Dad, you showed me unconditional love, walked with me every step of the way and sacrificed unselfishly to keep our family together. Over the years we have grown inseparable as we shouldered the challenges of life together.
You remained my greatest confidant, looked out for the best in me and gave me the best you had.
If I exercise any measure of empathy towards my neighbor and consider the welfare of others before mine, it would be because you taught me to do so.
You will remain in my heart that one special person who will never leave me even after you are gone.
Rest in Peace Dad.
Yesterday;Over 40 years ago.
Just recently was a young baby girl. And that was me: Mercy Chidi Baidoo. In reality, this was around 4 decades ago; however the experiences remain fresh to me like it was just the other day.
My mother was the brightest child in their family. It’s out of this that my grandfather opted to forego the other siblings’ educational fate and focus on my mum.
During those times, an African girl didn’t have the right to education. My grandfather had chosen to be of different mind.
That must have been a real sacrifice, a price beyond fatherly love. I better describe it as a combination of pragma and fatherly love.
In return, my mother reciprocated the sacrifice by excellent performance in school up to and until…..At 17 years, while in form 2, when a monster encroached, infected and affected my mother’s ambitions.
A monster that was too brave and strong to take away her dreams, hope for the future and dared taking away her precious life. It was very fierce that neither my mother nor anyone else could ever dare talk about.
And neither do I feel free talking about it now. In fact I shouldn’t even be hinting about it.
After the encounter she successfully managed to escape to a land far away from home. Out there she was lucky to meet with her uncle who was then working with the Kenya Police Forces.
The uncle proved to be fast enough to understand and comfort the wounded, heartbroken, desperate and vulnerable “17 years old mother”.
Hope crept in when she luckily joined the police forces though the uncle. As if from luck to favor, she not only gracefully completed the training but met her better half.
This was none other than The Late Senior Superintendent of police RTD Ernest Kiumbe Amae.
The man was charismatic, gentle and of affable personality.
My mother had found herself the perfect confidant, soul mate and became all time friends.
The complicated puzzle to reconnect.
On the other hand, I had been living with my grandparents who I had grown to know as my Father and Mother.
More surprisingly I knew my real mother as an “elder sister” and my uncles as my “elder brothers”. We lived together, ate together and went to the graze land together. Just like it would be for any other set of siblings elsewhere.
Mum, the then elder sister, could come home as a cop from the Kenya Police Forces heavily loaded with goodies for the entire family…but most importantly for her “youngest sister”.
After all, I was their last born and therefore deserved all sorts of love, care and attention. In addition into this, we were a happy family together; from the parents, bigger sisters and brothers to me as their youngest.
The stodge flowing within us was so strong that none could do without either.
Due to my tender age, I could hardly notice my mum’s “bigger sister” discomfort; She must have been internally guilty but deeply connected to her “little sister”.
Why the quilt?
I wonder, if that was the case; then what kept her coming home regularly? After all, she was old enough, employed and married.
Little did I know that she even had tireless but unfruitful efforts to take me away. The endless discussions and negotiations with her parents were now exhausting.
Finally she chose to bring her military knowledge on board. I mean strategic efforts and smart planning.
This time round she arrived for a home visit at around 6:00 pm. With her was a lump sum of goodies for specifically for her “little sister.”
She woke up the following day at dawn, prepared and left for work.
This was another but strange day. A day I to start reconnecting a complicated puzzle I hardly had an idea about. At sunrise I woke up, prepared and walked along my routine bushy route to school.
Before I got to school, my sister appeared from a nearby bush and convinced me to follow her to town.
That was the young poor me. I didn’t have an option other than abiding to her friendly but unclear orders.
In a span of few hours, I was in an alien Land, Machakos. I wondered what would have happened to my people back at the slopes of Mt.Kenya especially now that my elder sister had taken me away without their consent.
That evening, while in my new home, my “Elder sister” who was the only person I knew in the house told me something that sounded too heavy, contradicting and chock-full to swallow.
“You have to call me mum from today!” She eloquently stated “ And call him your dad!” then paused with finality.
Mum! That was too big for me. I wish you had said it in bits.
“I, Mercy…will call you mum and dad. Just as you wish. After all, these are just names!” I silently thought to console the shock in me.
I had a new family, a new mum, new dad and two new brothers. I can’t tell whether they were shocked about this “new face”…but for me that was too much. An impromptu change of everything…was it to be for my…>>>click to continue reading.