The last couple of days have been tragic. The horrors of the Westgate terror attack are imprinted in our brains and psychologically we are damaged. The rumours of what really happened inside can break your heart.
Yesterday a friend of mine Idd Salim was buried. He died on Monday. He did not die in the Westgate tragedy. He was ill for like 2 weeks and was hospitalized during the weekend. Last night we had a night of tributes. We talked about Idd, and how he was controversial but a great friend. I almost broke down when giving a tribute. I wrote a poem in a series of tweets when I learnt of his death. I read it yesterday as part of my tribute – Why are you so greedy death? The last couple of days have just brought home how precious life is. It has also exposed how we spend too much time doing things and looking for cash, and not spending time with the people we love or care about.
“All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on.” – Havelock Ellis
Things I have learnt from this incident.
Always be there for the people you love or care about.
It is not enough to say hi on your TL or on FB. Take time to meet people and find out what’s going on in their lives. Stop putting off meeting your family or loved ones. Who knows what may happen. Hug them, text them, do stuff for them. Let them know they mean alot.
Time is a friend to no man. Death loves everybody and he chooses inconvenient times to make a personal visit.
I should appreciate the people who care about me and love me. On Saturday I received a call and even before removing my phone from my pocket I knew it was my mum. I laughed. At the time we didn’t know how serious Westgate was. We thought it was a couple of robbers. My mum always calls me when she hears of any security issues or any alarming issues. She will stay up late and most times will not sleep until we get home especially if we say we will be abit late. Even if her light is off you know that she doesn’t completely sleep until we are at home. On Saturday my mum was to go to Westgate to a new shop there. She was actually in the area. Luckily she didn’t because she ended up going to town first. One of our doors had an issue and she was told she has to get the things she needed in town. She could have been there but by God’s grace she wasn’t. when I found out about Westgate I called my sister. The likelihood of her going there was high. My mum it wasn’t. if anything had happened to her I don’t know what I would have done, not having checked on her, assuming that she wouldn’t be there.
I don’t want to regret not having spent time with the people I care about.
Pray for the people you love. Somebody said on Saturday that most drunkards say their car knows the way home. But the reality could be that that person has somebody who prays for them and the angels watch out for the ones they love. That prayer you say could make a very big difference in your loved one’s life.
I don’t want to die with my dreams inside me. Idd was a brilliant coder and blogger. He put his heart and soul into anything he did. He pursued his dream. I loved the way he would say “back to code. Wazi”. I need to write those stories inside of me. I need to publish that book. I need to travel. I need to pursue my dreams with a passion. Unlike the cat that is fabled to have 9 lives I only have one. I want my words to live beyond my death.
“When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me.” Erma Bombeck
Life is too short for tweefs and bile. As Will Smith said “Throughout life people will make you mad, disrespect you and treat you bad. Let God deal with the things they do, cause hate in your heart will consume you too.”
“It is not length of life, but depth of life.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
“The truth is you don’t know what is going to happen tomorrow. Life is a crazy ride, and nothing is guaranteed.” Eminem
“Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life; define yourself.”
There is so much to say but the summary is this “show the people you like, admire, love that you care. Be there. Don’t live with the regrets of shoulda woulda coulda.” I know I have those now and that isn’t the way I want my life to be.
Potentash Founder. A creative writer. The Managing Editor at Potentash. Passionate about telling African stories and stories about the inclusion of minorities. Find me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We're all stories, in the end.” ― Steven Moffat