Taking Stock: 31-12-16

Taking Stock: 31-12-16

Wharra year it’s been!

Many have said 2016 has been something else. In a not-so-good way. It has also been a year of firsts, political firsts…and other not so ordinary happenings. Some even believed perhaps this is world end?

We definitely were not ready. But then again, we never can be. That bit, God left out. We certainly can’t tell the future or plan well enough for it, for he decides how exactly in unfolds….I still need to understand though if things like the bombings in Aleppo are ever part of his plan. Does God let war happen? I need someone to explain this to me and make me understand it.

My 2016 has also been something else. However, in a not-so-bad way. I have lived. Truly lived. And loved.  I have grown. Met amazing people, made new networks and connections, re-connected, registered my own firm, finalised masters class, met targets, exceeded targets…..if it were a concert, I’ve definitely got my money’s worth.

And no, this does not mean it was all smooth….the downs were definitely there. Plenty. But see, part of the growing, was learning not to dwell on the downs. Downs are life’s way of calling half time on you…sometimes a necessary half time when you’re moving way too fast. But just like in any game, half time is re-charge time…and then you get back in the game and play even harder.

So here is a toast to 2016…for the lessons, the gifts, the half time and everything in between. To the ones we’ve lost, we definitely will miss and remember you. Always. To those who have lost, time heals everything….but each of us have different ‘times’, don’t bother rushing it. And God’s time is strange…to say the least… 2 Peter 3:8

But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day.

Happy 2017. May it be your take-back-your-life year.

Happy new Year!

x

Christmas and tributes…… :-)

Christmas and tributes…… :-)

It is #UgBlogWeek yet again, and the last this year. There’s no theme this time and people can write about whatever they wanna! Sort of feels like setting one’s own exam and then answering it! LOL! So here goes……

My all-time favorite time of the year! Yes!!!!! CHRISTMAS!!!!! 🙂

Christmas has always been a happy time of the year for me. From when I was a child and my siblings and I still got Christmas presents to when we got older and that surplus money wasn’t there anymore. LOL. I kid. I joke. But when we reached an age where gifts were not that vital anymore and there was no crying if none were given.

Growing up, I developed a new meaning for the season, and yet it still remained my favorite time of the year…and maybe even more! There’s a joy that comes with it. A real, pure, unadulterated joy, from within that eventually oozes out. Somehow everyone is nicer and kinder and willing to share….something we strangely do not see often the earlier part of the year. (That’s why one of my favorite Christmassy song is from Sesame Street; keep Christmas with you…..all through the year)

My family tradition for Christmas is simply going to my maternal grandparents on Christmas Eve for the day, then getting back home and spending Christmas day at home. I don’t remember the last time I went to Church on Christmas day….the crowd that day is something else. So I choose to stay away. It has been like that since forever and because the village is not so far away from Kampala, the journey to and in a single day isn’t tiring at all. And the stay is long enough to make merry, visit the extended family, have a feast, etc.

That was the case until last year, 2015. Both my maternal grandparents passed on. One in June and the other in December. December 5th to be exact. Just a few days before Christmas. I woke up, drove to Mukono to supervise the site I was assigned that time, and I knew in a few hours, I was going to head back to Kampala and then to the hospital to pick my grandmother and bring her home. The plan was to surprise her because she always doubted my driving. LOL. For years she’d said she didn’t think I actually knew how to drive because I had never driven her. So this day, I wanted to. I was going to. She had been discharged. She was well. The life of the ward. The doctor had given her a green light because she was out of danger. So much that he didn’t think it was even necessary to prescribe anything. She’d undergone surgery for an intestinal obstruction weeks back and she lived through it. It was successful. She was good to go….God just had a different destination from what we thought was the obvious. After her breakfast and interacting with doctors and other patients all over the place, she sat on her bed to wait for her doctor to come sign her papers and see her off, and just like that her soul slipped away. Nobody noticed, not the doctors and not her caretaker. For a few minutes, nobody noticed her sudden silence or maybe they thought she’d just rested. Then her caretaker tried to ask her if everything was packed, and that’s when she noticed that she wasn’t napping but had died. Quietly, painlessly and I chose to believe she went happy. The doctors tried to resuscitate her but she was long gone. My mum says her soul ‘escaped’…because there is no way anyone would have accepted her goodbyes. And yet, that’s what she was doing that morning, come to think of it. Greeting everyone, wishing them well and telling them she was going. Turns out she was going to her eternal home. Her soul simply escaped.

So last year, my countdown to Christmas was blurry. I wasn’t sure what it was going to be like. What Christmas Eve would be like. How were we going to go back? A few days after the funeral? Would we even go? Did we want to go? What would we talk about when we got there?

Days after December 5th passed. And Christmas got closer. My mum was something else. She still mourned. Her parents. Her children’s grandparents. Granddad was her best friend. I had no idea what to say or how to help and so I just made myself available. Present in case she needed something. I took leave with her. We tried to deal together.

