Last November, my grandmother dislocated her left hip and knee. Average health care in my grannys town can only be given if you are rich, as it is my granny has never been rich. When taken to the government hospital, she was given mild pain killers(panados) and inexperienced student doctors tried to attend to her leg. I think those 3 weeks in the hospital were the worst of my grannys life. At one point the pain was so excruciating she became delirious for many days and then the left side of her body and face became paralysed. My grandma is 85 years. When my grandpa realised that the hospital would do nothing to help his wife, he decided to bring her home. My grandma was the busy, hardworking woman who got things done, now she is blind with a body that wont cooperate, it’s not been an easy adjustment.
Charles Matipa is my Grandpa. He has amazing health, no thanks to any medication or sacred secret to a long healthy life. He has good eyesight, hearing, perfect teeth (even though he has never been to a dentist his whole life)and can walk long distances visiting church member as he is a pastor of a church with around 170 members . He speaks fluent English, French, Swahili, Bemba (my tribal language) a number of other Zambian languages and LOVES to read. He reads his bible every day with ardent interest diligently taking notes for future reference … grandpa has read his bible for more than 60 years. When you meet him, you would not believe he is 92 years old.
Grandpa loves grandma.
In the month I spent with them, I watched how he took care of his best friend (that’s what he calls her) Singing to her, praying with her and encouraging her when she went into her bouts of deep depression. Day or night my grandpa is there for her, he hardly leaves her side. Sometimes I would wake up in the middle of the night and hear grandpa praying for granny. There were days when grandma was not the easiest patient to look after ( her daughters, my mother and two sisters are her care takers)but he remained patient and lavished his love on her. I am yet to meet someone as patient AND long suffering as my grandpa. It’s not medication that has improved my grandmothers health, since none was given, from my observation it is the constant care and attention from family that have brought her to a point were she no longer feels pain and the paralysis has gone away. When you look at her leg you can see that its loose but somehow the pain has gone.
Grandma is not afraid to die, in fact she often talks about it with grandpa, she knows heaven is home, she is excited…
Friend, I am sharing what I observed not what I learned, it will take a while to put into words what I learned in the month I observed my grandpa’s devotion and my grandmas suffering.