Lucas Marang'a

A man at 40

14 Riverside Drive: Celebrating Life

Kenyans would love to forget last week fast. Terrorism reared its ugly head yet again and hit very near home this time, both geographically and relationally. That Tuesday was a kawaida sunny weekday in the city in the sun until about 3:30 PM. I was up and about with a spring in my step trying to be productive because I was in a positive mood for what this year will unleash. I choose to remain positive and hopeful even now after that attack at 14 Riverside. I can’t give those murderers the pleasure of blowing up my dreams.
Some of you may have come across my story on FB about how I processed the whole attack with Mummy Shark holed up in a tiny server room together with her 9 colleagues. My pal and fellow half timer Mwihaki visited us at home after the whole ordeal was over and we got chatting about how it all went down. She then asked me two days later whether she could publish my experience on her Paukwa platform.
Here is the link to the post on Facebook. It ended well so you can start reading from the top. I saw some comments on Facebook from some readers who had to calm their nerves by checking out the ending before they started reading. Thanks Mwihaki for putting my mind in words so well.

I wasn’t sure at first if Mummy Shark would be okay with me sharing my experience. You see, compared to her, I was like the commercial break in a drama, suspense and thriller movie all in one. In fact, after last week I’ve come to the conclusion that life is the real movie. Not what we watch on screens. I gave Haki the go ahead to publish my story on social media after Mummy Shark okayed it. I agreed because I had the same motivation as Haki which was to tell our own story after New York Times did their matope version of it.
As much as news has to be reported as accurately as possible, it loses its meaning or intention when done recklessly. I once was told that truth told without love is cruelty. That’s what NY Times achieved, cruelty to our hurting countrymen. They rightly deserved the wrath from the KOT army. That was enough motivation to add my voice.

It is very difficult for an able-bodied man to stand and watch helplessly as other people suffer and not be able to do anything about it.

Even worse when some of those in trouble are your dearly beloved. That’s what made those the longest 15 hours of my life so far. Allow me to confess that deep down something told me that Mummy Shark would get out. I think God knew that He wouldn’t leave me to be solely responsible for three small Kenyans. Maybe He’s not sure I can shepherd them solo into responsible adults. Maybe He’s right and I doubt I can argue with Him. I was glad that we didn’t have a dome running that day with mama. That eased things a bit for me somehow because she called me immediately the attack began. But in hindsight domes shrink to a dot when your life is threatened like it was last week.
The alternative possible outcome of this terror attack hit me when we got home in the morning at 5:30 AM. We found our first born baby shark awake, standing on the staircase waiting anxiously. Soon afterwards my after-40 baby woke up. The thought of coming home without Mummy Shark terrified me to say the least. How would I have answered the first question am asked every time I get home before mummy shark? ‘’Daddy where is mummy?’’ Only God
I now have a strengthened resolve to honor her and up my game in celebrating the times we share together as a family. I’m a busy guy and my second half will be in public service so my circle of influence will expand (and other new circles will form) but the circle that is family is the most important and holds the center.
Let me also honor the many friends and family who called and texted throughout the night to check on Mummy Shark. Folks, we were drowned in your concern and prayers. I never knew that many people would think about me. That confirmed that maybe there’s something we do right to help mankind. We are and shall remain forever indebted to you all.
Truly the only life that counts is a life that is spent serving others. My many halftime concerns I have shared here before evaporated instantly and didn’t matter at all. All I wanted was for my people to get out together with all the others and to wake up from that bad dream.
Folks, we are living in perilous times. May the Dusit attack and the lives of those we lost serve to remind us to do good while it is day and to store treasures in the islands of people’s hearts instead of some offshore accounts where we shall spend the rest of our lives hiding it and avoiding the law. Tim Robbins (in Shawshank Redemption) put it well when he said, “Get busy living or get busy dying.”

Friday, January 25, 2019 | Reflections |

3 thoughts on “14 Riverside Drive: Celebrating Life”

  1. Sophie says:

    For those directly affected this is a mark in their lives, can’t even start to decipher. Time is a healer and while the memories linger each day an ounce of weight goes. Glad she came out safelt

    1. Lucas says:

      Well put Sophie. An ounce of weight goes day by day. Life is still beautiful

  2. Audrey Ahmed says:

    Hi Lucas I have not stopped thinking about how all this went down. I did not have the words to say anything
    I was silent for a long time but now I can speak. Pole pole sana. Am sure those were the longest hours of your life. I praise God that he chose to preserve mummy shark and glorify God. May God bless you and your family and share your lives so that other can know God.
    Audrey

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *