Dear Sweet Old Man

Dear Sweet Old Man,

Hi Papa! How are you? I hope you are good. Having a good time, you know……… resting in peace as they say. I thought about you today and decided to shoot you a short letter, I mean why not talk my favorite man? I am doing well, just warding through the turbid waters of the COVID-19 pandemic and its uncertainty.

Old man, I don’t have much to say in this missive but I just thought you should know how much I miss you. i hope you never get tired of hearing about how much I miss you. A huge chunk of last week had me crying myself to sleep because I really missed you. I would get home sit on the couch and cry because I just wanted my father around. The crying was not even the hard part, the worst part was dealing with my emotions after crying. There is something about my watery eyes that made me feel weak. So weak because I still weep uncontrollably almost 3 years after your death. I hate that feeling. I really hate it. However, I can’t promise you that I will stop crying. It is one of the major ways that I deal with the pain.

I thought maybe I should get rid of all the things in my house that remind me of you but what about my face? I am a spitting image of you and there is only so much I can do about that. I always imagined that mourning a loved one gets easier with time but how wrong of me. I remember you once told me that I was named after your favorite aunt and that she cried a lot. I remember you telling me how easy it was to move her to tears. Well…… that consoles me a lot, I am not such a cry baby after all. I just happen to have some traits of the person I was named after, right?

Maybe drowning in my sorrows contributed to the writer’s block that I had last week but don’t worry, I am much better now. I am working on DIY projects to scare my sorrows away, and yes you guessed it right, memes and music are helping me cope as well. I miss watching and rewatching those funny videos on your phone with you. I sure do miss updating your WhatsApp app because you couldn’t live without it. Dad, of late, for some weird reason I can’t get off my mind the song that you used to sing to my small sister when she was a toddler, remember it?

Tembea wewe sungura kama mzee kobe,

Tembea wewe sungura kama mzee kobe,

I remember how we would laugh at your Luo accent whenever you said msee kobe instead of mzee kobe hahaha! I miss those self-composed songs that you would sing to us. You loved music a tad too much. I am so sure that in another world Chris Brown would have nothing on your vocal abilities hahaha! I know you would ask who Chris Brown is. Let’s just say he is the R&B version of Otieno Aloka.

Your children are doing fine. Do you see that beautiful girl on the featured image? That is none on the than your little girl Maryanne. She is very beautiful huh? I wish you had been around to see the amazing soul she has grown into and listen to her big dreams. This might make you turn in your grave but I heard that she wants to get a nose piercing, but don’t worry, mum is having none of that nose piercing business in her house. So maybe the piercing might not get done, relax.

Regie is busy experimenting with new recipes in the kitchen everyday now that COVID-19 has come along with more free time. I know you really hated spicy foods but the cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg drop scones she made recently would have just hit the right spot. Remember how much you loved drop scones dad?  Fili just turned a year older the other day and his incessant jokes are getting funnier by the day. He is praying to have a full beard ndio atese na mayeng’ but the beard seems to be very uncooperative SMH!

Mum is doing fine too. Just blaming everything on old age. The other day the electricity tokens run out and she blamed that on old age. It is her new excuse. She also wants a bullet blender. I was thinking of getting her one but my siblings think it is a bad idea because she has enough blenders and food processors, but dad you know her, once she sets her mind on something. Wait.. even the blender at my house was stolen from her kitchen hihihi! Usiniseme please. All I am saying is that your beloved wife is still a hoarder of kitchen appliances (among other household items) and there is nothing we can do about it. Just pray for her. But do you think I should buy her that bullet blender? Am I enabling a bad habit? i also thought you should know that the last time I went to her house, she packed for me a lot of food and told me to take care of myself. Plus, nowadays she calls my siblings and I her little ones. I know….. I am surprised too but still……….aaaaaaaaw!

Lastly dear, remember the home decor crafts I told you about last time? Well.. we are slowly growing our home décor business and will name it in honor of you because you taught us a lot and supported our dreams. So far we are getting a decent amount of clients and are hoping to expand and improve our products. I also want you to know that you are always in our hearts. I have a passport photo of you in my purse and I talk to it whenever I am nervous or having a bad day. It is a good luck charm of some sorts too. There is also a photo of you when you were young and handsome, ukitesa mayeng’ pale and our favorite selfie together printed out and hanged on my living room wall.

At this point, I can say that I am proud to have gotten this far with my letter without shedding a tear. Writing is clearly some medicine to the soul.

You are dearly missed dad.

With lots of love,

Your daughter,

Agnes Opondo

I pray you free me from my demons and keep me level

August Alsina