What Nancy Meant To Me

Rememberance by Norman Chamusah, Collegemate at The College of Wooster

No eloquent words can best describe what Nancy meant to me. She was one of the few people I was closely related to and without her, I probably wouldn’t be here. My life at Wooster was great, I had Cato as father figure who always called and visited to see if I had the basics. I had Rutendo, my adopted sister who is always there for me. I had Itai, who was a typical brother, there to check if I am taking my studies serious. Then, there was Nancy, she provided that motherly love for me. Although she trusted Rutendo well enough to take care of me, she would always ask if I was eating well, adapting to the weather, the culture, etc. I will never forget her special breakfast treats; she prepared the best sausages and hardboiled egg combo. I also vividly remember how one Sunday morning we both completely forgot that we had registered Zimbabwe for an International Food Bazaar. It took us no time to prepare our Zimbabwean staple food, by us cooking I mean Nancy cooking as I cheered and provided muscles in making Sadza. Our dish was voted the people’s favorite and we only came second to the more organized Vietnamese team. During the summer of 2011, she invited me for a 2 week stay in New York City. As busy as the Wall Street life was, she would still come back from work teach me how to cook and showed me the city. I was very proud brother when she graduated with flying colors in 2012 and soon began working at IMF in DC.

Eve GatawaIn July 2012, I was flying back to Zimbabwe from JFK in New York City but when Nancy found out that I had not bought any clothes for my mom, sisters and family she had me stop in Washington DC. She took me to big shopping malls all day long and helped me choose clothes for my relatives. We didn’t leave until she was satisfied that I had bought enough presents and gifts for everyone. Fast forward, I graduated last year and although she could not be there in person for my graduation she called and asked that I stop in Washington DC with my parents. She took them to Nandos, spoiled them for lunch. Upon enquiring about my parents’ itinerary, she discovered that I had purposefully avoided plans for taking them to the shopping mall ( I really don’t shopping). Again, she made us go to the shopping malls. That was Nancy, always there for me.

Then in August, last year, just before I moved to Missouri she took me out for dinner. Unfortunately, this would be our last meal together. I thought it would be at Nandos again, Mexican or any other cheap restaurants. I was quite mistaken because only Nancy could take me to this fancy restaurant downtown DC. As the menu came, I was quick to ask for affordable meals. Oh, Nancy, she told me to relax because apparently dinner was on her. She made me try her favorite 3 course meal. Nancy made fun of how she was disappointed with Rutendo and Tafadzwa the last time she tried to spoil them . Apparently the two shared one cheap burger. We enjoyed our meal; we chatted and laughed out loud as we always did, topics ranged from sports to our relationships. When another couple stopped by our table, Nancy and I immediately thought we were in trouble for our noise. Unbeknown to us, this couple had been secretly following our conversation and thought we were a cute couple, whatever that meant. We later played games, after three games of pool she introduced me to darts. Oh, well, she went a little overboard crushing me. We really had an amazing time and said our goodbyes as she boarded a bus home. That was my last physical interaction with my sister.

At the beginning of 2015 Nancy brought me dried small fish (Matemba), boiled ground nuts and chompkins chips from Zimbabwe . She shared with me her exciting news of being admitted at different elite schools for PhD programs. I selfishly tried to persuade her to take the University of Washington in St Louis offer since it is very close to me but she wanted UNC. On Saturday, March 21 she sent me a text, "Mapancho urikurarama here, chikomana, How is Mizzou?" Mapancho is the nickname she gave me back in college and she asked if I was alive. I responded that I was still alive and enjoying life in Missouri. She talked about how DC was awesome and the weather great. That was my last talk with the special lady, before she untimely left us. Nancy, I am grateful to have known you . You were a brilliant flash of light that only shines for a few seconds but its impact stays with us forever. Until the day we meet again, may your soul rest in peace.