Friday, March 27, 2009

looking into a warped mirror...

So the other day i had the most confronting shift i have ever had in my entire life. I was at the hospital, it was a simple one on one shift, and her name, well lets call her sita.(I know, my creativity is at an all time low as far as name granting is concerned, lol, so bear with me, k?). She was lying quietly on my shift, and rarely asked for my help(ok, so i lied and she asked a couple of times, alls I'm saying is that compared to some nightmares I work with, she was a bit of alright. It all began with my handover, where I was informed, in a rather matter-of-fact voice that i would be looking after.... myself. No dummy, not my doppelganger, or any such sci-fi ish, no. just myself as I would have been had i not been so blessed with the most incredible and amazing friends and family in the whole entire world ( yeah, even better than yours, mate, lol, even better than yours, :) kidding, but you get the idea, right?). See, Sita was on a detention order because she had jumped off a bridge but failed to die. Instead she managed to break her bones in several places and put herself in severe agony. Now, why am i referring to her as myself then? I hear you ask, well, give me your time and I'll tell you. you see, i know, and was able to look after her because I know, quite intimately, that darkness, that despair, those loud voices in her head, telling her to end it all, because i have been there. the biggest difference between us was simply that she has no friends, she doesnt speak to her siblings or even her parents who look after her two children and have done so for the last ten years, and to crown it all, her son hates her and refuses to speak to her at all.
I am so lucky that by the time i got home from that shift, i was literally bawling my eyes out with sheer gratitude. Gratitude for the absolute bestest friends anyone in the world could ever hope for, especially mems and you ron, for a family made in heaven, with heaps of chocolate and nuts (lol, dont ask!), who while we're all a little crazy sometimes, i would never ever trade any of them for Beyonce, Oprah or Angelina Jolie, with all their money and shit. Not even for a minute. mind you, i did not even pick a celebrity like Paris hilton who we shall not even get into, i picked the package deals, lol, and still they are of less value to me!!!!
The part of the shift where my tears had to be extremely held in check, was watching the three generations of them in play. her mum, her and her daughter, when her mum n daughter came to visit late in the evening. Her mother, when informed of her daughter's attempted suicide, had these motherly words of wisdom, and btw, i am quoting verbatim, just so you know, 'you bloody idiot! you couldn't even get that right? Go and finish the job if you like, I DONT CARE'. Her daughter's face is another story, as she hovers over her mother saying, 'mum, will you come and see me.....' 'mum, did I ever tell you the story of....' 'mum..' and such like stories, like her mum was still perfect in her eyes. And you wonder why i bawled like a baby!!!??? Argue with me when i say children are angels, I dare you to! they love UNCONDITIONALLY! Something we can learn to recapture, especially with regards to our closest and dearest!
I cried because I am grateful. i am grateful that i am loved, and that i loved, and because the reality of it all is that when all is said and done, it really could be so much worse, so so much worse!!!

