Giving Thanks

2014 has been a good year . This is simply because God has been faithful to enable us see all these days . In this regards, My last post this year will be Psalms 118. Merry Christmass and Prosperous 2015

Psalm 118 (excerpt from biblegetaway.com)

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
    his love endures forever.

Let Israel say:
    “His love endures forever.”
Let the house of Aaron say:
    “His love endures forever.”
Let those who fear the Lord say:
    “His love endures forever.”

When hard pressed, I cried to the Lord;
    he brought me into a spacious place.
The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid.
    What can mere mortals do to me?
The Lord is with me; he is my helper.
    I look in triumph on my enemies.

It is better to take refuge in the Lord
    than to trust in humans.
It is better to take refuge in the Lord
    than to trust in princes.
10 All the nations surrounded me,
    but in the name of the Lord I cut them down.
11 They surrounded me on every side,
    but in the name of the Lord I cut them down.
12 They swarmed around me like bees,
    but they were consumed as quickly as burning thorns;
    in the name of the Lord I cut them down.
13 I was pushed back and about to fall,
    but the Lord helped me.
14 The Lord is my strength and my defense
    he has become my salvation.

15 Shouts of joy and victory
    resound in the tents of the righteous:
“The Lord’s right hand has done mighty things!
16     The Lord’s right hand is lifted high;
    the Lord’s right hand has done mighty things!”
17 I will not die but live,
    and will proclaim what the Lord has done.
18 The Lord has chastened me severely,
    but he has not given me over to death.
19 Open for me the gates of the righteous;
    I will enter and give thanks to the Lord.
20 This is the gate of the Lord
    through which the righteous may enter.
21 I will give you thanks, for you answered me;
    you have become my salvation.

22 The stone the builders rejected
    has become the cornerstone;
23 the Lord has done this,
    and it is marvelous in our eyes.
24 The Lord has done it this very day;
    let us rejoice today and be glad.

25 Lord, save us!
    Lord, grant us success!

26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
    From the house of the Lord we bless you.
27 The Lord is God,
    and he has made his light shine on us.
With boughs in hand, join in the festal procession
    up to the horns of the altar.

28 You are my God, and I will praise you;
    you are my God, and I will exalt you.

29 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
    his love endures forever.

Dealing with Grief: My Healing Process

This is one piece that I appreciate the fact that I won’t be able to contain tears as I write. This piece is an insight of how I have had to deal with grief of losing my dad and brother. I always know that I might have healed, am healing of trying to heal from the loses but one thing I know, it has not been an easy journey.

pain
My dad passed on when I was only 6 years. As young as I was I was so affected. It not the kind of pain I feel today. Then it was different. It was more of what I would miss from my dad. The goodies, the adoration and above all the protection. It was always good to tell any person who hurt me that I knew dad would deal with them. I felt alone. Being widowed at only 32 years and left in care of my siz (3years) and bro (2years), I was to content with the fact that I was to majorly look out for myself. I had to learn the hard way of not only standing up for myself but also my siblings at a very tender age. I fast learnt to me my mum’s wing-man. I clearly rem barely a few weeks after the burial of my dad, one of my uncles found my cousins and I on the usual cantankerous escapades. The beating I received was one of a kind, something that opened my eyes that dad was no more. I had no man to stand up for my family or at least me. Being same age as one of his sons, I expected the *discipline* action to be similar but in the animal kingdom, some animals are more equal than others.
As I grew up, the missing aspect changed into longing and bitterness. The longing of a fathers love. The longing of his assurance and love. I craved his hug. Every time I saw some father hug a daughter, I have never stopped crying. It’s sometimes just hard to bear that even after 18 years; I just wish I had a dad to share all my fears. Sometimes it’s so hurting that I have to recoil to sticking in the house and just see no one. It hurts me to see fathers treating their daughters tenderly when I haven’t known what feels is like. I can NEVER question God about it. There is no time that one can say it’s fair for someone to die. I know many pals of mine who are older than me and have never known their dads, and they are okay. As for me, am not okay. It’s not okay. It has never been okay. I stumbled on Pastor Simon Mbevi’s blog . It gives so much into what a dad is. The benefits /roles of a dad in a child’s growth. This is very true. That hug, is all that might have calmed me down when I thought the world was crumbling down on me.
It’s always astonishing to me when a single mum chooses voluntarily to have a baby and deny him/her a chance of a willing father. That’s my opinion. It’s something that I would never wish any innocent soul to go through; an absent father. I still stick to my basic teaching of what a family is. A father, mother and children. I know there are exceptions that one may not be able to have a parent or both but if the situation allows you as a parent to, are present for your kid. Whether a mother of father. Especially for young children, it feels good to have your parent/s see you excel at the school sports day, to be in the hall when you get the first award , to see you go through puberty , to call and check on you if you stay away from home , to be corrected . The family Sunday lunches and the special dinners. When you introduce your fiance/e to the family, the first baby … the list is endless. It’s sad my dad never saw all this, except my first day at school , six birthdays and five Christmas barbecues .
Fast forward , after years of laughter in between tears , hope in the hopeless situation , upbeats when the body gives way , we are all excited that it’s only a month before the baby who had turned to be the *man* of the household ids bye to teenaghood, the life boat is rocked severely . No sickness, no signs of the strained breadth; just a sudden loss of a very promising life. The death of my brother might have been the motivating factor behind this post. on the 3rd of April , 2014 when I got the call that he was no more , I did what many would have thought was weird. I froze all emotions, feelings and thoughts. In the middle of somewhere at tea room, commercial bus terminus, I knew this was going to be a hard one. While everyone else in the family is making frantic calls to know if my bro was in hospital, here I am, barely 24years receiving a call that my only brother and the best man, friend was no more. I knew I had to do what I have done always; stand up for the family. It wasn’t easy seeing hos lifeless body at the morgue, or trying to feel his pockets against his cold body. Laying my favorite pair of jeans was my brother, so peaceful. I can’t lie that it was a painful experience. No it was not. In fact I felt nothing. I had no pain, no break down. Just nothing. It was not easy to see people cry, my uncle turning speechless, my siz breaking down or my friend Lisa being strong for me. I did not know that days to come would be harder. I was there, did all I could during the mourning period but I did not have the pain.
I knew it was not gonna be easy when I felt so bad leaving home even for a few minutes after his burial. I felt so bad being free to move when my little brother was confined and suffocated by earth for the rest of time. It was harder to resume duty. 8 months on, and I realize that am just human. Little by little my emotions are now giving way to grieving, it’s harder than I thought. Sometimes everything is okay. The next day all you want to do is turn up the music, run to the shower and cry my heart out. Since then I always sleep when traveling past Nakuru . Too many bitter memories in that town.
Since we shared t-shirts and shorts, I find it hard to take off anything we shared. I am always sneaking trying to look at his photos. There a few questions I may have loved to be answered by the university but as a family we decided bygones are bygones. I imagine that now he would have only 3 semesters to graduate. The plans we had. The grown-ups only family we had become. I miss my brother. I don’t know when this pain will go away but when it hurts most, I turn by bitter song into a prayer, though am not always strong to utter a lot, all I have always said is, JESUS TAKE THE WHEEL.

