It was also so with you, each member of his family. Both he and Mama agonised over you when you were struggling, celebrated your achievements. But I have to say that there was anger too, not with you but with those who made you suffer because you were his family.
Famously, when you, Mama, were arrested by the Johannesburg Traffic Department, carted off to John Vorster Square, and handcuffed to a door handle. For what? For renewing your car licence late. He was furious. Would the wife of the moderator of the Dutch Reformed Church have received such treatment? he asked.
And I think he felt guilt too, sometimes wondering if he had been too strict with you as children.
It is not easy to be the child of a global celebrity: If you do well, some people say, well what do you expect with those advantages, and they don’t give you adequate credit for your achievement. If you make a mistake, you are judged more harshly than others because of your perceived advantages, which may not even exist.
uTata, your husband, your brother, your dad, your granddad, your in-law, your cousin, was a full human being, comfortable in his own skin, with all the emotions, the anger, the pain, the laughter, the seriousness and the lightheartedness which comes from being a fully rounded person.
But you know that already, so let me finish my words to the family with an admonition of my own, in the spirit in which he delivered them.
At times of stress in the struggle, and at times in the stress of the early 1990s when people were killing one another, and the clergy were under huge stress and strain, he would say: be gentle with one another; and be gentle with yourselves.
To the nation, contemplating Desmond Mpilo Tutu’s legacy beyond his earthly life, let us use this opportunity to turn a new page.
Let us commit ourselves as a church and society to the radical, the revolutionary change that he advocated, based on the demands of the Bible.
Let us live as simply as he lived, exemplified by his pine coffin with rope handles. Let those of us who have resources pull in our belts, that others can eat enough to fill their stomachs.
Let us reorder our society to end inequality and create equal opportunities for all.
And why don’t we rename the Cape Town International Airport the Desmond Mpilo Tutu International Airport?
God bless you and keep you.