My Granddad recently died and as you can imagine I am very sad about this. However at the same time I am happy that he is at peace and resting in God.
So I wanted to talk about him a little bit.
He was an awesome man.
When I was going through a rough time in my childhood my grandparents really made me feel loved and welcomed. They made me feel at peace. I would spend my school holidays in the Rwandese highlands with them. I loved it up there. Grandma talked to me so much, non stop and once I was fluent in kinyarwanda I talked just as much as she did.
My Granddad was a missionary Pastor for the Seventh Day Adventist church so I used to go to his office, talk to everyone and just hang. They never chased me away and were always happy to see me. I was the best kid to take to work.
Then I moved to England and I missed them a lot. I missed the food and the way of life. I missed their company and their quiet humour (or Grandma’s loud humour). I honestly preferred staying in Ruhengeri. Even when I would go back to visit my best time was in Ruhengeri with my grandparents.
My Granddad would always ask, “When are you coming back?” Sometimes just as I’m leaving. I went back twice by the time I was 13 but then I didn’t go back again until I was 21. Yeah, a long gap! So much had changed in that time, Rwanda has really improved. But anyway I was mildly surprised when he’d ask me because he was a quiet man, he didn’t wear his emotions on his sleeve. But in those moments I knew he liked having me around.
He was kind, well spoken, smart and could speak a number of languages. Even when I couldn’t speak kinyarwanda I could still talk to him because he could speak English. He loved his walks, went on one everyday. He was very traditional but not mean about it.
We shared some quirks as well. We ate in the same way. Yes, we totally did, it freaked me out when I noticed but I didn’t say anything so I wonder if he ever noticed or not. We also both walked around with our gowns over our clothes when it was cold.
I’ll carry these quirks with me (the eating thing I can’t help, it’s natural) and they’ll forever remind me of him. We also had moles in the same area around our ears!
I want to carry on studying and even though I can never show him I want to carry on working on my languages, namely kinyarwanda. As he wished I would regain my fluency.
In my life I strive to be like them, my grandparents, kind, devoted to God and loving.