My new site is currently under construction so typewriter tuesdays is on pause for while… Bare with me!
Although, I just want to take time out of my literary shenanigans to shed light on one thing that is the most important to each one of us. Family.
Just this past weekend, I spent Saturday at a family function planned to celebrate the life of my late Grandmother, God rest her soul. When my mother said that she and her sister wanted to have a mother’s day celebration, I didn’t get why aside from, of course because it was Mother’s Day. But thing is, this event was scheduled for 3 months AFTER Mother’s day in May. So again, why bother, why not just wait till next year? But what I didn’t know was the reason for this particular event. They wanted to bring together every single one of grandmother’s friends who are still fortunately here with us today and all the mother figures they have known all their lives to celebrate them and thank them for standing with them even when their own mother had departed.
I just thought it was yet another family function where I’d have to play hostess so didn’t even show any excitement. But when I got there… I saw people I had not seen in years. The last time being when we were at my grandmother’s funeral. Every one of her sisters, her dearest friends, her favorite cousins, even people she met literally weeks to her passing, all of them made the time, made the journey from out of town, some from out of the country… all just to be here to remember their friend, sister, aunt and mother one more time.
My family only communes on one occasion. Christmas time, so it was very surreal to see everyone after such a long time and all under one roof just like how we used to be in Dani’s(the name we would call my grandmother) house. It was all fun and laughter till the speeches began with the traditional luo music playing in the background. Then the waterworks started, everyone had something to say about Dani, what they loved about her, what they missed about her… and most of them would turn to me and say ‘Look how beautiful you have grown up to be. Your grandma would be so proud.’ After like 5 more of those comments I couldn’t sit there anymore, I tried to not shed even one tear because I didn’t want to mess up my makeup but it was all too much. Then my mother broke down and that was it. I couldn’t be here. I walked up and left, leaving my mother to be comforted by her sister.
Standing by the drive way, I remembered the sombre moments of 2009. Our whole family was torn apart by Dani’s sudden death but we have since been picking up the pieces. We have all grown, we have become better, stronger, and more successful people in our own rights and all to uphold the family name. The family she worked so hard to build. She would be so extremely proud to see what has become of the family now. Seeing my mother break down like that hit me hard. It made me realize that she really puts on a facade with us kids. She misses her mother terribly because Dani was the one person aside from her sister that my mother was extremely close to. I’d give anything to have her back just to have my mother at ease. But God has her reasons and maybe that’s why he found a way to make my aunt relocate back to Kenya. He knew my mother needed her person, her sister, close to her so she doesn’t feel too alone.
I went back and saw Dani’s sisters singing her favorite song to the audience. Tears flowed freely, but those were not the sad tears of 2009, but nostalgic ones. A happy nostalgia had filled the air. We miss her but we love each and every memory we have of her. We love that the youngest of the grandchildren is named after her. Arwa is a bouncing ball of joy Dani, I know you would have been spending every waking minute with her if you were still here. We love that her own daughter followed in her footsteps and married into politics. Because everything my aunt does now, she learnt from watching her mother during her days as a political wife, and does it flawlessly. We love that her eldest granddaughter got to graduate from college and set the example for all the rest. We love that her other grandkids are mostly in university and making moves in their own right, trying to give back to society while maintaining exemplary grades in school. We love that the school named after her is producing brilliant students each and every year. So many great things have happened since 2009 and it goes to show she did not leave us empty handed at all. She left us a legacy that we definitely are living up to and making bigger.
Family. As I sat there watching all these people I have grown up with, others I have watched grow as well… I cannot help but say a big thank you to the big man upstairs. I have an amazing family and I would not trade them for anything in this world. This family would not be here were it not for my Dani. So this albeit late Mother’s day celebration was actually very much needed.