A Mothers' Day to Cherish
It has been a very memorable 3 days for me and my family.
I failed to raise my daughter's school fees for this term, not to mention a huge balance carried forward from last year, partly because I have so many adopted daughters who also had to be paid for school fees in their various schools and classes, plus the fact that work has been just too hard to come by of late.
I therefore decided to accompany her to school, some 400 kilometers from the city, in order to explain to the school administration why she was going to school without fees, and when it would be forthcoming. We left Nairobi on Thursday, 9th May, and on 10th, I took my daughter to school, and she was allowed in class after my promise to raise and pay her fees soonest.
Come Saturday and I left my matrimonial home for the journey back to the city. We had barely gone 100 kilometers before we were involved in a nasty accident that left 3 people, a woman and two men, dead. In the long, few minutes that the accident was unfolding, I wrote and autosent this text message to my family, since I knew my 15 month old daughter and I were surely dying:
"We've been involved in an accident. Please pray for us. If we don't make it, remember us with love."
No sooner had I pressed the send option, than my phone flew out of my hands. The bus was now full of smoke, swerving like crazy and making the weirdest noises I ever heard. We were filled with terror, and in a panic, everyone was screaming, praying or crying out at the tops of their voices. In those terrifying moments, I observed that women were the only ones who were praying. The men were just shouting at the driver to stop the 'damn bus,' while hurling abusive language at him when he didn't.
In as much as I had resigned the fate of my baby daughter and myself to inevitable death, I asked God why He wanted to call me home, when I had not fulfilled my promise to the hundreds of girls and women at my Centre. I asked Him why he couldn't allow me only two years, to see my two daughters graduate from high school where they both finish next year. Before my final prayer for our souls, I told God that I would really love to stay alive, to see all my kids, both biological and adopted, through college, that I knew if I died now, they would never get an education. Finally, I repented for having found fault with God's work, and prepared for the worst, quietly.
Meanwhile, I noticed in my silence, as I watched my daughter sleeping peacefully in my arms, despite the commotion, that all the women were not praying for their souls, but for their families! They were praying that God gives their children the strength to bear life without their mothers, that their husbands not marry women who would mistreat their children, and that God also gives their children strong love and understanding among themselves, to be their siblings' keepers.
After about 200 meters at a terrifying pace, our bus, which was full to capacity with 65 passengers excluding tens of children, screeched to a halt. It is so sad that the deceased woman had jumped through the window to escape inevitable death, while the two men died as a result of a stampede by the men in the bus rushing to jump out the door. The cause of the accident was a burst rear tire, while careening uphill, and the driver did a commendable job driving until he cleared the incline, before stopping at a flat area of the road. He most definitely saved our lives. This was at an area called Kapsasur, and we were rushed to a hospital in Kapsabet town, by good Samaritans and the police, where we were treated for shock and minor injuries.
It was almost 4 hours later that the police brought our luggage and other effects where we were all congregated, that I finally got my phone, which had been found inside the bus. Another bus was availed for us to continue with the journey. By this time, am made to understand that mourners had already arrived at my paternal, matrimonial and city homes, to condole with my family, since they hadn't gotten any other news from me, and believed my text to have been a farewell from us.
I sent them another text message, thus:
"Thank you for your concern and prayers. We are fine, though 3 died. Been treated for shock and are on the road again. Sorry for the scare. Will call you as soon as I get to Nairobi. God bless you."
At this time, my body was trembling violently, so when my phone exploded with tens of calls from relieved family, relatives and friends, I switched it off, since I wasn't sure I could talk to anyone after the harrowing experience.
We arrived in Nairobi uneventfully, and I was pleasantly surprised to find my family waiting for me at the Bus Station.
Although I was still shaking, I believe those were the best hugs I ever got in my lifetime.
I have never seen my husband cry, but I witnessed it that day, which made me realize how precious life really is. The following day, yesterday, Sunday 12th May, was Mothers' Day, and I couldn't have asked for a better present than the friends and relatives who kept flocking to my place.
Today I went to the doctor to check on my massive headache, chest, ribs and back pains, and am really thankful that it was nothing major, my bones are all intact, and my little girl was also unscathed, seeing as she also slept through it all.
Looking back, I thank God for sparing our lives at that precise moment, because today, 13th May marks the 9th anniversary of my son's death, and I shudder to think how my family would have handled it.
The boy in the photo is my son, Alvin Ligaka Musumba, who died 9 years ago today, aged 2 and a half years, due to lack of proper medical attention since I could not afford it, and the little girl is my daughter, who survived the ordeal with me.
I just had to share the most incredible three days of my life, in the very recent past.