Pieces left behind

I marvel at the pieces of me left behind.

With people I met shortly or for years

Like a cake I let them taste the sweetness perhaps make lemonade with the sour

Some I may not recall much but they felt home with me

Or felt lost with different versions of me

I walked backwards recollecting my prints

They’re beautiful

To some I was their glasses so they could see a distance

To some I was a bridge they stepped to cross

To others I was this great iconic gal they wanna look up to.

With a great voice that can sing and anchor.

To the few who know me out of work, I can be your comedian. And make us laugh.

To another guy I’m this girl who should be wife’s up real quick. She fits that wife material description

Yet to some I was a nuisance lady not fitting in their circles. One they won’t want

To others I come as this lover of life, with lots of energy

To Some I came as this girl with no confidence to see tomorrow or face toughness

Others I’m the sister and loyal friend you can count on year on year out.

I still marvel at pieces of me left behind

In all the phases described, I was felt deeply and greatly

In good and in not good, both in measures satisfactory

But those are parts of me that form my print.

Prints can never be uniform

They’re rugged scribbled, torn and repaired, with a stiche here and there

With beautiful patterns and ugly ones

Good thing we print daily.

And those are parts of me I’ve left behind

Storiesitelldiary. NyamburaNdungu

It’s not the end

When your bus finally arrives

And you are no longer at the bus stop

When those ‘ I’m happy for you texts’ you kept saying to others,

are now coming to you.

When we will be celebrating your victories.

And are grateful that you kept waiting,

Even when tears welled up, as you saw your peers leave you behind,

Every time you thought it was late for you,

Every time they sped past you as though you were standing still,

Even in the future when it might hit hardest.

Let this be your assurance

Like a ship that will always dock,

Anchor yourself, it’s not the end.

Storiesitell. Nyambura Ndungu

… To live again

Beneath those dark shades

And a fake wide smile

Is a real you

Crying to be freed

From standards and expectations

Those you learned and copied

Crying for you to realize you can create

You don’t have to always trod

A laid out map

Trade them standards for freedom

To be real and do it again and over again

You might need to unlearn, Alot!

You may need a start again

as many times,

Have a little more patience with you

Cling on to grace always abounding

Then you will start to live again.

Storiesitell nyambura ndung’u.

Some nights

Some are very long

They can’t be independent

They keep stealing from the day

Replaying it’s activities

Even through to dreamland

Especially the ones you want to forget

a bad boss and a boring friend

Somehow you manage some sleep

The committee of sleep talks it over

Tomorrow is untouched

brand new.

We hope to make some good night of it.

Storiesitell. Nyambura Ndungu.

Chronicles of a single.

I get to the house and drop my bag.

I’m almost shouting ‘ honey I’m home’

But I know nobody is home.

I’m not even dating,

Let alone being married.

I try to get alive with my country music,

Coincidentally they sing of jilted lovers

Desperately in love, that’s not what I want to hear.

Quickly I sink into my head,

To find myself, or find company in there

There’s always tea for warmth

Sometimes it’s a book to read

Others I’m having my writing socks

Then I fall asleep. It’s been a long day

Tomorrow is another

It’s a cycle.

Chronicles of a single.

Storiesitell2020

I love you Dad. Tribute to my Father.

Dad on his best smile

There’s no poetic rhyme for this. It might never be a sweet song, Just that time allows us to heal, have fond memories of those dear Time allows us to even talk about them in the past tense. And laugh, But for now, allow me talk a little about him as if he is here.

My dad passed away last month 4th of June. It was so soon. It was only two days. That night he was rushed to hospital and the afternoon of the following day. I wished death prepared us for what to expect rather than ambush us. I know that the unexpected thought had crossed my mind, but it was not supposed to mature into action. At least not that fast.

While it’s my hope that you never have to experience such an altering loss, I know it might come, some day some how while you are busy at the peak of life, or at the bottom of it, death shows up to remind you that it’s a part of life.

I know the pain of loosing dad, especially at a time we had grown very close might perhaps stay for longer, because how do I not see him inside his white car? Sitting on his favorite seat? Laughing and smiling broadly especially when telling a story he was passionate about. It’s not easy right?

