We lost my aunt last weekend. She suffered a very long illness and you might think that that makes her leaving us easier, but it doesn’t. Yes we are aware she is not suffering anymore and we are happy she is at peace. But right now, the overwhelming feeling is one of loss – loss of a strong matriarch, her beautiful smile and her all-encompassing love for God.
My aunt was the firstborn in my mother’s family and I have grown up hearing my mother and her other sister talk about how she set the standard in their lives on so many levels. She thought they should be well educated – they are. She thought they should have church weddings, they did. She loved God, dedicated her life to Him at young age and she wanted that for everyone and especially her family – her sisters are both born-again members of the Women’s Guild.
For us her daughters and nieces she was loath that we should make the wrong choice of partner, and kept telling us that we should be proud and rude if necessary to make sure boys or men approach us with caution and a plan; that we should not be the kind of girls that men take lightly. She encouraged us to question what a man was bringing into our lives and hearts before we let him on. She wanted us to take our time and choose our spouses carefully and I dare say we all have.
She also believed a woman should be able to provide for herself and her offspring should she choose to have them. She believed in hard work and would lament the hours we spent in front of the TV even on school holidays. As a kid I spent a holiday at her place watching zero TV, and I learnt all manner of housework and even how to beat dry beans so that the beans would fall out of their pockets.
She wanted us to love each other as a family and to look for each other so we do not fall out of touch. Some people leave a loud legacy while others like my aunt leave an insidious one. Her legacy shows up when we hang out together; in our belief and value for hard work; and I think in the empowerment of women in my family. A bunch of proud women who are demanding of their partners but also incredibly committed to family. This has of course influenced who our brothers marry and bring into the family. A family that puts God first and can’t even have lunch without prayers and a Bible reading.
Rest in peace Mama Waweru.