I did not want my granny to die in 2010. But honestly, I would have been surprised if the mother of my mother would have lived beyond 2010.
At 34, I was lucky to have her alive. At 34, I realise that I don’t know her name because even when I was young, she was still old enough just be called agogo. I also don’t know how old she is, really.
But my mother is 74 and she is my granny’s first born. Perhaps my granny had her first child at 20, perhaps 25, even 18. I don’t know. But looking at her, and listening to her stories, she was well beyond 90 and she has lived a meaningful life, one taught by joys and pain, tears and victories.
She had 14 children but seven lived to grow up. The rest died in young age, at most in teenage. And that was long ago before HIV started killing young people.
Luckily, she has lived to see all her seven children until January 25, 2010, when she closed her eyes for good.
In her old age, she was unable to walk distances, meaning she did not go to church, the place she loved to be. Religious leaders came to her house to pray with her. She was using a wheelchair because she had grown so old that I am not mourning her, rather I am celebrating her life.
My granny is the mother of my mother. My mother is such a wonderful person and I can safely attribute most of her character to her mother, my granny. Her death is, therefore, not a time for me to mourn but to celebrate her life which I knew little about, unfortunately.
But the few times I spent with her, she was a great woman. I liked to visit her as often as possible. She told us the family tree, encouraged us all to live as one, never to allow anything separate our big extended family.
Her death too, is a source of inspiration. A man must grow old to comb gray hair. Ideally, we must not die young. But life is more complicated than we think and we die young, sometimes preventable deaths.
My granny’s death defines life in her times and life now. Her generation lives longer than us. In the past few weeks, I have buried young people of my age. They have left young children, some helpless. So sad.
The good news is that she has died at the right time. She live to comb gray hair.