I’ve never left home before, not like this. I had left home when I went to school; and then when I left to go to another city to work and of course I left when I was married, but it was never like this. I am leaving now with great uncertainty. When I left before I knew that I could always come back to where I was brought up, but now I don’t know where I am going or where I will end up. There is only one thing sure I won’t be going back to my home because it is not there. It no longer exists. My parents have gone one way and I have gone another and my husband is staying back.
I walk along carrying a duffle bag on my back holding one child and leading the other by the hand. I don’t know where I am going except to follow the crowd. Someone must know where we are going and how we are going to get there and when we are there. It is cold, and I and the children are hungry. We have left everything. I only own what I can carry on my back, but we are together, the children and I, but not my husband. He is doing what he thinks is right. He hasn’t left. Questions dog me. Will we meet again? Will we die? All I know is that we have left the one place I know as home where everything is familiar to everything strange. I have never walked so far in my life. There has always been transport.
Some people are trying to help us but they speak another language. They are doing things in a different way. They want to take my children. I do not know why. I will not let them go. They are all I have. I am all they have. I know that I have left my old life. Nothing will be the same again. Everything will change. All my past and all that I have known is gone and I have left it all behind.
I do not understand the politics. I do not know the future. I only know the God who holds the future and I hang onto that and long for the day when we can be a family again in our own home wherever that may be.
Lola Gudsell, 24 March 2022