Now

My lovely mother knows how to melt a hardened heart.

She uses the words “mukunzi wanjye” when talking to us.

It translates to “my love”.

She’d say for example “mukunzi wanjye wakwiyitaye ho”

(my love won’t you take care of yourself)

And there’s something about the way she  says it

That stops the time and for a split second everything looks perfect.

I wonder how it’d be like if we could receive mails from heaven

If our loved ones could send us letters once a year perhaps for Christmas.

Here’s how I think it’d go

Mukunzi Wanjye,

Amakuru!

It’s been 13 years now that I’ve left and I can still see your struggling

To understand how or why I left.

I watch over you and I can see your pain at 1 am after a nightmare

Or 7am when you wish it was all a dream and that you’ll wake up

And find me having breakfast . It pains me to know that

As a father, I will not walk you down the aisle

As a mother, I will not hold my grandchildren

As a brother, I will not protect you from those little boys

As a sister, I will not teach you the ways of adulting

As a friend, I will not get on your nerves

As a pastor, I will not pray your worries away

As a mentor, I will not watch you evolve

I think the letter would be 365 pages long telling us about their time up there

How much fun they’re having.

As the letter gets to the end I bet they’d say something like,

Mukunzi Wanjye

Urabeho

I never left

I am still a part of you

I hope you live well

I hope you live.

But tonight, I don’t have those letters with me,

I have mine to share so,

Mukunzi Wanjye,

My love,

It’s been 13 years now that we were

Robbed of some of the greatest souls

To ever walk this earth

They were gone too soon

And we shall remember them as Intwaris

But my love,

Mukunzi Wanjye,

Your story did not start on august 13th

And your life did not end then

I praise your strength to seek justice

I praise your courage for being here

God knows some of us wouldn’t be

Half as resilient

 

But Mukunzi wanjye,

My love,

You don’t have to be strong all the time

You don’t have to hide your pain

You don’t have to run to bathrooms to cry

You don’t have to apologize for the emptiness

That takes over on some nights

Or the nightmares and flashbacks

I hope no one ever asks or expects you to

I hope you take some time off

I hope you look at yourself in the mirror

Every morning and see the greatness

That lives within you

Because no matter what you must admit

All these years and yet you’re still here

Breathing, living, laughing, loving

You’re IT

You are the African Magic that crossed the Atlantic Ocean

To find yourself here

 

And so Mukunzi Wanjye,

My love

I hope you live your life fully and wholly

As yourself

I hope you stop campaigning for approval

I hope you take the path that feels right for you

That you pursue your dreams and goals with no apology

And if you ever feel you need a break

I hope you take heart

One day at a time

One moment at a time

Create new memories

Make a collection out of  old ones

And stay open to make more

Just Live well.

Baho!

-Marianne Murekatete

2 thoughts on “Now

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