When culture is a thorn in marriage

I met a friend who wanted me to meet this woman who she described as a very strong lady. I was curious to know what made Rose so special. She arranged a meeting for us at his house. I fixed time in my busy schedule to have a conversation with Rose.

I arrived 30 minutes late because of the heavy traffic along Lang’ata road. She introduced me to Rose who greeted me with a warm smile.

Rose’ eyes were filled with tears even before she began to speak, suddenly I knew it was serious business. Rose married Patrick the love of her life in 2005 in a big wedding witnessed by family and friends.

Rose was happy to spend the rest of her life with Patrick oblivious to what awaited her. In 2008 Rose was blessed with a baby boy whom they named Eddie. Having a son made her happy because it is what her husband wanted. Eddie grew up well and healthy until the age of 5 when he had his first seizure. All this was new to rose and she was very concerned about her child’s health. She shared with her husband who gave her money to take Eddie to the hospital for check-up.

‘The news about my son having epilepsy broke my heart.’ But she had to stay strong so she could discuss it with her husband.

Rose calmly explained the results of the tests to her husband who listened carefully not to miss a word. Her husband’s reaction wasn’t good. He got very angry and started calling Eddie ‘a bad lack’, “that disease is not in our family, in fact that is witch craft! Call your people because you and your epileptic son will not continue living in my house!”

At that moment rose was down on the floor explaining to us about the way her husband sent them parking without understanding how hard it felt.

Rose was an orphan who told me that growing up wasn’t easy and she didn’t want her son to go through a similar life, she knew she had to play a big role in her son’s life and that’s how she started a small kibanda to help her raise Eddie. It was an embarrassment after being chased from her marriage but it only took her a few days to get up, dust off and keep going.

I understand that different communities have different beliefs however, that should not interfere with God given responsibility of parenting. Parenting is fully accepting our children for whom they are and showering them with love.