December 24th came. We made that trip to the village. This time it was quieter than usual because we really had no idea what to expect on the other side. We bought a wreath. Two wreaths actually, for each of the graves. We’d only been there a few days before and the flowers from then were withered but not fully dry yet. But we still took some. For Christmas.

The neighborhood people were glad to have us; but still gave us that stare….of is it really the same? The same old Christmas Eve visit? That look of sympathy. At the village home, slow activity. My grandmother used to get things in motion. Everyone had something to do, so much activity happening at the same time and so much energy. But now she lay in her grave about 100m from her home. The energy was gone. Except for the children playing around and making noise, oblivious of the situation, the mood was not Christmassy.

It will be a year on Monday 5th. It will also be 20 days. Two more Mondays. Three Fridays. And then Christmas. I dread it….but I’ll wake up and go to work, and get distracted. It always works for days like those. I have no idea what it will be for my mum. I still remember the morning of 5th December last year. I remember seeing several missed calls from her and wondering why she’d called so many times knowing I was driving, and didn’t leave a message. I called back. I still have the screams from the other end of the phone line fresh in my mind. I fear the moment will come back fresh for her. I pray it’s gentle.

Christmas still brings me joy, but now it also reminds me of a bit of my heart that had to leave.

So, to that bit of my heart, I will see you soon. Also, I will bring you flowers on Christmas Eve.

heart

Keep Christmas with you
All through the year
When Christmas is over
Save some Christmas cheer
These precious moments
Hold them very dear
And keep Christmas with you
All through the year
Christmas means the spirit of giving
Peace and joy to you
The goodness of loving
The gladness of living;
These are Christmas too…

-Sesame Street

x

Who watches over you?

Who watches over you?

And who do you pray for when you get up in the morning or as you go to bed at night?

Something happened a few weeks….maybe months ago. As my mother and brother drove home after work, my brother, in the backseat, was listening to music on his phone. Scrolling through his playlist. His window was not all the way up, but high enough to just leave a tiny space for air about 3cm below the rain guard / shield. Those shields are actually called visors.

So anyway, they were in slow moving traffic around Naguru ( and I should warn you that there is probably a group of people that have what I’m about to explain as a full blown activity….just recently I saw it unfold right infront of me on the car ahead of me)……this guy from nowhere was at my brother’s door, hit the visor broken, forced the window down and grabbed his phone. All this in a space of like 5 seconds. The impact on the visor had my mum think they’d been rammed into by another car so she stopped the car and in the process, my brother unlocked the door and got out………to chase the thief. He is no coward and I’m not surprised he did this…but when I was told the story, my heart was unsettled all day.

See, a lot more could have gone wrong. This lot of people, the ones doing these things, these petty crimes….they’re desperate and will go to extremes. This particular guy could have had a knife, a gun, or an accomplice waiting ahead to attack. All this was running through my head as I listened to the story. And my mother….her panic…her son, her baby, had just stormed out of the car…to chase a thief! Goodness!

After a short while he got back. The guy who grabbed the phone had jumped onto a bike that was waiting ahead and they rode off.

I don’t think I have seen my brother that sad in a while….but I kept telling myself, it could have been worse, and I thank God it wasn’t.

Each morning when I wake up I literally pray for my entire nuclear family. By name. For their safety. For their journey mercies. And for God’s guidance. It is a habit so much that when I ‘fail’ to get the time to before I get out of bed, I make it a point to murmur the prayer in the shower or on the way to work. It’s that serious. I need HIM to watch over them, each day.

Who watches over you?

Laughing at the Past

Yesterday colleagues of mine who also happened to have studied together at some point in their lives gave me (and themselves) a good laugh.

One of them randomly pointed out how once at school, for some exam, the other was the best in the exam….and he’d got….wait for it…..32%! I burst out laughing. If the best in the exam had got 32%, what did the rest have??????

So I asked them if at the time of this event, years ago, they laughed at it. And the answer, nope. It wasn’t funny then. In fact it was sad. I was reminded of my school days, when I got the strangest marks in Additional Maths and A’ level chemistry that I sometimes got so stressed about it like my world was crumbling. 😀

That is life. Isn’t it? The stuff that gets us upset or down many times…..Several years later…..does / will any of it matter? What if we handled life’s blows with that kind of attitude……a year, 2 or 5 from now, will it matter? Is it worth getting soooo depressed about? Is it thaaaaaaaat fatal? I’m not saying we shouldn’t deal. By all means, please, do deal. But deal, finish and get moving. Chances are, whatever it is, YOU WILL laugh about it later.

Even the bible does say, ’Weeping lasts for a night, but Joy comes in the morning. 🙂 And in 2Peter 3:8 there’s something about a thousand years being equivalent to one day in the Lord’s sight…..or something like that. So that Joy that’s supposed to come in the ‘morning’….the morning being talked about in that verse might be in Lord-years (lol) ….But, when HE finally decides that your morning has come, please laugh…and laugh and laugh. 🙂

Love.

x