Friday, March 13, 2009


Today I have to contemplate about love. I mean really truly being loved. Spots and warts and all, yeah that sort of love where it doesn't really matter much what life throws at you cos you know who your gonna face it with. Enter a lovely lady, lets call her snow for the purposes of protecting her privacy. Snow is beautiful, regal, with a smile that can outshine a hundred diamonds, easy. A hug from snow… well, lets just say when I've had a crap day at work I go and hug snow. I think maybe you get the idea, aye? Unfortunately, snow is also very heavily demented, so much so that when she does give a complete sentence that even remotely makes sense, it leaves those that have known her a while in total and absolute shock. She's also been known to go into very schizophrenic episodes. ‘Why is she talking about a demented schizo with regard to love?’ I see you thinking. Well, I’ll tell you. Snows problems as far as mental health are concerned, began at the tender age of 26(fifty odd years ago for her, hence the tender, nothing at all to do with the fact that that is indeed my own age at the time of note!), newly married to white(again, preserving the privacy, and why stop with the fairy tale names while I'm on a ROLL!!! lmao). She was a new mum, and was suffering from post natal depression, which, considering she's in her seventies, was not as effectively treated then as it now is. There began a life fraught with extensive stints in mental institutions that would have drove a saint to distraction. Now, you'd be hard placed to find a man who'd stick by his wife in such times these days (you just have to look at any young man’s attitude towards the Kenyan present first lady and her husband's relationship with her to see my point! nuff sed). Today’s relationships are more ‘gimme gimme gimme’ based. but White stuck with snow through hell and high water. to this day, he comes and picks her up for a dibnner together every sunday without fail. its in the way he dresses her, and does her make up so impeccably tht theirs is not a love to be sniggered at. Its in the sparle in her eye when you mention White and it breaks through the worst dementia that this woman has been loved, ALOT. Am I then saying that this is wrong, this our gimme gimme attitude? Am I saying that looking out for number one hinders you from loving? Come come now matey, no need to be overly dramatic just yet! I’ll be getting to the point soon enough…. Oh, get a load of that…. Sorry, the scenic route just tickles my fancy. Lolest.
In my time, I’ve been ‘the girlfriend who’ll do while I’m in this social status’, ‘the other woman(deeply ashamed but hey)’, the ‘chic to make my ex extremely jealous’ the ‘I’ll flirt with my mates’ ex while she’s still vulnerable as payback for the chic I liked that he took’ or some such ish(digression, I do not understand men, at least women show their grudges with the odd sneer or two, a man will still be smiling at his mate as he twists the knife he just hurled in their back and watches them gasp with agony, the smile still intact. Yeah yeah, I know chics backstab too and all that but the difference is that when you examine the facts preceding the event, you can see how the signs were there with a chic, with a guy you need to have worked with the ‘lie to me team for a century to capture the signs. Sorry if it sounds like a stereotype matey. Alls I’m saying is, be careful. ) oh how can I forget wearing the ‘ the chic who is totally and hopelessly and completely obsessed with me’ hat?

The one hat I don’t remember ever wearing is the ‘ the chic I am completely crazy about’ hat. You know, where I don’t have to be staring at the phone willing him to call because he does call, where I don’t gotta be wondering how to get him, because he’s heavily pursuing me, where I don’t have to wonder when I’m not with him if he’s loving someone else, because there is no doubt in my mind, at all that I am what he wants, note, not needs(cling is not really a good look on its best day, especially not when you have my figure!!!!), wants. I haven’t been with a man who had no qualms about showing me how he felt about me, even in company because he was proud to be with me. I’m not tryin to be a cry baby, I have been with the smooth operator who managed to convince me A LOT of those things, but the passage of time does the strangest of things to stuff when you take a really good hard look. I’m just saying, I realised the other day that I have never had that because I had never had it with the most important person in this equation, myself. I needed a man so badly, I was willing to settle for anything, because my fatherly validation had to come from somewhere, right? Well, I’m finding that in the place it belonged, not validation, just contact, and in so doing, the most amazing thing ever has happened to me. I have lost the need for a man, and in the process, realized that I am going to be picky, because the chic in question is worth the very best. I should know, I have fallen in love with her!!!

Friday, February 27, 2009

ramblings of a depressive

Funny thing about life is that sometimes it hurts to breath, seriously, you know those times when you want to crawl into your own skin and never ever come out? or is it just me that has those ones? anyway, wouldn't surprise me if i was, but it always does surprise me how clueless people are sometimes. maybe as a result of my line of work, I tune into people alot, to what are they really trying to tell me, no not the verbal communication and lies at will, that I dont need any skill to hear, but the non verbal communication. if they were not able to talk could i accurately tell how they were, just by their body language? a new show called 'lie to me' has now made this topic of a million times more interest to me because its about a group of people specialised in the subject.

A few days ago, i was seriously contemplating suicide, more seriously than I have ever contemplated it in my whole life. i calculated the sum total of the value of my life and the deficit in terms of my self assessed value caused me to weep. On the outside though, i have never acted so nonchalant my entire life, and I painted a picture of roses and violets verbally to everyone that asked. not one person picked up on this, and the day that i finally decided to end it all, I had a mini divine intervention. I wont expound further but seriously, it left me in no doubt that its all good, doesn't matter how it looks, its all good. I know that feeling will come back, because for some reason it always does, and i hope it will not overcome me finally this time, so i'll hope and hope some more. but what if thats the way i was meant to go, what is so wrong with it really?

