My Father Through my Eyes – Chapter II

You can read Chapter 1 HERE

Thankfully, a friend offered me a job in industrial area. I was staying with friends and random people. At one point I stayed with some girls from Meru. I didn’t even know them but their compassion was familiar. I was moving on slowly; healing and starting to find myself.

Then I met another guy. I was 21, he was 2-3 years older than me, looked naïve like me, was patient with me and had a small nice place that he lived in. In my desperation, I found myself in the arms that showed me what looked like love. But I was also tired of being exiled by the Meru girls whenever their boyfriends came, not all of them at once, of course.

I stayed with him and after a few months I realized I was pregnant, again. He was excited but I devastated. In my mind, I still needed to go back to college, not married or a housewife at such a young age. That’s not how I had envisioned my life. So, we agreed that I will deliver, leave the baby with him and go back to school. An uncle had promised to pay my fees.

Looking back, I believe God kept me in Nairobi for a reason because at home it was bad.

Issues had escalated between mum and dad but I think mum, who had known that I was pregnant, didn’t want to share with me. My dad had tried to evict her from our home severally. She was adamant that she wasn’t leaving. Dad went ahead and sold all the other pieces of land that he had in the area and then one day, while my mum and sisters were at a funeral in the neighborhood, he came with a tractor, got some wayward men in the area, removed what he needed and scattered others around, climbed the house, picked the roof and brought it all down.

Word spread quickly and everyone around rushed to see our home being demolished, my mum was called, people screamed and cried. It was a funeral except no one had died. Divorce and separation is like death that leaves a void that can end up not being filled at all.

Dad loaded what he needed on a lorry and left. Mum gathered the little she could and went back to her people with my two sisters. They were in high school and dad stopped paying their fees unless they went to live with him. They would go then mum would go and take them back and it was just chaotic.

After I had given birth, I heard all that and resolved that something had to be done. I was done with him. That anger that I had when he de-registered me was back with its siblings and all the family members. I schemed and planned everything that I was going to do. And that was to torch his house. This man, he shouldn’t have peace while my mum suffers. The other option was to sue him for bigamy.

But first I needed to know where that home is in Uasin Gishu.

Soon after I got a message that he wanted to see me and voila, the opportunity had presented itself. This was interesting because when he’d heard that I was pregnant, he’d said that he should not see me again, that he’ll cut me to two pieces if he did.

After I gave birth, he now wanted to see me. I went, my mission being to survey the scene of crime to be. My son was about 1 year old then.

I arrived at his home, was introduced to his new wife, had small talk as I checked out the house. Dad was over the moon seeing his first grandchild, a son. He cried when he embraced him. He can be emotional.  Talk of multiple personalities in one man.

But I wasn’t about to be distracted from my mission, although it was now complicated with my sisters being there. I’d wanted to do it late at night, pour the petrol, lock the door from outside, light it up and then take myself to the police station. I was ready and I didn’t care. Selfish anger was on the driver’s seat of my life heading straight for the cliff. I wasn’t even thinking about my son.

I couldn’t do it with my sisters there so I went back to Nairobi. It wasn’t working out with my son’s father. I still wanted to go back to school. We had our issues here and there. I was with him out of convenience and nothing more. I didn’t feel like I loved him and I was venting at him, he was like a punching bag. Poor guy. One day after a little disagreement I packed my stuff and left.

I had gotten a new job at a chemist on Mfangano street, Nairobi and so I had the courage to leave. I had salary that came in every month. I could pay my own rent and even afford a house girl. What more did I need? So, I moved to Fort Jesus in Kibera. I ended up working at that Pharmacy for 7 years.

I started to consistently go to church at Citam Woodley. Before that, throughout the challenges I would actually find time here and there to go to Citam Valley Road. But I went as a casual church goer. I wasn’t serious about my relationship with God.

Life went on. The father to my son pleaded and pleaded to come back to my life but I was adamant. He gave up and froze his support for us. I didn’t care one bit. Me and my baby were doing okay.

But then I was partying a lot. I was independent. Paying my own bills and doing all that pleased me. I would go out with friends and colleagues, I knew the latest clubs, drinks and where it was happening. I enjoyed those company events, launching new drugs, promotions and they would happen all in hotels and end up with parties and in clubs.

Then I met a Muslim guy, a serious one, who would interrupt a date to pray. He was from the coast. There was something about him, I suspected that he was on drugs but that didn’t bother me. I liked him. He was a bad boy, picked fights in clubs even though he never drank, he just chewed miraa. I also started chewing miraa. We would club hop and being the part animal that I’d become, I never wanted to get drunk and miss out on the fun. So whenever I felt tipsy, I would go to the bathroom and force myself to throw up then come back and continue. The party had to go on.

