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
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,
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,
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,
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,
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 are the African Magic that crossed the Atlantic Ocean
To find yourself here
And so Mukunzi Wanjye,
I hope you live your life fully and wholly
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.