One night during family devotion, after dad had taught us about Noah and the ark, I was asked to pray. I stumbled through the prayer, saying my own things. My older brother laughed. That’s the last time he ever laughed during devotion. The rod was not spared; the seriousness of God’s matters was communicated to him effectively.
I was born in Pumwani and raised in Nairobi to strict parents. My dad was extra stringent. He believed in the cane and there was no negotiation for misbehavior. We somehow knew we were loved but those words were never verbalized by dad. He would do things like remembering our birthdays which he does up to now. There are no more gifts like in childhood but he calls.
In about 100 years or so, my descendants and those of my brothers and sisters might not know each other. There’s a small chance they could, if they all live around the same area but I think they will be living their separate lives in different parts of Kenya and probably the world. If we are lucky, they might know us. I say all this because as of now, I know very few descendants of my grandparent’s siblings. Where are they? What do they do? What do they look like? I don’t know.
When you ask those born in the 80s what parenting means to them, it will include a whole lot of discipline and strict house rules. My experience wasn’t different. My mum was one strict lady although she has loosened up a bit over the years.
Listening to other stories, especially from military homes, I have come to understand that my discipline journey in the hands of my mother is nothing compared to what others have gone through. I am talking about being wound in a potato sack and beaten like a piñata. Some are hilarious, others left children with lifelong scars – physically and emotionally.
The maternity ward in any hospital is like an active war zone. Newborn babies with their cries are like bullets flying all over the place. Nurses are the rescue crew, doing their best to get those injured to safety. Doctors are the generals, giving instructions and strategies but not getting too involved, unless very necessary. Mothers, they are the bombs, going off involuntarily all over the ward with every response to a contraction.
While living the life in Mombasa, Wanjohi got sick. He had measles, but it was first misdiagnosed as malaria at an estate dispensary. He hadn’t been vaccinated against measles as a child and as an adult, it got him proper. He was sick, so sick that he couldn’t move or do anything for himself. Being alone in the house made it worse. He was dying. It’s the neighbors who took him to hospital after noticing unusual quietness in his house and the fact that he hadn’t been out, or brought any girls into the house.
In case you did not catch the first part Nancy’s story, you can find it HERE.
After the cyst was discovered in Nancy’s liver, talks about going to India to seek a second opinion began. Her son Allan wasn’t convinced that going to India was necessary.
“We had gotten the best doctors locally, and whatever they had done could not be corrected by any other doctor anywhere else in the world. I told my parents that I didn’t think there was any more value that the Indian doctors would add” Allan told me. Continue reading Nancy’s Voice Part II→
Five years ago, the world of Nancy Lugano was turned upside down. When you meet her, you cannot tell that she has undergone seven surgeries, lost her vocal cords, was told she will never speak again, had her teeth replaced, suffered severe depression and much more. Except for her low voice, Nancy is charming and warm, chatty and always ready to interact with people and learn more. Continue reading Nancy’s Voice Part I→
About a month before my son was born, my wife and I had gone to hospital for her routine antenatal clinic appointment. At some point, I went downstairs to grab something to bite. I was alone in the lift when it stopped on one of the floors. Then entered a nurse pushing a trolley. On it was a baby. I looked at the baby and then at the nurse and back at the baby.
“How many days?” I asked.
The nurse smiled and answered “Zero, this baby has just been delivered.”
My face lit; I was excited. I leaned to get a closer look at the sleeping beauty in my presence. With a tag on its hand, partly covered, it felt like the baby was just chilling, unassuming and unaware of the public debt it’s been sunken into already. The baby must have heard my thoughts, because Continue reading Memes, Labour Pains and a Helpless Father→
Sometime ago, my wife got the opportunity to pursue further studies abroad.
Let me back track a bit. About a year ago, during a conversation with an older couple, I remember us talking about decisions and challenges that young couples face. Half way through that conversation, they proceeded to stress Continue reading Moments of decision in marriage→
‘What did you do?’ She asked in passing as she went into the bedroom. I couldn’t respond because my boxed mind just wasn’t connecting. I continued washing the dishes wondering what that was all about and then it hit me. I couldn’t help but just laugh. My wife was actually shocked at seeing me wash the dishes and to her the only logical explanation was that I was making up for something I had done wrong. I think I had not done anything wrong, as much as I know, but you just never know what a lady is thinking. You could have forgotten a promise you made or answered a wrong question right or bought the wrong spices, cumin seeds instead of cinnamon, who even knows what these are.
A man can be confused. Yes, the disruption continues….