On Sundays I would go to church, with my hangover, worship, take holy communion and then attend soul night at Carnivore that evening. And life would go on.

When I look back, I remember that whenever I was drinking, I would hear a voice, the same voice every time, but I would dismiss it thinking I was just drunk and hearing my own things. The voice would ask, in a very polite and fatherly way, “why are you doing this to yourself? Why are you wasting your life?”

When I used to hear that, I would get up and hit the dancefloor. I would hear that voice more when I was tipsy.

By then my mum was at their home. We had no ushago to go to. If we visited mum and dad heard, it was an issue. If we went to dad’s place, same thing with mum. So, we were stuck right there in the middle. I was also unwise those days, I would tell mum what I heard at dad’s and it would just add unnecessary fuel to the already toxic situation.

The land where our house was had been sold. One time I went for the funeral of a relative just around there and I looked at what used to be our beautiful home and I cried. What used to be a home, with all my childhood memories had become a bush, with overgrown grass and weeds covering the compound. It looked like a witch had died and no one wanted to touch their land. We were the envy of the village back in the day. The devil had clearly come to kill, steal and destroy us. But would he succeed?

I kept dating my Muslim boyfriend. He never forced his religion on me. In fact, he would come to my house and we would listen to sermons together. He would subtly tell me about Islam, about tying a hijab but he never came out too strong. My friends didn’t like him. They thought he was possessive and controlling. He had scary rage when angry, the kind who smashes windows to prove a point. I had put up with him anyway.

After seeing him for about a year, I realized he’s not who he presented himself to be. I decided to leave him but then we were to travel to Nakuru for the weekend, but it was El-Nino season so we decided to stay in town. He booked a room at Six-Eighty Hotel. I am giving up my age with this El-Nino reference. But seriously, if you were an adult during El-Nino, you should have kids in high school or university.

During that period, there was a lot of news of girls being kidnapped and killed. It was all over the headlines.

My cousin was around to look after my son. I told her that I was going to break up with my Muslim boyfriend. But I was bothered that day, I felt like what I was doing wasn’t right. At the hotel; I didn’t even drink. In the room I told him, “I can’t do this anymore.” It was raining everything out there. El-Nino was no joke for those who remember it.

While it rained out there, the news of breaking up provoked a monster in the man and I was rained on properly. I was beaten like a burukenge. I was rude and rebellious and I threw words at him and fought back and that just made things worse. At one point I ran to the bathroom and he followed. As I was forcefully trying to close the door it caught his finger and cut it.

In the middle of the chaos, I heard that voice, the same voice from before. “Shut up, this guy is going to kill you. SHUT UP!” I kept quiet and he stopped fighting. He left the room saying, “naenda kuswali.”

He locked the door from outside and I was just thinking, what if he’s gone to get a gun. It was the season that girls were being murdered and that’s all that played in my head. I was there in shock and hadn’t cried at all. I was numb, curled in bed and helpless. It was 2am in the morning.

I said a prayer, “God, if you get me out of here, am done!”

After that prayer I was unexpectedly peaceful. I texted my cousin, told her where I was lest anything happened to me.

He came back after 30 minutes and I was there in bed, pretending to be asleep. I was cornered prey, there was nothing I could do. He took a shower, tried to speak to me severally, saying he was sorry, that we can talk about it blah blah blah. I didn’t move in that bed.

Then he said, “I have to go, I will call you.” He chucked and left the door open. When I was sure he was gone, I got up, locked the door and that’s when I realized, “Mama, you’ve been beaten, this is your life.”

On the table, there was a bouquet of white flowers (which he’d gotten for me earlier that evening), ironically signifying peace and purity in a room that had been turned into a war zone. There was also a watch he’d brought me from Mauritius and an envelope with money inside.

In the bathroom I hated the person I saw on the mirror. I had a black eye, bruises all over, a ripped lip but the pain on the surface could not compare with the agony inside.

“When and how did I get here?” I was asking myself.

It was a Friday and I couldn’t wait for Sunday to go to church.

At work the next day I would tell those who inquired that I was hit by a matatu while alighting.

In church on Sunday, at Citam Woodley, Pastor Ken Kimiywe was preaching and it felt like he had read the report of my life. “Some of you have been broken, some of you have been beaten….” I was crying on my seat. When he did the altar call, I naturally went to the front, knelt, rededicated my life to Christ and that marked the beginning of my new chapter.

