Category Archives: family

I Love You One Cupcake at a Time

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I told my niece i was feeling blue and she baked these with a note that said. "How about feeling green"

I have sweet tooth and the people around me speak my love language

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The day before my birthday

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My Haloween treat

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When this came in i was certain it was a cupcake bit....

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Now they love me one slice of cake at a time

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Small Shoes to Fill Yet With Very Big Dreams

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Small Shoes to Fill

If anyone has very high expectations of me, it is my nephew. To him I make superman almost invisible.

You should hear the confidence in his voice as he assures others that, “Oh wait til i tell my aunt about it or you should see my aunt, never mind i will talk to my aunt…..”

I thought he would outgrow this but the dream are actually getting a bit bigger (and more expensive) hahaha.

While I take this on with  so much pride, sometimes I worry that I will let him and crush his faith, hope and dreams.

We do have an open relationship and for the things that are beyond me, i do explain to him but am getting a little frustrated inside that my responses are more of i would have loved to but… because he has outgrown building sand castles,  going to the park to play with his ball, movie night with the latest toy story to more constructive dreams

Cant complain even a single bit because each day i try to be that aunt he will still look up to when he turns 16, or 25 or 50.

The Small Shoes to Fill Yet With Big Dreams have give me a greater purpose for living

Lets Create Memories Not Just Moments

Funny how everything seems different with just one statement, “everything else is amazingly normal but….. lets just run a few more tests to confirm”. You can never have a deeper appreciation of life until you feel like your days are being stolen from you yet you are too shell-shocked to see beyond what is being dished at you at the moment.

I walked into the doctor’s room as normal as I have always been. See I hadn’t fallen sick in a year but I still wanted to have a routine check just to have the assurance that everything was in order. And yes on the outside everything was okay until two days later when my labs were returned. And the gradual change in the doctor’s tone from a chatty one to a soft reassuring said it all. 

“Let us keep monitoring everything for six weeks and we shall run a few more tests to see the progress”, he said while ushering me out. I decided to stroll home. There was no need to rush. And besides, the numerous questions running in my mind blinded me from the fact that its going to be a long walk home. My medical history was perfect, my family history was okay and I was just fine. Nothing about me hurt but then this!!!! 

It didn’t quite hit home til the middle of the night when the “what ifs” came into play. What if I don’t pull through and my days are limited, what if these were my only moments, would I have lived my life or just existed? What the next months are going to be the toughest, will I have the best of memories to hold on to or the last mean text I sent my sister would be all I remember, and the day out with my awesome nieces and nephews I pushed for another day would it be all they could carry with them, the promise unfulfilled???20150105_184925

I have a basket full of the fondest memories with my friends and family but I purpose the make more memories than just moments in life. We shall dance to as many songs, hug as hard as we can, laugh til we cry and do all sorts of silly things together. It doesn’t mean that I have given up before “my love journey” starts. And yes i purpose to call it “my love journey” because it has brought me to the new realization that there is more to life than a phone call that never came, or a birthday that was forgotten, or hurtful words that were exchanged. Life is full of very great memories if we choose to make them and appreciate life’s simplicity.

07-02-2015 my love journey begins”

  

I am War Child

The familiar sound of gunshots is no more. The sky is clear and there are hardly any clouds of smoke coming from burning homesteads. Military trucks that protect our camps are reducing in number. And slowly by slowly the people are moving back to their villages. To start tilling the gardens that were a source of their livelihood. To rebuild their homes that were reduced to ashes. To mourn their sons and husbands that they will not see or hug no more. To clear the streets that once connected them to their happy community. Yes the war has ended yet i still feel like a war child 

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My father was taken from us to join the army, my beautiful teenage sister was taken to be a bush wife, my neighbor’s son was mutilated before all of us to make an example of all those who would try to resist recruitment, my village chief was shot to show that the rebels now had all the control, my mother is weak and feeble from all the pain and loss she has to live with. And yes i have to step up and be the provider because am now the man in the home. There is no room to feel sorry for myself, that’s what my culture dictates. Yes i am a war child

Little has been done to rehabilitate children who have been victims of war. Some have been fortunate enough to be reunited with their families while others have been left with no homes to go back to. These innocent minds have been exposed to unimaginable scenes, that the end of war doesn’t mean the end of war within their minds.

