There was a new sound coming from her knees this morning. It was a cackle sound that felt like her knees were laughing at her. At 70 years of age, more and more parts of her were fragile and noisy. She would laugh with her knees sometimes but other times there was pain accompanying the noise. During these times, it dawned on her that she had been on this earth for 70 years. 1,2,3,…….,70! So unbelievable!
Today she was awake at 6am. It was 6th October. The day her husband died, now 5 years ago. The pain she felt had somewhat reduced but she still missed him miserably. Miriam (her name) had seen many things in her long life but death was still a mystery to her. She could not wrap her head around it. She felt defeated by it. Her husband Munga had become part of her. They met when she was 30. She had given up on love when one day 40 years ago, he said hello to her at the waiting room in Nairobi hospital. He had a recurring headache and she was due for her yearly full body check up. Munga was not the most handsome man in the world but his eyes were like keys. They opened up his soul to her and she could see through him. She had not felt such sincerity from anyone before. It is this truth and soul that she fell in love with in the next year as they got to know each other more. He was true. It was like he had nothing in the world to hide.
All these memories came flooding into her soul this particular morning and she allowed them in. It felt nice to remember him and he felt alive to her once again. She laughed as she remembered what annoyed her most about him. He always forgot important dates. Birthdays and anniversaries were just like any other day to him. The kids helped him out when they were old enough but it was still a struggle. All this looked so petty now compared to having him around. She found herself talking to him, “Love, I could give up all those dates to have you here next to me again! I am sorry I shouted! You mean much more to me than a million gifts or anniversaries!”
Their children and especially their son Josh had Munga’s eyes, the ‘key to the soul’ ones. He was most affected by his father’s death and Miriam had picked herself up for her son’s sake. He was sinking with depression even 2 years after the death. Tears rolled down her cheeks now as she remembered how he sobbed on her lap one day. In her head she tried to give death a face but she concluded that anything with a face was human. Death was no human, it had no heart and was too strong to be human.
Munga’s persistent headaches never stopped. The doctor’s could not find the cause of these headaches so he resulted to taking painkillers every morning. He took them every single day for the 35 years she knew him. He led a normal life and was the most passionate man she ever knew. She put a finger on her lips as she remembered his gentle kisses. They were supposed to live forever and see their 4th generation. Munga once said amid laughter that he would at least remember her 80th Birthday….
She wiped the tears off her eyes and laughed out loud at the last thought. They would probably be together by her 80th birthday. She would then have conquered death in her own little way… 🙂