Thirteenth August 2020 after supper, my dad announces with a soft voice,”tomorrow is Mother’s birthday.”
I nod my head and for a moment I don’t know what to say, but I steal a glance from him.Though he is 71 years old,he still looks handsome when he smiles with his almost all gray Afro hairstyle.
Every year on 14th August, my dad tells us this statement,it doesn’t matter that our Grandma passed on sixteen years ago, to him it’s still Mother’s birthday.
I remember the days when Grandma’s birthday was something to look forward to, many times we went to the village to celebrate with her.
I look at my dad and tell him that we surely miss our Grandma.Then I ask him,by the way, when did she pass on?He says that she passed on in November 2004.Around that time,he was preparing to retire then was planning to go see her as soon as possible.
Unfortunately, she died just before he could get there.I remember a few months before she died,we had gone together with Dad to see her in hospital.I was surprised to see her so frail but she was strong in faith.
I remember her former years when we used to visit her in the village.
Together with Grandpa, they would wake up early in the morning, when the cock crows,then they would pray and sing some hymns.They did the same before going to sleep.
I remember their lively home, full of fruits and other farm products.
Every year just after we closed school in November,we would go to the village with our Dad.Our mom would go with us, sometimes she joined us later due to the nature of her job.Our dad took his yearly leave in December.We would go with a 1st class passenger train upto Kisumu town, thanks to my dad’s job allowances,then from Kisumu town we would take a 1st class ship, to Homabay town.Then from Homabay we would take a public van which would drop us at home in the village.We would then walk for around one hour before we reached our homestead.Woe to us if we found that it had rained,it meant we would remove our shoes and walk on barefoot because of the sticky black cotton soil.Now I miss walking on the sticky soil!
I will never forget, one day after one of the holidays, my dad exhausted his finances, but we had to come back to Nairobi.We packed mangoes and pawpaw’s in sacks.We ate them while coming back in those first class coaches.
After sharing with family that it was Mother’s birthday, my dad says that,”we couldn’t let the day pass just like that.”I think he was right, cause a mother is a mother, whether alive or dead.