Unintelligible sounds are still wafting through the ventilation, they have been coming through for the last 20 minutes. I give up and stealthily go in search of the source of the sounds. The cold seeps from the tiles into my feet, it is such a nice feeling – one of my favourite.
Walking without making a sound is something I learned to do earlier on in life (P7 vacation, sneaking out of our rooms to watch movies – *side eye at the older children* The night we were found out!) – cartoons have it wrong, tiptoeing increasings the risk of your joints cracking and giving you away. No. The key is to step as lightly as you can and with each step, place your whole weight on that foot.
I turned into the dining room where the sounds are coming from. My eyes immediately begin to water, and my facial muscles start to betray me. With the straightest face I can muster, I ask: “What exactly do you think you are doing?”
He looks up and drops his voice one octave and continues singing. I can’t help it… I give in and start laughing uncontrollably. My mom, enters the room – I turn to her and say, I think he is singing – between gasps for breath. He pouts and I hear him say under his breath, “All of you have refused to give me grand children, now I have resorted to singing nursery rhymes to myself”. He stood up from his chair and now had a little dance as he sang. I left him shaking my head, over my shoulder I said with a smile,
There are so many of them now… The grandchildren. Some of them with a lot of your tendencies – especially Boss Boss (Don’t blame me, your amazing wife comes up with the most original noun combinations for nicknames). They say he looks like you, but I don’t see it. He might have your fingers though, it’s quite an uncanny cloning. They might have your temper also. Him and Duda (again… Your wife, their Jajja is responsible.)
About your wife, we shut down the Yoghurt business, the supermarkets just were not paying. In fact, since you were one of the original minds on entrepreneurship and small business in this country, maybe you can explain to me why supermarkets make it exceptionally hard to operate a business.
(**Enter Rabbit Trail: On a side note, I found your book on Amazon: Nascent Entrepreneurship -Yay!! But $88 – Yeish! I am curious about how they keep selling it and yet you are not here – I wonder what sort of deal you had with your publisher: Leave Rabbit trail**)
Those supermarket-overlords did not get us down though, we are now farming mushrooms. We make our own gardens and plant them. The excitement that is written allover her face when I set my dust-caked feet on those cold hard tiles every evening, is always something else. She excitedly tells me about the ones that have flowered, how many kilos were harvested, and often manages to get me into the green house to see the new set-up. She misses you, you know. She still tells stories about you once in a while.
The boys? They are going great! One of them took us to the hills of Kabale to enkwatarugo. It was such an amazing day – she has a beautiful hospital family. They are filling your shoes as best they can. One plays the piano and the other is convinced that it was a ploy to get a girl – ahem… I think it worked. Tehehehe.
Your princess? But, how come she gets to be called princess and not me? I thought there should be no favourites in a home? Anyway, she is well – she still carries your flag at MUBS, I think it harder for her than it is for the rest of us. She has to walk by your parking spot, your window, your office, your former office staff.
Your Scrabble buddie also passed on by the way, only leaves uncle R – I pray for him! He must miss you both terribly. Playing scrabble every evening was you guys’ thing. That scrabble table still haunts me.
Your other little princesses are making their mark in the world. Mandy graduated after she did her final exams in excruciating pain. That girl is such an amazing example of beauty, grace and strength wrapped in resilience. We finally had that operation and we are believing for total healing for her – drop in a word for us.
Anita is at the university – this is the point where I would have turned to you and exclaimed – Damn Daddy! You are old! Tehehehe… Anita, the cheeky-full-of-life baby is doing law! We have an arrangement, me and her – all her work for me will be pro-bono (Don’t roll your eyes, it’s nothing nefarious… I might need to patent my technological innovation *insert devilish grin* )
Abera bariyo nabo. We have a Whatsapp group we use to keep in touch with each other. I know they miss you and the influence that you had on their lives.
Me? I still dream about you every once in a while – (No, my dear christian friend, you can hold your tongue – I know about the Living & Dead scripture.) I wish today were a holiday. I wish we could all get together and remember you. But alas, we cannot – life needs to keep moving. Not in a sense that we want to forget you, lol! Far from it! We cannot keep our feet planted in the past and the loss that we have experience. The loss that we are reminded of on specific days. Yes, we need to grieve but we also need to smile and remember. We need to allow our lives to be shaped by the priceless experience that it was to have you in our lives.
I don’t think about you as often as I used to – but whenever I do, I cannot stop the lump from rising in my throat and the involuntary upturn of my lips. So ironic, the urge to cry and yet smile at the same time. I wish you had lived to see this new technology age – I am a little nutty about data, its interpretation and integration with software – which I think was nurtured on those mornings, when we would leave and different times and observe traffic on our routes. Oh yeah, Jennifer tarmaced one of our routes and now everyone is clogging it – they are also putting traffic lights at Fairway (Yes, you called it!). You would have been such an invaluable resource to the data movement in Uganda!
I miss our morning rituals – Me: Yelling, I’m late give me 10 mins, You yelling back, You have 5. I miss the fights – eish, but we could fight and I am not even a confrontational person (Tehehehe, insert innocent face here). I did not look at you when they brought you back, I didn’t want to remember you like that.
*sigh* Today, was the day they called us. The airport police with the news. Gone on a plane in Dulles airspace.
Oh Daddy. it’s been 3 years since you’ve been gone.
Oh Daddy. It’s been 3 years and 2 days since I hugged you.
Oh Daddy. It’s been 3 years and 2 days since I smiled at you one last time.
Today, I miss you most!
PS: A number of you tagged me in the Versatile Blogger Craze (Simon, Nev & Angela – I mean you) – I am so sorry I have absconded, this post was at the front of my mind and I needed to get it out.
PPS: All images belong to me so please… No stealing. Or laughing… tehehe, As you can see I have never really grown into my forehead.