Eighteen years! Exactly eighteen years as of today, is how long it has been. A journey through a dense mix of valleys of doubt and mounds of hope. And we’ve made it ma! All of us ma!
Jasper is a serial land owner ma. Not one parcel, not two parcels ma. Your first son has distributed investments in Machakos, Homabay, Kajiado and the little parcel dad left us. Some of these belongs to us all, shared rights, but most are his own. Legitimately earned through drips of thin precious sweat. Thin because a lean man (never above 48kgs) never drips in sweat unless he has pushed all his muscles to the edge and precious because he never had to. But for us ma. All of us ma.
Oh, and there is someone else ma. Lorah’s smalling. If the dead see you may have seen her, but let me introduce you better. Sharleen is a bubbly girl, always smiling and a supper charmer. We, Lorah and I, named her after you, Angeline. With the hope that she would mirror what you were but no, she is your opposite. Not so strict, ever sunny and a sinful joker who will always find something to distract you about. Sharleen didn’t even take your dark complexion, but every time she steps on my toe or forces Roberger to buy her a lollipop which she ends up giving other kids, I see you ma.
Eighteen years and we still miss you like you just left the other day. They say it’s easy forgetting the dead than the lost, but to us it’s all the same. Lost or dead, we still can’t tell the difference. A few months after your demise, we thought you’d return. As children, we never understood clearly what death, literal death, meant. When the food was not as warm as yours, we wished you’d return. Hope!
It was tougher when your replacements started auditioning, best performers in front of the judges, dad and grandma, and arrant bullies at role plays. Your precious kids’ heads banged against the walls on gloomy days and play hours turned to hard labour shifts. What turned to be the source of our strength and strong will today! Your once moody Roberger and the still angelic Ishaura can narrate more.
And we’ve made it ma. I have my office and a name tag at the door, “Nixon Gargan,” Lorah is working, Roberger is in the University, and Ishaura is sitting her form four exams this year. Haven’t we made it ma?
Eighteenth Anniversary! - September 2, 1998, 1902hrs.