Many workdays, I’d get off work tired and just fall asleep then wake up around 11pm. Due to the time difference, it would be 7am the following morning in Nairobi.
First of all, I’d wake up to find several missed calls from mom so I would return her call. I would ask what she was doing. Now that I think about it a few years ago, she would have been having breakfast already or had walked using her tripod to the sitting room to see how the house was being cleaned.
But in the last couple of years, she’d been lingering in bed. I’d get a sense of how she was just savoring those quiet mornings lounging in her bed. She’d talk about how she slept, if my nephews had left for school yet, or say she was waiting for my sister Irene to finish making tea or taking Abel, (her youngest) to school. In the background, would be her radio tuned to her favorite station, Inooro, with the news on. She was always an avid radio listener.
Back to the present though. Yesterday had been a particularly rough day.
l’ve been acutely missing my mom’s phone calls to me. I had already started crying in the car. Work as usual was busy and fast paced. In my state of mind, I’m struggling to keep up. I knew the day was going to be rough so I avoided our youngest sister’s calls. I knew she’d take me back to that day with her incessant questions and wishes. I could not have any additional stress added to my fragile state of mind.
Nonetheless, other stressors came from work and from without. By the end of the day, I was tired. I fed the cat and was in bed at 7pm. The sun was still out. But I didn’t care. I’d cried in the car all the way home. I was a mess and just needed a little solitude. I listened to music, crying silent tears. Feeling a little better, I watched. TV and fell asleep. I woke up at 11pm feeling a little refreshed just like the old days. My first thought before I remembered was ‘I didn’t call yesterday, I need to call now.’ And as I always did before each call, I lightly wondered what mom was doing. And in response, I got the very distinct sense of mom sitting with one or two friends chatting and talking amicably and jovially. The tones were shushed as though not to awake others or make too much noise. The moment was fleeting but I got a sense of connectedness, a sense of mom showing me that she was ok.
And In that moment, my heart eased just a little.