Dear Doctimus Prime,
Today’s entry is a breath of consolation for me in the midst of so much moral indifference. It is a tribute from a grand-daughter to a granddad. I couldn’t stop marvelling at the power of good upbringing:
“’Were you close?’
It’s the first question I get asked every time I talk about your departure. People want to know if we were close, so that they can know how to sympathise better. They forget that close or not, it is your blood that flows in my veins. My memories of you are the same:
Hair with grey that morphed from the black of youth;
Telling stories of struggles and victories,
Face creased with folds and slack skin;
Holding histories of smiles and worries.
I wish I had known you when you stood tall like your wedding picture, giving out words of wisdom that have transcended generations. Yet, every time I think of you, I see a man whose teachings and actions are immortalised in the body of a fragile old man that had the strength of a thousand men. You taught your children the meaning of hard work; they taught us too. You taught my father what it means to separate one’s self from the crowd; he taught us too. You taught the importance of being principled; we learnt it too. Your stories will outlive you, this I know. And for generations to come, your teachings will stand solid, shaping men and women that you will smile down on from where you have gone to rest. We leave you now to sleep, a well-deserved rest after your long sojourn on earth. Thomas Campbell said that to live in the hearts of those we love is never to die. Oh, are there many hearts beating with thoughts, memories and images of you, Papa! So I dedicated this to you, in honour and celebration of your memories….Sleep well, Papa, sleep well.”
*sighs* When I read this for the first time, I wish I was the late old man and my granddaughter wrote this for me. I feel like there is something to live for after all; if not for me but for those who will come after me.
Rest in peace Pa Joseph Eshikhena (1908-2013).
Shout out to Marilyn Eshikhena for the permission to blog her tribute.