I’ve thought about whether I should post this article for a while now. I just wonder how much public exposure of our private lives is good. To what extent do the followers of our sailing and musical adventure care about our private life?
But we’ve been straight up and honest with you guys from the very beginning, and these personal things influence our work on our project and also explain why we’ve been slightly less ‘out there’ than we generally try to be.
As you may have noticed, I am in Germany right now. I could not have afforded coming here just to personally be at the “SAE Alumni Award“ to accept our “Special Judges’ Prize“. This is not the real reason for me having come home.
When we took off on our journey in March 2011, our parents were the ones that were deeply worried about us. We absolutely understood and appreciated this, but we carried on anyway, leaving our parents worried sick. But after our first trip, from the Salomon Islands to Papua New Guinea, I was not their main worry anymore. My mom had been diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor.
I was not sure how much sense it still made continuing our project, when I knew that back home my mother was living her life in pain and only had so much time left. But aborting our project and our dream of sailing around the world also wasn’t my mothers wish. I simply wasn’t sure of what to do and it seems there wasn’t a right or a wrong way to go. Friends and family, musicians, and you – our fans and followers – gave me the feeling that continuing on the project was not the completely wrong thing to do.
The attitude and mindset of my parents, most of all my mother, encouraged me to continue. Last Christmas she said to me: “Hannes, do what you love doing – as long as you still can.”
On the 25th of September 2012, my mom peacefully passed away in the hospital. At this time, I was at sea, on our way from Madagascar to South Africa. That I couldn’t be there for her during these final days, the way she had always been there for me, leaves me with unspeakable grief. But I do not want to engage in self-pity, especially since it is my mom who had to live in pain.
I want to look ahead, I want to affect, influence, and change, and most of all I want to try to make my mom as proud of me as I am of her.
Thanks Mom. For everyting.