It was a Tuesday, I remember. We were coming back from school and we were from doing the end of first term exams.
I had the cries at home and I instinctively knew that you were gone. We all knew you were not coming back from this round of hospitalization. Still, it was hard when I entered the compound and saw the cars, the people already converging.
And there you were, in a casket, looking all entirely peaceful for the uproar and commotion in the place. Was that a smile on your face?
I guess it was a relief for you. Maybe.
Our journey to your final resting place was bizarre. At least for me. I kept thinking, it was all surreal to be true. All the strangers wanting to see your kids.
Why, but they’re still so young!!! Everyone would exclaim. My God, is that his wife? But she’s so young!!!
Amazingly, scores and scores of people came to see you off. Weren’t you such an introvert? Where did all these people come from?
Everyone was eager to proclaim how we would be catered for. We would not suffer. No! We would study, of course, they would make sure of it. Everything would be fine. Oh, of course, the young mother and her kids would be catered for.
When you left us, things changed.
The ‘friends’ were the first to leave. Never to return. And so did the family as soon as we were back home. They would remain distant, only to check once in a few years by calling to see if we were still there.
I’ll not lie, life would not be easy. It would become very difficult for us, getting to actually see the world for its real face.
Perhaps you shielded us too much. But that was your job, I’ll not begrudge you for being a great father to your kids and a wonderful husband to your wife.
But we have survived. We have thrived.
We learnt to navigate life, we have studied. Even though everyone said we should stop, God is great.
We have grown. In all aspects of the sense of growth.
The future is bright.
But can I ever forget that day or that year? Even when it continues to influence whatever we do today? That year 2009.
Until we meet again dad.
I wrote this in 2019 in remembrance of a decade since our father left us. I posted it a year later, in 2020. Just landed on it and been reminded of the journey that this has been! We continue to look towards a bright future as a family.
For you, Marsella. To remind you that losing a loved one, although hard, we can still move past the pain and thrive.
By Rogers Wanambwa