For a moment I thought the gods had ganged up against me. I refused to accept that this too was a season that was going to pass. Nothing was making sense to me at that moment. No amount of good words could get through to my mind. I suffered a mental blockage.
11th February 2004. For some reason I had been sent home from school to get my dad. You know how exciting a moment it was for any boarding school kid to be sent home. I talked to daddy, not paying much attention to his words, as I eat all I got in our small kitchen table. What every kid does. It could later turn out to be the last time I was hearing his voice.
Hurriedly I had to leave for school, to catch up with the other students. I was a new student in a school with bright kids, having enjoyed that title in my former school for 6 years. I was met with culture shock. Town kids who feed on spaghetti, their long hair, their relatively good English. I wanted to be them. I wanted to be more than they were.
Nobody told me dad spent hours on end in the headmaster’s office. But stories could later emerge that he asked my school director to ensure I was done with class eight. Things I could have never known had he been alive today.
It’s this fateful day that my father lost his life. A man full of love for his children, so selfless and abundantly wise. An educationist. A mentor. A coach. Sharp and aggressive.
So am seated here thinking what he could have said to me at this point when nothing seems to be making sense. When I seem to have exhausted all my options but am still not there. I could be seated on his laps, slowly and gently moving my right hand up and down his fat, round belly.
I can hear his soothing voice whispering to my ears, weep not, child.
15 years later I don’t seem to have outgrown it. The gap still as big as it was the day I learnt of his death. The kind of death that doesn’t give warning. Death that sends no signals. That which the devil cannot trust the agents to deliver. The mystery that can forever never be unraveled.
I feel this pain so deep. Life seems to have betrayed me. But his voice still remains so fresh and clear. You will go places daughter. You are my hope. You are a fighter. You will make it.
To the extraordinary father that I had, the visionary man, the gallant soldier you were. Fearless, bold, courageous, grand, epic. My hero. Fly with the angles papa! Till we meet. Again.