Dad lived life fully, he was unbothered by stuff he could not change, he laughed passionately and slept soundly when he did.

He is a typical kikuyu man, he loves land, and has acquired several. he has served in high positions in the government and he hated to use his position to oppress. He lived a life of influence, his circle of friends can attest. He is a giver, a generous giver, I almost got jealous of how much he gave. I can go on and on…… And wonder who will fill your shoes. But I have learnt from you virtues I will treasure them in life,, and thanks for living a life that death hasn’t been able to stop.

My dad Joseph will be in my heart, I would give up anything to have him back but I’m glad you are in a better place, not in pain. And especially because you slept in the Lord. With age I got to draw closer to you, you are a friend I had, one who kept my birthdays as though they’re sacred.

There are days i long for your call checking on me. I know it will never come cause some voids are hard to fill and it’s okey if they remain that way, I won’t try force anyone into your big shoes

The whole duty of man in his life is to raise a family that will out live him. So many people depended on you, even outside family

Dad in every way you have lived such a life, your inner energy that saw you do extraordinary things.

I looked back into your background and it is not one that was very extraordinary, you just chose a different path that set you apart as a different unique. Even older men salute you Dad, I listened to them that day as we celebrated your life.

Having worked in the Forces, A salute is something you were used to. And dad there’s no last salute, for you, we keep Saluting. We salute your values, your lessons and your wisdom. We keep Saluting.

I love you Dad and I will keep loving you, keep resting. Salute!

Birthday in quarantine

If you know you me, you know I treasure birthdays

If you don’t, then I’ve told you. Especially when the birthday is mine

This 16th day of May is the lucky day

I like to feel great, loved, special on this day, and of course even after that

The thought of this day sends chill, I’m always in anticipation.

Like a heart that won’t rest until I get to see it’s dawn to dusk

I don’t know the magic that comes with it..

But it does something to me that I can’t explain.

it is special to me and it should be to those who matter

I still like the cut your cake, blow your candle thing as they clap and sing Happy birthday

They ask and you respond years you are turning. It was imprinted in me long time ago.

I’d like to have a new dress, I’d like to dance and dine Then you’ll post my pics everywhere with birthday captions

But there’s a new kind of fun.. Deep down in the woods. Quiet and calm in good company,

sitting on a maasai kanga, as the wind blows to your direction

Listening to nature sing to you, then you’ll realize it’s the sweetest your ears will ever know

Reminiscing of the good past moments. Perhaps shed happy tears for the very good ones

Appreciate those unique people that life has given me as gifts that I could never buy

The family that I’ve always had. The friends that have come across my life and chosen to stay.

Then I cried over the sad things.. But I always had a shoulder.

A birthday won’t be a complete without a cake.. So I’ cut cake.. Take drinks , but this time in the witness of trees and the choir of a water fall.

We are just in time for the rains

But the birthday is beautiful and different. A birthday in quarantine.

#Storiesitell #birthday in quarantine. NyamburaNdungu.

Twists ‘n’ turns of a life.

“I will try and be very honest with you, but I’ll ask of one thing from you” she started. “What’s that?” “I need my identity protected. I do not want anyone close ever getting to know this is me.” I will. I will guard it jealously.  That was my response.

So I have tried to give twists to this story in good faith we protect her. I made a promise and won’t break it. Or so I think.

You see in life, you are met with challenges that will alter your normal life or even change it completely but resilience will keep you. Rather, life can break us to ways that we even forget ourselves. It is in such moments that we need to put up the most resilience.  

Growing up in the heart of Murang’a, a small village on hills that overlooked aberdare ranges, a very green place with tea bushes and beautiful rivers. The land can be likened to Canaan in the Bible. It flowed with honey and milk. I was a typical village girl. Born to a huge family, with reasonably wealth man, I had a descent childhood.  A very beautiful brown girl in the early 90s.I know this because I have had myself all this time. I had a dream to raise a family like the one I was brought up in and live happily ever after. I wish I would tell you that my wish came to pass.

