Augustine Patrick Ndoro – 28 August 1934 – 5 September 2019
The tragedy of preparedness is an illusion and sophistry that effaces itself when reality kicks in. Sekuru Ndoro’s impending death gave a false sense of closure for everyone that loved him. We hung on hope for more days with him, despite the fact that he was 85 years old and literally living on dialysis for almost a year. He saw the hope that lit in our eyes, the efforts to keep him alive and he hung on for our sake. Only for our sake that we make peace with his departure and say our fond farewells. This is the kind of man that he was, loving and selfless. He was the core of the family that glued us all together. He deteriorated right in front of us and everyone made haste to spend more time with him before his time had come.
Gogo. Damn Gogo lost her best-friend, soul-mate, alter-ego and her eyes. Sekuru has been with Gogo for 60 years. 60 years. She fell blind due to diabetes about six years ago and Sekuru has been her eyes ever since. I can not begin to imagine what Gogo is going through. I watched her during the funeral and she was not coping. A big chunk of her heart had been torn away, how was she supposed to go on without Sekuru? Who will hold her hand and guide her? Who is she going to tease, crack jokes with and mostly, where is here heart going to go now that it is homeless? Who is going to fill that empty space besides her on the bed? Who is going to wake her up in the middle of the night with loud snores? What is she going to do? These questions tore my heart and I would find myself bawling my eyes out because all she could say was, ” My best friend is gone”, and her body would rack violently in agonized sobs. But I remembered, that Gogo was not alone, she had us. They made a clan with Sekuru, they lived to see even their children’s grandchildren and a great legacy of a love language. Emotional intelligence. We will stand with her in the scariest storm and grip her hand with reassurance that she will never be alone. That is a legacy richer than any affluent commonwealth.
Sekuru taught me a lot of things, and the biggest lesson was love. He was the embodiment of love that infused with my character and this is how I learnt to demonstrate affection. All the memories of Sekuru strikes a nostalgic note that brings a catch to my throat. He taught me a reading culture, at some point we battled over the book, Harry Potter The Order Of the Phoenix and in the end he won because, well, he was Sekuru after all. I remember him picking me up and throwing me in the air but I grew heavy so he resorted to chocking me with the tightest bear hug ever. He was always there. Always, cheering me up and supporting me all the way. Even in my most doubtful and lowest moments he was there to pick me up. He was a pure and placid expression of the human soul, that dwelled in love and peace.
Sekuru was a peoples person because of his unsullied chummy persona and extended himself to everyone. He impacted on anyone he interacted with, because he had such a friendly aura that drew people in. His contagious boisterous laughter and Cheshire cat grin. Gosh, it was hard not to love him. I thought I would write a blog titled ‘Remembering Augustine Patrick Ndoro’ but that sounded so impersonal. I wanted to write something that hemmed its way around my heart because that is what he was, a part of my heart. I knew Sekuru was fading and every-time I was with him I would make like it was the last time. I remember skipping work to see him and he could barely talk. I held his hand tight and rested my head on his shoulder. I phoned him two days later because he was no longer the Sekuru I knew, I needed some sort of reassurance that he was still in there. I told him, ‘ I am missing you Sekuru’, and he replied ‘I am missing you more than you are missing me’, and I whispered, ‘ I love you Sekuru’ and before he could reply my credit was finished.
We drove with my mum, my sister and the kids to see Sekuru. That night we sang all the Catholics Hymns for him while he smiled and clapped. I looked at him and I noticed the distant look. I had seen that look before but that night I realized we were on the fringe of his departure and he knew it. He gave us the longing and distant look of pleasant remembrance. I recall tears rolling down his face. We were saying goodbye. Something beautiful happened that night, my mum asked Sekuru to bless us all. One by one he placed his hand on are foreheads and whispered, ‘May the peace of the Lord be with you.’ At that time it did not occur to me but when it dawned to me I nearly shed a tear. May the peace of the Lord be with you. The peace of the Lord is no ordinary peace, it a wholesomeness in everything good and holy. Wealth, love, grace, harmony and prosperity in all things. I closed my eyes and I said to myself I should let go. That night I let go, I stopped holding on to the hope that Sekuru had another 5 years with us. I was at peace.
He waited for my little brother to return from Cyprus. He constantly asked for him and the day we told him that he was getting on a plane in days time, his face lit up. When little brother landed, he waited until 10pm (3 hours past his bed-time) and from the airport we went straight to see him, oh my, the old man was besides himself with happiness. It was great seeing Sekuru oozing so much life. We arranged a party for his 85th birthday and everyone came through. We had such a great time with Sekuru and I couldn’t help noticing that awful heart-wrenching distant look. He looked at us as if he was not there, from outside the fence he observed us all for the last time. I kissed Sekuru good bye that day and it was for the last time. It was such a great send off and to trust him to leave in such a noble manner. He left three days later…
It doesn’t matter how much you have prepared for the death of a loved one, because when that day comes, it hurts like hell. My heart felt like pin cushion with a thousand pins, the pain and grief was intolerable. The morning of 5 September 2019 my sister texted, ‘Sekuru is not doing too well, he came from dialysis last night and he is no eating or talking, so mama rushed there to see whats up.’ My heart sank and I immediately phoned my mum. ‘Hello mama, how is Sekuru?’, silence. ‘Hello?’, at this point my heart was racing and I felt the tears welling up. ‘Mama is Sekuru Okay?.” In the most faintest of voices, ‘ Maka, your Sekuru is no-more…” I hung up the phone. I was at work, I got up and locked my self in the toilet. I cried quietly, mourned for my Sekuru and all my memories of him flashed before me. On my wedding when he picked up the trail of my gown and walked with me from the aisle. ‘Sekuru who is your favorite muzukuru?‘… ‘That is obvious, its you darling‘… ‘Bye Sekuru!!“…. ‘Bye my sweet chocolate’
That Thursday morning, Sekuru asked to bath, very unusual of him. So he took a bath and wore his best shirt and trousers. He looked outside and said, ‘Its such a beautiful morning to bask in the sun’, but he decided to take a nap first, so Gogo decided to sit alone at the backyard. 2 hours later Gogo went to check on him, he held her and took his final breaths just as my mum walked in. He left peacefully and he never looked more serene. Sekuru was not taken by death but like what my sister said, he gave up his ghost in his own time. Not a day passes by without thinking of my Sekuru. The funeral, everything was surreal and I am still trying to come to terms that he is really gone. Most importantly Gogo, we need to be strong for her and always be there for her at all costs.
He lived a long and a good life, you shall know more about the life of Augustine Patrick Ndoro from the Eulogy that I am compiling. I feel were are blessed to have had my grandfather for such a big portion of our lives and created all these beautiful memories with him. I just had to let these pent up emotions out because writing is therapeutic to me. May your soul rest in eternal peace Sekuru. I will always love you. Zororai murugare museyamwa.