Do you remember who your first best friend is? My first best friend was my grandmother. Her name was Nontobeko Cecilia Madiza. She was born on the 31st of May 1947. I spent a lot of time with my grandmother – and I was very fond of her. She was my best friend, and I will never ever forget her impact on my life.
I lost my grandmother to a sudden heart sickness in 2016 but I gained a guardian angel. With this article, I just want to share my fondest memories about my grandmother. I want to keep her memory alive, because I think she was one of the strongest women I knew and loved.
With time passing, my memories of her fade slowly. However, please allow me to share some memories about my grandmother that I carry with me whenever her memory crosses my mind:
- She was a praying woman.
My granny was a praying woman – the strongest I personally knew. She lived, breathed and ate God and the church. Her favorite response to anything was “masike siguqe sithandazeni!” (Let us kneel and pray). She taught me how to read, follow the bible and the importance of having a relationship with God. I say that I gained a guardian angel because her prayers still guide and protect me till today, and I will forever be grateful to her for that.
2. She was a great story teller.
My granny had an extremely dramatic personality. This made her a great storyteller. I was a very curious child, and so I loved listening to her stories. We would spend time together and she would tell me stories of her life growing up, tattle tales, etc. I think her storytelling helped me to develop my own storytelling and writing abilities, and for that I am also very grateful to her.
3. I think my grandmother could’ve been a feminist ?
Many of the stories my grandmother told me were centered around how not having financial freedom affected her. I was too young to understand then, but I strongly believe my grandmother was telling me those stories to encourage me to be an independent woman. She always told me I am a beautiful girl, but that I was also a smart one and I should never let that go to waste.
4. My grandmother was my number 1 supporter and cheerleader!
Now, I grew up to be a very ambitious thinker and she encouraged and entertained every single one of my ambitious thoughts. She made me believe that I could become anything that I wanted to become, and I still do.
5. My grandmother was a very thoughtful and loving person
My grandmother was not a very soft person. If you could hear the stories about her upbringing and adult life experiences – you would understand why. However, my grandmother was one of the most thoughtful people I know. Her love language was so unique, with so much to give and help. She would not tell you she loved you much, but she sure did show it through her actions. I am thankful that she taught me how to be thoughtful and considerate, because I believe that is one of the qualities that I get to share and communicate to the world around me.
6. My grandmother loved me unconditionally
Lastly, my grandmother loved me unconditionally. I am so thankful that I got to experience her unconditional love, and even more thankful that she continues to love and guide me unconditionally as my angel. Through my worst and best moments – I am always blessed and I believe that is because my praying grandmother loved me with everything in her and it is so beautiful to me how her love manifests in my life beyond her death.
It is her birthday today and If I had a chance to speak to her again, I would say:
“Happy Birthday, maZulu. I hope you are proud of the woman I am becoming. Thank you for raising me. Thank you for affirming the little girl in me – your affirmations have carried me and I will always be grateful to you for that. Thank you for being my best friend, but most importantly thank you for being the best guardian angel. I miss you so much, and I hope you are resting well in heaven, my angel. Till we meet again.”