At the beginning of this year, a friend of mine whom I shall call Madeline lost her sister. I can still remember the night she called me unable to stifle sobs. She was broken and I heard it in her voice but had to stay put until the very next day.
The following days were difficult for her and although time and events may shadow the grief, loss remains well- loss.
My heart went out to the family but mostly to the deceased’s daughters. I was so broken on their behalf and could not even try to imagine what they were going through.
We had a breakfast at God’s grace orphanage a month or so after and these two beautiful girls showed up. They immediately mixed and mingled and one would not tell by looking at them that they were going through such a terrible ordeal. In fact, they had a little dance performance that was quite energetic but left me in tears and when a video of it was uploaded a few days later, it left me speechless.
At the end of the breakfast the elder sister told me “We have to go to Bimbo for Ice cream like last time, each scoop is 3,000 so you need to save 15,000 for 5 scoops.” I laughed. I love ice cream but five scoops? We exchanged numbers and planned to catch up on said date.
Fast forward to two weekends ago. We had a scheduled trip to Happy Times School in Luweero on a Saturday morning. The rain decided to ‘show off’ at about 7.30a.m, even if we had planned to set off at 9am Consequently, RSVPs started streaming in and several friends called to say they would be late.
I knew I would be yelling at some individuals if they came after the agreed time so I decided to be at the meeting point promptly even if it meant that I had to sit on a boda boda in the rain complete with an Uchumi ‘kavera’ (polythene bag) on my head because an umbrella would have been blown by the wind. I laughed at myself all the way to Open House so it wasn’t so bad 😀
Madeline was one of the people who arrived a little late. The weather played a role in this but she had another reason. Her niece had told her to pass by her home and pick something. She told me she had not opened the brown envelope yet as she handed it over to me so I quickly did.
It contained 6,000 shillings; a 5,000 shilling note and coins worth 1,000. I just stared at them for a while. The little sisters had sent their contribution to the vulnerable kids that 40 days over 40 smiles supports. These two little girls who had to lose their best friend had saved up during the term so they could play their own small role.
“It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving. Mother Theresa
I was humbled in ways I can’t even begin to explain. We were short of cash that day but I swore to myself that I would not use this donation. In fact, I still have it kept safely. I am not sure what for but there are a few things I am sure of;
That these amazing girls shall be blessed beyond their years. I am also sure that as ‘selfish adults,’ these children can teach us a lesson or two for it is not necessarily those that have the most that ought to give.
“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” ― Winston Churchill