Renowned American poet Maya Aneglou once said: “I have learnt that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
This could not have been more apt for auntie Mauren Kassami Amooti. We fondly addressed her as Auntie Mo. But Momo, as I dotingly referred to her, was like my elder sister I never had. She was an angel in my life. Auntie Mo put up a tremendous fight, but just couldn’t get ahead of it. Amooti was given a gift of life and sadly she had to give it back on May 11, 2020.
The boundless energy and charisma she had had when she was healthy had finally been deflated. This is hard to take. But she was a sweet person who led a jolly life and for this we are grateful to God. Amooti, even if you were writhing in pain, you decided to have a full life attitude in the hospital rather than being sad.
Amazingly, this outlook worked for us who were around you. We were strong. I thank God who gave me the last three weeks of your life; I was with you till the day you breathed your last. Amooti was the sort of the person who never wanted a big fuss made over her. Even going to hospital, she wanted it kept a quiet and private matter. Auntie Mo, left us too soon but she left us her children with memory of being loved unconditionally.
I believe we were each of us connected to each other in our lives that we were, in fact, one divine organism having an infinite spiritual existence. She never doubted me. Little wonder then that she fondly referred to me as Katima, an endearing word for someone very special.
She often complained that I didn’t give her enough time as she noted that many other family members competed for my love. I had a bed reserved, and made for me just in case I dropped by her home in Bukoto brown flats. There is nothing under the sun that we didn’t talk about. How precious she has been to all of us family members!
Knowing and loving each one of us, was the success story of her life. Her smiles were infectious. Her physical beauty correctly reflected her beautiful spirit. We were blessed to learn many valuable lessons from Amooti. There are so many values we shared; love for family, the underprivileged and our unwavering faith in God. She had this incredible concern for the vulnerable and needy. To those, her love flowed naturally.
We both loved Joyce Meyer devotion and her motivational podcasts. My contribution was always to gift her these podcasts. There is nothing we didn’t share. Perfumes, lotions, hankies, clothes, name it. I cannot forget the love we shared for grasshoppers (Nsenene). Sharing a dish of grasshoppers was our best bonding time. We fought for the last grasshopper in the bowl.
A large part of me has been robbed. You were my anchor, pillar, confidant and solace for my troubles! Amooti, it is only untiring faith that will see me through this grieving period.
We will miss your organizing skills, perfectionism and thoroughness to whatever you did. I cannot find a better illustration of her skills than recalling how she took charge of the introduction ceremony of our young auntie, Berna, whom we prefer to treat a sister to an auntie.
When Berna was introducing Richard Mogga to thefamily, Auntie Mo was the superstar. She took charge and organized all the service providers to the surprise and happiness of my late father, Chris Kassami.
Dad was so impressed when he learnt that Amooti had only used service providers from our village, Kasusu. This was a novelty and happily brought down the budget without compromising our expectations. Again, honour goes to her because from then on, whenever we had a function in the village, dad endeavored to use the local service providers. Amooti was so much fun.
She would sing with us, and dance with us and laugh with us. I remember how I was struck by the way she organized her niece Sheba’s introduction ceremony. It had rained on her but that didn’t steal away her joy. She grabbed her cousins and took to the floor. The rain could not ruin the bride’s beauty.
With an umbrella held over the bride’s head by the maid of honour, Titi, Amooti kept whispering in Sheba’s ears that she was the most beautiful bride.
Call her eccentric, but Amooti hardly attended any wedding parties or just ordinary parties unless it was a function of a close person, sisters, brothers, nieces or nephews.
Prior to her death, we had three such wonderful family functions and Amooti attended all of them. We had my cousin sisters Cynthia Tumwine Kazooba giveaway and wedding.
Then my dearest brother, Jasi Kassami’s wedding ceremony and my cousin Carol Mugamba’s giveaway. Auntie Mo had the best time of her life at all these functions. We danced, took photographs. Her hugs were tight and moods-infectious.
She was so happy, occasionally referring to Cynthia her niece as ‘my Katima” and my brother Jasi as Ekisaija Kyange meaning my beloved one. Remembering my soulmate, Mary Kassami Labeja’s giveaway in Kasusu, this was very special to her because this was her goddaughter, Mary, fondly called Doka, getting married.
Whose wedding function could not go on without her touch of hands! There could be several ways to make a party, but then there was her way. I remember how she endeavored to make her sisters, Pamela, Francesca, Sylvia, Jacqueline and Lucie’s weddings memorable. She was ever present with that magic touch!
Auntie Mo, we can only honour you by loving ourselves. What an incredible gift Auntie Mo you have been. You led a full life. Your cup was ever overflowing with love. Auntie, death snatched and buried you. But still like dust, you will rise. Metaphorically speaking, auntie, we will all meet again, joyfully on the other side. Fare thee well!