I am so excited to be writing another dedication. This gives me a sense of love, warmth and joy of appreciating my people.
When I was in high school, my holidays were what I would look forward to the most. I would close school and in two days, I’m in a matatu heading to Nakuru to see my aunty though I call her Siste, because I can.. ha ha ha. This to me meant so much, as I got to share my holiday with someone who knew so much. She would always teach me something new and I would never be lonely. She would come to get me at the stage and I knew fun had begun. As I entered my Nakuru home, Cucu would be so excited to see me, already starting to prepare our favorite meal – homemade chips. We would sit and catch up, laugh and enjoy each other’s company so much, it felt awesome to have that big sister, it still does!
Njeri was (read still is) so social, while I was more of the girl behind her shadow. I would eventually get courage and talk to people but after adjusting to them. When I was in form one or two, she had to go for holiday tuition in Mene, she gave me her uniform and we would go together. She would say hi to the watchie, who knew all the students in that school, while I sneaked in. I would pretend to read and share stories with people, till break and lunch time when we would hang out with her and her friends. They were so cool; they would buy me lunch and treat me so well, sometimes I would just stare in awe. I was happy to belong.
On weekends, Cucu would literally chase us out of the house to go party and hangout with friends; we would do so till early the next day. One fateful day, just before going back to Nairobi the next day, we were caught by cops. Luckily for her, she was let lose while me and June* were literally lifted into the truck as we were too short. As I stumbled to get my balance so as to get into the truck, I felt a sharp pain on my back. For the first and last time ever (at least I hope so), I was hit by what you call a ‘nyahunyo’. Excruciating pain is an understatement, to what I felt. I could feel the swelling lines on my back. The truck started moving and panic struck. How would I explain this to my dad? Where was I going? Worse still, would I sleep in a cell, after all the creepy stories I had heard? What would Njeri tell Cucu?? Luckily June* was able to talk to the cops and for something small he let us go. The downside was, he did not want the driver to know he had had his cake and eaten it, so we had to jump off the truck and run… With my height, you can imagine me jumping off a military size truck. I was amazed at how I did it. We ran until the point where we had been caught and found Njeri, tears rolling down her face, worried senseless. Until today, I feel the love that I saw in her eyes that day, the joy of seeing us, amidst the worry. Thank goodness we can now laugh about it today.
Another special memory I remember was when mum passed on, she left an entire week of high school, and she was in form 4, to come and keep me company. How memorable and great was that? She helped through the hard times, made me laugh, kept me distracted when I needed it and understood when I wanted to just be alone. She was a pillar, when I needed her the most.
In high school, she tried her best to come for all my Vizos and made them ever so memorable. I even remember she was the one who told me that my small sis was going to be born in a couple of months. I was a rebel then and such news made me anxious, a bit irritated and uncomfortable. I guess it was because I had not embraced my step mum and had major teenage issues. Still, she was my rock and gave me advice and direction when I needed it.
I remember her excitement when she came to Nairobi and when we would go visit her at a hostel in Ngara. She had two jobs and school and still held on and fought for a successful life. Seeing the successful woman she has become today, shows how far she has come, her zeal, hard work and determination that has taken her to great heights.
There are so many more memories but for some I prefer not to talk about coz they might be too personal and some a bit sad so I will stop at that. In a nutshell, we have shared life together since we are young, and not a day passes by that I am not thankful.
Thinking of you and the times we have shared makes me want to laugh, some sad memories cry, thank God for you, stand tall and tell everyone that there is an amazing woman, who is going to have a positive impact to the ends of the world. A woman who has direction, determination, conviction, kindness, selflessness, focus and love for so many people. You may not show your love to people the way they expect it, but for me, I have no doubt that it exists.
For the pizzas we ate with Mwai when we did not even know what flavor we liked, Cheers!
For the movies we watched in Odeon cinema, Naks with popcorns for ten bob, Cheers!
For the time, Wahome made us ‘miria mara’, Cheers!
For being there for each other, through the loss of the most important women in our lives and being able to live to become what they expected and dreamed us to be, Cheers!
For climbing over the gate to your house in south B just to enjoy each other’s company, Cheers!
For the sleepovers where we would talk until 2am in the night, Cheers!
For my very first Chinese dinner, Cheers!
For all the memories and fun times we shared in Nakuru, Cheers!
For the unconditional love towards me, the great advice, immeasurable help and constant love, Cheers!
Happy Birthday Njeri wa Wangui, May the good Lord continue to bless and uplift you all the days of your life.
I Love You so much and appreciate you this beautiful day.
* not her real name