Appreciate What You Have

By Adede Owalla • July 20, 2015

Walking clumsily towards the Mortuary that was built some few distance from the hospital wards towards the Doctors' quarters, Nyakundi seemed not to be himself and as psychological counselors would put it, His soul, conscience and mind had divorced his body. His knees and ankles developed numbness and general fatigue and he was looking tired, hungry and exhausted. From the look of things, he had been skipping meals , or the pain and stress within him had created immense dominance that he could hardly understand what peace of mind is. Nyakundi knew he might identify the body of his wife Agatha Moraa among the ones that were there at the mortuary. Questions rang his mind and even before he entered the first unit that had bodies of persons who died less than two days ago, Nyakundi already started visualizing the body of her wife dropped lifeless on a preservation board or maybe laid on the floor awaiting certain process. His body was dry, he had shed enough tears, cursed his decision to beat her wife the night before her disappearance and secretly prayed to God to help him set his eyes on his wife alive once more so that she could help him raise their baby Petricious Kababa. "It is two weeks now, she left without a word, never carried anything, not even her phone or our two months old baby. She never left any note behind to give a clue on what step she had taken. Where could she be if not here? Nyakundi wondered as he passed near a sign board written "NYAMACHE SUB DISTRICT HOSPITAL MORTUARY: YESU NDIYE NJIA."

Two days after the disappearance of his wife, Nyakundi wrote a statement with the police at Nyamache Police station and when he mentioned that he had beaten his wife the night before for cooking him small Ugali, the Police Woman at the reception slapped his poor cheek back to back and warned him with a kikuyu accent "tumekupatia wiki moja, usipopata huyo dada wewe ndio tutakuweka ndani mlafi huyu" (We have given you one week, if you don't find that lady then we will be obliged to remand you this gluttonous man). The frequent cry by the baby, pressure by both his family and the family of his wife had caused him sleepless nights and he had decided that if he failed to find his wife on that day, he was going to take poison which he had in his pocket. He had visited a witch doctor in Kenyenya town called Japolo Jalego whom he gave Ksh 1500 and promised him that he would find his wife that evening at Nyamache alive and kicking. It is six days after and no sign of his wife resurfacing at Nyamache, not even a clue of where she could be found. When he called Japolo that morning to seek advice and request him to re-assign his spirits to help bring his wife back, Japolo boldly told him "Wacha Kunisumbua Omera , sikupotesa bibi yako; ukipiga hii simo tena nitakuchapa radi" (Don't disturb me, I am not the one who made your wife disappear ; If you call this number again, I'll strike you with lightening)

Shaking with fear and with eyes that never expected death as an answer, Nyakundi checked carefully through the rows in Unit one of the mortuary but he never identified his wife not even a female body. He then proceeded to the Second and the third Unit but he didn't find his wife's body and he was a bit convinced that Moraa was somewhere, alive but still struggling to do away with her bitterness towards him. He had beaten her several occasions, even more serious but she finally used to come back to him and settle irrespective of the intensity of the bitterness. As he was stepping out of the morgue, the attendant called him and sympathetically asked him "umepata yeye ndugu yangu" ( Did you find her my brother? ). He nodded to show that he had not identified her among the bodies. The attendant then held his hands and led him to another unit with a writing on the door "TECHNICAL UNIT". The smell from this room could not allow a normal nose to function or basically would make one faint. The flies moved around the room singing Christmas hymns and occasionally landing on the five bodies that lied few meters apart. "Hii mwili ilipatikana kwa mto jana jioni......" ( this body was found in the river yesterday morning ) the attendant said pointing at the body of a woman with a white dress that had turned brown. She was tightly holding a wet piece of paper in her hands. Nyakundi's tears fell down as the attendant carefully opened her hands to remove the paper "Huyu ndio yeye?" ( is it her? ) the attendant asked but Nyakundi never responded. He managed to free the paper off her hands and unfolded it carefully to disclose the message. He then read it slowly "MUNGU AKUSAIDIE UPATE MWENYE ATAKUPIKIA UGALI KUNISHINDA ; LINDA MTOTO WETU VIZURI" ( Let God help you find someone who will cook or you a bigger Ugali than I used to do, Take good care of our baby).

Nyakundi collapsed !

Ladies and gentlemen, you'll only realize the importance of what you have when you loose it. Let's appreciate and be kind to people that God gives us in our lives.

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