As earlier mentioned, this foundation is named after and dedicated to our mum;Mary Sally Maina.Words fail me when it comes to describing this phenomenal woman, not because I don't have anything to say about her but really I don't know where to begin to describe who she was and what she was to me, my family and everyone around her.I've often thought to myself that if I could be half the woman she was, then I will have lived a great and purposeful life.
Her life and journey was extraordinary, right from the house being a wife and a mum, to the family at large being a daughter, sister, cousin and aunt, to the school where she was a principal, to board rooms being a chairperson in several departments, to the community being a mentor, a friend and a leader, right to being a patient in that hospital bed until she drew her last breath and quietly slipped away on that fateful Tuesday; June 25th 2013. Cancer won.We lost.
Her life and all of ours took a different turn when she received the breast cancer diagnosis in October 2012.Shock,sadness and fear engulfed most of us but even the diagnosis did not hold her back as she continued doing what she loved to do despite moments of weakness in her body from the harsh effects of chemotherapy.We watched her prayerfully and courageously fight that battle yet still trying to be there for us and strong like she had always been, to the end.
This was the greatest loss of our lives and I can speak on behalf of my dad,my brother and sister,my entire family, and a lot of friends and those who knew her. She was loving, full of life and passion, kind, giving, and as my younger sister Maureen puts it, "everyone called her 'mum' because she was simply a mother to all and we just miss her every day." She loved our family so much and would go to great lengths to show it.She instilled in our family the values of love,sacrifice, discipline, integrity and hard work which came with great rewards. She “worked hard and played hard”, something I like to do even to this day.
In her career journey, she was a teacher for a great part of her life, and for over 20 years up until her demise she was a principal in various schools in Kenya as well as serving in other leadership capacities within the education sector.She loved education, she loved teaching.Her dedication to her work, professionalism and integrity will be remembered fondly by many who she taught and worked with. She also had a heart of carrying the burdens of those who were suffering in any way, given that she interacted with people from all walks of life. She had a huge heart full of love. She especially was so compassionate for children in the schools she taught and beyond and often went out of her way to make sure they were comfortable in and out of school, to the best of her ability. She was a great advocate for the less fortunate in the society.
She left behind a great legacy, inspired all of us to live good,fulfilled lives as we also care for the people around us. I believe executing the mission and living out the vision for this foundation is the next best thing we could do to honor and remember her life.We will shine her light forward, as we continue on looking out for the less fortunate children in these Kenyan schools and helping them improve their lives academically and all around, as well as empowering their parents and guardians.
We are grateful for having shared time and space with this remarkable woman. She lives on in our hearts forever.
Rest in peace mum, until we meet again.