We have no words – we have lost our moral compass – our Arch!

The infectious laughter, supreme kindness and love, compassion for all – fearless in criticism – a father like one we never had. When everyone said no, he would say why not?

He always insisted that you come in and have a cup of tea – and around that kitchen table in his home in Milnerton, Mamma and Arch welcomed us like family – and there was always the joy of the infectious laughter.

That is why we are feeling at a loss of words this morning. We are house-sitting for Johno of JEFF TOGETHER fame while he and Juls and our granddaughters are spending a few days in our home at Riverside at Stilbaai.

It is quiet here and we watch the events on TV – our Arch has – in leaving us – brought the world together – at least in the comments that we are reading.

In our memories!

In our memories there are so many stories we shared with the Arch and Mamma Tutu – and some of their family members. He taught us the most important thing in life – the art of truth and compassion – the art to forgive. “Only when you achieve that,” said Arch, “the true art of forgiveness, then you will be free to live.”

So, in the coming weeks you will probably be reading a lot about the happy and special times we personally shared with Arch. There will be stories of laughter and fun, of very personal guidance in tough times. After all, Fredo is also a cancer survivor, so is Janey. But he was the ultimate survivor – more than 20 years he battled the disease and had the compassion to help us in our hour of need.

So, as we mourn today, tomorrow we will start bringing forth those special stories and inspiring moments we share with Arch.

Our hearts today go out to Mamma Tutu – for her it must be the most devastating day of her life. She has lived with the great man, laughed with him and cried with him as he watches the decline in our country through mismanagement and corruption. That special motherly hug that we always got from her – with the words – “Sit down, Desmond is just finishing his prayers, and will then join us.”

The Arch was in prayer every day – and now, today, he is with his God and no doubt already there preparing the way for all of us. God Bless you Uncle Desmond – we will miss you so desperately.