I settled with one man the father of my daughter at 24 years I was old enough to start a family. He gave me keys to my house. I vividly remember his words “A woman should learn to open the door to her house” He said as he handed me the keys to my house. Life was beautiful. My daughter brought us so much joy. She was a bright girl. He loved going out with her. She wore expensive dresses, a sweet petite girl. She grew up with so much confidence and love.

Maybe I should take you back to how I met my husband. There was a market called Mutithi market and we would go to sell and buy depending on which season it was. He was a common face every Wednesday particularly when the schools were closed. I hated going to the market but I had suddenly gotten a motivation.   Fast forward, school ended, they said he would get me a job and mum bought the idea. By this time he was well known by my family and he quickly earned their trust. I looked forward to that day when I would get the job. Might I at this point add that the man in question was such a fine specimen. He was way older than I was and he was well exposed so yes, he would get me a job. I also had good grades so it was not a worry.

I packed a few clothes that day and off I went to my newly found Job. It was satisfying to get the job and finally earn my job. Long story short. After close to one year, I added a new description to my job. I became his wife. And that was how my happily ever after started.

Back to my story, after about four years, we were expecting a second born. A very beautiful girl. She was the most beautiful baby I had ever seen. She was even featured in the parent’s Magazine as the baby of the month. This two girls brought more life to me. Unfortunately at this time my marriage was shaky, stuff I would not expected started happening.

The house that I had been given keys to was now not mine. I accessed at his discretion. Maybe I should add that I had gotten a better paying job that would not have allowed me to stay continuously in that very town. I had to relocate with my children close to my area of work. That looked to me like separation because we were on and off until when I knew that I had to move on. It took a toll on me as I was trying to adapt to the new way of life but it wasn’t so hard at least I had a job. 

I left expecting a third born. A very handsome boy was born. My joy was complete. He is a copyright of his father, he had questions about his dad when growing up. Bringing up my young family in my early 30s was not so hard as long as I had the job. They schooled in a good private school. We had a decent life.  Unfortunately, we had a retrenchment that would not spare me.

 Life started hitting hard. Paying fees, Rent and feeding my children. With little support. I tried business here and there but it didn’t pick well. We moved to a smaller house but I still could not pay the rent. Things went from bad to worse and eventually life pushed me to go back home. Back to the heart of the village in Muranga.

This particular day I don’t think will erase from my eyes, I was under 35 years with three children to raise and no income. Having to transition from the town to the village life. My eldest daughter by then In class six, the second born in class two and a toddler struggling to walk.

I had a pick up ferry my stuff back to my home. . The humiliation that comes with it. Questions I didn’t have answers to, the unsaid rumors that stop when you get near them, their eyes that clearly say you had been a topic of discussion and those sharp words that got to your ears. There were those that looked at us as a liability, like we would take away pieces of land originally belonging to them. There were few nice ones, I remember friend to my brother, God bless his soul He gave me 200 Kshs note. That meant so much to me at the time, but I digress..

 I tried to get resolve of which way to start. A mentally and emotionally disturbed young woman. But I had to be strong. I picked tea in the plantations. 1 kg would go for 10 Kshs. Maybe I should let you know that tea is the weight of a feather. Now do your math. How many kgs I would need to pick, if that money is what would feed a family. But I had a support system from my brothers because my parents had rested at the time. 

My daughter got a scholarship and that was a burden reduced. I fought like a wounded lion, because I was one anyway..

I went back to school self-sponsored struggled to pay fees for two years all the way through to my graduation. My second born daughter was very supportive. She was a pillar for me at a very young age, she learnt to cook and take Care of his younger brother. I went to college when they closed school and left the two of them. It was hard they were young, but I had no option. I owe alot of my success to her support.

This graduation to me was a mile stone. And that’s how I earned the title teacher. I secured a job and taught for 5 years employed. Then one day the gut in me dared to take the risk of starting my own. My own school. This would be the greatest risk of my life. I will not go to details of how it went  

It cost me all courage I had determination and strength draining and I’ve had very low moments there. The sight of children running to me every morning with sounds of “Good Morning teacher” keeps me. 

