Originally intended for 22 June!
Today I thought about you, like we always do every twenty second day of the month. December usually has a special toll on us. Bringing to mind the painful memories of that day back in 2012 when the news we received would forever change our lives in the saddest of ways. I can confidently say you were a fighter, you didn’t give up even with your last breath but we were never ready for what was yet to come. To live without your physical presence was something we were going to struggle with for the rest of the days and years ahead. It’s one of the toughest lessons we have had to learn and one of the most heart wreaking experiences we’ve had to endure. It’s exactly five years, five months and 22 days since you left our hearts in grief. And today, thoughts of you were very fresh in my mind, I don’t know if my eyes will be strong enough to hold back the tears as I recount all our good times together.
You were always that binding pillar of the family. Somehow whenever you were around, you brought us together. I remember the time you had us all gathered in a studio “mega pix” to take pictures and we laughed ourselves silly as we posed endlessly. We later had lunch together at the former Nandos, well things have changed now it’s called flavor town but it was one of the best days. Having almost all the cousins in one place, sharing a meal, I can say was priceless. I guess a lot has changed since you left but I think of moments like this as if it were just yesterday. We still try to keep in touch hoping that your chords of togetherness will stay alive but honestly, it’s just so hard. Everything is different these days and you know chatting with people on social media kind of kills the spirit of physical meetings to catch up on life.
I also can’t forget how I would be in boxing you endlessly on Facebook especially just after you moved to Australia. There’s this one time we were chatting and I expressed my concerns of wanting to travel the world and you simply laughed at me. You told how I should be happy in Uganda because no matter where you go, there’s no better place than home. This showed me how much your heart was back home here in Uganda because it’s where your loved ones were. I can bet that even though you were physically miles apart, we were constantly in your heart and I’m sure you thought about us all the time.
Your love for African food was unbeatable. I recal how you once brought home “matooke flour” which tells me how much you always longed to get back home to nicely prepared African dishes. How can I even fail to mention your love for eshabwe. Although you successfully kept away from millet a.k.a akalo with the defence that it was for men, hahaha. Maybe this is why I have a hard time just eating it fwaaaa yet it’s our staple food, I guess I learnt from you.Oh by the way, Daisy got married towards the end of last year (31st December), am so sure you’d have been so happy and yes, we missed your presence that day. She looked so beautiful that she had mummy tearing all through the service and her darling matron Phidra was also in tears, haha. I’m sure you’d have probably been part of this tears of joy party and needing no special invitation to it.
A few weeks before the wedding, auntie and uncle(your lovely parents) invited us to where they were staying then, for evening tea and a chat with the mugole who is also their God child. And as usual, I tagged along. While there, Uncle kept teasing me saying “ka darling, UCU didn’t offer you any boyfriends?”, you know how he is with joking and so we laughed it off. I’m sure if you had been there that evening, you’d have told him that I’m still young, the baby of the family hihihi. But many other babies have come after me, some are your nieces and nephews, it makes me feel all grown up (hides face).
I know they would have been pleased to meet you and would have definitely fallen in love with you. However, we don’t tell them so much about you. And it’s not because we don’t want to, God knows how many countless stories we’d like to share with them but their young minds wouldn’t be able to grasp the concept of death. I’m not sure we’d have the right words to say or the best explanations of their auntie who loves them and yet they can’t meet her. But maybe one day the pictures of you just might depict the beauty of our fondest memories of you. Maybe then we’ll have a starting point on what to say and how to say it. I guess we should first let them grow and allow their brains to advance. Maybe they’ll be able to understand it better then. Maybe, just maybe!
I’m also sure you’d have loved the Rukundo Egumeho family game days and without a doubt, I know that you’d have been cracking us up with all your endless jokes and random food concoctions. As I thought about the fun your presence would have brought to those parties, I smiled, but also a part of me sobbed. Something along the lines of a bitter sweet feeling, the kind where you’re happy but sad at the same time. I’m reminded of how you always bought each one of us a present, you never came to us empty handed, not even once. And it’s not because you had all the money in the world, no….your heart my dear was one rich in love. The love that our hearts are holding on to till this very day. That’s just who you were. If I had to describe you in one word, Angel is the one that would suit you best and yet not even be able to fully elaborate the amazingly beautiful person you were inside out.