Of course, I had to deal with the guilt of abortion and not always being there for my son. The devil would try to take me back there but the Lord sustained me. I joined doctrinal and discipleship classes and kept growing in my faith. Once in a while I would find myself in a bar but there was progress as I kept looking up to the Lord.

I travelled home a changed person. Vengeance for my dad had taken a back seat and eventually dropped somewhere on the road. I wanted to give him a chance in my life. I started seeing that he was just a human being who makes mistakes. I was becoming more gracious. I expected him to be remorseful and apologize but he never did. And I was okay with that. It didn’t make my day worse.

I apologized to him.

Healing had started its work in me. I started meeting my siblings but mum was with our uncles and that didn’t sit well with us. My brother and I began looking for land to settle her. She insisted on Vihiga but whenever we got land there, it would go just when we were about to seal the deal. I kept praying for my entire family, a burden the Lord laid in my heart when I got saved and I carry it to this day.

My dad and I began to warm up to each other but then things had started taking a wrong turn in his life. The land in Uasin Gishu had issues, court cases, threats and eventually he had to leave. He moved to a nearby area and there was no peace there as well. From a 3-acre land he had to settle in a plot, an eighth of an acre at Matunda along Eldoret-Kitale road. And the babies from his second wife were coming thick and fast. I would call my dad and a baby would cry in the background. Before I would ask, he’ll be like “tulibarikiwa na mwingine”. They ended up having six of them.

I didn’t visit them for a while until an uncle (dad’s brother) urged me to. He was concerned at his condition, saying he couldn’t even afford a razor blade for his beard. I went and witnessed that life had indeed taken a turn for him. Tiny rooms, kids all over, it looked like a poor home. Old age was catching up with him fast and the hardship seemed to accelerate it. I felt genuinely sorry for him.

But dad was still dad. At my brother’s wedding in Nairobi, he set out some conditions for him to attend; no photos with mum, no sitting near each other. Yeah, he might have been suffering but even that couldn’t help his stubbornness. A man who’d made us a laughing stock in Vihiga. People used to say that the demons he chased out in people as a preacher have come to his own family. Here he was demanding special privileges in a wedding.

After a while, God in his own sovereign way opened a way and we got land in Kitale. And the size of the land is bigger that all the small pieces we had in Vihiga, the ones that dad had sold. Enough land to rear cows, goats, sheep, chicken and farm all kinds of crops. And mum agreed and she moved to Kitale. His brother being there helped.

Matunda and Maili saba is like 20km apart. Yeah, that’s God sense of humor, settling mum not far from dad.

God has restored time for mum. She’s been in Kitale for 3 years but people think she’s been there for 10 years or more. The abundance of animals and food in that land is evidence of God’s restoration. Even the food eaten at my dad’s place comes from that land.

My dad and I now talk. We talk so much that we have secrets. There are hints of brokenness and remorse in his words. I can tell he wants to make things right but he’s struggling with approach. My brother and sisters have taken longer to warm up to him but we heal differently. They are coming along. I have seen God’s healing and glory, I have learnt to forgive, I am passionate about families and young people in particular, I see them and I see myself. I counsel and walk with them.

When we were looking for land for mum, dad was also asking us to settle her. Funny because he’s the cause of all the issues. But when we got the land, he’s the one who prayed for it and even erected the first pole on it. Mum had her reservations about that but I believe it was part of the answers to my prayers regarding the family. I am persuaded that they will break bread one day.

My prayer is for the Lord not to take any of them before they reconcile.

For parents, watch your words and actions. Kids emulate what you do more than what you say. Pray to break family and generational issues.

For those wondering, my son is now in university, so are my dad’s first two sons from his second wife. Oh, and my son has a relationship with his father now. He saw his name on the newspaper when his school put out the names of their top students. I had to play mediator between them, drawing from my healing and reconciliation with dad. They are not the best friends but they have a relationship and they talk, without me being there. That is another answered prayer.

God heals, restores and you can forgive somebody who has wronged you because God’s grace can enable you to.

3 thoughts on “My Father Through my Eyes – Chapter II”

  1. God sees the end from the beginning and there’s nothing hidden from His sight. Everything is laid bear and open before Him to whom we must all give an account, and it’s comforting to know that God did indeed win my sister’s heart despite the pain. Thats a journey and a half. We pray that the whole family gets healed from the heart and gets reconciled. As parents we need God’s wisdom in how we relate to our kids. Writing a ‘disown’ letter is much

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