A True Story
on May 10, 2020
Yippee! It's Mother's Day today. As I begin to write this story, I am not in the elated moods I like being in when I am penning a great tale. I however couldn't let this day pass without me saying something about my mother who has always been there for me.
My mother is not an educated woman. She only has high school education and she sometimes struggles to communicate with her grandchildren who talk English. But if being educated means being responsible, she is an educated woman.
When I was a boy and well into my adulthood, I used to observe her wake up every morning, attend to duties on our farm, wash clothes for my father and then head to my hometown of Kiserian to open her grocery shop. It is from that shop that she earned some money that helped put food on our table and clothes on our backs.
During weekends and school holidays when my siblings and I were growing up, Mum always ensured we had some work to do at home before she left home for Kiserian to open her shop. She assigned us such work as fetching firewood, grazing cattle and tilling our farm.
I vividly recall one morning in 1997 when Mum left us some chores to do at home, she unexpectedly came back after about half an hour and found us exchanging stories instead of working. Infuriated, she yelled at me and my younger brother Symo for neglecting the chores she had assigned us that day. I don't know why she spared my senior siblings from her rebukes but I could tell they too were embarrassed by the way they melted away from the scene immediately.
Yes, Mum could sometimes be tough. I shall always remember one incidence when her toughness saved me. Back in the mid '90s, I was allocated the duty of taking milk in the evening to the home of a distant neighbour called Mrs. Mathenge. While carrying out that duty, there emerged a boy who began to bully me when I was on my way to Mrs. Mathenge's home. The boy would sometimes extort money from me as part of his bullying nature.
One evening as I headed to Mrs. Mathenge's home to take milk as usual, the boy threw a stone at me. The stone hit me on my head and I began to bleed. When Mum came home that evening, I informed her what had happened. Looking perturbed, she marshalled several men in my family and had us go to the boy's home.
We found the boy and his mother in their small ramshackle house which was as dark as a tomb for lack of electrical lighting. As soon as we arrived, Mum began to express her anger for me having been stoned by the boy. The boy's mother sided with Mum and she too began to rebuke her son. Those rebukes worked because after that evening, the boy never bullied me again. Mum's toughness had saved me.
Sometime in 1999, something unfortunate happened to my mother: she was diagnosed with heart disease that required surgery. Because the surgery was too expensive for my modest family, a fundraiser was organized during which my family raised enough money for a heart surgery that took place sometime in the year 2000.
That time my mother was in hospital undergoing heart surgery, a schoolmate of mine called James Koigi apprised me that he had seen my mother being fed in pipes. Well, I can't recollect ever getting scared by what Koigi told me. I must have been absorbed in my quest to excel in school and in my adolescent fantasies of going out with girls.
As it turned out, Mum's heart surgery in 2000 was successful - something I am now grateful for because she later on that year negotiated to have me transferred to Kunoni Educational Centre, an upscale private primary school where I was honed to ace the national primary school exams known as KCPE. If Mum hadn't taken me to Kunoni, I would never have made it to Starehe Boys' Centre - a prestigious institution where I had my high school as well as college education. Oh, how grateful I am that Mum survived her heart surgery!
Sometime in 2013, Mum was again taken ill - this time for suffering a stroke. She was admitted at Kenyatta National Hospital on a wing of the hospital known as High Dependency Unit (HDU). Though the name of that wing sounds deathly, Mum was discharged from the hospital after several weeks. Because she had lost the use of her left limbs in the stroke attack, she had no choice but to close her grocery shop in Kiserian and rest at home where she has been since then. To this day, she is yet to recover fully.
Of late, Mum's health problems have been increasing. Last year, she developed diabetes which I think is as a result of eating too much and exercising too little. Then several weeks ago, she fell down and dislocated one of her pelvic bones. For that reason, she has not been doing any form of physical exercise. She has to be lifted up and carried in a wheelchair everytime she has to move.
Given my Mum's health problems, I sometimes worry that she might not live to see me walk down the aisle with my princess charming as it is my dream. But I am now turning over the matter to God and just appreciate that Mum is still alive as I write this story. Happy Mother's Day!
RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed this story on appreciating mothers, you might also enjoy another one I wrote last year on "Honouring Parents". Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the story.
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A True Story
on May 3, 2020
If there are people who offend me in this world, it is those who steal my property, cheat me of my money or don't keep their word. Today, let me tell you about one such person who offended me on Friday. His name is Freddy but allow me to call him a fool, for that is all he is.
Last week, I composed a hymn which I wanted to produce in a music studio. So on Thursday morning, I contacted the fool I have told you about. The fool is a music producer and the good thing about him is that he charges me very cheaply compared with other producers I have approached. But going by how grossly inefficient he is, the old saying "when you pay peanuts you get served by monkeys" must be true.
When I phoned the fool on Thursday morning, he received my call. And after I informed him I had a song I wanted to produce in his studio, he asked me to send him a down payment. I sent the money immediately and shortly afterwards, we agreed that I would travel to his studio the following day: Friday, that is.
Excited at the prospect of producing a song, I called the fool on Thursday evening to confirm with him that we would be meeting the following day. But alas! He didn't receive my call. About an hour later when I called him again, he still didn't pick my call. Those unanswered calls notwithstanding, I purposed to stick to my plans of travelling to the fool's studio the following day.
Come Friday, I woke up early in the morning as usual. I took a shower in preparation for the journey I was to make to the fool's studio. Because the journey was quite long, I left home at around 7.20am without waiting for our farmhand to prepare tea. As of the long journey, it comprised walking several kilometres of distance, boarding two matatus and riding in a motorbike. The journey was not only long but also expensive by my standards.
Guess what! When I reached the building that houses the fool's studio after about two hours of travelling, I found its gate closed. I called the fool to tell him I had arrived but he didn't receive my call. Being the patient young man that I sometimes am, I sat down next to the gate of the building and read a book I had carried with me.
As time rolled by, I phoned the fool again and again but he didn't pick any of my calls. And when I sent him an SMS, he didn't reply to it either. While waiting for his response, I suddenly remembered I had planned to have a haircut later that day. I decided to take advantage of the waiting time to have my hair done. So I stood up and walked around looking for a barbershop.
Having found a barbershop, I entered into it and had a haircut, all the while hoping that by the time the barber was done with trimming my hair, the fool would have contacted me. But alas! After I had had my haircut, I didn't find any message or missed calls from the fool. And mark you, that was more than an hour since I had arrived in the area.
Again, I went and sat down near the gate of the building that houses the fool's studio. After sitting down, I called the fool only to hear an automated voice that his line was busy. A few minutes later when I phoned him again, my call went through but he didn't answer it. That his line had been busy a few minutes earlier made me realize he was just ignoring my calls. And imagine that was after I had made a long and expensive journey to his studio. How offending!
Because of the curfew that has been imposed in my country in an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus, I decided to head back home so that I would make my return journey while it was still daytime. That turned out to be a wise decision because the fool didn't contact me for the rest of the day. He had lied to me.
Well, I have come to take responsibility for my own happiness by not allowing other people's weaknesses to affect me. But yesterday every time I thought of how the fool had inconvenienced me by wasting my time, money and energy, I couldn't help but feel deeply offended. Why had he agreed to meet with me on Friday but fail to turn up? Why had he not called me in advance to tell me he couldn't honour our appointment? And why had he refused to pick my calls and reply to messages on Friday?
So offended did I feel that yesterday afternoon, I sent him a message demanding my money back. This time, he replied to my message without apologizing for inconveniencing me. He promised to refund me my money but a day later, I am yet to get even a single coin from him. Today morning, it dawned on me that his promise to refund me my money was another lie given the way he has been beating around the bush every time I bring up the issue. So I have left him alone and let God deal with him for conning me my money and for not keeping his word.
That fool offended me for shizzle. Happily, I have now recovered from the bitterness. And even though he made me lose money, time and energy that I would have put into better use, I am glad to report that I am now a wiser person. Next time, God willing, I will be more careful in my business dealings.
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