In our June-July issue of Old Africa we ran a short piece in our Mwishowe column about Conrad, a small boy born in Kenya in 1956 who died less than two years later. The story reflected the pain, shared by many, who have lost children while living in Africa. The story was by Conrad’s mother Elsie Maciel, and we included a few lines from a poem written by Conrad’s father, Mervyn Maciel. Elsie emailed and asked if we could publish the complete poem. We won’t have space in our next magazine, but we are reproducing the complete poem here in this blog.
Farewell to our darling Conrad
by Mervyn Maciel
October 10th (1956) was a day of joy
For to us was born our second boy;
Of angelic beauty, but frail physique
Yes destined to live in this world so bleak.
For months past birth we ne’er knew
That his days with us would be so few
Until one day our hearts were torn
When his troubles to us a specialist made known.
A congenital heart was what he had
The thought of which could drive one mad
But Bravely and patiently he struggled through
HOpeing that someday he’d be fit anew.
Despite his health he travelled afar
By plane and truck and motor car;
Oft a spell in hospital he spent
Striving hard for life under and oxygen tent.
From the NFD to Kisii with us he came
Not knowing that here he’d always remain
The weather didn’t suit, but he still ensured
That Mum and Dad and Clyde kept cheered.
A sad day ’twas when on January 3rd (1958)
For the last time his sweet voice we heard
He breathed his last – oh, so suddenly!
For you darling Conrad, we’ll mourn unceasingly.
To the everlasting memory of our adorable son Conrad who left us on 3-1-58 – a year today, these verses are proudly dedicated) – Mervyn, Elsie & Clyde