Resiliently Joyful

I was going to post Part two of being home but I take a moment out to honour a man we loved. This weekend we lost an Uncle and I think he qualifies as the most joyful man I have ever known. He lived with a condition that was crippling and left him in pain but I don’t remember him ever being gloomy. He always had a smile on his face and I don’t just say it because he has passed away but he really was that kind of person. I never once heard him speak ill of anyone and that is the rarest of qualities. We saw him this holiday, after a very long time and I’m glad about that.

I recently saw a documentary about a condition called Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressive commonly called FOP or Stone man Syndrome and it looks a lot like what Uncle suffered from, however that was not the diagnosis he was given and I guess we will never know for sure but I have never seen anyone other than him with such a condition except those in the documentary and it is truly rare.

We all love to gossip and whin about how life’s going bad for us but if we could take the time to be thankful for what we have and not think about what we don’t have, maybe, just maybe, we will live life fully. He lived independently for as long as he could and I can honestly say, we have lost a treasure but can also be glad that we had our time with him and he is finally at rest. We hold on to hope that God in His infinite mercy and love, will count him among those that are His and that we will see him again soon. Rest in Peace Uncle Davie

Home…A reminder of God’s grace Part 1

I just got back from home this Thursday the 8th…It was the best thing ever! There truly is no place like home. I was at peace, burdened somewhat by some things but at peace. Don’t know if that makes sense. It was weird in that it felt like we never left but my kid sisters and brothers are no longer kids. They are young women and men. I still can push them around and I’m even more protective over them than I was six years ago.

I no longer see my family through romantic eyes. I am no longer the na├»ve young woman who left (Considering I never ever thought of myself as a young woman when I left – I was female) I am a woman now. I see things differently and to be honest, my family like all families has issues but we also have love and gifts and talents and a unity that is not present in many families. This trip for me was enjoyable in so many ways and difficult in others.

To start off we almost missed our flight out of Perth but thank God we had checked in online. When we got to the airport, I had to run inside with my hand luggage and stand in line and then had to wait for the other three who casually walked to where I was. Then ran back out when they had come in to help my dad with the remaining bags. Of course this whole time, my daughter was telling me I needed to have more faith and my young sister kept saying to me “woman, calm yourself.”

I was standing at the counter still not believing I was finally going home and even after the boarding passes were given, I was panicking. my mum had to get money changed and I was freaking out. Even after we were on the plane, I still didn’t believe I was leaving the Island and it was only once we were in the air that I relaxed.

My daughter turned to me and said, “You really need to have more faith…I told you we wouldn’t miss it.” In Dubai we almost missed our flight again and this time people were already boarding when we got there. I had gone to the toilet and found my family had walked ahead. I found them but then my mum and sister went shopping. 

My daughter still kept saying we wouldn’t miss the flight and at some point I did tell her to never change and always view things with eyes of faith and not fear (paraphrased). I really pray that she doesn’t because life does knock you around every so often and the older you get, the harder it is to believe that good is coming.

I was struck by joy at being home and grieved when my plane approached Kenneth Kaunda International from Harare on our way to Perth. We couldn’t leave the plane and it was as if my heart was telling me, you don’t belong here. There’s a fear that it will be a long time before I see my family (the one left in Zambia) and that like last time, they might not be there when I go back.

I have not come to terms with loosing my grandmother Bwalya (have to specify which one) and Uncle four years ago and seeing my grandmother’s grave for me was the most difficult part of the whole holiday, She was part of what it meant to be home. I spent a week in her old room and it was confronting because she’s gone. My Uncle, just feels like we just couldn’t meet because he was away or something. didn’t see his grave and so his death is a little less real than hers.

At the memorial, I gave a poem, was going to do two but decided not to. My brother gave a speech and what he said was as true as ever. Life is short and family and God is all we have. Lets not let material things come in between us as people, as family and friends. instead of asking what it is that “this family” can give you, ask what you can give your family. It’s only then that we will be able to help those in need without grumbling, and it’s only then when we can work together to strengthen our families.

its hard to get past thinking about the loss and move towards thinking about the long years we had. I pray that one day, I will be able to look a photos of mama and write poems about both her and Uncle Isaac that are happy. Life is short, Don’t waste a moment of it. Love those around you and be a light and pillar for someone else.