Widow fills pot­holes on road that killed hus­band, son


It is not un­usual to find wid­ows be­ing kicked out of their mat­ri­mo­nial homes by in-laws upon the death of their hus­bands.

But it’s not easy to find those who out­grow their grief and hu­mil­i­a­tion to the ex­tent of sac­ri­fic­ing their time to help oth­ers to avoid sim­i­lar pain.

Mrs Ever­line Towett, a 66-year-old widow from Bomet County, hit the head­lines a week ago for her self­less de­ci­sion to re­pair a treach­er­ous road lead­ing to Ten­wek Mis­sion Hos­pi­tal in Bomet County.

Touch­ing story

It is a touch­ing story of a widow whose hap­pi­ness left with the sad demise of her mis­sion­ary hus­band, Mr Ed­ward Tonui, in a road crash in 1997 and 17 years later, the death of her son in an­other ac­ci­dent on a pot­holed sec­tion of the same Ten­wek road.

“Since my hus­band died, I have largely lived an empty life of suf­fer­ing. I have been thrown out of my mat­ri­mo­nial home and left des­o­late. And look­ing at this dan­ger­ous road, I get scared at the thought that some­one else could lose their spouse and end up just like me,” the mother of two told the Na­tion.

In De­cem­ber, she wit­nessed an old man who had just had a surgery cry in pain on a mo­tor­cy­cle while beg­ging the rider to slow down.

Mrs Towett woke up one day and took it upon her­self to do what many cit­i­zens would not. On De­cem­ber 12, 2018, she took a wheel­bar­row, bor­rowed a ham­mer, col­lected stones from the road­sides and be­gun fill­ing pot­holes on the stretch lead­ing to the renowned re­fer­ral fa­cil­ity.

She would there­after ded­i­cate a bit of her time ev­ery day to a par­tic­u­lar sec­tion of the road and break her back fix­ing it as pedes­tri­ans and mo­torists sim­ply looked on.

What amazed many who heard the story is that Mrs Towett may not have the hap­pi­est of lives; if any­thing, it is des­o­late at best, but she seems to cre­ate or seek her hap­pi­ness through mak­ing other peo­ple happy.

“The Bi­ble en­cour­ages us to use our wis­dom to judge sit­u­a­tions and do the need­ful. I am fix­ing this road for all but mostly for my own sake, my joy and grat­i­fi­ca­tion,” she said.

“I would like more peo­ple to live with their spouses and chil­dren and all their loved ones. If it were up to me, I would save peo­ple from all ills that take their spouses away.”

She nar­rated how dis­tress­ing life can be for a widow in a so­ci­ety that does not care. She wants to be dif­fer­ent and show some kind­ness even when she lacks.

“I have been through so much. I even started a process of claim­ing some ben­e­fits left be­hind by my hus­band which was just Sh13,000 in 1997. I got frus­trated in the process. The chief re­fused to sign the doc­u­ments and I gave up,” she re­calls.

She has since bought a piece of land, al­beit with strug­gle, and con­structed a small house where she lives to­gether with her daugh­ter and her late sis­ter’s child who is un­der her care. Mrs Towett earns a liv­ing by mak­ing beads and car­pets.

Look­ing at this dan­ger­ous road, I get scared at the thought that some­one else could lose their spouse.” Mrs Ever­line Towett

Mrs Ever­line Towett, 66, fixes a pot­hole on the Ten­wek road. She has made it her life’s mis­sion to help oth­ers even when life has been un­kind to her.

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