The Absence of your Presence

A tree planted in Kenya in memory of Alice Mbugua

A tree planted in Kenya in memory of Alice Mbugua

Today marked a year. A year without someone I truly cared about, a year wishing she was still here while knowing that it is impossible to go back. I remember last year right before Valentine’s Day. I was driving down the road and started thinking about the single women I knew whose lives I admired. Alice’s name was the first name to pop into my head. She always seemed willing to try new things. She brought a sense of joy and an honest love for humanity with her where ever she went. I don’t ever remember hearing her complain about life. She just experiencing life adding a special charm and polish where ever she went. As I was driving that week of Valentine’s day, I remember thinking that I should email Alice just to let her know how much I appreciated her and how she lived each day. I never sent that email. The following Sunday a sudden cerebral hemorrhage took her life.

Today I did my best to cook Kenyan food something we used to enjoy doing together. But, as I attempted sukuma wikie and chapattis, I was reminded just how much I still don’t know. I used to help cut up the ingredients, roll out dough, and just help where needed. Alice was the mastermind who made it all come together. This time it was just me.

Food has a way of being a comfortable familiar even when it doesn’t come out exactly like you hoped it would. But, at the end of the day my attempt was more about honoring a memory then it was about the actual food, and in that sense the endeavor was successful. Alice, I still miss you. Even though you are in a place of perfect happiness the world still feels the absence of your beautiful presence.

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7 Comments

Filed under Contemplations, Grief

7 responses to “The Absence of your Presence

  1. Tabitha

    Aw, Ruth… ((((hugs))))

  2. Marilyn Uehle

    Well written. I have been thinking all month of this date. Glad you were able to mark it in an appropriate way. Alice always enjoyed your writing.

    ________________________________

  3. Alice Thodoropoulos

    Your words captured so much of the essence of Alice Mbugua, I felt the need to read them again and then again…thanks for sharing your thoughts and thanks to your mother for sending this to me. Alice had a special way of weaving so many people together in the bright and beautiful fabric of her life–it’s wonderful we can share her this way. xo

  4. Thank you. Alice really did bring people together in such an amazing way. She touched people’s lives no matter where she was.

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