I find it sickening when people claim to figure out God. They claim to be able to explain why things happen the way they do. They pretend to know why you and I are alive today, and yet some didn’t live to see today. Such people anger me. The reason I find myself thinking about such stuff however , is because I am not done shedding tears over mama’s loss. Perhaps I never will. I laugh and live and act like I have moved on with life. I have moved on, yes, but I have changed. I am a different person. I am surrounded by this profound sense of loss. I am more aware of death than I have ever been in my life. I keep thinking “we are here only for a season”.
Read : A Tribute To Isabella Kithinji , My Mother , My Teacher
I question God. I question my Faith. Heck, I question everything. What if heaven and hell and all things I have built my faith on are just a mentality? What if we just “exist”? What if we actually came from monkeys, no, apes? What if dinosaurs actually walked the earth “millions of years ago” with their small brains and gigantic bodies? What if death is final? What if I never get to see my mama again? Go ahead. Break my heart and tell me the memories I have of her laughter, her teachings and warm embraces are all I got. Then, try to console me by telling me that I can see her in Bunny’s face when she’s asleep , in Kajune’s can-do attitude..
Tears still flow when I find out they too, had their own fond memories of grandma. “Mum, I miss the way my grandma would hug someone and squeeze them on the shoulders…… Mum, in life can we go back again…?”
“No”, I say. “Life must be lived forwards. It cannot be lived backwards”. This means I will never go back to those days when we went to watch a Good Friday play with mum at Nkubu Catholic Church. It was our ritual, just the two of us. Though we had not done that in many years, I would always remind her over Easter and she would chuckle and say “so you remember about the play?” So on Good Friday last week, the first without her , I just let the tears flow…
While packing for my Switzerland trip, I came across a letter she wrote me in 2002. I was in my first year at J.K.U.A.T. “My dearest daughter, Christine” she had started. She always called me her dearest daughter. I would be extremely jealous if my sisters produced letters bearing a similar salutation.
I figure I would rather NOT ask them. Haha.
So , in this letter, she had continued to first address queries from my previous letter (no student I knew who had a mobile phone in those days , we still wrote letters). Her young school was doing well. “Victorious Academy is growing….!” she had gushed and continued to give a breakdown of the pupils who had enrolled so far in each class. But she didn’t “pen off” (she loved to use that phrase in her letters) , before reminding me that “…mind the company you keep as we are living in the A.I.D.S error [sic]”. I had laughed at “error”. Surely she must have been in a hurry, because my mother never made spelling mistakes. Not in the English language. I should know. As my first English teacher, it was Isabella who introduced me to English. It was her who taught me idioms and tenses and everything in between.
Progressive, determined, empowered and always seeking to empower, leader, sociable, humorous, prayerful are some of the words and phrases I can use to describe Isabella. The other day on WhatsApp , a friend and I were talking about building networks/relationships and I found myself telling her, “my mom is one of the most ‘networked’ people I know”. It is then that I realized, talking about my mother in the present tense, is giving me quite some consolation..
The tears may flow , but as her loved ones , we continue to rejoice in the fact that death was only a single event in her life. And by no means is it the most important.
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