My mom would be so upset if she knew how much money we spent on her funeral. Granted, she liked the fine things in life but that's just it; life. Not death. She abhorred excesses and was the Alpha of the oddest statements on wastage. "Don't throw food. It will one day throw you." What does this even mean? Or, "Even if you have a million shillings in your account, live like you have a tenth of that." I wondered whether this meant she had millions stored somewhere or it was hypothetical. Because she did live like she had a tenth of that. Scratch that, less of that. When Jambo Jet first rocked our skies and every Kenyan worth their salt wanted to fly, she remained rooted to road transport. If anyone deserved a loyalty card for Akamba it was Maggie. Every month she would board the night bus with a box of her belongings all the way to Alego. She only stopped the day she almost drowned. On that day, she was in a matatu en route to the CBD when the skies opened up. It was rush hour and the driver of the matatu decided he wouldn't go into town. He told all the passengers to alight in Ngara. The distance from Ngara to the Akamba terminus in the evening, under open skies can easily be a half day's walk. She got off, her box in hand and attempted to cross the road. What she thought was terra firma was instead a ditch filled with mud coloured water. It's as if she aimed right for it and in she went. The current swept her down the road and at some point her flailing arms caught on something and she was able to climb out. By the time we got to her at the Akamba stage - yes she still walked there - she was a reed in the wild wind. Soaked from head to toe. She had invariably swallowed a few mouthfuls of that water and had a queasy feeling in her abdomen. "Mom, let's just go home. You can travel at another time. We will pay for a flight." "No. Just give me warm clothes and I will be on my way." My sister and I were perturbed. Why would anyone want to travel after such an ordeal? "I want to see my home." She would say in defiance as if she hadn't seen it just 4 weeks prior. No one argued with Maggie. We gave her the dry clothes we had carried and escorted her to her bus. Thank God that was the last time she used it. My friends tell me I have the memory of an Elephant. Does this mean if you meet an elephant today, it will remember you next month? Anyway, of late I have been spending time in meditation having different memories of my mum. How she chewed with her mouth half open as if the food needed further cooling while in her mouth. Or how she would explode into a laughing fit during her chama meetings. How she insisted on good manners and good grooming. "The fork goes on the left and the knife on the right," she would say. "Nyako majaber nyaka chiew Chon." 'A good girl must wake up early.' Another favourite of hers. In her sunset years, wait who am I kidding? She didn't live to see her sunset years. But in her final years I would audit most of the things she told us kids and if I were to sum it up now, I would describe the sum total of her life to be - Sacrifice. If she were to follow the mantra of the day, 'Do you the world will adjust,' my siblings and I would not be where we are. Anyway, back to Alego. A few days before my mom's "routine" operation, she said to us, "Adwaro dhie dala." 'I want to go home.' She wanted to renovate the workers house and turn it into a guest house. "For my guests.." she said. "Which ones?" We asked. "Mum dala will always be there. Just have the surgery then you can go." She had the surgery and then she went home. We who were left behind in disbelief kept saying, "Gosh. She really wanted to travel to dala before the operation."
"I guess she got her wish," someone else would say. To be honest though, I don't think that's where she is. The true spirit and soul of Maggie is with her Saviour Jesus Christ. That gives me hope that I will see her again. She is home.
So guys I am taking a break this month. I have some new ideas I am working on for the blog that needs some time. Be back in September.