LEGACY: Remembering the murder of my husband

Search our site:

This free script provided by
JavaScript Kit

15/07/2019 00:10 AM

Remembering the murder
of my husband, Berhane Tesfamariam,
by Ethiopia 41 years ago

by Kiki Tzeggai

Remembering the murder of my husband

LEGACY: Remembering the murder of my husband, Berhane Tesfamariam, by Ethiopia 41 years ago.
by Kiki Tzeggai

I thank the Creator for giving you to Eritrea and to me! You became ancestor to Eritrean kids and son to our ancestors! You joined the convoy of the departing without qualms; you told us to unite and be sure that in our beloved Eritrea, growths will bloom and the rain will meet the Khamsin sandstorm of the desert! The sun will rise, you assured us! Your destiny gave you the strength to conquer and made you part of conquerors! Your courage will become a legacy not only for Eritrea but from continent to continent! The dust that sparkled from your Shidda still makes the cruel invaders fear. Your triumphs will meddle with the winds! The flag of a free Eritrea you offered us, will cover the horizon! You and ALL Eritrean Martyrs know that our farmers and our fishermen will tell so many of your epic stories to Eritrean children yet to be born! Sprinkling from mouth to mouth, your heroic life story will give power to the poor and distress to the enemy! You left us asking that under our flag nobody will hurt anybody! Your road in this life was tough, a road full of suffering! Your burden heavy. Each month of June turned into July for the last forty one (41) years and I search for the man that took a burden on him by choice, for love of country! Wherever I go – Birhin - humid heat at noon reminds me of that fatal July 15, 1978! The cold rain on the roof takes me back to a picture of you and our kids looking down from our windows to Babylon Street in Asmara! Your accent when you sang to the kids, your hands holding theirs’ made us - your little family - feel at home and we cannot forget, just impossible to forget! You and ALL Eritrean Martyrs out sized a larger-than-life legacy and offered plentifully to wonder about and argue about summarizing our history! The war for our freedom still shapes our dreams. You hoped for an excellent education for Eritrean kids, ours’ included! You dreamed of an education filled with art, poetry, music and enduring images whilst while imagining a powerful Eritrean Army. The awful parts of our war, the struggle, the sheer physical and psychological brawl, the danger and those terrible marches to get food and support to our Freedom Fighters in the trenches, you wished it to be part of our glorious past. The cities’ frightful conditions of Freedom Fighters like you, you wished to be a horrific bygone part of our lives.

Behind so many veils of mystery, the so many betrayals and tangible fear could debilitate an entire country. A war was going through without any weapons, it was a war led by minds like yours! You believed the one thing that could destabilize a man most, is neither the enemy nor his share of burden. Not his sufferings! The one thing that could destabilize a man the most - you said- is the wound, the stab in the back caused by any betrayal of those that were the closest, the most trusted! They betrayed refusing to understand that the long road to freedom can destroy the weak, but never the brave, you said! It could break any heart when your own are stealing from Eritrean orphans, when Eritrean widows are surrounded by greed and betrayal, you added. It was a precognition you feared the most! When people are trapped, eliminating obstacles for greediness takes over from the real war the enemy tosses at us! You added, once betrayal is cleared we should not back away from the path we know it is just!
Birhin, suddenly, the war that killed trust among Eritreans happened! Indeed(!)it unexpectedly happen in Badme and in the mist of anguish, I remember what you always told me with a voice holding an aura of stillness “BIG VICTORIES ARE WON WITH SMALL DEFEATS!

