It’s Sekuru Midzi’s birthday on 1 July. He would have been 73. I cannot believe that my father is no more. I have learnt over the last year the importance of obedience to the small still voice. Travelling to Zimbabwe is very expensive for a family of five and so we had agreed that I would go home to Zimbabwe in 2015 for my 40th birthday. At the beginning of the year in 2014 I really felt a push in my heart to just go to Zimbabwe. I had a foreboding feeling that something bad was going to happen.
I am so glad that I listened to the small voice because I was able to spend some quality time with my father before he went to be with the Lord. He was so fit and healthy when I saw him. I did not think he would die. I am grateful for the opportunity to spend some time with him and to have beautiful lasting memories of our 2014 summer break.
The bible says that obedience is better than sacrifice. It is important to obey that gut instinct or that voice from God. As you walk in obedience you will end up with few regrets.
My encouragement to those who are in the diaspora is to visit your parents whilst you have them. Spend time with them, call them, and tell them you love them. If you cannot travel to your home country invite them to the country where you live. You see once they are gone that’s it. There is nothing that you can do, nothing you can say, nothing you can pay to bring them back. Redeem the time and take advantage of every opportunity to spend it with loved ones across the world. Spending time with loved ones is the only way to create lasting memories with them. The greatest gifts that you can give loved ones are
Your Presence. This means making it a priority to spend time with them — if they are truly important, you can make the time. You might have to change things in your life to make the time, but it’s worth it.
It’s important to be really there and all there. Your attention should not be divided between ipads and iphones and acting as if you are listening when you are checking messages on the gadgets. Instead, drop everything else and focus on being there with your loved ones — really listen, really have fun, really be present.
Your Love. Love each other and tell each other how much you love your family. My father’s generation did not really do the I love you kind of thing so even I would have found it strange to tell my dad that I loved him. I did send him a text on father’s day 2014 telling him that I loved and appreciated him. I was really moved when I went home and saw that he had transcribed the whole text message onto a card. He really appreciated the love and also needed affirmation and encouragement. Hugs, intimacy, smiles, doing kind things for them, considering their needs and feelings … just little things that mean a lot.
A Voice. Valuing what they say and really listening to them can really give them so much. Showing them that they are loved and appreciated makes them feel valued and important. As parents get older and become dependent on their children it is important to show them love and respect and to listen to their opinions and views. Too often our parents or other family members might talk to us but are only met with a disinterested nod or other small acknowledgment. But giving a person a voice, and showing that their words matter, will have a long-lasting different in their lives.
A Healthy Lifestyle. My parents live in a country where the health system is a complete mess. Make sure your loved ones have adequate health cover , maintain healthy lifestyles and have regular checkups. If it means they have to travel abroad then do so. Our parents and elderly loved ones need regular eye checkups, blood pressure and all over body MOTs.
Believe in them . Simply believing in another person, and showing that in your words and in your deeds, can make a huge difference. Be their greatest cheerleader. Whether they actually accomplish these dreams or not, your belief is of unlimited importance to them.
Continue to love and appreciate the loved ones who you have in your life because they will not be with you forever.