I got lost in my thoughts, and the moments were not dragging by – they were flying. Everyone just started at me, as I was rendered immobile by the realities that were crashing down upon me. I was running out of time, and when I came back to land, I realized everyone – except your great-grandfather – was crying. His eyes did not remain dry because he lacked sympathy for me; quite the opposite was true, he felt more afraid and sorry for me than the rest because he knew I was stuck to that spot and he worried if I had the strength to move. But, he did not show his concern through tears or sobs because that is not what, he believed, men do. See, son, where we come from, the heads of homes do not get to be emotional. They must stand stoically and attempt to support those around them – like the pillars of a house, regardless of how shaky the foundation. I hope, by now, I have put an end to this example and that you know, when men cry, it is not a sign of weakness, but strength. It takes a very brave man to know he is still a man, even when he weeps – or, especially when. So, don’t ever be afraid to show the ones you love how much they or the circumstances around them move you. I give you permission to be always exactly who you are – regardless of whether those emotions drip down your face or not.
Published by Gabriel Ndayishimiye
Gabriel Ndayishimiye lives in London, Ontario. He is a writer with a passion to contribute to Black history and literature; and the author of “Run Elvin” (forthcoming), a memoir written for youth from marginalized backgrounds. This book tells Gabriel’s academic/life experiences from refugee camps in East and Southern Africa and now from the metropolis of the western world. The story aims to inspire and motivate such demographic of youth to take up given opportunities to be creative, achieve success, and develop resilience to fight the challenges of life. View more posts