Young girls have been raped living them exposed to diseases and some ending up becoming young mothers to children whose fathers they will never know. The boys have been subjected to physical abuse and torture as they are being forcefully recruited into the army. Many families have lost their loved ones to numerous ambushes, loved ones they never get a chance to mourn, while those who survive the ambushes are left in a very sorry physical state (like the war in northern Uganda where people were amputated and mutilated). Many households end up being headed by children.

So much needs to be done to stop the wars in these children’s lives even after the war has physically ended. How do we do it? Provide counselling services to the children; having to nurse a child out of rape is not the easiest thing to deal with neither is getting past the flashing images of your father and brothers being forcefully taken away from you. Offer free medical care and testing to the children especially those who have been sexually abused. Provide education and training for these children so that there is hope for them in the near future

“Protect the Rights of Children”

When The Predator Is In My Camp

“How do you wake up in the morning and act like it’s any other day? How do you know your worth when you feel like a dirty used rug? How do you wash off all the filth and feel clean again? But most of all How do you forgive when you can’t forget?” she asked in a very lost tone as a glass like film filled her eyes. And all it took was one gentle blink, just one blink and beads of tears rolled down her face like rain drops sliding down a window pane. I can still recall that look like it was just yesterday. A look with millions of questions that the two of us could not answer, yet u could tell she desperately wanted them answered.

How do you tell someone in that state that it’s all going to be okay? How do you tell them that tomorrow is going to be a better day so let go of yesterday and move on. At this point I was really struggling to keep it all together. I had to be strong for both of us, I just had to be strong for her. “We grew up in fear of the imaginary boogeyman under our beds, in our closets or right behind our doors, every little child did because that was the cue to mama that we are sharing your bed tonight. But in my case the boogeyman was not imaginary any more. He had become so real and made my nights creepy. Every sunset drained the last hope of trust in me, every moonlight came with a fresh wave of pain and despair and yet I could not escape it. If only I had the power to make the mornings last forever…” she narrated scenes from her past, ones she wished she could forget. Yet they seemed so fresh in her mind. 

“I cried but no one answered, I wailed but no one seemed to care. They didn’t even question my puffed up eyes or my down continence. I needed compassion and sympathy but all I found was loneliness and despair. That is when it downed on me that it’s my mess not theirs, it’s my battle not theirs, a one man’s war. But how do you fight the predator within? How to you win when all your covers are known to him? My trust had been shattered, this was beyond robbing me of my innocence and tearing my flesh apart. It was cutting off my wings, silencing my voice and putting me in a cage. I would then learn to talk but not speak, hear but not listen, look but not see, my life was a dummy”

I wanted to ask but it seemed she read my mind, “Who would have believed me?” Her face shot with so much disgust. “He was my father, a loving father by day and a monster at night. Who would have believed me? He passed for father of the year and they all looked up to him. And besides how do you share that shame? It’s one thing knowing you are as dirty as a dump and another to have it labeled on your face. People just have a way of defining you by what happened. I had to live with it, it had become part of me and I knew it was the dirty secret I would carry with me to my grave but I cant, not any more. It’s eating me away, it has taken my will to live. I just can’t carry it any further because it gets heavier by the day”

My heart bled for the little girl. You could see she wanted to break out of the cage, “I am tired of surviving” she said. By now she couldn’t control the tears flooding her face. You could tell that she was crying for all the years she fought to hold back, all the times she played strong, she just let it all out. “Teach me to smile again. Give me back my wings because I want to wonder around. I don’t belong in this cage, everyday I stay bound I feel like he has won. I can’t let him win. It’s my life, it’s my turn to control what happens in the night. I want to take in the beauty of the setting sun and enjoy the quiet on the moonlight. I am tired of seeing him in my dreams, I am tired of waking up in the middle of the night with bubbles of sweat on my forehead panting like I have been at war. I don’t want to flip through the pages of the calendar without living my life”

It all starts with forgiveness, which is the only way you can liberate yourself. You may not forget but you can forgive. You don’t have to sit on the same table and break bread but you can’t let him control you either. After our long teary chat, she reached out and hugged me. “My first hug in forever” she said with a lazy smile on her face. A hug that marked a new and profound friendship. 

Say no to child abuse”