When I was younger, it never quite registered in my head that I had lost my dad. My problems were simpler, a big brother bully, a kid brother envy, I must admit, I was as lost as most middle children.
In high school, it started to hit me – what if my father had been alive. Would I go the same schools? Would we live in the neighborhoods we did? My earlier problems had not gone away – they never do when you are 3, all boys! But now I had fresher problems, girls, among others.
My mother used to share the story, of how she defied her brothers, to raise her children in Kivulu, which for as long as I can remember, retains this slum aura about it. And that was the story of our wanderings. Funny then to find that when we needed to leave BatValley to go visit mum at work in Makerere, and as kids, the only safe place to pass was…Kivulu!
In Makerere she worked hard and long, toiled for as long as I can remember, going from the Main Printery, Medical School to that almost damned Main Library basement called the Bindery. When I look back, she must have worked in and around Makerere since I was in P5, just shy of 2 decades.
My father? Long gone. My memories of him are simple, Bata and Hotel Equatoria. Ofcourse how could I forget my brothers – they are stark ever-present reminders of his presence. When I look at either, I have to wonder, who was closest to him, in demeanor, character, and even in looks. Ok, about looks, neither, I beat them – and that’s hands down. But seriously, my brothers are the most important anything my father ever left. We’ve fought, shouted, deserted, and came right back. We cook, clean and can shop un-aided. We dig, farm and work our hands off. We never give up, certainly not on eachother, we never have and we never will. Yes, Period!
This is mostly because of our mother, my mother! She was unique, inspirational, a hard worker and a talented problem solver. If you think I like white for sakes, ask her, she dared me to prove I was cleaner, while in boarding school. Have never looked back, I never will.
You see for close to 20 years, my mom reared chicken, visited Texas, made paper bags, suffered a broken leg, twice, gained 2 daughters-in-law, collected news papers, lost a father, gained 3 granddaughters, farmed in Masaka, slept in a military cell, raised 3 boys and graduated 2 of them, served in Local Council, picked fish from Kalangala, held down a job, even led a department!
She gave everything she had for the sake of us all, yes, outlaws, sisters, brothers, our cousins, you name it all – her hands were ever wide open. Now, almost 20 months in the grave, she still gives… this week Chris and I received a gift from our mother, made possible by our Father!
…now if you think this was about my mother, and father, its because you don’t know that I have a Father in Heaven!