For the lovers, girlfriends, sisters, mothers, female friends in our lives-from a guy…
|"And woman I will try express, |
My inner feelings and thankfullness"
Before anything else, after everything; after all the arguments, the scenes of tears, the angry silences, the phone calls that go unanswered, I want you to know this-I love you. You’re amazing. Just when I think I know how, that you hold no more surprises for me, you casually toss another my way that leaves me breathless with wonder. Wondering, “Could I do that, if I was in your place?”
Your acts of love seem to surpass everything I’m capable of doing, yet you keep on giving. You have seen me at my worst and stayed. When honestly I do not think I could have borne it all and stayed. When everybody else said I could not change, change was exactly the demand you made of me and the price of keeping your love was making the change. It was then I learned your love was not just about Cadbury chocolates, greeting card romance, Valentine Day expensive hotel candlelit dinners!
Your love can be fiercely unforgiving, demanding, refusing to yield that I’m afraid I’ve lost it. Making me question us, still unable to bring myself to face what I have to face. The challenge you understand, the first time we meet it we will have to deal with it or it may destroy everything or mean we will never be able to accomplish everything we can when it is not dealt with. Your love is the grown up then until its goal is accomplished, in the unhappy months (sometimes years!) of striving when I’m so unsure of myself.
You’re my restraining anchor though I sometimes behave like I resent you for it. I would run out into the street with furious patrolling ‘Red Tops’ strapped for death to hurl rocks for my rights were it not for your cautious reminder, “What’s your point when you’re dead?” Yet, if it were not for you, we would not be here when, like a weary KCCA street sweeper, tired of not being paid by another bad employer, I was thinking of walking away, with nothing again. It was all I could do, go back and assert my rights (to my stunned surprise successfully), to placate your seething rage, “No, leave me. let me go and tell them! Do they know how many times you have risked your life to do their work? No, please, leave me and I go and tell them.” I never thought I would be in more awe of you than then. I was wrong.
I used to think you were a coward. Who’s afraid of geckos, spiders, cockroaches, moths and butterflies? You are. Nothing amuses me more than dashing from the bedroom, hearing your screams, to find you in one corner of the dining room, stamping your foot on the floor like a pawing bull, facing off with one confused equally terrified cockroach. I have the courage for those things. But I don’t know if I would have the courage you had, pregnant with our son.
I like to think I have a high threshold for pain. I near drove you crazy, when we had just met, having on continuous replay that Tupac Shakur-Biggie Smalls collabo, House of Pain, in one of my phases. I have since learned from you that handling pain is not about taking it, then preparing for the blowback before you dish it out. Sometimes pain is love. Love-pain is whimpering at 3 am in the morning, lips tightly pursed to stop from crying out because you do not wake me who came home past midnight from work, in one of the many stages of pregnancy.
Love-pain is the letting go of your dignity, for this being unseen in you, with the leg and foot cramps that come with being pregnant, the wild-haired in a night gown before dawn standing next to a pit latrine cravings like a ‘night dancer,’ the embarrassing piles that demand levels of intimacy you never thought you were capable of. Then the sweaty brow, belly screaming, steaming red-eyed, aching voice, throes of labour. In all this my own inconsequence emphasised. How do you, in all these world-in-their-own world experiences remember to gently reach for my hand, slipping your thin fingers through me, to remind me, “You’re a part of this.”
You have left me speechless. My own eyes have welled up with gratefulness I could never express from a heart that raced with lung bursting speeds no caffeine ride has ever given me. Then some more! So this is my humble thanksgiving. I may not always be able to say this and I may not always be able to show you how much you mean to me. But I can now.