I am so sad to be writing this but I wanted to write something in honor of this man. When I was a little girl, I would always “tell on” my mother to him. He would hold court and lo and behold, the verdict would be in my favor. What’s not to love? 🙂 There’s more to love about this man; so much more than I can write in one simple post. That doesn’t mean I can’t try…
1. He showed me love. I can’t think of a time when I did any wrong in his eyes. In his eyes I was perfect and worthy of love, just the way I was. He often call me “kanuku,” “gathufu” and “kanyama” in jest. I would call him the same; I was too young to know better 🙂
2. He was hardworking. He wasn’t just hardworking, he held himself to the highest standards. That is one his legacies to me; that hard work pays and even when it doesn’t, it mustn’t be exchanged for lazyness.
3. He cried. My family recently decided that I must’ve have “taken” after him because…well, let’s just say that I’m not shy about expressing myself. To put it mildly, without me Kleenex would go out of business :). The reason this aspect of his personality means so much to me is because I knew him as a man with not just sympathy but empathy as well.
4. He was generous. He would give you the shirt off his back plus his shoes. I used to think that he was that way with just me because I was his “wife” but I have come to learn that this was his nature. Generosity wasn’t just a big word; to him, it was a verb applied to many
5. He loved me. I know I wasn’t the only one he loved but knowing that he loved me means so much. I knew that I was always welcome in his home and in his heart.
You may be wondering who this great man was. He was my grandfather: the man who gave me his name to carry as my own. He who survived colonialism, spoke well and eloquently and deeply deeply spiritual, kind, fun and so much more…and now he’s dead.
It’s true that he was blessed with a long long life. He saw the birth of several grandchildren and great-grandchildren and buried a few, including his own children. None of that means anything to me because I miss him so much and I want him back. He was my grandfather and he was precious to me.
It feels like the end of an era, (that’s what I was going to title this post) but I now see it as the legacy of a man. By his life, he left a great legacy to be learned and upheld. I will miss him so much and hope to live my life in a way that brings honor and positive recognition to the name that he gave me. I love him, in death as in life, and will miss him dearly.
Thank you Lord for the gift of this grandfather and thank you grandfather for leaving us your legacy. I hope to do you proud.