Dear Tiffani,

Ever since you phoned me last week, I have spent time reconstructing our conversation; interchanging your sentences with mine, in a back and forth exchange that recaptures and breathes fresh life to the core of our sharing that day.

I’ve spent time daydreaming about you and I realize how I have missed you.

When you talk about anything and everything, your language is infused with details most ordinarily skip over. My heart finds its way through the layers of thought you plant on it. And then emotions that encompass my life, your life, our lives, provide a limitless reservoir of means by which to celebrate joy, and confront reality.

My friend, we talked often enough when you first moved away. Then slowly, our conversations became fewer and far between. I became lazy. I succumbed to geography. But deep down, I knew you would always be there.

When you called to wish me happy birthday, you awoke my senses; and they sprang involuntarily forth, organic. I felt freed, naked. After I hung up the phone, I picked up my pen. And my words had a clarity that was yours, ours – connected. And I wrote in remembrance of you and our history together; and about a time before you, a long time ago, in Nairobi, Kenya. You gave me permission to detail.

I love you girl. And as we say back home, akufaaye kwa dhiki ndiye rafiki; a friend in need is a friend in deed. Asante.

Kwa upendo [with love],

Mama Shujaa.

Copyright © Mama Shujaa 2010. All Rights Reserved.


  1. Happy Birthday! What a lovely present to reconnect with an old friend on your special day.

  2. What a wonderful letter this is.


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