We were having lunch on father’s day, the whole family. It was actually a very joyous celebration because my father and mother returned from an overseas trip the previous week. We were sharing and laughing and the food was good, very good. My sister talked about the change in her father in law when she was pregnant with his grandchild. He used to think about her as a child until she got pregnant. ‘He then changed’, she said. He started to trust and respect her and thanked her for what she did for his son. She was clearly moved by this experience.
She then related a story about him and his seeking to find closure on certain things in his life now that he is much older. He once took his car and drove back to the land of his origin, Namibia, where he grew up. He was on a mission. He was looking for one of his faithful laborers that use to work for him a long time ago. Not knowing where his foreman would be he moved from village to village inquiring from the people where this man could be? Some people knew this man and directed him until he was eventually led by the children to this foreman.
He found his foreman, an old man sitting around an open fire staring into apparent nothingness. When the father in law saw the man he said his name. The old man looked up with weak eyes and wondered who this man was that said his name. He then said ‘Suiderkruis’ (Southern cross) – the name of the farm where the old man use to work for him and immediately the old man recognised his ‘boss’. They both started to cry as they met – once again. The reunion was beyond words. As the tears subsided they fondly recalled experiences of a lifetime that has passed way too quickly.
As I heard this story I was moved. I was thinking about closing the circle, bringing things to a closure. I was challenged in myself by thinking I should never, ever wait till I am old before I really ‘meet’ people and appreciate who they are. I have the chance to live – now. I have a chance to make a difference – now. I thought to myself, ‘I could not, I should not, ever grow old before I start to appreciate other people or anyone I have the privilege to meet, no matter how briefly. I should make a difference and I should make it in the moment it is granted. I should not wait until life has run its course before I realise that I have ‘now, right now’ to make a difference.