Tag Archives: North Carolina

Grandparents Visit Me in North Carolina

What do I say!? There are angels on earth! Mirish (who I have never met and whose real name I discovered only when I had to send her an e-mail), volunteered to help me write a post during this month. Thank you very much Mirish. And I loved reading your story.
*Edit. I posted this by mistake on 5th September 🙂
When I saw the post on Njenva’s Ramblings about looking for guest bloggers I wondered whether I should really volunteer. After all, it might be a topic that I have no business or intentions of contributing to, but oh there I was my little hand lifted high volunteering.
When I got the email from Jenn Amy (edited by Njenva), I thought it was spam that had made it though my filters… I mean two English names Jenn? How about Jenn Njenva? I digress… I thought long and hard and like most people or from the responses I saw on yesterday’s post, I have had many best days. Many happiest days. I thought long and hard…what would I write about? My primary school graduation? Yes it was a big deal. Decked out in full graduation regalia and I mean we were the pioneer class of Forest View Academy! #GoFVA. Would it be the day we left for the UK for my first ever out of the country family trip? Would it be my undergrad graduation or my MBA or MHA? Would it be the day I signed the deed to my house? Holy Moly which has been the happiest/best day of my life?? So I started to write about the day my paternal grandparents came to visit me in North Carolina where I lived at the time.
This was 4 years ago but I remember the utter joy that I felt when I picked them up at the airport.
A little background – my father is the only son in a family of 9. He had a younger brother but he passed away young. 5 years young. He is also the honorary first born. His older sister also passed away 28 years ago. As life would have it, my father is the only one of his siblings with all girl children. 4 girls. I am the second born. Growing up, I was the wanna be son. I was my dad’s sidekick. I still am. I would be the one who went to the garage with him, to the soccer games as he is a diehard soccer fan and was also USIU’s men’s soccer coach, so I would tag along to all the matches if I wasn’t in school.
Anyway, while my dad was in the UK, he had told his parents that one day he would take them to the UK and little Mirish heard. So I waited, and waited, and waited. Every time we went to visit him, I would wonder why they weren’t coming along. Don’t judge me, I didn’t know money matters or family dynamics. Lol. The promised trip didn’t happen so as any dutiful sidekick, I decided I would make it happen. Come 2008, we as a family decided that my grandparents would come visit me for Thanksgiving. My older sister came up from California to hang and finally the day came. To pick them up from the airport and to see how happy, excited and joyful they were especially my grandfather who at the time was a young energetic 81 year old, I realized this was not only my dad’s dream, my dream but also my grandfather’s. Those who know my grandfather call him bullet. That man is FAST! No matter what it is, he doesn’t like people taking their sweet time. He’s known to clear the table when he feels peeps are eating too slow. Lolll. We had to teach him how to just let it be.  He also is fast in making friendships even when there is a language barrier. He is also a cartoon! My goodness!! But this post is not about nau (grandpa in kikamba).
So after much thought, I decided that Thanksgiving 2008 is one of my happiest/best days. To be surrounded by family and to see my grandparents realize one of their wishes gives me a happy heart flutter to this day. To hear my grandfather still regaling his friends and anyone else who will listen and even those who won’t how he went to Obama’s land, house, how he made so many friends that he still gets photos from them since thats the only way they can communicate since he only speaks limited English, how some have visited him and how he mowed my lawn and planted me a garden during winter or how he was the most energetic after the trip across the oceans compared to my grandma (it’s a little competition they have) or how he travelled first class (the lady checking them in Nairobi just happened to be my former high school mate who recognized my mum and upgraded them) then coming back to Nairobi their flight was delayed and since they are old (78 and 81 at the time) they were put in the first class lounge to wait it out and hence automatic upgrade which by the way is something he holds over us! He claims they were upgraded both ways because of him!
Really, thanksgiving 2008 was and still is one of my happiest days BUT, nothing beats the day I stepped out of my former high school. I know some people disliked high school. I, on the other hand HATED high school. Don’t get me wrong, it was a national school, in Nairobi, loved by many, hated by me. I wasn’t monolized or anything but apart from the friends I made then and my final grade, I have no happy memories from my high school so yeah that last day was the happiest day of my life but writing about it meant putting into words the four years that led to it and I just wasn’t ready for that. It’s been nearly 14 years. Go figure!