The very day I stood there alone with you even as the rest left to go eat, the very day I hid that note addressed to you behind the cross and asked you to read it, the day I stood there silently, wiped off that last tear and waved good bye, wishing I could give you one last hug, that is the day.
Dear dad, it has been three thousand, nine hundred and seventy days today. Thirty more days and the promise written on that note will be obsolete, outdated, gone in the wind.
“I will find you before I’m twenty.
I will bring you home to mum,
To my four sisters and I;
We will be family again, I promise.”
A nine year old’s heart on paper. Written in blue, clean and clear as deep waters, or the beautiful sky. Thirty days yet, and I might just have to let you be. Then, I’ll stop hoping you’ll be around the corner as I go to church or that I’ll sit next to you on the bus headed for work, or that when I pick up this anonymous call, you’ll be the guy at the other end. Thirty days and I’ll write you another note and tuck it behind your cross like I did 4,000 days ago, this time, a geeky, girly, mature piece, a reflection of who I have grown up to be, of what I have become.
A day ago, I was sad. Sad that I had failed to find you, to bring you back, to welcome you home and make you my favorite salad, watch Lord of the Rings with you (Kiburu kids craze, ask Liz, p and Winnie!) then show you our pictures, take you for a stroll, maybe even go shopping for baggy tracks and old school shoes!! *sigh*…. sad because you’ll probably never hear me recite poetry, listen to my speeches, read my prose pieces on print media. Sad because you’ll probably never see me dance, watch me cook and bake, talk to me about my grades. Sad because I probably won’t see my mentor again, I’ll never salute my hero, my teacher, my father in this lifetime. Sad because 4000 days bore no fruit, sad because I knew you were in my memory all along but chose to see you were alive….alive and well.
But it’s a different story today, albeit the fact that it has been only twenty four hours. See I figured, though you haven’t been here in person, you are here, in every wall photo of yours hang in the living room, in each and every of the five girls -six, coz ma will always be your girl and now, in little Andy too. You taught us to live for a just cause, to be humble, not timid, to fight for our rights and those of others. You said integrity and principle are treasures no man can steal, that wisdom is a gift we should guard with our heart and person. You taught us to be what no one believes we can ever be, to know God and what He wills for us. You said so much that ama’ have to write a book soon. Seriously.
So thirty days yet and I will let go of my eleven year old dream. Instead, I will embrace the responsibility you graced us with: -to keep our family together, to guard what you left with honor and respect, to run after what truly counts (to be even geekier than you were, Mr. Engineer), to know I am smart and can do something about it.
Dear dad, I’ll be twenty in thirty days, and this is just to thank you for reasons I’ll state in person, when I come to drop my second (not last) note. But for all its worth, I…no, all six of us, intend to make Kiburu a household name, to live and leave a legacy. I promise.
I love you Dad, always have, always will.
PS: I am still left-handed