My February has come to an end. Yes, my February.
It really is my best time of the year. Okay, December too….and a bit of May! Lol. But yes, my February.
Don’t you just love how after the loooooonnnggggg January, February comes along like a breath of fresh air? It really feels like it. For me any way.
This February was special. Thirty was coming…and it came. And it was beautiful.
February also had a plot twist. A not so good twist. You see, as I welcomed thirty, seated under a beautiful sky along the Indian ocean coast…complete with friendship, a book, white sand and blue water; exactly like I imagined it months before…
As I smiled at the heavens for being gracious to me, the saddest news that day came in.
I was lost in thought when I suddenly heard Esther exclaim over something she’d read on her phone…I asked her what was going on and she read it loud. A few minutes later we confirmed what we’d read. Nevender, a friend to both of us, had passed on. Nev was battling sickle cell disease and had succumbed to the illness. Sunday 11th February, 2018. My birthday.
In that instant, everything became blurry. The beach…the water, the sand…the silly beach boys…everything first paused. How could this be happening? He had sent me a message just that morning. I went back and re-checked the message, it was still there. Just a few hours old. And just like he was no more? What is life? Why does life do that? Why does it have us in complete happiness and snatch that away within seconds? Why?
The rest of Sunday went by somehow….we tried to forget temporarily…or not think about it..or whatever it is we were trying to do. Sunday went by. I have a good good friend in Esther Kalenzi. Even with all this happening she made sure the birthday celebration still happened somehow.
Thanks to her, I had a floral crown chair in a nearly 200 seater restaurant…and Swahili waiters and waitresses sing for me as I smiled and attempted to dance…all in language barrier. Still, it was perfect.
Nev’s funeral was the day after we traveled back….in fact, we got back Monday night and Tuesday morning we were on the road to Mityana, where Nev would be buried. Nevender left a legacy. One of hope, goodness, strength, love, friendship and above all, faith. Faith in God.
Every February and every birthday, I will remember him and everything he stood for. Another reason February will remain my February.