DEAR SWEET OLD MAN

Hi Dad,

Trust this finds you well. Does that make me sound like an annoying colleague sending an email on a matter that could be discussed on phone? Hahaha! But those memes on how the email finds me are just too hilarious. Anyway, I am writing this letter from the comfort of my bed at wee hours. That is what we writers love to do. Write during ungodly hours. It is when our minds focus best, believe me. My plan was to write this earlier but my laptop has been in a bad mood of late.

I hope you are OK. Mimi niko tu, taking it one day at a time. A few weeks ago, I watched a certain movie about a rehab center for dead beat dads. In this movie, one of the dead beat fathers fought so hard for the full custody of his son. Don’t think that he wanted custody of this child because he cared or anything close, he did this for the sole purpose of paying less child support. The judge granted the deadbeat father his wish and this dad took his kid straight to his mother’s (kid’s grandma) house then went back to his devious ways.

The son later fell ill and slipped into a coma. It was at this point that the deadbeat father realized that he loved his son dearly. He visited his son daily and read him stories hoping that the kiddo would wake up from the coma soon. While watching this movie, I assumed that the boy would get well because most movies are usually about happy endings. The shock on me when the kid passed on. I cried together with his father.

I cried so much because the hospital scenes reminded me of those days when you were admitted to the hospital. Especially the last day I saw you alive. You were very ill. I remembered the caregivers beseeching you to eat. I remembered the sterile smell of the hospital ward. The silence in the air that was diluted by the sound of hospital machines. I remembered the patient who occupied the bed next to yours. Your sisters gushing about the hair cut they had organized for you and how neat you looked even in illness and pain.

I remember mum telling you that you looked handsome in the new hair cut and how you faintly smiled back. You loved compliments old man, just admit it. I remembered you asking me how my day was despite the pain. You were an amazing listener. I remembered you telling me to go home as it was getting late. But most of all, I remember my cousin Mike offering to play your favorite music. He asked you if you could listen to the Ohangla songs on his phone using earphones but you declined his generous offer. You never turned down an opportunity to enjoy good music, the pain must have bee such a bitch huh?

Old man, I promised myself to fill this letter with happy things. You always loved seeing us happy after all. That is why it was futile to stay mad at you as the next minute you would be cracking jokes like nothing happened. Do you remember our cat Jeii, well it passed on but left behind 3 kittens who are all grown up. Currently we have 4 cats at home namely Wakanda, Kirry, Jayden aka JD and Senje and mum dots on them. Senje is JD’s girl friend so she lives with us by relationship association. Mum doesn’t really like Senje, she thinks JD would have gotten a better soulmate. Please don’t laugh at the names given to these cats, all these names were suggested by Fili. Yeah, I know…I will not listen to Fili’s name suggestions when naming my kids.

Onto more important matters, your little girl Maryanne got her first job. It was a week-long gig and words could not even express how proud I was of her. She is a smart go-getter. Dad just the other day we were taking her to form one but now she is all grown up. I wish you could see her now. She has big eyes and is tall just like you. Likes to be babied as the the last born, you really spoilt this girl. “Agie si unisaidie kuandika CV.” She is always nagging me. She will be turning older next week. I gave you a heads up because I know you never remembered birthdays. I composed her a song for her called Pattuti the Cutie, my rhyme game is point huh? Lil Wayne should sign me his label already. The lyrics to this special composition change depending my mood. Your little girl loves this song even though she pretends not to like it.

Your beautiful wife is aging like fine wine. Her head hosts beautiful strands of silver hair and I don’t understand why she fusses about them. “Nitadye hii nywele” She is always saying. I honestly think that the silver hair looks cute on her.

Last week when we were beating stories, Regie and I told her that she should move on if she wanted to but I don’t think Fili and Maryanne like that idea. I just think that she has the right to be happy, don’t you think so too paps? Anyway she said that she doesn’t have the time for such. I honestly wonder how you ingizad this stubborn woman box. Hehehe! Also mum once told me that when you were hitting on her you learnt Swahili by heart in a bid to capture the heart of the city girl. She said that when you two met your Swahili was bad (still bad even for as long as I can remember hihihi) but you really wanted to catch her attention so you worked on your Swahili hoping to impress my city born and raised mother. I thought that was really cute aaaaww! Read The Village Boy and City Damsel.

Regina is doing fine. She recently launched her new baking invention which is yet to be named. It is some cookie looking like biscuits which taste heavenly. She has been flaunting  with the idea of making them for sale. I hope she goes through with it. Fili is annoying as ever. Still the same cheeky boy you knew. You should see the drawings he does, magnificent. And the memes he shares………Let’s just say that I laugh on your behalf. Being the loving sister I am, I composed him a song too. His is titled Ocheezy like a Weezy. Again….I know my rhymes are just lit. Just like the other song, its lyrics are dynamic.

Last week a minor surgery on my right hand put me on sick leave and boy oh boy, I suffered in the hands of you children. While mum was taking good care of the patient, making sure that the patient was eating well and resting, the rest were bugging me the whole time. Below are some of the atrocities that were committed to the patient

Offense number 1: Serving the patient githeri and njahi.

Offense number 2: Asking the patient to participate in household chores.

Offense number 3: Forcefully braiding the patient’s short hair then calling her Toto Shmart (this was wickedness of the highest order and it was committed by your little girl.)

Offense number 4: Making fun of the patient’s short height.

Offense number 5: Failing to buy the patient Wow Wow Salted rings.

Offense number 6: Gossiping the patient while she is asleep.

Offense number 7: Removing the patient’s phone from the charger before it is fully charged.

Offense number 8: Failing to send memes to the patient.

Offense number 9: Making the patient remind you 1,088 times that she is on sick leave.

Offense number 10: Addressing the patient as Wewe.

Dad I really suffered! Anyway thank God mum was there for me during those difficult times. I am well now and back to work.

You are missed.

Your loving daughter.

Agnes Opondo.

And my childhood memories, are full of all the sweet things you did for me.

Tupac Shakur