Sixteen Years

It’s been sixteen years. Sixteen years! How old are we again? You would be turning thirty eight this Saturday, a grown man. What a sight you would have been, the tall man you were with looks that stole many girls’ hearts. And a brain! That brain of yours would have conquered a few empires by now off some distant continent that you would have discovered. And that would have been just the beginning.

Your arms would be weighing tons by now, with all that weight lifting you were doing. And your wardrobe? Mm! We would have needed a pass from high-end security just to take a peek into your high-end walk-in closet, in your high-end neighborhood, on a property that you probably bought and developed. Lol!

And your car? Why would we want to go there? Then again it’s okay if we do because I am that small sister that you love so much, meaning I would obviously have full access … right? It would probably be a fast car – one of those two-sitter coupe types, with doors that suspend over the head when opened. A little weird but … I would get used to it.

And the girl you would have married: none but the best – the high-end type, in keeping up with the trend. She would be dotting on me too because I am just the bestest sister anyone could ever adopt – don’t you agree?

You would have a Denzel walk that put his to shame. You would still be the hero in my eyes and I would still be the annoying little sister you spoilt. And that would have been okay because we would always know that we are each other’s number ones.

You would be an uncle now. The clan is growing. Lots of small doll faces running around, and I hear, there’s more on the way. (Someone is doing their homework, wouldn’t you say? Lol!)

Your children would have been just as handful, just as cute and as bright as you. They would know swag by the time they left the hospital, and would break into dancing before they properly walk. They would have fancy names – only the best – and would have been a joy to the clan. I would be their ‘Aunty Manyanga’ because I would be cool like that, and there would not be a more joyful day than the day we all gathered back home. Dad would have a robust Sunday school choir at last, and mum would be falling down with exhausted laughter every three minutes running around after all those midgets. You know how she gets bored when she stays still. You boys would be comparing notes on fatherhood, while us girls would have an extra brother, like we always did.

But we have come to realize that we cannot always find meaning in every happening, haven’t we? Your departure left us heart-rent. It took a long time to get over the initial pains of loosing you. Just the other day, for the first time, we were able to reminisce without outright despair; although there are still moments…

It is sometimes a bit confusing, the fact that you were years older than me when you left, yet now I try to fit my foot in the shoe of a lad more than ten years younger than me. I see the struggles you went through, many of which I have as well. I just wish you stayed a little longer so we can all help each other walk through them. If there is a lesson I have learnt so far it is to stay true to ourselves and to forge through life by faith with the individuality and the strengths God has given us. You excelled in so many ways. It is amazing how you left such an amazing legacy in such a short time.

Many times I have wondered how best to celebrate you. Many times it feels unfair that life should just go on. I don’t know, maybe someday I will figure it all out. Whether I do or not, I hope you know that we are grateful for the times we had together. And the fact that we were chosen to have you and to share life with you remains an ever-balming thought.

You are and always will remain my hero, as you are in the eyes of many who knew you. I will always look up to you. And through all we go through, God remains God.

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