Saturday, February 14, 2009


This last few weeks, I have experienced and witnessed deep personal pain, I have sat with a woman whose daughter is terminally ill and who’s asking all those questions we’re all prone to ask in the face of such agony. Go on, you know the kind, ‘she has never drank or smoked or slept with lots of men, why would she have cancer?’ oi, before you think I’m judging you, I am quoting her verbatim. You see in her era (mate, she’s about a century old, go figure), you had to deserve big illnesses like those. Remember that’s the generation of little and not so little old men who smoked like chimneys and are now in every ward I visit, with emphysema, COAD, lung cancer or some other disease that is directly related to smoking. And while these were sad cases, you could see how they got there, or the Alco’s now dying of cirrhosis or alcohol related dementia who lived on the bottle, and while everyone feels sorry for them, there is the underlying, ‘they worked for it’ mentality, which is quite sad I reckon, but you know, that’s just me.

Then look at the cases of the fires both in nakuru and nakumatt, my heart broke into a million little pieces just hearing about those in the news here and on radio online, and I just thought of all the shortcuts we take that are really so expensive, like skimping on fire exits and that while it costs so much human life. It really is sad, about the trailer, I wont even go there cos I think I’m still in shock..

Anyway, I have also had the torture of witnessing on my telly screen the last one week the utter devastation of the people in Victoria who have pretty much lost entire livelihoods and/or families as a result of fires that it now seems were, in some cases the handiwork of some sad sods somewhere who decided it just might be a good idea to light up on a complete fire ban day, to build some excitement (a large part of me hopes they perished in the fire after cooking slowly for five days, but I am not bitter, no, not me. Not even the sight of a man mourning his wife and kids on public telly moved me, I’m hardcore like that, lol. And just in case you missed or thought you misread the intense sarcasm, it was very very intended).

Today, in true vein of the last coupla weeks, was a double whammy. One of the residents I like best (if he was at least 40 years younger I would pursue him like a woman possessed, but you know me I’d probably admire him from a distance, lolest , but I better get to the main point before y’all nod off to death or collapse at the thought that I may be confessing to be in love with a 92 year old man!) who is one of the most sensitive and caring men I know (by sensitive I don’t mean he cries at the movies or some such crap, I’m talking about the ability to pick up on people’s feelings even when the said people are trying valiantly to hide the said feelings, he picked up on my depression, and the cause of it in a heartbeat) just lost a very good friend, and when I in true me fashion, was walking past, I decided to stop and ask how he was doing, and he told me he was feeling really low cos it was a really sudden death and all the rest, and we talked about his wife and some new treatment that is giving him some hope for her, a woman he is deeply in love with btw, lol. (duh! He’s only been married to her since he was twenty six!).

Second whammy was of course one of my other favouritest residents( oh, I have like seven, but who says you can’t have more than one favouritest….. ) who had found a lump in her breast and been told by the doctor that it wasn’t a lump was today told that alas, it was one cause the doctor just accidentally forgot to check the actual breast, and just checked under her arm and so today he checked the real breast, and oops, he decided to give her a week to think about whether she wanted to know if it was malignant or not, and of course she just had to make me cry by telling me ‘ the first thing I thought when he told me was, ‘where is Colleta? She has to be working here somewhere…’’ It was so hard for me but I just sat there and held her hand and reassured her as best as I could, and swallowed my tears until I left the room, but when I got back to my ward , good old cin was there with a hug, God bless her heart.

Whats the point of this here blog? Your guess is as good as mine, but I have seen remarkable people in the midst of all these tears, people who reach deep into their hearts and show nobility beyond the call of humanity. And I think I just want to say that really, when it all comes down to it, humans are capabhle of really anything. I mean, think about it, a human hand caused all that suffering, and the loss of 180+ lives, and human hands are responsible for the more than 70 million dollars raised to aid those affected by the said pain. Today I stand aware that I bear the potential for both terrible acts and terrific ones. I stand capable of hurting, and of healing those that are hurt. I stand capable of the most shocking back stabbing, and capable of being the wind beneath the wings of those I meet, and I make a conscious decision to use that potential for good. To put a smile where I can, and where I cant, to hold the smile for the hurt, until they are capable of holding it themselves….
I choose to see the good in the horrible, to be that annoying little miss sunshine that we all secretly wish we could strangle, lol, but within reason, cause life really is too short!

