Letter To My Nyathi, my Grandfather

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This week I have been struggling with what to write about! I have so much on my mind, in my heart I want to share but for some reason every time I wanted to pen it down I went dry, my mind went blank, all inspiration seemed to disappear as quickly as it had. Today’s post is very personal to me. It’s a glimpse into who I am and what I am/want to become; t’s a letter to my #1 fan, my grandfather😊.

To you my first love😍,
Sekuru Nyathi (aka Nyathi Nyathi, aka Mukoma Lloyd)

Today I woke up missing you😥😥. Actually I woke up missing home but it was with such an intensity that I realized it was more than the normal homesickness I occasionally experience. So, like you always encouraged me, I thought about it. That’s when I realized that I miss you so much. It’s amazing how you and home are now synonymous in my heart. So I’ve decided to write you this letter. I hope that, in heaven they will let you read this.

I miss you mostly because of how, in the time I spent with you, I quickly grew from a little girl to a mature woman. I know that you never actually sat down and told me how this transformation was to happen, but you schooled me better than anyone, better than any woman, probably could have. Looking back to the 18 year old me all those years ago you showed up just in time to save me from myself.

So some time last year I read a book called Fascinating Womanhood. It was as if every other secret that book pointed out, you had already installed in me. The book aims at making better wives, better women. It’s a good book but at times some of these self-help books just seem like a list of impractical ideas. How blessed I am that at the age off 22 I had relevant experience to draw from! I could list every secret and of how you helped me learn it without realizing it but I won’t. Instead I will draw on the one that stands put to me the most. Accepting and loving someone regardless of their many flaws and/or weaknesses.

When you came to stay with us, in my mind you were still the strong and mighty grandfather I’d always known growing up. You can imagine my shock when reality hit and I realized that you were human and age had caught up with you. I tried to ignore the truth, because my immature mind could not wrap it’s mind around it. After I was forced to face it, I decided to accept it but to ignore it. You had become my father figure after dad passed on and I still had that 7 year old mentality that a father is like a superhero and can never be seen as weak, so absorbing this was hard and loving you the same when my childish fantasy had been shattered was difficult- I was angry and bitter. Why me? Why you? Why now?

Many people missed the way this was straining me but not you. So often you’d randomly tell that it’s OK and that I shouldn’t worry. I always why but now I know that you were telling me that it was OK for me to see you differently and that I shouldn’t worry about what people would think or say about it. After my exams were over we spent more and more time together. This, I think, was when I started to grow up, to mature. I still fought it though and for the next two to three years a war raged inside of me, a war that threatened to destroy anything and everything I came in contact with, myself included. The most amazing thing is that YOU were my anchor in the midst of the storm.

No matter how messed up I became I know that somewhere, somehow, there was a man who loved me. I know if I needed to feel like I mattered all I had to do was walk into your room and your smile, that special smile you reserved only for me, would make everything alright. I didn’t even have to say or do anything to earn that prize. I simply had to exist. I loved the fact that people could spend hours begging you to do something and the minute I sat next to you and asked once I would get what I wanted almost instantly. When I was away from you it always filled my heart with pride when people told me that eventually the mention of my name would make you light up like the 4th of July. To know that someone could love me, of all people, so purely, so much was just mind blowing- it still is.

What’s even more mind blowing is that with you I got a glimpse into one positions I’d always wondered about:

  • To be a mother

How did I get a glimpse into motherhood? Simple. I learnt the joys of looking after someone and loving them so much so that you would give anything to see them happy and comfortable. I learnt that sometimes you have to give, it may inconvenience or hurt, you have to sacrifice and you will get nothing in advance. It is during this time I began to appreciate my mum. Such a position gives you no time off, or sick leave. Even when I had the chance to do something else your well-being consumed my mind, to the point that I probably bored some people by constantly bringing you up. I learnt what it’s like to give up certain privileges and to lose some friends because someone else is more important to you. I learnt what the statement “munhu/mwana/sekuru vako” (YOUR person/child/grandfather) truly means when it’s used- that that person is YOURS; the good, the bad, the ugly, all of it. You take them, you own them and you carry them with you wherever you go. I also realized that they’re especially yours on days when the next person is unimpressed or fed up lol.

At the beginning of our journey, of our lessons, I really felt like I was losing out- after all I hadn’t asked for any of it, I just wanted to be a normal teenager with normal teenager problems. I wasn’t destined for any of that “normal” stuff was I? By the time you were through with me I realized not only that I wasn’t born to be “normal” but also that I have so much more to give that I thought, I am so much stronger than I give myself credit for and I am unique.

I wish you could see the woman I am today. I’m not only in Medical School, I’m one of the top students. I now eat on a regular basis (much less of that I’m not hungry story you hated so much) and like I promised you I take good care of myself and keep safe always. On days I feel like I can’t go on I remember that you called me “Doctor” and I want to wear that title officially too. So when we meet again I will tell that a few years after you left “they” also began to call me doctor. I’m still working on that one condition you left for me to collect my cow lol- our secret condition with Mbuya Soks (my grandmother).

I wrote to you to also say thank you:

  • For being the only man to be so crazy about me that you wouldn’t eat if I wasn’t eating, thereby risking possible starvation and mastering the art of ‘convincing’ to eat when I didn’t want to. ( I still don’t understand this though, was it reverse psychology? Because I tried yo trick you so often but it hardly ever worked and on one/two occasions I had to eat again because you hadn’t seen me eat ahyas #thestruggle lol)
  • For reminding me that I’m still a delicate flower that needs protection (yes I remember you leaving your bed to come sit in the TV room just to make sure that I was safe no matter how late or early it was and when you couldn’t make the trip you’d invite me to sit with you. Although sometimes that kinda killed my plans to quietly slip out lol).
  • For loving me when I couldn’t love myself.For always reminding me that nothing beats Prayer and seeking God. The day you said, “Wakachena hako, asi… ehh wati wanamata zviya?” (You look good, but have you prayed?) is the day I knew that there’s more to being a woman, being young, than to be beautiful. That question is summed up in the verse that now defines my ultimate life goal

Proverbs 31:30- “Beauty is vain, charm is deceitful but a woman who fears the Lord shall forever be praised”

You are very much missed, forever loved and a major source of inspiration.

Lots and lots and lots of love
You granddaughter who is missing you so much
Gamu
(Dr in training)

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