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Queen in Pain

The last few days of my aunt Rebecca were punctuated by intense suffering, incessant whims and visible pain. She bravely soldiered on. The amazon was wasting away as each day unfolded but she chose to hold on. There was life in her eyes; they still radiated her past glory but her frail self is in defiance.

She chose to twist the turns and arguably, she made her final days the most phenomenon of her years. She was generous with her time; her words depicted a rare sense of calm. She thrived in this halo, seemingly her condition imposing, clothed into this explicit individual who was jolly to be with.

Since her cancer diagnosis, Rebecca had slowly turned into a blurry reflection of her former self. Her prosthetics limited her movement before she was indefinitely confined to her bed. Feebly clinging to the apron strings of nostalgia, she literally refused to ail. Her hairline had receded and all she could show off was a bunch of stringy strands on her scalp. She was thinly and weak till she barely walked. She was exhausted, and to me, each day seemed her last.

Every morning I met her ashen face, shared somber moments after which I would softly sob into my hands in her backyard. She preferred to smile instead. She was conceding, her pain notwithstanding, and seemingly growing into an imminent crescendo. I saw her gradually waste away, and even in my sleep her frail voice reverberated in damning tintinnabulations.

It was one of my then not-so-frequent visits that she beckoned me to inch closer. Her voice was reduced to a whisper. She wanted me to call to her bedside, her daughter in Australia. Part of me went numb and for a brief moment silently stared into her weepy eyes. I knew at that moment she was not to live past her fiftieth birthday a fortnight away. I swallowed painfully and was hushed tones till I took to calling Stella.

On a cold night in July, my aunt went to be with the Lord. She died softly in her sleep. I chose not to cry that day. It was most befitting for the queen in pain. Her Bible beside her haggard corpse, she looked like one in her sleep. She was calm, happy in her new state. It struck me I was not to see her again, but I had lived her pain, I had seen the damsel in distress waste away.

Stella was most dispirited. She did not make it to share her mother’s last moments. My dad was dejected. They just didn’t come to terms with the loss. Aunt Phoebe had collapsed at the news.
Burial preparation was intense grief. We all knew how much we would miss Rebecca. She was instrumental, sensational, was our Rebecca.

On a sunny Saturday, my aunt was laid to rest. The requiem mass had been solemn but dignified. She was eulogized as she would have wished with speeches brief and concise. The epitaph was classy and ingenious, and the wreaths, beautiful as she herself had been in her lifetime. I remember it rained that evening.

 

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Acknowledgment; The writers world

This site must perform a double duty. In setting it up, I have depended upon steadfast friends, family and teachers. Your countless acts of generosity, guidance and words of wisdom have made me who I am. Most importantly, I must take this opportunity to thank you all for your collegiality and support over the last close to three decades.

I naturally begin with my parents, Daniel and Mercy, who brought me up and ensured they did all what responsible parents should do. To my brothers, Mathew, Naftaly and Kelvin, you are such amazing guys. Life would not have been any fun without you. The good and the bad things we did together have made us a complete quartet. For my one and only sister Tabby, I love you. You survived the storm of roughness from the men in the family. You’re the best sister we have. This is and has been a family effort.

To my writing coach, Amos Bur Keywo, I salute you. It is not a cliché to say that this far would not have been possible were it not for your guidance and the discipline you instilled in me.

To my  colleagues who we started together this long journey as literature committee of the Main Campus Christian Union, University of Nairobi, you have read my articles with great creativity and always correcting me with love. I take this positively. Led by Jelimo Kipturu, who I deputised then, the foundation was laid firmly.

For Luciey Ngotho, I am proud to say that you have been a great friend. Your stock of wisdom and creativity always make me feel inferior before you. Just to mention, …….silence please……, I like your character. Whenever I see you, I see Alice in Wonderland. We can take a walk in the rain together and wander in the forest and where we will stop, we can read a book together. I suggest we coffee thereafter. Is Kobi Foora okay with you?

My buddies, James Ken, Sovinga and Mocklem, part of what you do is to generate ideas and teach. How the World brought us together has rather unusual genesis. Integrity and Decency Forum was meant to bring us together. We can always meet and meat. You men are great.

In the corporate World, I will no forget to invoke Rosemary Mburu. Rose, only God knows where you were harvested. My time with you has been great. Seeing the girl and the lady in you manifest at the same time is rather unusual. You know.…….. What is with you Rosemary?….. I will do some sanity check later…… The Borana side of you make my days. With you I am never disponible, neither are you. Isn’t it?

Writing to me has not been easy. Sometimes experiencing a writers block. Many are the instances I have been blank. Words completely gone. With more than fifty drafts of articles pending approval and completion, I feel I shouldn’t have started this. But the adventure is nice at the very end. Glaring on a blank word doc is not a walk in the park but we are weathering it.

I also wish to thank all those who have in one way or another made it possible. To all my friends, it is not possible to mention you all here. I value you very much. The world of words is held together by your vision, leadership and ownership of the books and literature around you. Many of the specific ideas on how and why to write has always been from you. You have kept me on track and on time. I woe you to more words. Thank you!

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