I will bury my father on Monday. It feels like I’m in one of those emotional movies on Netflix. I have stood by many friends and family as they laid their loved ones to rest. Today is my turn. Bui, my after 40 baby is the sole custodian of the baby crier title in my house. That trophy was passed onto me last Saturday at 9 pm when we got that dreaded call to return to the hospital. Dad had slipped away from us. I’ve been crying randomly since then.
We are here to celebrate Dad, Fathe, Guka, Tosh, my son. I called him all these names. We spoke about almost everything. We had many money and business conversations, our plans to secure our families, politics, and fatherhood. We even shared about random anxieties of life and people.
I will miss his texts on how he always started them with – Hi Son….
A good leader shows his people that he has the power but doesn’t have to use it. That was Dad. He created a healthy balance of relating with him and that gave us a safe space to grow and be ourselves. And he accepted what we became. I know because he said it.
Lessons from my father.
Presence. He was always available. Physically at home, I’d often meet him on the road in his Hardbody pickup and we would flash lights at each other and on text but not so much on phone.
Provision. Dad provided for us all he could. Mum has told us the many risks he took when they were younger to cover his family. He even bought me shoes earlier this year
Friendship. His broad smile was so welcoming and he was always ready to listen. I could feel his empathy when he spoke. He sought my opinion and that validated me sana.
Simplicity. He was an easy guy. Maximizing on small pleasures like driving mum to school in Thika, going to inspect their tree project in Nyeri with his brothers, to the market to buy produce for home, and sitting in his office doing his homework when he was in school.
Respect. Dad never pulled rank on us. He asked for help politely as if we were above him yet he was our father. He welcomed our opinions as he gave his. He even extended grace as my landlord when my business was doing badly.
I will miss doing life with my mzee. His many prayers over us, driving around looking for shambas, buying meat with him, and eating watermelons with ndumas for breakfast at home. Food is our love language and it runs in the family.
I will bury my father without any regrets because he knew that I loved him dearly. I said it to him, I showed him and I even texted him. And he returned the gesture. That comforts me greatly. He traveled light and allowed us into his world. Plus, he gave me the best mother, brother, and sister anyone could ask for
Rest well, my guy. Life will be hard without your cover but easy too because you’ve left a clear template. I just need to copy and paste for me to be a successful man.
So long son.