A month or less shy of my birthday in 2015, a Saturday morning, could have been Valentine’s Day or some day around then. I think. I missed my father’s call. The conversations we always had on Saturdays were those within or surrounding church matters.
“Umeenda Kanisa?”, would often be the question after the pleasantries.
Or he would ask what the sermon was or who preached. I was his little window to his old church. (Old because we used to go to the same church then locations changed and I stayed) I made a mental note to call him back because it was getting late and I had little time to get dressed and dash out of the house.
I met my mother later that day and she asked me if I got a missed call from my father. This wasn’t unusual because he would always ask my mother my whereabouts. He worries too much about me. That’s a good thing. I can’t trade it for anything.
You have heard of faith being the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. We often hope for the good things for ourselves and those that we love. We also have faith that blessings shall be your portion and theirs too. However, the bad things do exist and happen. Others so bad we cannot think that they can happen to us or the ones we love, not because we deserve better than others but because it is improbable to us at that time.
During our conversation, my mother casually mentioned that my father got into a “small” accident but he will be fine, then quickly brushed it off. I thought to myself well, if he was able to speak then he is doing ok, maybe a freak accident or something. Then the calls started. My aunts, cousins and other distant relatives alike called in, which was sort of strange because not all of them call in at around the same time in the name of keeping tabs.
I returned my father’s call later that day. My uncle picked. Apparently, I couldn’t speak to my father because now he was on life support.
In all these calls, I was not informed that my father almost lost his life. That he had been taken out of a mangled car. A scene straight out of movies complete with rescue team that cut the wreckage to free him in time before he could bleed to death. That he had a broken hip among other injuries.
There was silence in my mind. A place where there is always chaos and a thousand tabs open.
For the first time I felt broken. Broken and torn to the point I could not cry. I could not summon my emotions. I froze. I spoke less and kept to myself. When I was much younger I used to cry a lot. I would cry if you took my stuff and don’t return. I would cry if I was going to get flogged, I would cry over everything, but it helped me get through situations. The tears always washed the situations away. Well, somehow. But not this time. I hoped it would happen sooner to restart my system. Wapi?!! Three days,zombie mode. A week, going on two.
Most nights I laid in bed. Staring into the nothingness of the dark. Wondering what it was like at the scene of the accident. By the way, the accident happened between his car and a long ass truck. He got stuck under the truck for a while before the rescue team arrived. Another bit of information that I picked months later.
My father never forgets my birthdays. Ever. He got off life support a week before my birthday. More reason why dope stuff takes place in March. The first time we spoke I wanted to say “I love you dad.” But I did not want to scare him back into a comma. So I listened to his frail voice and said little. Now after weeks of dry tear glands, they were stinging like salty waves pulling me into the sea as I chocked.
I might have to continue this another time because I either delete this document because I can’t stop crying neither do I feel ready for woishe’s * I honestly thought I was over that* but apparently sorrow never leaves. I will let this out.
My birthday is hours away. Of all the things I am thankful for first is the gift of life. That of my father, mine, my immediate and extended family for being there and for the love we share. Love is the greatest gift of all and to live a life spruced with unconditional love is the best kind of life that can be led. Because where there is love, there is life.
And for you who always stops by, I see you, thank you and I am thankful for you too.