Sometimes memories sneak out of my eyes and roll down my cheeks – Anonymous
Dad, I know you see her and I know that you approve. I still wish you were here to see her in her full splendour. I now know how you felt when you met mum. True; mum was you’re your childhood sweetheart but this one makes me want her to have been my childhood sweetheart. I know you understand exactly how that works. I still wish that you had been around to see what she has made of the clay that you left.
It’s been 17 years since you left and seven since I wrote you but that doesn’t mean that you have not been in my every waking thought. Your girls are doing just fine by the way; I know you always need an update.
Kache is now “Aunty B”. “Tibwi” to some but we all know what wellington means when he says it. That’s not his real name but you know which grandson I am talking about. Did I mention that you are granddad twice over? Been that long huh? Well you are- old man.
Kache as I was saying is now a guiding light shedding and shredding us all with little nuggets of wisdom like you have never seen. You would be proud of your first born for all the light that she sheds on all our paths. She does it gracefully with an iron fist in a velvet glove demeanour.
Mathew is up there with you bumping to soul and smiling that wolfish smile that we sorely miss down here. I have a feeling that you wish he was here with us and not nagging you about the car engines and transmissions that you taught him. Well tell him he is an uncle now and he should be teaching these younglings some dance moves down here.
Sidi has never lost her way and continues to be the rock that you left her. She has ceded no ground in her faith nor in the family on whose rock you built this family. She remains our Peter on whom Christ raised his church and on whom you raised us in the way. I am still amazed at how steadfast she has always been.
Speaking of Peter, Matilda married a chap by that name. It’s funny how I always thought that your baby girl for the longest time (Six years was it?) would end up with a guy so like you in so many regards. He is above all the most reliable guy I know, in everything. It’s uncanny how much I look up to my kid sisters’ husband. Sometimes when he calls her name I can hear that whistle you used in the way he calls her name.
She is called Xhosie now; not the “everything” that you called her. I guess they are everything to each other her music and her. She named her son “Wira” I guess because at the time music before him was everything to her; that’s the “Wellington” I referred to earlier. He is named after you. He has your chubby cheeks (Something I wouldn’t dare say to your face since he also has your stern countenance and temperament)
Miriam is everything that I thought you envisioned. Woe is the man who comes asking for her hand; he will part with a pretty penny in dowry I will make sure it is not “Kahunda”. She has blossomed into a noteworthy young woman. She has so much to live for and has achieved so much in such a short time I fear she might yet eclipse us all in her accomplishments. You see her I am sure your heart leaps every time she tackles anything with the fervour that could only have come from you and mom.
The apple of your eye, Janet, continues to astound me and your first grandson “JJ” (Also named after you!) with her sweetness. You had a knack for names, didn’t you? Haluwa showers that boy with so much love and affection I fear for the boy. But you knew she would be the glue that holds us all together with love and consideration even when we are all losing our heads. She reminds us every day that we are a family and that we must stick together. She might be the youngest but she comports herself with the maturity and wisdom of the sages of India.
Your beloved Agnes I do not think mere words can do justice. As I write this tears are streaming down my eyes thinking about how strong she has had to be to not only steer her girls into ladies but me into a man that you would be proud of (The jury is still out on the latter but I know the former is true). Dad, your life partner that you left behind has never wavered from the task of raising your progeny, she has been our collective true north. I have never needed any map except her intuition to get me where I needed to get.
She has done the utmost to ensure that we all get where life wanted us to get to. I cannot fathom asking her for more than she has done and I cannot begin to imagine what I would have done without her guiding light leading me to harbour every time I was close to running aground. Sometimes I think that she has a seventh sense because we all know mothers have a sixth sense but she has an extra one because of all the times she has come to my rescue just in the nick of time. I also know she has done this for all your children.
JMK She really is one in a million and I know that I am biased but there is no way women like the one you picked are a dime a dozen. I could not be prouder to have been borne by her and I only hope that I can be an iota of the man that you were and are because I know that even up there you are still setting standards. I only hope that I can get high enough to reach them before I join you. Say a big ‘Word Up!” to MKK for me will you ?” Love always BMK.