Sky Lover :My Fantasies 1

orion

LOVE!!!!

It’s a topic I hate to talk about. I believe in eternal love but am not a PDA kind of person. Am also a non-believer of jelly knees, mushy feeling, drained cheeks and that familiar pit in the stomach when reality hits. Not that I have not experienced. The tongue tie proved all this. When hit, I hardly hide my excitement too. I dream of a green emerald for my engagement, and good metal for my nuptials.

I really don’t know why am writing this. In my description for this platform, it’s a diary. So I will just go ahead and tell my diary a little bit. Dear diary, I still watch the sky at night. Am actually a sucker of clear sky. It’s the only place I have never stopped thinking that I would never have crazy thoughts if only I could have a puff (cigarette not Bhang) accompanying my sky watching escapades. Since I cannot, I have to endure endless stupid thoughts by looking at the sky. Too much eroticism of the stars? I think maybe.

Every time I watch the sky dear diary, I always wish I was not doing it alone. I wish I was doing it with someone we connected so deeply. When young, especially during December holidays, we did it as a family. It was so deep. Learning about the sky for the first week then spending the rest of the weeks watching at the marvels of the far away twinkles. The enthusiasm that accompanied sporting of a shooting star was so deep. I still can feel that connection as I write this piece. Fast forward, I am all grown up. I do not know who I wish to watch the sky with but I know I just would like to have someone I connect to so deeply and special.

Dear diary, I know this is a girl thing but am hoping that I will have someone to do it with, maybe my son and his dad. My family just like mum taught her family.

Another component I have been thinking about so much is the power in an intense gaze. That kind that melts you yet you just can’t go away. That innocent gaze that reassures the heart that the bond you have will never be broken. Dear diary I am poorest at maintaining gazes, but I hope I can work on it. I once watched an episode of Dr.Phil on the power of a gaze, and I tried putting it into practice. It works, and the experience, if not prepared is scary. It may cause you to make all confessions or listen to confessions you might have rather lived without knowing. Dear diary, I just hope I will be up to the task when that time comes.

Back to the sky. I have had a precise interest in Orion the hunter. From it, I can locate Gemini (my birth star) . It’s been very hard to easily pick out Gemini and more often than not, I have had to settle gazing at Orion the hunter. It’s always a plus when the moon is full. It allows the mind to wander to unexplored territories. It allows me to have the TDH envisioning moment as long as I can maintain the stare. Am I the only only who never sees the face? I hope not. I wish I would. But I can always reminisce the good reveries that have come out of those sessions. Sessions where I feel bigger than being identified as an African woman. A free roaming spirit that explores the world. The hardest part, coming back to reality.

