I met Agatha when I was a second year Architecture student at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology. She used to visit my room mate, whom nicknamed “CUCU” because she was very motherly. She took care of us literally. Agatha was by then just another face who visited my roommates and being nocturnal, necessitated by the crazy schedule of my course, I barely interacted with our guests as much as I wanted to. Then came a time when the whole catholic community was praying for this girl Agatha who was to undergo a brain surgery. My heart went out to her. At the moment it never clicked that she was this frequent beautiful face with long straight hair who used to visit my room. A few months later, we went for charity work at Star of Hope children’s home. A mutual friend tagged along this beautiful girl, whose hair is now a one inch curly afro with a scar running across her scalp from slightly above the eye. It clicked, the Agatha my heart went out to, and I prayed for earnestly was the lady who frequented my room, and it was the lady smiling back at everyone so full of life, only that she was a survivor to a very delicate brain surgery that had 5% chance of her waking up normal. After the charity work, the Catholic Community once again organized a hike to Hell’s Gate Naivasha. Once again this girl joined us, not fully recovered but willing to participate in the adventure. I stayed close to this determined girl through the whole hike. She may have needed help once in a while during the hike but she was determined to get to the end of the trail we had taken. This was an introduction to a very intimate friendship that has grown so much.
We became fast friends. In the time I have known her, she has lived through many odds. I have watched her cry out of pain, a pain only I can imagine. I have watched her lose ability to use all her limbs. I have watched her in ICU and HDU with machines beeping and going crazy all over because her vitals were in some kind of failure. I have watched her go through thorough physiotherapy so that she could be in her friends celebrations. I have listened to her narrate doctors diagnosis many of which I could not understand. I have sneaked in to hospital wards against hospital visiting hours just to be with her an extra hour or minute so she could stop counting the patterns on her ward curtains or stare on blank white hospital ceiling. I have watched her cry inwardly as her supervisors at work treated her unfairly because she got admitted and could not meet her performance targets. I have watched her struggle through school, which she eventually abandoned because her tutors and the students attendance system could not understand her frequent absent-ism necessitated by frequent hospital checkups and admissions. I have listened to her explain to me how she collapsed while driving to work and she had to be rushed to hospital by well wishers; and how she has severally fainted at work only to wake up in hospital bed hours later. I have waited with her in hospital receptions and casualties as she underwent treatment or awaited admission. I have listened to her toss and turn in bed because she was in pain or she could not fall asleep because she was being weaned off ‘heavy’ painkillers. I have walked with her, holding her hand and carrying her handbag through town since she couldn’t walk on her own. on one of these occasions when she could barely walk, she came to pick me up from the airport after I had traveled to attend one of our friend’s graduation. I remember she once called me from one of the hospital’s parking lot to drive her home since she was too sick to drive herself. I have listened to her talk in frustration on how one day she hopes she will walk and travel and sleep without a medicine bag beside her bed. All these and so much more.
I have prayed for this girl, more than I have prayed for myself. I remember when she was blessed with her first baby. I went to see her in hospital and as I beheld the little boy I told God, “please spare her any more hospital admissions. If she gets admitted, who will look after the child you have blessed her with”. God listened. I cant thank Him enough for this miracle.
On Friday, the 20th of April 2018, I watched this same girl walk down the isle and say her “I Do” to her spouse. It was a very personal moment for me. I shared her day like it was my own and it brought me to the realization of how inspirational her life is. How much her life has impacted mine and how much dreams and hopes I have had for her.I had hoped that someday she will enjoy love, love of someone who really looked beyond the physical and love the beautiful inspiring person she was on the inside. Beyond the physical doesn’t mean she is not beautiful, she is a really beautiful lady.