Monday, May 30, 2016

In Memoriam: Jeniffer Dawa Ochieng

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
--Matthew 5:4

It’s a somber and sober day. I found out this morning that Jeniffer Dawa Ochieng, wife of my Kenyan father, passed away. She had been in grave health for some time—suffering from complications of diabetes and hypertension--and when I went to Kenya this year to meet her and the rest of the family for the first time, she was bedridden and unable to speak. My sisters, Lucy Adhiambo and Judith Aluoch helped my father to see to her needs. I never got to meet her healthy and whole and I’m saddened by that.
Jeniffer Dawa Ochieng

I know what my Kenyan family is feeling; for half my childhood I was raised by my great-uncle and great-aunt, John and Alma Simpkins; both died of cancer and were invalids before they passed, in 2000 and 2012, respectively. Before the decline, both had been vital, active and loving and when they died I was relieved that they were free from pain, but a part of me wished I could have them back, healthy and whole, and…so I could have a chance to be a better daughter. The selfishness impulse is never far from any of us.

My other parents, Philip Ochieng, Nova Dorn, and Johnny Dorn, are all in their 70s and relatively hale. Mom has battled the beast called cancer twice and is still with us and cancer-free, but being in America certainly tipped the scales in her favor.

This type of loss goes hardest on the grandchildren. As we get older, say, past 40, we more or less accept the fact that we will outlive our parents. It is, of course, the order of life. But to the grandchildren, it is an especially rough introduction to adulthood, especially if the grandparent is greatly beloved, as appears so with Miss Jeniffer (spelling correct). My niece, Jeniffer Atieno--the eldest of my nieces and nephews on both sides of the Atlantic--is taking this loss especially hard.

And then there’s my father, Philip. I still don’t know him well enough to gage how he handles grief. He has had a lot of it in recent years; he is the last of his siblings and he is not the youngest of them. But it isn’t difficult to guess what it’s like to lose a life-partner of half a century.

My brother, Charles Otieno, the only son of Philip and Jeniffer, is three years my junior. From reading his Facebook posting about his mother’s death, he is taking his responsibilities as the male heir seriously, but I pray that he doesn’t fail to sit down for a minute or two and simply mourn…and rejoice in God.

A cool thing about my tribe: due to the fact that it is traditionally polygamous, there are no separations between families. My American parents are considered the parents of my Kenyan siblings; my American siblings are also the siblings of the Kenyans, and so on. (This concept remains so, even though Philip has eschewed polygamy, preferring the Western tradition of one legal wife at a time.) I love it, and it is one of the many reasons that I rarely use the prefix ‘step,’ except for clarification purposes--when I don’t have time to explain my very complicated family situation.

So it is, under Luo tradition, that my mother has died. For obvious reasons, I don’t feel the pain of her absence, but I greatly empathize with my brother, my sisters, and all other family members who love Mother.

Godspeed, Mother Jeniffer! I look forward to the day that we sit and talk and laugh about the day we were so sad that you were gone, only to discover that you are living forever in Christ. That will be a Great Day, indeed.

Every Tuesday and Saturday, I blog at the award-winning DaTechGuyBlog. Latest post: The New Normal.


This is my JOB. It pays for: A Roof Over My Head, the writing of My Next Book(s), and Utilities--especially Internet and COFFEE! Yes, coffee is a utility.


Friday, May 27, 2016

Timing is Everything

In this week’s visit to Japan, President Obama denounced the nuclear attacks which the United States made on Hiroshima and on Nagasaki in order to make a final end to World War II, calling the attacks ‘evil.’ This should not be a surprise to any keen observers of our president’s ideology and actions regarding American military power in general and nuclear weapons in particular.

But, look at which American holiday comes up in a few days: Memorial Day. That, of course, is the day when we honor all American military members who have made the ultimate sacrifice in battle. Arguably, World War II was our biggest triumph and, inarguably, yielded our largest amount of sacrifices. And it is certain that the American body count--and that of the Japanese--would have been much greater had the US Military been required to invade Imperial Japan in order to get her to surrender.

This sort of...eh...unfortunate timing isn’t new for him. Recall that when the president reneged on the missile shield treaty with Poland (and the Czech Republic)—which had been signed by President Bush’s Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Poland’s then-Foreign Affairs Minister Radoslaw Sikorski--he announced his intention to do so on September 17, 2009 which was the 70th anniversary of the invasion of Poland by Stalin’s USSR. Putin's Russia of 2009 had been threatening both Poland and the Czech Republic over the treaty and Vladimir Putin was well-pleased about the broken promise.
1939: USSR's Molotov and Third Reich's Ribbentrop--two wolves agree on which sheep (Poland) will be dinner.

I don’t know whether President Obama does this on purpose or not and some might say I’m being na├»ve in “hesitating” to make a stand on this. Thing is, I don’t believe in coincidences, not ultimately.

As usual, I think that when patterns happen and are observable, that it is God who is indicating something of which believers should take note.

What might that something be?

I will take one stand on that and it isn’t a new one: that President Obama is telegraphing the identity of his enemies to the world. But who will be able to see this? God knows.

Every Tuesday and Saturday, I blog at the award-winning DaTechGuyBlog. Latest post: Scary Story.


This is my JOB. It pays for: A Roof Over My Head, the writing of My Next Book(s), and Utilities--especially Internet and COFFEE! Yes, coffee is a utility.

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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

My Da Tech Guy Blog Posts in April 2016

Eater of Hot Sauce knows nothing about throwing bones.
Organized Chaos
I’m Old Enough to Remember When Others Tried to Shame Me for Talking About Nuking a Fool
Disconnect
We Will Get What We Ask For
The Way It Is
Hot Sauce and Bones
Living by Faith
Kenya Trip: Post Feelies

About WePay/Everbutton: they've seen things my way, so I'll keep them...for now. I do suggest that others do more research.

Every Tuesday and Saturday, I blog at the award-winning DaTechGuyBlog. Latest post: Inserting a New Language Into a Not-So-New Brain.


This is my JOB. It pays for: A Roof Over My Head, the writing of My Next Book(s), and Utilities--especially Internet and COFFEE! Yes, coffee is a utility.

Below: Non-Paypal Donation System!