Last year, on a day like this, will forever remain unforgettable. It was April 24. It was Easter Sunday, quite early in the morning, when life finally left your ailing body.
I remember watching you the previous day and earlier on in the night as you struggled eating food, as you struggled breathing, and as you had problems even lying on the bed. I know it was tough on you. It was heart-breaking on me.
When I walked to your room to put you back on the bed together with dad, hoping to talk to you in the morning, only for dad to wake up me up from my house at four in the morning, with the sad news that you were no more. Darn Liposarcoma!!!!
As I looked at your lifeless body on the bed, it all sunk in: you were gone. Forever. The mourning that followed, the flood of friends and relatives that swamped our home to pay respects to you, the many people who said all sweet things about you reminded me that I had the sweetest mum on earth.
Twelve months have passed and every time I go home and pass by your graveside and see your smiling picture on the headstone, I just get sort of transfixed. I look at you, smile back, mumble a few of my little issues, just the way I used to, and thank God for your life and the teachings you gave me.
Sometimes, like it happened yesterday, I have to deal with an unreasonable boss, I just remember what you told me: Everything happens for a reason.
Though you may not know it, your death opened my eyes to a whole bunch of new tight pals. They were all so nice to me, helping me glide through the funeral. They did lighten the load quite much. Andre, Ken, Pat, Zue, Lucas, Maina, Dysan, Jacinta, Agosa, Owende, Ogutu, Oliver, Sam, Bill, Nakitare, Pasqah, Dorothy, Joy, Ngirachu, Odini, Flash, Wes, Casper, Namu8, Mugumo, Mutiga, Lucas… Mum, the list is long. I can’t name them all here… they’re so so many, next memorial, I promise, I’d add more names on this, so that you know some of them.
And as I had told you, I was going to the School of Authentic Journalism in Mexico. I did go by the way, and you guessed it, that’s why I am still working where I am. I am now a Fellow there and I like it.
I know you usually had problems with some of the stories you read in the newspaper, especially, where, for background, some writer just takes a whole paragraph of what was published the previous day and pastes it there. That’s why you only read the Sunday paper. I hope when the scribes read this, they’d know that a simple reader like you were, get pissed off, with such illiterate journalism.
There are lessons you taught me as we walked to hospital some day, to always mind my business, but at the same time lend out a hand wherever and whenever I can. I try to do so, even as I guard against my generosity being abused. Sometimes, I get hit with quixotic expectations, and I am forced to disappoint a few people. But that’s life. I guessed you lived the same life.
Your sisters and brother have been amazing as they had always been. Their children, my cousins, plus my nephews (you were a grandmother remember!) ever so nice and helpful. My colleagues too were supportive and the new friends I made from all over the world, have been instrumental with the connections for a gig here and there.
It’s ten years since you sent me to the Journalism School, and nine years since you paid my fees, all of it, at the university. I am quite grateful for that. Every day, I think about you and what you told and taught me. It is ingrained someplace deep, people will never understand.
The lessons in humility, hardwork and discipline, that you and Dad pumped into me and kina Jere, Eunie, Wicky, Richie, and Suzy, are still living in us. We learn every day and we smile everytime one of your crazy jokes hit our minds. Dad, as always, has been wonderful! I have no idea how he copes everyday, but the man has been a pillar in our lives.
By the way, we work at the same place with Eliza, though, to report myself, I am rarely in the office. Will try to get her out for lunch one of these days and before the end of the year visit her place. We finally went to Uncle Kongoti’s and Aunty Mary’s place and you can guess that we left the place quite happy. Jere was given a chicken. And I haven’t been to Herbert’s place. Will try to book a date.
I know today you have so much to do, nearly everyone wants a piece of you, to tell you how they miss you. People such as Lydia, told me that you were in a better place. Based on our history, I am always inclined to believe her. Thanks Lydia for your support.
I have had my ups and downs, just the way I found out when I climbed Mt Kilimanjaro, life is always up and down, but what matters is for you to be happy, smiling and always hopeful that “every little thing shall be alright”. Well, that’s Bob Marley. I know you loved Bobby Bear and Harry Belafonte. I have their music somewhere and when I miss you so very much, I just listen to it. Like I will today.
It’s a happy memorial mum!
Your son :)