Lifestyle and Health

HER DEATH-DAY/MY BIRTHDAY

“You did not cry like other children. When you fell down on the floor next to those three stones there, you were silent. We thought you didn’t make it out alive.  Mong’ina, may she rest in peace, is the one who took you and rubbed your back. She then sucked your nose, and then you cried a hoarse cry. You cried hoarsely, you cried as if there was some sputum on your throat. You did not cry like a baby Sabina, you cried like a tired old mourner. You cried for a minute, only one, and then you closed your eyes. We cut the umbilical cord with our kitchen knife the one that fell in the water hole. We used a string from an old sweeter to tie it. It fell after six days. .
It was around two in the morning. The placenta did not come out. It was a difficult labor. You were a difficult child”. “Like my father maybe,” I interject. But my grandmother spits and goes on. She too has a problem with a man he doesn’t know. She has a problem with my father.
I wonder if she sits down and tries giving him a body like I often do. I do not know him. But every time I try to envision him, I see a tall brown man. I see a man with a gap between his upper incisors. I see a man with broad shoulders and a flat stomach. I see a smart man. My grandmother says I look like my mother, except for my gap and my light skin. That must have come from this man that I don’t know. Does this man know that I am there? Does he think about me? Does he even miss me? No. if he missed me, he would have come to look for me, this man doesn’t miss me, maybe he doesn’t even know that I exist. That is what I tell myself when I want to get out of this reverie of a father, my farther.
“I should have known it would be a bad night”, my grandmother continues.” There were no stars on the day when you were born. The moon was also hidden below dark heavy clouds. Everyone was tired, we had spent the whole day planting.” Now this, this information about rain and planting helps.  So I know I was born on a planting season. It was also during the rainy season when I was born. That should help me get closer to my birth date, but there are two planting seasons and two rainy seasons, so I have to choose between March and July.
“She called me in the dead of the night. The pain had started. I couldn’t do it alone, so your grandfather went to call Mong’ina.  Those days we had no mobile phones. “This is another clue, I was born in the pre mobile phone era, early nineties, or late eighties. “She came. She came with her daughter in-law. We sat her here in this very kitchen, on a small stool. For hours she; sat quietly, head bent, hands over her belly and feet wide apart. We sat across from her. Adding logs and logs to the fire. She grimaced with every contraction. But she didn’t rant. She talked, called the names of all her female ancestors, when she exhausted the lists; she called all her brothers, uncles and cousins. This is the point she should have named her lover, your father. She didn’t. She just exhausted those names and started singing. So I stood behind her and asked her to name him. But she kept shouting no. then she pushed. Suddenly, when I looked, I saw a leg. Fear ran up my spine (not down). All the women opened their mouths and closed them. No one spoke. She just squatted around the fire and kept pushing, the pushing punctuated with deep sighs”. Silence. I look up and see tears in my grandmother’s old face. I want to cry too, I want to cry because she is crying, not because I am an orphan. All my life I have grown calling her mama, because that is who she has exactly been. Seeing tears on her old face makes my heart crush into several pieces.
So I was a breech. My mother must have been a hero, she brought me out. In normal circumstances, I shouldn’t have made it out alive. But I did, I made it alive a little quiet. My mother, when it comes to this part, granny’s voice becomes deep. Her eyes become watery and she avoids my eyes. She cries, not the usual sob. Tears only form in her eyes and flow down her nasal lacrimal duct into the oral pharynx then she swallows, she swallows tears and pain.
“She died because the cord that connected you to her refused to come out. So she bled and bled until there was no more blood left in her.”  Postpartum hemorrhage. “She was a fighter, she didn’t give up immediately. But after all the blood had come out of her system(Is it even possible to bleed all your blood), she just lay on her back, glanced over you once and breathed her last. You, you were asleep with hands in your mouth“(I must have been a ravenous baby. So my mother died on my birthday. She also died without ever holding me, without ever nursing me. So whose breast did I suckle? I should ask this question, I want to ask, but I know the answer, its answer, I did not suckle.
So I won’t celebrate birthdays for so many reasons. Apart from the obvious reason that which each passing year I get closer to my grave, closer to my death, I do not know exactly when I was born. Because it was a sad day when I was born. I don’t think there was really anyone to hold me. My mother was dead; she was probably lying in a pool of her own blood. I had caused her death; I don’t think my grandmother wanted to see me. It was such a dark day. I can’t celebrate my birthday ,cant be happy on my mother’s death anniversary, I can’t light two sets of candles, I can’t be happy and sad at the same time, that is not paradoxical, it is not even ironical, it is wrong, it’s wrong to celebrate.

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Doreen Saringi

Hey there, welcome. I am Dr. Oyunge. Books are my second love and writing is my third. Once I take off my white coat, I pick my pen.

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Joanne MedinaELVINmboyabloggersaringinlovinemboya Recent comment authors
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lovinemboya
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wow…. this really is twisted

saringin
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agreed

mboyablogger
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One word: Wow!!

ELVIN
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ELVIN

SAD

Joanne Medina
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No comment. It’s too deep!

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