Writing this just clouded my eyes with tears, the kind that give a chocking feeling and every tear drop feels like a sting and the pain like a stab in the heart. Even though these memories hurt and walking down memory lane is excruciating, as I tear and think of all that you were, there’s a faint smile in my heart. Faint because it’s had to genuinely smile when everything within is screaming and causing the heart to bleed from all the pain. Nonetheless, this is my way of celebrating your life. This is me voicing my unsaid thoughts of how terribly I miss you. This is me sending shouts out to you where you are. This is me allowing myself to get all emotional because pain demands to be felt, there’s no other way around it. This is me pouring out my heart in more words than I can dare to speak. But ultimately, this is my love letter to you. Reminiscing all these moments is my way of saying I love you and always will. Out of sight is definitely not out of mind. In this case, your being out of sight causes me to think about you all the time.
The other day as I was in my room, I randomly began singing the song it is well with my soul, but I wish that it were truly well because sometimes the emotions within tell a different story. Some times if not always, my heart is not well, it aches and it bleeds at the thought of you not being here with us. Recently, mummy was telling me of her visit to Gulu. Yes, she had travelled there for a Nurse’s training workshop or something of the sort. So while she was having lunch in one of the restaurants, the man who sang at your funeral service walked in. The one from A-plus ( I don’t know his name). But the sight of him that afternoon brought mummy to tears, she said he reminded her so much of you and all the sad songs he sang that time as we were saying our last good byes to you. In all honesty, he has a very lovely voice but it’s just that the sound of his angelic voice that morning re-echoed and confirmed to us that it would be a long while before we would be able to see you again. And there mummy was, in a restaurant in Gulu, crying her heart out. I guess we are not used to the fact that you are gone. Maybe some day we will but chances are high that we might not. It’s all too painful.
How are we supposed deal with the fact that sometimes you can’t be in the same place with the one you love? how are we supposed to move on? how are we supposed to get by? how are we supposed to deal? I know we have to forge a way through this because death definitely doesn’t come with a manual on how to deal with the after math of loss. I wished it did, maybe the preparation would help. We shall try to move on, just for your sake! I know it’s what you’d have wanted us to do, but honestly living without you is close to an abomination. You’ll always linger in our minds. I’ll stick to keeping you in my heart and carrying you along with me every where I go. A friend once told me that, distance is nothing when we are in each other’s hearts, i’ll dare to believe her. Writing this is my promise to keep you forever in my heart.
I know they say that time heals all wounds but, sometimes it just makes it unbearably painful. Sometimes we think we have healed and other times, the wounds are as afresh as they were back on 22nd December 2012 when you went to be with Lord. I know this left us crashed but I’d like to believe that it was a relief from all the fighting you had endured. Although that day we lost the fight to cancer and it looked like that gruesome disease had won, it actually hadn’t. I guess God calls only the best back home an I’d like to think that a lost battle on earth was a victorious celebration in Heaven as the Angels welcomed their very own back. I know that you are smiling down on us and even if we are not able to tell you all our never ending stories, we wish that we could, but I believe that you can somehow watch them happen as you look down through the sky!
In other news, my phone was stolen this evening but i’ll tell you that story another day, if I get to tell it anyway. But in all honestly, I can relate with the Psalmist word’s in chapter 61, verse 2 when he says ;
From the ends of the earth I will cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the rock that is higher than I
My heart is overwhelmed especially because you are greatly missed and dearly loved my darling cousin Mish. This is my cry to the Lord, genuine comfort can only be found in Him, for he alone truly understands our pain.
Rest easy sweet one, until we meet again some day. You are forever in our hearts!