NeneWhen I first met Nene, she apologised for not speaking Turkish. It’s a language she never had to learn.

Every time since then, whenever I saw her, she would again apologise. I always told her it was not necessary. I didn’t care what language she spoke. I didn’t need to talk to her to understand her; I simply had to watch.

I watched her children adore her. I watched Nene adore each new grandchild that came along and as that child grew, I watched them find comfort in her skirts. I watched her care for her chickens and her face light up with a smile as escaping chicks ran through the village. I watched her quiet strength in times of sadness. I saw the way she loved and what a kind hearted soul she was.

Of late, I had watched her pain. Her frustration at needing help to stand. Her embarrassment when someone wiped from her chin the soft foods she couldn’t eat properly because of all the tumours inside her mouth. I have watched her lay and silently cry and I have watched the room cry with her.

The next time I talk to Nene, she will understand me. I will tell her how much I respected her. How much I admired her. I will tell her that I am glad she is no longer in pain and I hope with all my heart that her husband was there to meet her and her lifelong faith in Allah has been rewarded.

I will not see Nene again, not in this lifetime but, I will remember the wonderful person she was and the proof of that I will see whenever I spend time with her children.

God bless you Nene and may your beautiful soul rest in everlasting peace.