Am seated here, by my father’s graveside, still wondering, what if you were still here, would I be the me I am today? Would I be this confident, amazing, beautiful, outgoing, strong and aggressive lady? Relentless, never giving up, speaking the truth even when it gets me into trouble, Who would I be?
See, sometimes the worst tends to happen so that the best can come forth. I link my father’s passing to who I am today. Being a last born, a daddy’s girl, I would be treated as a princess. I would get what I want, when I wanted and how I wanted it. I had my best friend and confidant in my late Dad. We were inseparable, always getting into mischief, upsetting my mum and so on. So when he passed away it took a huge blow on me. A pain so real, so deep that I felt I couldn’t breath, I couldn’t go on with life. I would even have suicidal thoughts just to get rid of the heartache. Who would be there to cheer me on, who would support me in my undertakings, who would give me boy advice, Who would make me laugh till my ribs hurt, who would push me to be a better human being? Who?
The day of my graduation was the second most painful moment compared to the day he passed, as we had planned for this day…well, we had planned for a week, and he was soo eager looking forward to seeing me in my graduation gown, O we could have danced and celebrated the day away. But riding on that bus to my campus, I couldn’t help but cry, he isn’t here, this is supposed to be happiest day of my life but it will be the saddest day in my heart. I put on a brave face and carried on like nothing is wrong….then I heard my name being called by the Dean, I was sited next to my friend and I had mentioned to him how low I was feeling, he held my hand as I stood up and told me, you did it!! You Christine, did it and I am sure he is super proud of you.
Suddenly I felt a cool breeze and I felt calm, I took in a deep breath and when I exhaled for a flicker of a moment, whether it was my imagination, I saw my Dad’s face through my tears, smiling. Then I knew, I didn’t let him down, that I did it, I got my degree, and now I need to move to the next step, and the next and the next until I reached my destination.
When we got back to Nairobi, in the coming week I went to his grave, told him I graduated and in as much as I wanted to celebrate this achievement, I still missed him and wished he could be around. And just like in Meru, there was a strong breeze, and the sadness left me. Was this a reminder that it is okay and I need to look ahead?
Sometimes in the thickest of grief, in between the tears there is a deep love that is telling us that it will be okay. That if we carry the virtues, mannerisms, attributes from the person whom we loved and lost, then the pain and transition to peace is worth it.
I took the loss of losing my Dad as my source of strength, my reminder that I have to live my truth, I have to live my life, I have to live in my purpose. The pain of his absence was my mountain that I needed to conquer. He was bold, so brutally honest, hilarious, super clean which could be almost borderline OCD! He was proud of his humble up bringing, proud to be a first born, proud husband, proud father and proud grandfather. As I reflected on this I told myself that I cannot let myself down as he wouldn’t allow me.
So, I made the decision, carry all his goodness, and stubbornness to be able to push through life’s huddles…My first jobs were doing activations in a supermarket, some would see it demeaning but I kept my focus, I wanted to be independent, any little shilling I would make would push me slowly to my goal. My first official job after graduation, was a secretarial job, I didn’t have anything else to do but just took it so I could get out of the house. But this was an emotional decision to make, being a graduate doing a secretary job! At a moment I let it get to me, but I was the best secretary my former employer had that I was promoted within 3 months. This boosted my confidence, I pushed through, and as my Dad taught me, don’t give up, be focused on what you want. Almost a year into my new role, I got a job in a Telco that I had been eyeing…again, the test for resilience, drive was on. I started in sales, grinding, walking and working and telling myself push on, keep at it. He may not be here, but he is watching.
5 months into the new job, I got promoted and got a permanent job in client relations. Reaching this point did take an emotional drain on me as I wanted him to see me getting onto my feet. But again, he wasn’t so I still kept pushing, its been now 10years since I joined the company, and counting.
Who am I now? A proud daughter to my mother, still daddy’s babgirl, a graduate, a Rotarian, a Sales Guru, a Marketing expert, with a deep passion for Client Relations. These are some of the things that have bore out of me since that painful 29th Day of April 2008.
I still remember him of course with tears in my eyes, which I have come to appreciate that they are a reminder of my love for him. We don’t cry for bad things, we cry for good. I look back from where I was 12years ago and I say I am proud of how I have turned out. We often hear its darkest before dawn, that was my darkest time and now I rise.
Has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration, Marketing Major from KEMU University. She is a Sales Guru and a Client Relations expert. She has harnessed her skills in Marketing and Leadership, to offer top-notch customer management expertise by interacting and building relationships with customers. Her specialty is within the SME space with currently venturing into Strategic Partnership, where she is the liaison between ICT partners and the organization she works for.