Since Mandela's death just a few days ago there have been so many beautiful quotes and images shared online - an outpouring of love and sadness and celebration of an incredible man, an incredible life lived. The Eiffel Tower and the Empire State Building were lit in the colors of the South African flag, the news has been full of documentaries about his life and achievements, about the man he was.
I remember when that flag was first hoisted. When the new anthem was sung for the first time. When the man so many thought of all those years ago as a terrorist in prison, finally walked free and with him the tide turned and our country could complete the journey to freedom - true democracy. He stood for so much. Forgiveness. A complete and utter lack of bitterness or desire for revenge. A vision for a rainbow nation in which each person was seen and valued and none more, and none less. He led our country into a brand new chapter of it's history. And he did it in peace and with the utmost dignity and integrity. He inspired us to work together for the greater good, to treat each other with compassion, to honour our differences and not to be torn apart by them. He truly was a Father to our new nation, and although we knew the end was coming for him, it was still a very sad day when it came. He will truly be missed.
Last year I was at home for my brother's wedding in the Cape and I took this photo of a painting at the wedding venue ... I happened upon it today and thought it was fitting to share with you here.
Madiba, you live in our hearts forever.