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A fragment of my life
October 1999, I was 5 years of age.
My sister’s computer had crashed so my mom called a family friend to come over and fix it.
My eldest sister, my mom, the family friend and I were the only one in the house that day and we were located in my sister’s room when the phone rang.
My sister, 17 at the time, went to my mom’s room to pick it up.
We suddenly heard a very loud scream and crying from there.
All of us sprinted to her to see what was wrong.
She was heavily crying so she couldn’t speak.
My mom took the phone from her and asked what was going on and after a few seconds she started crying too.
It was the hospital, my father had passed away.
When I heard that I would never see my father again, I understood what had happened, but it took a while for me to react to it.
‘’ I want to come with you’’ I said to my mom when she dropped me off at my cousin’s place.
My mom had to go to the hospital, the place where my deceased father was.
‘’it’s no place for kids’’ she replied trying not to cry.
The rumor spread fast, that day when I finally came back home from my cousin’s, our house was filled with mourning people.
For the first time in my life, I saw my mom being defeated, I saw my mom cry.
It was my father’s wish to be buried in the Congo, so before his body was shipped off, we kids were allowed to see him for the first time since his death.
As soon as we walked in the area where he was, my mom started weeping out loud.
I tried to comfort her, I tried to stop her from crying, but it didn’t help.
I couldn’t ease her pain.
I saw my dad lying in his white coffin with white clothes on.
It’s weird to say, but my dad actually looked peaceful, he seemed young.
I was taken away and was forced to sit with my sister and cousins.
We were just kids, we saw our parents crying, but we were too young to realize the pain you can have from losing someone precious.
So we sat there, just looking around, me not knowing how pain feels like.
One of the nurses who worked at the hospital signaled me to come to her.
I came and sat in her lap.
She wrapped her arms around me and we sat real close to each other.
I suddenly remembered all the times I spent in the hospital visiting my dad, I actually can’t remember him outside his sickbed.
Snapping out of my thoughts and looking around again, I saw my mom crying, my aunts, uncles and acquaintances doing the same and out of the blue, a tear rolled down my cheek.
It wasn’t any type of tear, no.
It was the thick, warm type, the one that stops by when it really, really hurts.