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A sister died last week. Not my sister like that. A lady who used to play the keyboard during our bible study. I don’t remember her. But I can feel the impact of her death in our bible study. We had a moment of silence for her. The way they do in televisions when someone big dies. And in between those seconds, so many things ran through my mind. Being Mercy, I obviously wondered what all other people were thinking at that exact moment. My mind has this habit of trying to decipher what the other passengers seated in matatus are thinking about at a given moment. But before that thought could get an answer, I wondered how her best friend is doing. And her boyfriend. According to me, those must be the most broken people right now. They weren’t born with her like her sisters and brothers. They found her, connected with her and loved her for who she was with all her misgivings and strengths. They must have made plans with her. They knew her secrets. She had hopes for them. And now she is gone. To a better place. For me, her death, encouraged me to treat my close friends well, to love them the best I can. Because when one of us is gone, who will the remaining character text kumwambia udaku?
Life is hard. At times it breaks you. The other times, it stretches you to abnormal lengths. There are times I go before God, and I have no idea what to tell Him. Not because I’m speechless, but because I simply have no idea what on earth is happening inside there. Sometimes I take it all to Him, other times I take it out on Him. But one thing I have come to appreciate of the Lord, is that He is always there. All the time. There are times I need Him to speak, other times i need Him to act. And at times, He has done nothing of what I expected. But He has always been there. Faithfully so. Every single time. And there is no time I have gone before Him, and left feeling the same way. Life is still hard. Before and after I go to my God. What changes is how I feel inside there.
I can’t believe the year is almost over. So much has happened. So much has changed. I broke up with someone at the start of the year. I went for an attachment to a place I wanted so badly. I have traveled to a self sponsored trip to Malindi. Among many things. But above all that, the most meaningful event, has been finding myself. My voice. My scars, what makes me tick, what I can’t stand, what I love, what I desire. And that has changed my priorities and goals and dreams. Kitambo I was in the bandwagon claiming on the way I will not buy a car before a house because that is a foolish decision. Now, I’ll buy a car the first chance I get, does not matter whether I’m still in my parents house. Because a house speaks of stillness, settlement. I want none of those, I want to travel far and wide. I don’t want to stay in the same place for too long. A car will help me, a house won’t. I’ve learnt to own my goals and heart’s desires. And to stop explaining them to the world. If it understood them, then why on earth would it still need me?
But above that, this has been the year I’ve fallen in love with myself. Here, I wondered whether the ten year old Mercy, would be proud of the woman I have become now. Today, in between one of my toughest personal battle, I found the answer. When I was asking myself that there, I thought of it in terms of the achievements so far. But when I searched deep down, the little Mercy is not wowed by any achievements. She is moved by the internal strength and will power and determination to keep moving even when every single cell in me thought and felt otherwise. She is proud that I have known when to give in, when to give up and when to ask for help. As this year ends, in my books, it has neither been a good or bad year. It has been full of extreme highs and lows. Am I glad it’s almost over? Again, depending on what you are looking at. All in all, I have learnt to celebrate myself. Practically. Not just words. I love the cardbury white chocolate with biscuit. It’s a small pleasure I can give to myself. I love traveling, and so I will look for doors of opportunity for that. Where there is a way, there is a will.
And as our sister’s soul rest in peace, I realise that the stars always shine. We might not see them because of the clouds, but does that take them away? Even in the worst of times, there is always, always something to be grateful for. Appreciate yourself. Take care of your friends the best way you can. Live life. And above that hope.

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