Friday, January 23, 2009

lessons in patience...

being a nurse is supposed to be one of the most fulfilling jobs emotionally, right? well, it is, kinda anyway. so a couple of days ago I'm in the office when this demented patient's wife comes spittingg chips because her husband's 300 dollar mohair was ruined in our laundry. very frustrating, i understand, I mean, i wld nt spend 300 dollars on a rug no matter how rich i got, but you know, thats just me, so why impose them on such a rich lady , right? anyway, tto each his own, if thats how the hell she roll, well, thats how she roll. my problem was not precipitated by any of the so far mentioned details, however, it was by the way she handled it, she calls us all idiots who work there, right to the laundry lady, we were all referred to as idiots because we could not look at the rug and distinguish its high value and as a result keep it from the laundry and if it did get there, send it back. now, one of the skills I'm learning through my line of work is actually how to SHUT UP! i'm learning how to appear calm and unperturbed, or is it 'professional' in the face of circumstances that would normally be mitigating for murder one! anyway, so i crossed my hands and listened o this woman who undermines my knowledge and abilities at every turn, whose caustic tongue has caused me so much private grief that i have considered quitting so many times now. but why should she make me quit? she's lived her life, and is now struggling to grasp the fact that her formerly distinguished hunk of a man with whom she might have graced many a society page, is the drooling, gibberish spouting human being she sees at her every visit. she's struggling to deal with the loss of a lifestyle, quite possibly the loss of her husband as was, the loss of status and such huge losses that we all struggle with as we approach our twilight years, some handle it with quiet dignity, others with aplomb, yet others by venting on every tom, mary and harry. its up to me to decide who i let jolt a reaction out of me, and in what circumstances, cos every one i meet, is fighting some kind battle. i have therefore decided that I will find a happy medium between being a dumping ground for everyone's ish, and being considerate of evryone's battles. hmmmmmmmmmmmm.... think i can find it?

Friday, January 16, 2009

mind games...

Okay okay, really I know, I am not in a relationship, therefore my right to discuss love and the whole shebang is sort of negated, but then again, everywhere I’m looking around me now, there is love, a few of my very close friends are even looking to get married, and one of them, was the chief anti-marriage crusader of all time. I mean,. Seriously, it’s a fact of life that men and women come from entirely different planets, I am highly suspicious they could even be two entirely different species, but I know that the fact that they do produce fertile offspring makes that a pretty moot point, aye? Well, I was talking to the fiancĂ©e of one of the chics getting married and found out a coupla interesting things, like the fact that he is doing this whole thing just for her, he says she makes sense in his life, and when he thinks of his future, the only thing that makes sense is having her alongside him, every step of the way. She said she wanted a huge fancy wedding and by Jove he will give her one, doesn’t matter that he could quite happily shack up with her the rest of his days, if its what she wants he will go the whole nine yards. Now knowing my friend, she is a very assertive woman, she knows her worth and she aint taking no shit from any which bugger decides to spill it her way, nah, not this one, she is kinda my star cos she is also a single mum who held out til she got the best life has to offer her. She had a couple of bad relationships before she finally styled up and decided to start having a good relationship with herself before she can have one with a man, or woman. J. She met this guy and liked him a whole lot plus a bag of chips, but was the queen bitch to him whenever he was actually looking (why? I ask, do we feel the need to play all these mind games?) I know I know, cat and mouse games, but the funny bit about her is that she wasn’t playing hard to get, or being a tease, she genuinely hated how vulnerable he made her, how easily he wormed his way into her hardened cast iron heart where she had marked out a no go zone, without even trying. That was until he finally convinced her (two years later) that his were only the best of intentions, and that she was actually safe. In his words, the result of that safety was even more than he had bargained for, all her hidden sweetness came out alongside her strength, and suddenly he knew he could not live without her (sheesh, I thought only girls use that line!!! If she hadn’t spoken about it in glowing breathless terms, I would have been tempted to doubt his manhood, lol, KIDDING!!!). Now she has got me thinking about the existence, or lack thereof, of love, but as she plans her wedding, that glow in her eye that refuses to die, as we argue about the ugly bridesmaids dress she is determined to make me wear, lol, she tells me its all been worth it. And just looking at him and at her, I am tempted to believe in happy endings, and to ask myself if one awaits me somewhere down the road, and then I catch myself thinking that, and I wonder what the hell is wrong with me, I do have a happy ending. I spoke to someone yesterday that made me really appreciate my ability to get pregnant without even trying, and my life really is even better than I had hoped it would be in five years time, five years ago, indeed, who knew?

