Thursday, October 12, 2023

20. That Ka- age - Adult Orphans And Morgue Visits


I pulled out this story from my  upcoming book- Going to buy A plot in Maaĩ Mahiũ. This is too dark for a funny book. I will add it to my next book  : Conversations into Adulthood, which is also a hilarious tragedy, but expected.

And then your parents begin to fall apart. They are on daily medication and monthly clinics. When they are not needing intensive care, they have lost their memory and want you to tell them where you work for the fifth time.

You arrived an hour ago. Now you are wondering how this long weekend is going to get by.

Or they die and now, as a human adult, you are asking for the number for Ebony Meeting chambers on Tom mMboya street so you can indicate in the WhatsApp group that family and friends are meeting at 7 p.m. for funeral arrangements.

You have become so proficient at writing eulogies that it’s a bit heartbreaking.

Your friends are losing their parents as well;

You are crisscrossing the country attending funerals every month.

You have lost friends.

You have lost siblings. 

And when your heart is cracking, your boss tells you, 

‘By the way, contract yako iliisha September.’

How do you tell him, please let’s talk about this, I just lost my big sister and there is a dark cloud hanging above me now!

Or you get called for a job, after being out of work for a whole year. They want you to start tomorrow. But you are in your village in Mikindani. Na mūtirī mūracokia mibomu ya ītū ūramtaa. The mtaa chairlady has come to check if the utensils are in order and so far five out of 120 cups have broken handles, 20 spoons are missing and someone used a plastic plate to carry hot ash.

Rīu mwī hau mūgīka ithabu rīa damages.

How do you tell that admin girl that the earliest you can start work is next year, February because hata hamjajua huku kunabaki aje!

Ama you are those who “keep yourself busy”, so you plan and organize and hold back grief.

Then two months later you break down in the Super Metro on your way home and argue with the conductor for 15 minutes and people look at you and stay very busy on their phones. And you go home and realise “man! I am in pain”.

When you lose a parent it’s like a wall that shielded you falls down in one swoop. Mbu!

Unabaki hapo umejishikilia usipasuke.

You feel a cold cold shiver that doesn’t get better with time.

If one parent is alive you start to visit them more often.

 You are scared; you work harder so they don’t wear out and die too.

You worry about every single bit of their lives.

You regret the times you didn’t appreciate them enough, and you are ready to slap anyone disrespecting their parents.

‘They could be dead, you know !’ You want to scream at them.

But you have to learn self -control.

Quietly quiet your beating heart when people talk of 

‘My mum, my mom, my dad, my daddy, dadii, my bro, my, my.’


You come back to your house and discover a child left some graffiti on your door, with charcoal and crayons..

It shouldn’t matter but it’s the last straw.

You have to move.

You cannot stay here.

You must start your life somewhere else.

A completely different place where people don’t know that you were once happy. 

You once had parents,

And brothers,

And sisters, 

And friends,

And you keep thinking, “Aren’t we all better off dead, tumalize hii confusion!”

Ata, there are more on that side than the ones left on this side.’ My brother likes to say.

Maybe we should all be gathered up to our forefathers, mapema ndio best.

But then you realise, haiya, life is for the living.

 And if you have to drag yourself up by a forklift, you better.

You have to pick yourself up.

Again and again you get up and live.

You get up another day and dig deep inside of you for that flicker of hope.

Because pain and hope exist in parallels. 

And sadness and joy are fraternal twins.

And just when your strength is out.

You catch a moon the size of a big basket.

A faithful witness in the sky.

A reminder that in heaven, we have a Father.

And he will never die.

Revelation 7:16,17

Yesterday made  four years since I got the call that left me motherless. I tried to push it out of my head and not have an  'anniversary' but it's hard not to think about it. She was an amazing woman, and each year I appreciate just how much courage she had to continue putting one foot infront of another for 55 years. I don't think I'll make it that far. I often feel a sense of loss, but I habe to keep moving until I also breath my last. Irene Nyawira Munyeki. May you wait patiently, all the days of your compulsary rest. Until He calls out and gives  you back your life.

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