First of all, I would like to apologize because I am unable to journey back home to attend the funeral service. One can never prepare for such unexpected events.
It was with shock and disbelief that read the email message from my dad and a second email from my brother where they informed me of the passing away of my brother Mike. This was on the morning of Friday November 30th. In some ways I was wishing it was a dream and that I would wake up shortly, yet somehow I kept thinking, “his is gone!” I just couldn’t comprehend this since I was not aware of any illness that he might have been suffering from. But deep down I knew that he had truly passed away.
I last saw Michael in May 1998 when I flew back from Spokane, Washington USA to attend the funeral of my mother. I remember some of the things we talked about then. I also remember not speaking to him for a long time until just a couple of months ago. We talked about how he was doing and how Adah and the kids were doing. I also let him know that I was planning to come back next year in May, for my mother’s memorial service. I was looking forward to catching up with him and Adah , and finally meeting the kids for the first time.
As I get older, I continue to understand how little I know about life and what the future holds for me. I think when I was younger I was very self-centered, never really thinking about such issues. Yet with age comes a certain type of wisdom. This wisdom teaches us that nobody truly knows what tomorrow will bring. For some, tomorrow will bring happiness and joy, yet for others it will bring sadness and grief.
One thing I do know for sure is that one day I too will be gone. I don’t know when that day will come, only The Lord knows…. but that day will come. When I too am gone I want to know that I have made a positive difference in somebody’s life. I want to be known as someone who was kind to others, who was generous and reached out to those in need. The Michael I know was such a person. He was neither the wealthiest nor the most powerful person in Mumias but I believe he was the one with the biggest heart. Although there are many examples I can think of, the single biggest example of his selflessness was when he donated one of his kidneys to our ailing mother. For this reason alone I will never forget him.
This one act of selflessness also told me how much Michael loved his family. His death also reminded me once again how important family and friends were to him. I received many phone calls from other relatives and many friends who heard the news and called me. These were friends who used to live in Mumias, Nairobi and other places who remember and loved him like family. I think this is an important reminder that no matter where in the world we are, no matter how busy in life we are, we should never forget our family or our friends. We should never lose touch of those we love.
And when we are away, we should always pray for them. So now I pray for my brother. I pray that he is at peace and now that this life has passed, he would truly find peace.
Next year, it will be 10 years since I last visited home. I plan come to attend my mother’s memorial service and also to pay my respects to my late brother. I plan to speak, not be via letter rather I plan to speak to you all in person. But despite my plans, The Lord may have other plans for me, if this is so, so be it but I pray its The Lord’s will that visit.
In closing, I really do believe in the bible as God’s word, therefore I shall end with a verse. This verse is from the first part of Romans Chapter 2, the first part of verse 7
“He will give everlasting life to those who search for glory, honor, and immortality by persisting in doing what is good…”
For those of us who are believers, we know that there is life beyond the grave, and we live our lives here preparing for that eventuality.
My God bless you all!