What you need to know:
- I am done procrastinating, I have finally planned my visit.
- I will never be able to forgive myself should I learn that she is no more before giving her this courtesy.
What are those things that you keep telling yourself you’ll do, but for some reason, you never get round to doing them?
Generally, I’m a procrastinator, but the habit is not crippling because I eventually get round to doing what I have to do in time. There is, however, one particular thing that I’ve been postponing for years now — more than 10 years, in fact. It is something that is always at the back of my mind, and when it comes to the fore, as it does once in a while, it fills me with guilt.
You see, growing up, there is a woman, I always think of her as having a heart of gold, who was unconditionally good to me when I needed it. When I needed stability and security and a constant place that I could call a second home. She had children of her own but she opened up her home to me and treated me as if I was one of her own. Not at any one time did I feel as if I didn’t belong for those three years that I lived with her family, on and off.
I was in primary school, and when I completed Class Eight, I joined a boarding school for my high school education. After that, I saw her maybe two or three times, but she would often call me to find out how I was fairing, especially during holidays – those were the days we Kenyans took national holidays such as the then Kenyatta, Moi and Madaraka days seriously, when almost everyone would close their businesses and families would gather, slaughter a goat, make chapatis, buy a crate of soda and make merry. Now many of us either don’t have the time for this, or don’t have the money to spend. How good the good old days were.
But I was telling you about the woman with the heart of gold. Eventually, we lost touch completely, something that I blame myself for because I didn’t make as big an effort as she did to keep in touch — I was too busy being young. At some point, she got tired of being the only caller and stopped calling.
When I reached adulthood and got my first child, I began to think about her – it occurred to me that were my child ever in need, I would like him to encounter someone like her who was willing to offer him a roof over his head wholeheartedly, no strings attached.
I promised myself then that I would visit her, but never got round to doing it, mostly due to guilt. Guilt of having never reached out to her all these years yet when I had needed her generosity she had extended it without hesitation. Not that she needs money or any other material help – she is comfortable, and she has financially able children who must take good care of her. Still, I feel that I owe her the courtesy of a visit, maybe tell her what an impact she made in my life many years ago.
She’s an elderly woman now, and when Covid-19 was announced in the country and Kenyans began to die from it, I thought of her a lot and promised myself to visit her as soon as a cure for the virus was found – those were the early days when we believed the illness would be eradicated within three months.
The virus is still here, two years later, but we can travel. Well, I am done procrastinating, I have finally planned my visit after I acknowledged that I will never be able to forgive myself should I learn that she is no more before giving her this courtesy.
What is that important thing you have been postponing? If it matters, don’t wait until tomorrow, do it today.
The writer is editor, Society & Magazines, Daily Nation. Email: [email protected] ke.nationmedia.com