1030577_850997“I am fundamentally an optimist. Whether that comes from nature or nurture, I cannot say. Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward. There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. That way lays defeat and death.”
― Nelson MandelaLong Walk to Freedom: Autobiography of Nelson Mandela

“When someone is dying, everyone has to wait. It takes time. All of us have a different timetable. Some wait mere hours. Some drag on for days, others, weeks. It is a lesson in patience.” Uma Girish – http://grammarofgrief.wordpress.com/2013/06/06/being-with-the-dying/

Today, in South Africa, Gracia Machel, is sitting vigil next to her beloved husband’s bed.  I have no doubt that she is holding his hand, waiting, praying…  Maybe she too feels that the time has come for Madiba to keep his head pointed to the sun and his feet moving forward to eternal peace and rest.

I wonder whether Madiba fears death? I have no doubt that he has fears for his family, his country…  He once said “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

In this morning Sunday Times Newspaper the headline was “It’s Time to let him go”.  http://www.timeslive.co.za/sundaytimes/  It is an appeal by Andrew Mlangeni, a longtime friend of Nelson Mandela, to his family.  No doubt it will be controversial and elicit a lot of discussion and criticism.

I agree with Andrew Mlangeni, it is time to let Madiba go…  There can be very little joy in his life.  This man has suffered so much in his life – it is time for his suffering to come to an end.

“There is no easy walk to freedom anywhere, and many of us will have to pass through the valley of the shadow of death again and again before we reach the mountaintop of our desires.”  Nelson Mandela