When my sister Rebecca Victoria Wandeka (Nangalama) died, I got the news and fainted. No one told me how long I was out. Then I realised at that time that I could never feel such pain ever in my life EVER. Wrong.
Her and I had our favourite song. Took me 10yrs before I could play that song. As you all know, my first born is named Rebecca. In our culture, we name a kid after a departed relative whom you loved dearly. That is why father named me Leah (after his most beloved auntie). Mother named me Martha out of the Bible.
But what is interesting about losing a beloved is that the world tells you to get over it and move on. It is not that easy. Grieving is very different for everyone. No one knows that my sister used to beat the shit out of me because I did not like to be washed when I was young and she was in charge of washing me when our Bad Mommie went to the boarding school. Oh dear, if Bad Mommie returned in the holidays and found me dirty, Rebecca would face problems. Besides, Rebecca was in charge of ensuring that I go to school. So on the way to school I would run and hide in the bushes. Then she would come looking for me to pull me there (yes I hated school at a very early age). And when we would get to school, she is the one who always got into trouble and not me. Well, she was the older one in charge of me. That was fixed with boarding school soon afterwards.
On my last trip out of Entebbe, I refused to get on the plane. She got furious at me. We had a big fight and I cried and yelled that I preferred to stay at home instead of going to Canada. She made me get on that plane. So when I got news that she had died, the first thing that went through my head "so who am I gonna fight with now'. Yes it was that bad. I am so glad she forced me onto that plane.
How many years now, I have a child named after her. I listen to the song I used to sing for her (when she was not telling me what to do). She was the wind beneath beneath my wings. Only later, I found out that I have so many other siblings and friends who are winds beneath my wings. Some of you know who you are.
You would have liked Rebecca. She was gentle and tough. I was stubborn. Respect all the people who put their lives aside to help you fly. Fly and fly and then thank them whenever you can. This Rebecca we have now has the gentle personality of the person she is named after. Well, she is actually more like Bad Mommie and Rebecca in one. Scary combination if I might say.
You see God loves you so much that He will put you through fire to make you walk out shining like gold. In reality, He will allow you to suffer so much to humble you, to prepare you for the next task He has for you and to make you useful to others. Cayo White told me that 'Our God Loves Us so much that if He has work for you, He must prepare you for that work and sometimes, suffering does prepare you for the work ahead".
The Wind Beneath My wings. For my two beloved sisters Tabitha and Rebecca. They always and will always will be. Without them, I would be nothing. The movie version would be Audrey and I. Enjoy the song. I know God still has a lot of work for me and He will put me through more fire to make me ready for what is ahead but I am no longer afraid. I have the wind beneath my wing and suffering is no longer fearful for me as I am living proof that you can pull through it and make it for the work ahead.
By Martha Leah Zesaguli (Nangalama)
Born and Raised in Uganda (Bududa District)