How does it feel to roll the carpets of a generation, and watch another slowly unroll? At 100, my grandfather looks set to go another hundred.
With a hunched frame now, slower and more calculated steps, he gallantly marches on – his memory intact, mind alert and eyesight sharp. Sometimes I wonder if am taking as much good care of myself.
So at 100, I ask him how his body feels. “Calm, like a Sunday afternoon,” he says – not in the exact words, of course.
Shipped to the front lines of the Second World War by the British, and back to become a toughened Mau Mau war veteran, his life has been nothing short of adventurous. Today he wants a gun, and only 4 days to sort the recent wave of terrorism in Kenya. “I may be an invalid, but I will bring it to an end,” he says, amidst our laughter. Amidst his soft, quiet anger. How can a few cruel minds kill and maim Kenyans like that?
A wise man, and . . .
A wise man won’t give advice unless you seek it
So upon prodding, I ask:
“What’s the most important thing in life?”
“No one can know what that is.”
“How can I maintain robust relationships?”
“Be a good man. But that goodness can only come from God, because in life there are people who can tell you things that make you angry.”
“And money, how important is money…”
“When you have too much of it, it depraves you, it makes you a vile man. When you have too little of it, again you become a vile man.”
He’s not religious, but his reflections beam from the Good Book.
It’s a wonder when you live so long, and life doesn’t unseat your peace. When you can still appreciate little things each day, like he does, I’d say you are living a good life.
This post was written on May 12th, 2014.
Sadly he passed away on Oct 10th, 2014 after a stroke. The night before he passed on, I wrote this post Motions discouraged by what the stroke had done to him. Only I didn’t know that it was just a few hours, before he passes on.