You taught me - and others - that Eritreans do not take advantage of those in need, even if they are the enemy. Prisoners of war will be exchanged and freed, you said. Berhane, I tried then and now to understand your mind and I say that it can't be mere philosophy! I asked you to make me understand that "something" greater behind it! With your voice so patient and strong, you said that if it was for one own self, you - and all Eritreans - would tear in pieces each enemy killing your people, but the principles of this war for freedom were much superior to anyone. Those principles and discipline are the strength of Eritreans that respect the teaching of our elders to create a just war. Our war was based on our birthrights and principles. Thus, making it a just war, you told me. You closed your thoughts with saying that "eventually the enemy will side by the right thing to do and sign true and real peace agreements with our independent Eritrea! Forgiveness will be hard - you stated- but if today's enemy will be genuinely and internationally open asking for it, I would like to erase the marks of the past even if one of them could be my assassination by this enemy"! At that point I was asking our Creator what was your mission in this life! because you were just too much to follow Tegadalay Berhane Tesfamariam! You were ahead of us by decades!If there was treason leading to your death, some Eritrean traitors might have understood your greatness and felt threatened by it!

Each time I feared and fueled my anxiety, you told me that Eritrean women stand strong like mountains so our people could roar like the lions! You slowly prepared me for potential personal pain. You told me that big dreams require big sacrifices. Each time I panicked for a delay of coming home, you told me that the kids and I were the essence of your life, but our occupied land was ripping your heart! You gave a promise to Eritrea – Tegadalay Berhane Tesfamariam – and you surely matched your big dreams with even bigger sacrifices. Seeing you and your comrades so stressed in a city that became smaller by the day was – for me – like hanging by a thread, but you taught me how to prevent from falling down. “We are not like them – you said – we do not oppress, we do not kill. The enemy is drowned in ignorance and cruelty, but slander makes a brave stronger.” Our war for freedom and the subtle ways you engaged with, hypnotized both of us. It held you skintight and you never wished to let go! I always feared the enemy and traitors Eritreans would come from the back to hurt you.

I thank the Creator each day for making our destinies blend. I know we both did not imagine that the day we met, history met destiny. For, you are our Eritrean history Berhane. You and ALL Eritrean Martyrs are those who establish countries and demolish wrong conditions. How much I am still learning from you forty one (41) years after your assassination by Ethiopia! Nights cover up secrets and daylight reveals them!

You said that those of us born Eritreans are bound with our day to leave this world, but we are also bound with much more pride to live by and never betray our people! “Embrace your pain as if it is a child- you told me - and never give up on our Eritrea, even if the world will hold upside down! The darkness is temporary; the light will rise from each Eritrean fighting slavery. The grief of yesterday can grow hope for today and make us take powerful steps for our tomorrows! Even if our mountains turned red with blood, Eritreans will never give up on Eritrea”! you added.

The day I asked you to define peace, you said words I engraved in my heart. “Under the blue sky of Eritrea, the moon shimmering in the water of our Red Sea, the inconceivable power of our mountains, neither our hearts nor our eyes want something else. Peace for Eritreans is our land free of occupation and offering choices to our kids” you said.

Tegadalay Berhane Tesfamariam, your heart is so big it could embrace the entire world, let alone Eritrea! You made our mountains turn into steel where the sun cannot wander and no ax could cut our trees! Your burden heavy and your strength often linked to a slender bristle. Birhin, your name matches the light that leads those in darkness. You never forgot where you came from and always knew where you were going. You wished for our flag to always flap in the free winds of Eritrea, for our rivers never to dry and our leaders never to betray the principles our Martyrs died for.

I had to be strong at my weakest moments. As painful as your death was/is I sensed the pain of our kids and I held strong. On the thread of life that runs away, I feel you mine.

With love your wife, Kiki Tzeggai {I cherish the way you called me, Fikrey}

July 15, 2019 – 41 years ago to the day, Ethiopia tortured you to death

Kiki Tzeggai
July 15, 2019

"Of all the forces that make for a better world, none is so powerful as hope. With hope, one can think, one can work, one can dream. If you have hope, you have everything."

"Peace is a wall we will all create by building it brick-by-brick together". (Trade mark)

Share with friends:

Eritrean EPLF Song Ayresaenayon ኣይረሳዕናዮን ዝፈሰሰ ደሞም፣ ኣይክንርስዖን ኢና መስዋአቲ ጀጋኑና። ተስፋይ ወዲ ሸቃ

See also recent Articles by Kiki Tzeggai:

Share with friends: