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I will let you go Martha

By SYLVESTER OLUOCH
Published on August  3, 2009
Editor’s note: The staff and management of East Africa in Focus send our deepest heartfelt condolences to Sylvester Oluoch and family.

martha

On that July day when the curtains fell of Martha Achieng’ Aol’s journey through the universe stretching over three decades, I lost some words that I have not found to-date.

I received news that I did not like from London at the break of dawn more than 5,000 miles away in Columbia, Missouri, displaced not only by the endless  Atlantic waters, but unending stretches of land that form North America and Canada. To this day, I refuse to rate what the news that came from the queen’s land means to me, and I leave it to eternity.

Whoever said God chooses our relatives as we choose our friends was right. And what a coincidence that I made the same choice as God willed. Girlfriend, as I fondly referred to her, was a towering source of hope and a guiding light to me. She was the jewel I stuck far away from rust, with almost holy trust. Countless times Martha and I strode the streets of Nairobi , even the countryside, like twins, sharing deep passion and thoughts.

The late Martha Achieng Aol.

The late Martha Achieng Aol.

Martha was a case study in piety and judged situations on merit as she carefully separated events from their perpetrators. “You can change a bad person,” she reckoned, “but you cannot change a bad situation. Ka rach to rach (If it is bad, it is bad),” she would say. This was her stand on matters that saw many of us take partisan positions, even when facts dictated otherwise. She was the hallmark of arbitration.

Martha taught me that it was fine to laugh at your own misfortunes for behind them lay lessons. This was the only way to get out of them, she would say. Martha’s honesty was extraordinary. She handled other people’s money, better than her own – and I am a living beneficiary of that largesse of heart.

Martha is a case of the goose that brooded on golden eggs. She was a channel through which lots of help reached others. She knew how to pick her fights and put pressure exactly where it needed to be, and held it right there until it yielded the desired impact or it broke. She always placed her fingers on the social levers that had to be moved.

It is not often that a close friend and a relative for that matter says something good about you, for your friend knows all your scandals. But Martha sure said really good things about me – probably more than I deserved, and that is quite humbling.

The late Martha Achieng Aol.

Martha, Achi na – Siaya kababa (My Achi – Siaya, my father’s place), as you embark on the journey that is clear in our spirits, which our minds will never comprehend, fare thee well. Return to our father knowing that as long as I live, you will live, for in my life you are present, just as you are in the limbo of vanity. And I know hundreds others hold this true. I will remember the little things- the walks from Kengeles car wash to Madaraka Flat 21, the dances, the good times we shared, and the not-so-good times that we went through, even the manicures and pedicures I received as you waited and supervised. What a sister! What a girlfriend!


Reach Sylvester Oluoch at soluoch@eafricainfocus.com

Author Profile: Story  on August 2, 2009, 19 Comments

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19 Responses to “I will let you go Martha”

  1. Amondi says on: 3 August 2009 at 2:59 am

    Did Martha go to Lwak Girls’ High School? She looks familiar.

  2. Boyani says on: 3 August 2009 at 4:41 am

    Pole, moss, for your loss.

  3. veroh Okello says on: 3 August 2009 at 10:16 pm

    my condolences Sly, Pam and the entire Aols family.
    May God give you strength and bless each one of you confort and peace that transcends human understanding. Rest in Peace Martha till we meet again. AMEN

  4. musula says on: 3 August 2009 at 11:41 pm

    This rings in my mind,heart and life.I know what it feels like at the cliff point when you have to let go that dear person not because it is the best thing but the last and only option from above.I recall driving from kisumu to dala through siaya when we were involved in an accident-on board were Aggrey,vincent,Beneah,and Martha.That vehicle flew off the road and it was by the grace of God that it did not roll over.When we stepped out of the car,in that near death shock,the only female Martha was more composed,and reassuring.I was in self denial,lost in words ,wondering what didn’t happen or what should have happened,and then came Martha’s voice,”hei thank God we made it,you did the best in the worst circumstance we found ourselves in “.It is God who gives ,it is God who takes.

  5. musula says on: 3 August 2009 at 11:43 pm

    Martha we will all miss you

  6. Gordon Oburu says on: 7 August 2009 at 8:53 am

    Pole sana Sylvester. May God give you all the strenght and rest Martha in eternal peace!

  7. PAULYNE says on: 10 August 2009 at 3:33 pm

    Marther
    A good name is better than a fine perfume and the day of death better than the day of birth.It is better to go to house of mourning than to go to a house of faesting,for death is the destiny of everyman,the living should take this to heart.
    We’ll miss you agreat deal marther,i can’nt imagine madaraka estate block M21 without you,as we all know that in Gods case no appeal,his will is final,lakini tungependa uishi zaidi.
    MAY YOUR SOUL REST IN PEACE.AMEN.

  8. Okumu says on: 12 August 2009 at 12:15 pm

    No body will replace your laughter. I mean the innocent one with your thumb and index finger curved above your nose. I loved, and still love it deeply. You are still the darling of crowds. You are the basilica of unity. The entire family speaks well of you. I love you so much.

  9. EAiF says on: 15 August 2009 at 2:46 pm

    To Sly, Pam and the entire AOL’S family.

    From EAiF Staff.

    On behalf of the entire EAiF Readership.

    We send our condolensces. We may never comprehend the emptiness that came with your loss, but we berieve with you. The departure of Martha, akin to losing one of our very own, has made you travel miles to bid her farewell in the only way you know how… We appreciate the sacrifices and the commitment on behalf of EAiF community despite the emotional lowdown.

    Poleni sana. We hope to see you guys back soon.

  10. Pamela Mulumby pmulumby says on: 21 August 2009 at 4:44 pm

    My favorite sister-in-law. My love and my friend. What will I ever do without you? Who will I call to vent when I am bogged down by life’s activities? You were everything to me Martha. I met you and instantly fell in love with you. Your death leaves a big hole in my heart. If tears could bring you back, Martha, you would be with us today. It’s hard to imagine that you are gone. It’s hard to believe that you will not come to the US later this year to pay us a visit as planned. It’s hard to imagine a life without you. RIP sweetie. I hope we shall meet again some day.

  11. Okumu says on: 21 August 2009 at 11:54 pm

    Just remembering the times, and celebrating a life well lived. This, I do with a deep abiding faith that I have a strong intercessor up there. Always in my prayers.

  12. Okumu says on: 26 August 2009 at 12:07 pm

    For God loves you so much that He wanted you in his closer presence at that time, I can only glorify his will. May you soul rest in eternal peace. Ler mochuere mondo orieny ni kendo iywe mayom, Amen

  13. Okumu says on: 9 September 2009 at 11:00 am

    May the Lord’s mercies fill you in eternity and may his everlasting light shine on your path.

  14. Sabina says on: 27 September 2009 at 11:05 pm

    If you were around, I would call you now then I would be happy again. I guess I will just try talking to myself. How I miss you! and all the help.

  15. Sylvester says on: 6 November 2009 at 11:57 pm

    Remembering beloved.

  16. okumu1990 says on: 31 December 2009 at 10:02 pm

    Dear beloved,

    It is a beautiful year, 2010 – and we love your intersession for us. Somebody for whom you have unmetered love has passed his exams well. We are all proud of Sydney. Nindi maber wananere ka Ruoth oyie.

  17. nyargiajem says on: 8 February 2010 at 3:03 am

    Achieng, I just dropped by to vent as I always did when you were alive. Nyar Aol, even though you are not with us physically, I know you can hear me and give me a shoulder to cry on as you always did when you were alive.

    This weekend has been a tough one for me. I have cried until I can’t cry anymore. The word stress can’t even describe what I am going through. I have paced up and down my house asking why, yet I can never get any answers. I am so confused, and I don’t know what to do anymore. How I wish that you were around Martha. You would have understood exactly how I am feeling today and intervened on my behalf. You had a unique way of reaching out to people. You were one in a million. You were simply the best. My life will never be the same without you.

    Martha, I don’t know why death stole you away from us so soon. Nyar Aol, please pray for me wherever you are. Talk to me yuora. Please talk to me. I need you now more than ever.

  18. Pamela Mulumby pmulumby says on: 11 July 2010 at 12:16 am

    I can’t believe that it’s a year already. Nyar Aol, I have never been the same since death stole you away from us last summer. In you I found a dear friend and an ally. No one else will ever take your place in my heart min Sydney. Rest in peace jaber.

  19. Pamela Mulumby pmulumby says on: 25 April 2011 at 12:28 am

    Nyar Aol, tho mane onegi wange ne tek. There are things happening here, that only you could have resolved. I am sure you would have put a stop to these things with finality. You were a treasure nyamama.Rest in peace.

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