Kenyan American Man losses his mother, marries her nurse: True Romance

Kenyan American Man losses his mother, marries her nurse: True Romance
Kenyan American Man losses his mother, marries her nurse: True Romance: Dr. Teddy Kamau

The first thing we think about when talking about Kenyan relationships is not romance! The idea of romance within the western historical context is not “practical” in Kenyan setting. Romance is usually under cover and before marriage. After marriage, the man’s definition of romance is the sound of music coming from the kitchen . . . sufurias and sahanis crashing as the woman prepares the meal. For the woman, I have no idea! Am a Kenyan man . . . without the sufurias of course!

Our culture is however rich in many other ways. The Kenyan is one who is brought up to honor the elders. It is very pleasing to be in a bus in Kenya and see a young girl wake up to let an elderly lady take her sit. Or to see a man rushing to help a woman lift a bag full of potatoes. The idea of not shouting and screaming at each other in public is exceptional. And the idea, at least in Kenyan setting, of parents avoiding arguments in front of their children is golden! Kenyans can be the most patient and hospitable people. And those are not my words. A research on tourists visiting our country showed that one thing they like about Kenyan people is their hospitality! We are great and very nice people.

When it comes to romance, my friend Peter has gone to the extreme. It is customary for those of us who live in the diaspora to help our families. Another of our great qualities. We send money to our parents, brothers, sisters, nephews, and even friends. We care about the state of the economy and the misery our people face, therefore we use our advantaged view point to uplift our people back home. Very noble! Therefore, when Peter’s mother got sick, he went home to see her. Because of the transportation problem in Ushagoo, he decided that the best thing he could do was hire a nurse (A Kenyan Registered Nurse) to do home visits to his mother and make sure she had medication, nutrition and was properly nursed.

When he came back to the US, he thought about the expense of going home several times a year to check on his mother. He also realized he was calling every day, sometimes several times a day. The nurse was doing a great job but the concern for his mother was psychologically draining. As a Kenyan American, he decided to bring his mother to stay with him. This would guarantee access to greater medical care. He went further and made arrangements to have his mother’s nurse accompany her for health reasons. However after finishing all the documentation and legal issues and buying the tickets for both his mother and her nurse, who by the way he rarely knew, his mother passed away.

Peter went home and after the funeral, came back to the United States. He had issues with marriage and had been informed by his doctor that he was not in a position to have children. After a reflection on his mother and what the Kenyan nurse had done for her, he felt convicted by his sense of duty and justice to do something for the nurse. He asked her what she wanted. He was thinking that she would say, shamba, or something. Though he was not in love with her, he saw her as a wonderful human being: A person of high moral character with a heightened Kenyan sense of good and grace.

She told him she did not want anything; She loved his mother and she was blessed to care for her. That was that. Then a few weeks later, Peter thought again about this women who wanted nothing! She moved his mind and now she touched his heart. One day, he called her and told her he would really like her to consider coming to America. She hesitated. She had a great job in Kenya and enjoyed her life there. He insisted and extended the time for her original ticket. However, he told her its fine if she does not come. It was her choice.

A few weeks later, he called her and she finally traveled to the US. After a while, they got married and now have 2 beautiful children. A girl who is named after Peter’s mother, and a son. “Mungu ana mambo yake ya ajabu”. Peter usually says. Whoever says that parents do not bestow blessing upon their children does not live in Peter’s world. In God Revelation and Authority Vol. 1, Carl F. H. Henry argues the case for the imago dei: The image of God in Man (Word Publishers 1986. Six Vols). We spring forth from our parents. As children, they take care of us in perfect demonstration of human love and patience. We in turn when they grow old and become like children, should ideally take care of them. A Divine principle within self awareness that sets us a part from animal instincts.

Seeing the couple with their children and watching Peter’s face when he looks at the two women in his life is worth a million smiles. I know that when he looks at the two beauties, he says a silent prayer and thanks God for the grace he gave him to love his mother. And the showers of blessings that that brought to his life. Romance? Absolutely! But more than that, Baraka. . .

Teddy Njoroge Kamau, PhD, Director International Desk/SYR/Radio/TV. Diaspora messenger Contributor

Kenyan American Man losses his mother, marries her nurse: True Romance


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