Truth is I have put up a fight. 7 years now. The school is standing amidst many odds. My girls are done with school and working while the last born is almost done. I have seen Gods faithfulness all through my hard journey. He has been my source of strength and courage. I would not have done this without Him.

I’m proud that I have brought up a compact family contrary to how it is viewed of single parenting mothers. This is my greatest success. My children are my friends. I have taught them to fear God.

I have also let go alot and learnt to forgive.

As I look back, I remember that day in Feb of 2005, as if it was yesterday, when that pickup came carrying my luggage back home. And the world was crumbling down on me. I can only be grateful to God

Maybe it’s okay to be humiliated before you can be glorified. It’s a happy Mother’s day.

We are celebrating your Strength, for raising families, holding marriages,

Even when you felt lost in a sea of responsibilities 

Things to do- a range of to do lists, and piles of failure

And the many things you do behind scenes,

Relax, no amount of feeling unnoticed can pull you away,

From the truth that you are a Mother,

Deserving every appreciation.

#storiesitell. Nyamburandungu Mothersdayedition.

… Homeless

So I fell again. I’m using again because it has happened before. Falling in love. But the good thing is that I’m  getting used to it.. that my heart loves deeply . Hey don’t get me wrong it’s a choosy heart. That’s where the problem is. You do your selection carefully then your heart decides to shock you.

 I’m sitting here at a shade in a corner of a restaurant at Edgewood. The exact same place we sat, when we were falling  for each other. Or whatever you want to call it. I know something was happening.

From your look ,your eyes looked like forever. They looked loving,promising ,genuine,they looked like forever.

That Friday..I had had a long day at work .. Then a text from you brightened it.There were two of your friends who had come with us,I came to learn they were DJs.  They were chewing the green leaf but you looked too smart for that.

Not that I didn’t enjoy their company, but I’m jealous.. I wanted time with you. There was just something about you i needed to understand. Something that made me holdback from you. Something that is in me before i can let in a stranger..

I decided to step out of the shade we were in, down the stairs and i stood a stone throw away. Leaning on that wooden wall, overlooking the river  flowing in a direction i thought was its opposite.

The trees above formed a good canopy that let you see just afew stars. There were lights on the ground that dimly lit the grass. Perfect environment for a romantic like me.

It didn’t take long before you joined me ( I knew you would). We stood there gazing into the empty space then you took a seat .The look on your face invited me to take one next to you. Either by design or accident, the chair had a broken leg,so the next best place was  your laps.

I know I got some weight , but you said I don’t 1and that I could sit on you. I leaned back to a pillow like chest and your arms wrapped around me. I wish our spirits merged then..

Cause at that moment my problems ended. I enjoy moments.. Because we live for the good moments.like the one Joe and I were having..It was good while it lasted.

I kept telling him he doesn’t know me.. And for sure he didnt. But I loved his confidence in saying that what he knew was enough..

And Joe is awesome, he has a way of making me feel at home, and he always did. With him I was home. home had stopped being a house.

 He is a risk taker he is industrious… Ana bidii ingine Kali sana. He likes to sit alone in quiet places. He even wanted to buy land in kilimambogo and build a quiet home..Enough of the praising.

But I’m glad  I met him in my journey of life.I’m of the opinion that  people who touch your life are gifts and gifts are treasured.

I know today is not his birthday but I know he was born and that’s a reason to celebrate him.

We left at, with him I was home. He was home. But like I said I had certain fears and I confirmed them . Joe was no where to be found. He had left to wherever . I don’t know. Maybe its to where he had come from. And I became homeless.He could neither speak nor could he be seen .I only saw his twin.

Seeing him meant much.. He was close to home,,but he was not home

All this time my drink ran out and I was lost in deep thought. I realized this when I lifted to sip my drink and it was empty. It was 10:56pm. I needed to go home. I asked for uber.paid my bill and left

At least let’s say Joe had given me a place to go. . I’m homeless though.

#Storiesitell. NyamburaNdungu. 1-05-2020