By Florence Akora,
October 17th, 2017,
Her eyes are puffy from the night-long vigil; her body numb; her heart a dull ache.She buries her face in her hands and weeps for her son-the boy she will never see alive.
The painful throb of questions continues: “What would it be like without her son?What would it be like not setting a place for him at the dinner table?”
The chronic ache of not seeing her son alive becomes acute.The boy she will never fix breakfast for.The boy who will never sing hymns in church.No ripples of laughter.No late night conversations.
As relatives, close friends and mourners chant their laments, her eyes turn to photos on the wall.Amazing photos from Margaret Kenyatta’s Beyond Zero Half Marathon at Nyayo Stadium.None can tell what is going on in her mind.She appears troubled.It is then that I remember the words of Margret Kenyatta, words spoken at the launch of the Beyond Zero Campaign meant to improve Health outcomes in the country: “I am deeply saddened by the fact that women and children in our country die from causes that can be avoided.It doesn’t have to be this way”.Perhaps the photos are too graphic a reminder of a death that could have been avoided.
It is a steep climb for a widow whose house had given up waiting for a husband and has now given up waiting for a son.As I turn my face towards home, a relentless rhythm of questions pulse from my heart: ” Should a mother bury her son?Should anyone live without the simple joys and dignities of life: buying ice-cream from the shop, playing with peers?Is there such a thing as the rule of law in a country where children take the bullet?