loving angels instead...

‘God they grow up so quick! I still remember pushing them on the pram like it was yesterday, and she just got a new car!’ These words, spoken by a reminiscing nana today got me thinking (by now you know I think at the slightest provocation, lol, not a very attractive prospect when you’re husband hunting so lets hope for my sake I rid myself of this shocking habit when I do wanna shop for a hubby, lol). As you are all well aware by now, I am a mum to the most amazing little girl in my world. She is gorgeous( well am her mum, I have to say that! Lol), and funny, (she reckons people in love are like chips and sausage, remember how we thought those were inseparable? at least if you grew up in the vicinity of Kenya you did), and she is a smart cookie, she is outspoken like you wouldn’t believe, a sweet spirit, the list is endless. She is my angel from heaven, there is no doubt about it there, and being apart from her in these formative years simply does my head in, but that’s not the point of this ere note, so lets get to it, aye?
I remember the day she was born like it just happened, those tiny feet, a complete cut and paste of her father’s feet, her tiny little hands exactly like mine, her father’s hairline, details that just made me weep at the miracle of it all, she looked a lot like my little sister(hehehehe, pay no mind to the fact that she is 23 now, my ‘little’ sister that is, not my daughter, I’m really not that fertile to have given birth at the age of two years and a bit, lol) and because in my opinion my little sister is really one of the hottest chics on earth, I was amazed that I cld have birthed so incredible a being. Fast forward to a few years later, when I called her the other day and she goes, ‘mum, could you call a bit later, just wait until I call you then you can call me.’ Offended, I asked her if I was boring her, ready to talk about the mating patterns of the local marabou storks, if that was what could hold her attention, so desperate was I to keep the conversation going. In a bored, half yawning voice, as if to say ‘mum, stop being so blooming clingy!!!!’, she said to me, ‘ I am tired and sleepy, I just want to take a nap, then I’ll call you tonight once I get up’, and tears started flowing (isn’t it just amazing how kids turn on the waterworks in even the most battle hardened women, with just the swelling of pride, and a million other emotions?) Well, the camel that broke the camel’s back actually came in the form of a post card that my aunt brought me from home, with the picture of two masai children at the back, and the following words written out in the neatest handwriting I ever saw on a four and a half year old, ‘ Dear mummy,
I love you,
I miss you,
Angel Gathoni’
Now that is the reason I understood that nana today, kids grow up so quickly, every day, taller, smarter, becoming their own little person, touching their share of human lives, carving out their own niche in this cruel place called the world, and as their parents, the best we can do is to learn how to be a help rather than a hindrance to these little angels as the travel this journey. I think the most powerful words I ever heard spoken to a mother were spoken to a mother that was hacking away at her daughter’s self esteem by trying to make her lose weight at the very tender age of 3 so she could enter her in beauty pageants. The words went something like this, ‘your daughter is out there facing a very cruel and unforgiving world every single day you send her out to kindy, you absolutely cannot afford in any way to not be her biggest cheerleader and her safest haven that she can be herself at.’ Now I know most of u aren’t there yet, this path called parenting but you are your parents’ children, and you know better than anyone just how much their parenting styles have affected the person that you are today, the path that your life has taken, and the way you think about things. Even that aversion to marriage and the whole shebang that your parents’ not so good marriage gave you, or the way you push yourself beyond because that’s what your parents did, who knows? Whatever your situation, I do hope that you will see the children u meet and make ( remember children in the back seat cause accidents, and accidents in the back seat cause children, lol), you’ll see that little differently as a result of reading this.