There Is A Special Place in Heaven for Nelson Mandela
I don’t remember the exact date but I think it was early in the morning on a Saturday or Sunday when I inadvertently turned on the TV just in time to see Nelson Mandela drive out of prison. I was home alone and I sat down and cried. It really struk me that this hero of my youth was still alive and heading back to the politics of South Africa. I felt especially happy that he was still here and terribly sad that our heroes of the time had been killed. We still had no idea of the great things Mandela was yet to accomplish. It was stunning that after all these years he still had his chance to make a difference and he certainly did.
If you have not read his book, A Long Walk to Freedom, this would be a good time to do so.
About 8 years ago we visited South Africa. I read everything I could find about the country and of course that included several books about Mandela. We kind of followed his life around the country ending with a visit to a museum located in the 4 room house he and his wife lived in for several years. The house had been burned down twice and now was just full of memorabilia of the time. This was our last stop on our visit to Soweto. We had taken a Soweto tour with a wonderful young man who had just passed his tour license. He was a little shy but I had read so much that I really did not need much explaining. I, however, had never heard of this museum. We were the only ones there. There was a gentleman who showed the three of us around. After visiting all 4 rooms, my husband asked if I could touch anything. I was already kind of overwhelmed just being there. The guide took us back through the 4 rooms. One room had a bed covered with the ceremonial cloak that Nelson wore when he gave his famous 3 hour speech before they took him off to prison.
He was in line to be a chief and kind of walked away from the honor to do what he felt he needed to do. I got to touch the cloak that was made out of several jackal skins. Now I was in tears.
Maybe we were all close to tears.
The guide said he was worried about the cloak because pieces were breaking off.
He asked me if I would like a piece.
Now I was sobbing.
I took the piece and it was actually two pieces held together by a thin strip of skin.
I tried to give my young tour guide half of my precious gift but he would not take it.
He said God wanted me to have it and that his gift was being with me when I got it.
Now, safely tucked away, I have a small precious gift that not only belonged to Nelson but to his father and maybe his father.
Would this have happened if I had been sighted?
The world lost a great man, who really made a difference,