It’s yet again that season of festivities known as Christmas.
I don’t know what Christmas means to you either joy, celebration mood, happiness BUT for me I look back at it with nostalgia. The reason I say this is because December my holidays are filled with anniversaries to commemorate the passing our dear family members. My grandpa (1927-2011) and Uncle Sam (1952-2004) RIP all.
I reflect the conversation I had with my grandpa. During my holidays when we closed university for holidays two or three weeks I used to travel to countryside. You would eagerly ask me, How is Nairobi? Has it rained? How my school was. Which granny would ask that id he doesn’t know the importance of education? At times you would tell me when you left the city Nairobi and Mlolongo were two different cities apart but you would guess that the buildings have sprouted up along the highway to look like an extension of the city centre.
In my first, second and third year, you would clearly see and identify my voice and greet me excitedly with a warm welcome. Fear gripped me in my final year when I noticed u were not able to see me, appreciate the nature, walk to and from the nearby market you liked to go daily instead you spent most of your time in bed. It dawned on me that you are on your twilight days. When I was at your bed side you no longer recognized me as your eldest granddaughter. How sad..the way you were concerned about my school you never saw me graduate on my most important day 20th August 2011.( This I promise was written one year later in marking my first anniversary after I graduated)
By the time I cleared with schoolwork December 2010,I looked forward to seeing you over the holidays to see how you were fairing . I celebrated Christmas in the city and vowed to myself New Year I will be with you and the extended family together. When I heard of your sickness on 23rd Dec 2010 I got scared. I asked God so many questions, why we will be nursing a sick person admitted in hospital when everyone else was in festive mood. December 25th we celebrated with the family in Nairobi. It was a big celebration and I worked tirelessly to see success of the get together.
The dawn of 26th Dec I called mum and said that you were fine. I was missing everyone at home and the thought of you being in hospital bed drove me insane.
On 27th December the city could no longer accommodate me. I was restless, packed my bags and off to see grandpa in the hospital where he was admitted. My instinct and conscience was telling me I go to hospital.
When I got to the hospital I was speechless. I watched you as you lay in bed speechless, helpless wondering what I could do to make you feel better. My cousin who lived in the hospital used to bring you uji every break time. I cleaned your hospital drawer in the hope when you wake up ,you will find the place cleaner with the stuff that I had brought for you. How wrong I was. It was amazing how time passed so fast that at 2pm the nurse on duty requested us to leave the ward.
I stared at you passed the nurse and off I walked out to the hospital benches.I contemplated sitting there till 4pm but dad advised me to leave with hope to see you the following day. Three days you lay in the hospital bed.
On 30th December 2011,you left us with an indelible mark . you left behind three wives,17 children and 54 grand children. Your funeral was one of the largest crowd we had ever seen. The compound even became smaller. Everyone was amused and of only you could wake up and see the crowd for sure you would have been pleased of your sons and daughters.
My most trying moment was when I was handed over the microphone to say my tribute to you. I could not talk but with my other cousins we sang a song
In memory with you this is a poem we wrote for you with cousin Purity.
The days that we have shared,
Near and far apart,
The time that we dined together,
Your wise words and your hearty laugh,
That always brightened a dull day.
Your scorn that wouldn’t go unnoticed,
Getting one on the right path when lost,
The comfort that you gave us
With your ever welcoming spirit and your guiding hand
Always leading us to a safe bode,
And assuring each one of us your presence.
These and many more,
Will live with us and in us
Though you are gone our dearest
Your sweet memories, wise words,
Will keep us going all the way,
Trying to finish what you started
Sticking together as a family
And being there for one another
For that grandpa would be your wish,
You will truly be missed.
Rest with Angels till we meet again
©IN LOVING MEMORY OF GRANDPA WHO PASSED AWAY 29th December 2010.RIP
Its been two years and truly the void you left is still in our hearts.
I hope we meet soon granny.