The thing about wanting to do something is that, you never know just how much time you have left. Late 2019, i can still remember my mum giving me his number. His name was Francis. I use the past tense because he is no longer here with us. First time i met him was during a family gathering that had extended families present. That was still in late 2019, a few days before my mum gave me his number.
It had been a great day. He had recently obtained his PhD, hence Dr. Francis Muiruri Kang’ethe. I remember marvelling, i mean, obtaining PhD is no joke, that has to be the highest level of education you can obtain. One that calls for hard work, persistence and discipline and i told myself, “i want to get that far” bask in the glory of such achievement. As he told us of how he had been experiencing medical problems, it made me admire him the more. He had undergone some eye surgery, and he was always having this awful headaches that weren’t going away. At that time, much as we were all worried, we were not that worried still, you get me? Like Francis looked so healthy and by the fact that he was standing there telling us all these, we were all like “If God has seen you through all that, then He will definitely see you through much more”
So, my mum giving me his number, was after he learnt that i was studying close to where he lived, that is Juja and i was studying at Jkuat, suggesting that i can even go stay at his place, that his wife and kids would be glad to have me over, afterall, we are a family and it would only mean more time for bonding.
If i ever called or texted him? No i didn’t. And i say that with so much pain and regret. I cannot emphasis on just how many times i would scroll through my contacts and when i would get to his contact, i would just stare at it and decide otherwise. Reason i never did it was because i was a bit scared. Scared that he might be a busy man, scared that i wouldn’t know where to start. You know, how would i start with, “my mum gave me your number” it just seemed a bit far fetched for me. Worst thing that i beat myself up for, is that i never tried. I’m crying so hard right now, because for sometime, it has been hitting me so hard of how we just don’t know what will happen and when. You could be literally talking to someone one day and the next, they are gone.
The fact that we do not know how much time we have with people God has placed in our lives, is just so scary.
First forward into the last days of 2020, Francis passed away. may his soul rest in eternal peace he had been in the ICU for almost half of December after the doctors realized he had been having a brain tumor for a solid 5 years and yet it only manifested itself when it was already too late. He is being laid to rest today, and i keep going back to his contact on whatsapp and there is no profile picture, only a status, “my faith and hope is in the lord” and it makes me break down so hard. Because, what if i had contacted him? What if i had taken that chance and went to visit him and his family?. Maybe it wouldn’t have changed anything, but i feel like i will always beat myself for a small role i didn’t manage to pull through.
As i see the final burial announcement of him on TV, a picture of him in his Doctorate gown, looking so radiant, i just can’t take it.
2020 had me losing so much. It was most definitely a hard year for everyone, that i can’t deny, but the fact that i lost some very important people makes me pray so hard that this year gets to be much more better.