‘THROUGH IT ALL’ By Catherine Athieno

It was on the 12th January 2009 when my mum passed away due to HIV syndrome. As a teenager in a campany of friends, it was a traumatizing moment in life that will always remain at the back of my memory for decay. In a family of 8 children of which 2 were adopted by mum from her young sister who had passed on in 2000 due to Cancer.Life started darkening for us and my dream to become a medical doctor ceased. Before my mothers’ death my father was a businessman who dealt in Timber while mum had a restaurant. Mummys’ occupation earned a daily income which was meeting day to day demands of the family.Dad made sales once in a while and also supported the family mostly in educating us and paying House rent. But after mummys’ death, daddys’ income alone could not meet the expenditure of our education, clothes, food and other basic needs. So he started trying out other businesses like purchasing food in villages and selling it in towns. But since he had no experience in this due to sudden price fluctuations and perisheability of the goods, the business collapsed as well.Dad at this point became financially incapacitated. Meanwhile my siblings and i were chased from school every now and then.It was at this point that our relatives became concerned and decided to divide us among themselves to relieve dad from the overbearing responsibility. My father was drained in thoughts and most of the time he was depressed. A family which was once living happily together splitted to different ends because of the demise of our loving one.By then we were renting so dad too had to relocate to their home village of which he later disappeared to unknown place probably to reset his life.All our house assets were divided as each relative picked whatsoever they loved and our assets too were no more. While we were at different places of our relatives,life became hard because we seemed to be burdens when it came to meeting our needs. We had to endure segregation, tortured with heavy workload to a point that we missed school some days.It was at this point that my immediate follower Claris started looking out for ways through friends to travel to United Arab Emirates to work as a housemaid to better the situation of our young ones.But life didn’t workout for her while in Dubai and she forged her way back to Uganda her country after several attempts of wanting to be sexually harassed by her boss’ son and as well as the unbecoming behavior of the Arabs. In fact one of her friends a housemaid in the same house who originally came from Ethiopia sustained injuries from a hot flat iron several days by her boss and she died. On the other hand one cousin by names Celine who was earlier on adopted by mum dropped out of school due to early pregnancy at the age of 14 as men took advantage of her needy state and in the process she acquired HIV as well.Currently she lives as a single mother of a 5 year old girl. Our youngest sister too Luckshim contracted HIV at birth but now the two adhered to treatment and are doing well. While this was transpiring i had earlier on received Jesus Christ as my only Lord and savior.And at the age of 17 while serving the Lord in the church,God through His unfailing love brought a loving man Robert who proposed to marry me and promised to further me in my education.So he met my relatives who agreed and we had a simple wedding.He was faithful to see me back in school for my Nursing course.After two and a half years he saw me graduating as an Enrolled Nurse.We are now blessed with two boys Joshua and Jether. God made a better match that Robert is such a kind and welcoming husband who always welcomed my sisters and brothers in our home.The journey of parenting my siblings through counselling, praying ,and encouraging them in times of challenges became our full responsibility. As we are healing from the past trauma, God is indeed taking care of us now.I now work with Nakasero Hospital and i am able to partially support my family and meet some needs of my sisters and brother.I thank God that this year August i Enrolled at Aga Khan University for a diploma in Nursing. With no Biggotory or clinches i am hopeful to see the goodness of the Lord in this Land of the living.To God be the glory Psalms 27:10,13 Kind Regards Athieno Catherine P.O Box 98, Mukono-Uganda East Africa Tel: +256779542322 I’m on whats app Email: [email protected]

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