Christmas is around the corner and we are gradually winding down to the end of the year. We have a lot of things in the works: ‘our charity visit on the 22nd, moving to our official website and restructuring the organization’ All we ask is that you remember us in your prayers, read, share,comment, subscribe and generally live your life better and for Christ. I know you cannot wait to start reading, now dig in
The last thing I hear is a voice yelling “call an ambulance!”before I lose consciousness. I don’t know how long I was out for, but I wake to voices sounding like they were coming from a thousand miles away. I try to open my eyes, but my head was banging, i tried to lift my arms but they were sore and heavy. I could hear murmurs around me and the crackling sound of a fire next to me. Where was I? Who were they? I slowly try to open my eyes and all I can see is a blurry image of a man in white. “Am I in heaven?” I croaked but no one seemed to hear me. Why was my mouth bitter and throat dry? I could hear mother’s voice from a distance and she sounded worried and tired. What had happened? I tried harder this time to open my eyes. At first all I could still see was the same blurry vision of people I couldn’t recognize then it all came back! These people brought the news that turned my day into night! The news that has left a deep hole inside my heart! My soul mate had died! I was never going to see my best-man again! I was never going to see his dark and handsome face! I was never going to see his dimpled smile that brightened my days and warmed my heart! Oh God! Does it mean all I have now are memories of time shared and regrets of time lost?! Hot tears began to find their way down my face.
I shut my eyes and opened them hoping this bad dream would end and my husband would come home as he promised. I looked around and nothing had changed! I saw the men leave, still my best-man was nowhere. Deep sorrow shook me from my core as my silent tears turned into cries and then I wailed! I screamed so hard my voice would have reached the heavens. Mother rushed towards me and held me tight. She rocked me and cried too. We cried till there was nothing left. I had often heard mother sing hymns (some of which were my best-man favorites) we would sing and burst into tears midway. I was still hoping it was all a huge joke or mistake or anything that would make this all a lie.
We hear a knock on the door, mother went to get it. I was hoping the soldiers were back to tell us it was a mix-up but no, it was our neighbors paying us a condolence visit. How bad news travel fast. I heard them mumble some words that they must have thought would make us feel better. I zone them out and travel down memory lane of my best-man, I recall the time we spent in college and all the dreams we had. Tears roll down my eyes as I shut the world out.
I was burning up, a sudden fever had come upon me as I was still in shock, I saw mother rush towards me with a basin, she looked so frail.I heard someone say to her: “Mummy bring it I will do it, you can sit down and relax.”
I could feel the warmth of her quivering hands on my forehead as she used a cold towel to bathe me. I closed my eyes drowning in my memories. All I could think of was why? How?
Why did he have to go?
How do I go on?
He was serving his country? He was so loyal, even when I didn’t want him to go, he still did so why did God not protect him. I felt pain like a physical ache and I wished that death could take me, so I could be with him.
I open my eyes and I meet mother’s. I looked into her eyes at the same moment she looked into mine. She saw the questions in my eyes and I knew she could feel the pain I was passing through. She had aged by years in just a few hours. Aging caused only by heartbreak. I wondered how she felt losing a son, how she could still hold up after all that had happened.
I wanted to tell her that this was not going as I planned it.
I wanted to tell her that I was supposed to have kids and grow old with my husband living happily ever after.
I wanted to say that I had it all written down in my little journal that I carried everywhere I went.
But my lips failed me as I felt tears gushing out of my eyes again. I saw tears rolling down mother’s eyes too, but she rushed to wipe them, gripped herself together immediately and mouthed to me, “Trust God”.
I didn’t understand how someone who had just lost a child could still act this way. Our neighbors left, sympathizers came and left. The army came with full support, my best-man was sent off in style! If he were alive he would have made a joke or two about the ceremony. It was a beautiful sad event!
Days turned into months and the pain remained as fresh as when those two men came to announce the death of my husband.
Mother was everything you could ever imagine, her faith never wavered! Many times, I would glimpse at her and see her hurry to wipe off the tears that had fallen from her eyes.
She was stronger than I ever could be, the source of her strength I could never really tell. I no longer prayed or read my bible, I could not relate to the God who could take away my happiness away in a twinkle of an eye. I did not understand how my life was over in a blink. I was a walking dead, I was on auto-pilot most times and my schedule were strictly work and home. Mother tried but I just couldn’t seem to move past my pain. I was stuck in my misery and I didn’t see a way past it.
One evening I was preparing dinner, when mother came to sit next to me. She talked and praised me for being the daughter she never had. She said she had really hoped things had panned out differently, but she was still grateful to God anyway. I was yet to understand how she could be grateful to God for taking away her children and husband, leaving no one to continue the family name. We that is Mother, and I had started reading the bible together, something that started to pass time to ease the pain, but I was gradually getting my faith back, one step at a time. I wondered where the conversation was headed but didn’t have to wait for long. Her voice tired and resigned said “I came to this country in a search for a better life with my family. I came here full but look at me now…I have nothing left. And as the adage in my county, if you can no longer proceed forward, then it’s time to go back. My daughter, I love you like you are mine that’s why I want you to go,live your life, find love again, while I return to my fatherland”. She said I was young and beautiful and could start life afresh.
I was hurt! Did mother think I could move on without her? Did she think I would let her be by herself?
“No mother! I will go nowhere” I responded
Where you go I will follow and I will start this new life with you. I will love Nigeria and its people like I love my country and I will continue this walk of faith that I have started.
I continued with my cooking as I wondered if mother knew how much I loved her…
See you all next week as we continue this exciting journey and just may be the story might come to an end next week. Stay tuned, God bless you all and do not forget that God loves you more than you can ever imagine. Do follow us on all social media handle @Godlywomenarising
Image credit: Google