December 13 2018

Dear mum,

You have been gone one year today. Gone. What a stupid way to put it. Like you have gone to the market and will be back around 2 p.m. But I find it hard to say you have been dead one year today. That feels so impersonal.

I still wonder what happened. After being hospitalised for 20 days you came home and died 31 hours later. What the fuck happened!?

As a family we had agreed I would be in charge of your discharge because during your penultimate hospital stay you more or less discharged yourself. As a result you were back in hospital one week later. Is that what happened that day? Did you beg your doctors to discharge you early? The morning of your discharge you sent me this message on WhatsApp:

Good morning. Let me talk to doc then you can. Pls. Have a lovely day

It was the last message you would ever send me. Did I stupidly reply:

Sawa. Have a lovely day too

Did you want to die in your bed? Was that it? I try not to think like that and a lot of the time I succeed but from time to time I cannot help it. I really believed we had one more Christmas together. There were conversations you promised me we would have after Christmas. What the fuck happened mum?

It has been one year since you passed away and I miss you more than anything. Before you died I thought I knew what it was to miss someone or something. I had no idea. Mum I would gladly make a deal with those crossroad demons on Supernatural just to have you back. I would willingly cut my life short to have you by my side for the next 10 years. That probably pisses you off but I just miss you so much. But, I promised you I will find a way to exist in a world without you so I am soldiering on.

I hate that I can no longer call you. You were the first person I would call when I had something exciting to share. You were, unequivocally, my biggest cheerleader. I hate that I will never hear you say “baby gal” ever again. I hate that I can no longer seek clarity from you for anything. Two days ago I was trying to remember whose wedding it was I ruined as a flower girl when I cried so hard and refused to walk down the aisle. I hate that there are some memories that have died with you. I hate that I will never hear your voice again. I understand that with time I will no longer remember your voice and that fills me with dread.

I miss the random evenings we would spend talking for hours on end. I miss how I would come to say goodnight and you would “and then …” me with stories for almost an hour. I miss waking up to a text saying “good morning baby gal. Have a wonderful day.” I miss the way you would say “duhhh!” when I asked a dumb question. I miss your laugh. I miss you making me laugh. You were one of the funniest people I knew. I remember you saying my hangover self looks like The Walking Dead. Lol. You were so switched-on to pop culture for 58 years old. I mean, you would watch E! News every now and then. We bonded over so many pop culture moments from the Brangelina divorce to the latest on Beyoncé to the ‘Kedeshians’. I laugh as I type that because your mispronunciations are now so endearing.

I am sad we never got the chance to cook at my place; you were to teach me how to make butter chicken because it is one of my favourite meals. I am sad you never got to meet Biko. Whenever I read his note to you it fills me with such a bittersweet feeling.

I know that I should focus on celebrating your life, all the good times we had and happy memories we made but right now that feels impossible. There is too much turmoil inside me. Maybe next year.

I bought my first car this year mum. A white Mazda. Just like your first car. I got behind the wheel and switched it on for the first time on your birthday. I always thought you would be the first person in my passenger seat. It hurts that I never got to drive you anywhere. But your spirit is with me in my car. That is the only explanation as to why I picked up driving so soon after buying the car yet for years I was terrified of it. The fights we had because I refused to get behind the wheel all seem so stupid now.

I got two more tattoos last month. I remember our conversations whenever I got a new tattoo and I just smile.

“Mum I got a new tatt!”

“Okay.”

“Do you want to see it?”

“Nope!”

But I would show you anyway and you would tell me that you like it. You were both interested and nonchalant at the same time.

One of my first ambitions was to be an English teacher and you shot it down with “and earn KES 15,000 for the rest of your life.” LMAO! I never let you forget that, did I? Especially when I was struggling with B.Com. After over seven years of working in fields that do not fulfil me I am happy to say I now have a purpose. I want to be a champion for women economic empowerment and education of young children. It hit me the other day that was your life’s work. You never had much yet you would take the little you had and help someone in need. Now it is up to me to continue your life’s work on a grander scale. How I wish I could say that to your beautiful face.

I am now using my talent for writing mum. I launched a creative writing blog in August. It is called Lwile the Leo. I think you would be proud of me and read it as religiously as you read Biko. Though obviously I would advise you to stay away from the Sex And The City category. Lol. Speaking of, I remember watching some episodes of season one with you. You were not a regular mum, you were a cool mum. So maybe you would be down to read the SATC posts. Lol. As of now only 15 people are subscribed to my blog but I promise you it will be big. I can feel it.

Through this blog I am telling your story mum. Because even the battles lost are still worth telling.

I am single now. I know you liked him but he was not the man for me. I always knew we would not survive your death and I was right.

I am still fat. Lol. But last month I decided to make health a priority as I have seen too many doctors this year. I owe myself that much. So I am paying more attention to my diet. Believe it or not I now enjoy fruit salad. I still drink a lot of wine though. But hey, you were cool with Olivia Pope always pouring a glass of wine. Speaking of, Scandal came to an end this year. I think you would have loved the ending. Jane the Virgin comes to an end next year. The season four finale was BANANAS!!! You would have lost your … marbles.

There is so much more to say but I know you watch over me so you are up to date with everything happening in my life. I hope I am making you proud. I love and miss you so much. One year down, a lifetime to go.

Love always,

Lwishh

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