature of who you are. Loving, giving, caring, nurturing, never counting the cost to yourself, you poured yourself out in loving service to your darling wife. Thank you for loving my friend so well, Mark. Thank you for finding joy in small things, for bringing ebullience to every situation and for protecting and committing to your friendships through your amazing ability to communicate.
I am in tears as I write this because I cannot imagine a world without Tara in it. One in which a phone call could place us side-by-side, intimates and friends no matter where we were, always as if we were together in person. I will remember forever Tara’s bravery, her courage and her always wanting to say a few words even when it took a great deal out of her. I believe that you gave her the security and the foundation to do that too ….
May today truly be a celebration of Tara and may the memories and sharing bring you joy and comfort. However, also know that your tears will testify to the significance of Tara your life. What an honour and a privilege.
Thank you, Mark for being the fine and loving man you are.
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