Why do I always think a puff would have been a good company? Dear diary, you see when I was growing up, a few of the coolest men, uncles to be precise, I admired were smokers. There was something about how they held the cigarettes, inhaled the toxic nicotine flavored tar and puff out some crispy white cloudy smoke. It was blown out in a very sexy way, the accompanying gaze as it arose to the skies very interesting. Maybe it would be so romantic to watch the smoke rise to the sky, then eureka! Bump into the sight of very beautiful stars. Too bad my dear diary, my chest is too weak for the nicotine stick . But no biggie, puff or no puff, I love the beautiful sky. The imagination of inhaling something that gives so much good feeling (just like deep breaths ) is calming , during exhalation, its like a feeling of getting out all the demons that have been making the heart so restless . Am actually taking some real deep breaths as i conclude this piece ; the tranquil is amazing

 

AIDS NOT A DEATH SENTENCE

Today, 1/12/2014, marks the Global day set aside to discuss and address matters concerning HIV/AIDS , to celebrate the heroes who have fought the virus , to appreciate the heroines who have beat stigmatization .This day , since 2005 has been closer to me than any other global *holiday* .
While in form two, 2005, some of us were privileged to represent my high school to some community service at a nearby hospital. I landed in a male ward that I later learnt was occupied by a HIV / AIDS patient. I remember the way his frail frame did not restrain him from beaming with smile when we entered his room. My friend and I spent a few minutes chatting with him before we embarked on cleaning his room. Back then, I might have been naive. I could not understand why he had to stop mid-sentence to catch some breath. I expected an AIDS victim to be covered in sores, but his was opposite, a very shiny skin, very soft hair, sunken eyes but above all a personality that taught me a lot . Despite maybe; stigmatization and weak body, the man, I now think was in his thirties, had a lot of plans. One being seeing her daughters go to a good school like ours.
He asked about our studies and generally made us happy as we worked around his room I hope that that resilient spirit is still alive, realizing the so many dreams he had.
I have since then looked at HIV /AIDS at a very different angle; I think the only reason why am an avid reader on Asuntha Wagura’s diary every Wednesday in the daily Nation. It’s not a death sentence, because ADS DOES NOT KILL. Only opportunistic diseases kill.
I have learnt to show those infected love. I have learnt to, apart from preaching abstinence; tell those that I can that a condom would help. Am not shy to offer buying condoms for sexually active pals of mine. Sex is happening in the society and the more we shun away from it the more we make more people susceptible to STIs, AIDS included. If properly used, a condom is one of the most effective methods to curb new infections and re infections.

CD

Pic Courtesy: Internet uploads .
FACT: If you are not infected, you are affected. I have learnt to look at AIDS as something am not immune to. And not only is it transmitted via sex. Below is one story that makes me sad and proud of her at the same time. Name changed. Let’s call her Jane, 22 year old I met in one of my random voluntary works at support group.
“I was infected with the virus when n I was 18. I had just cleared school and decided to help my mum at her salon. I have been very passionate about manicure and pedicure and in no time, I was a favorite of many customers. There is this particular lady, a friend to mum that I often did pedi on. She was nice and gave me good tips. One day while working one her, I accidentally hurt her. It was bad. I felt so remorseful that I held the cut with bare hands for a while trying to stop the bleeding and thinking what to do next. Being someone I was very close to, she did not throw tantrums but kept assuring me that she would be fine. What I did not remember is that I had picked a deep cut the previous day and had no gloves on.
Almost a year later, I decided to do and have HIV test, just as encouraged in the media. I had never been sexually involved before, so I was very sure that I did not have the virus. I was so shocked when I saw my results. I was in denial. I went home and told my mum, since I had no dirty past to make me ashamed of. She accompanied me for the second test which turned out positive. I went for a third, fourth and even fifth which all proved that I had the virus. I was broken but my mum was very supportive. She encouraged me to visit a clinic and be advised on antiretroviral as we searched for answers. I did not want to die yet so I had no option, little did I know that this would answer all my questions. At the clinic, guess who is on the queue waiting to be served? The very lady I had accidentally cut during a pedicure. Instead of the bitterness, I felt relief but then turned to sorrow. I wept and nothing would calm me down. She was among those who came to calm me down when the sobs became uncontrollable.
It took me two days to finally speak out on the link I thought about. She was very remorseful that she started blaming herself. The fact that my mum stood with me gave me strength not to judge but to walk the journey. Together with the lady we have given hope to many.
I decided not to pity myself because I am too young and beautiful, do you see it? It’s been over a year with active involvement in fighting stigma and giving hope to many. Am leading a very normal life.”

I changed the name because this was not an interview and did have her contact to ask permission to publish. She has made her status public though. She turned 22 this year, still a virgin.
HIV/AIDS IS NOT A DEATH SENTENCE.