I haven't abandoned my blog oh, and no I'm not going to give you the tale of how I've been busy blah blah blah.. nehhh... I've just not been able to put my blog post thoughts together.
Last sunday I poured my heart out on my phone and I was going to come and post it on my blog and then writing instructor had other plans... he said ... Send it to BN... so.. that's what I did. I'll send you the link in another post.
Moving on, so October was Cancer awareness month and also the month of my birth... yay!! My birthday this year was really special because I had dinner with my close friends at The Four Points Sheraton and it was dutch! I really don't believe we were able to pull off an all man for himself style dinner in Naija. I mean I had the perfect birthday and i didn't go bankrupt. It was fun and I was really happy. The next weekend I had to go to Ogbomosho for my aunty's wedding. My aunty who is almost 50 was getting married for the first time and it was a really good thing for her. (I'll gist you guys about the wedding in another blog post!!1 plenty tory dey dia! :D)
What else happened in October... hmmm oh yes, a popular radio personality was taking short story entries for Cancer and she was going to post it on her blog. I sent in an entry and I was not shortlisted so I'm going to post it here for you guys to read and enjoy.
I'll be back sooner than you think.
I don’t know how long I sat in the vestry for, but the cup of tea someone had shoved into my hands when we first arrived at the church had turned cold along time ago. I couldn’t explain what I felt, I am not even sure at that time I felt anything. I just felt time pass, and the silence drummed in my ears like a loud gong. I had been asked to prepare to give a short word on Oyinkansola Idowu Cole.
What was I going to say? Where was I going to start from? That the last time I had a real relationship with my mother was when I was 13 That she wasn’t there to talk to me about boys, relationships and clothes?
I stared ahead at the wall ahead of me as if to find an answer to the questions I had been asking for almost 10 years but the cream wall just stared back at me. I remember that day back in J.S.3, Arin’s Mummy told me that I was going home with them because Mummy was not feeling strong enough to come and pick me.
“Your daddy has gone to the hospital with her, but she will be home soon. You will come and stay with us till she is strong enough”
“Can I see her? Can I go to the hospital? I can squeeze some orange juice for her. Mummy likes freshly squeezed orange juice when she has the flu”
I had said this, tongue in cheek, because I assumed my Mum was finally going to have another baby; you know how parents try to deceive kids into believing babies come from hospitals. I was being smart, if the adults could play the ‘flu game’ so could I.
I remember the sad smile on Mrs Kosoko’s face because of my naivety. I laughed out loud as the memory of that day brought a trickle of tears down my face. It was the first time I was crying since the 13th of September when the doctor walked into the waiting room to tell me my mum had passed. Why hadn’t I cried? It wasn’t because I was a cold heartless 22 year-old who didn’t care about her mother. It was because my mother had died over a year ago when she could no longer speak from the wracking pain. The lymphoma has taken a little of her till it took her voice.
"My mother was her voice. Oh how she would sing. I loved waking up on Saturday mornings to hear her raise the rafters with her voice clear as a bell, sweet as the sound of canaries in summer as she sang her favourite song, Amazing Grace.
I was shipped off to boarding house because the strain of taking care of Mom was taking its toll on my father. Every time I came home, my father looked older from caring for her, he was pouring all of his finances into her treatment and she didn’t seem to get better.
I remember coming home and being afraid to enter her room because it smelt of death. Her hugs lost their warmth because she grew weaker. I was afraid of my own mother because she looked so frail; she lost all her hair from the chemotherapy and the radiotherapy. My mother, bless her heart would always call me into her room to chat, to ask about the little details and most importantly she sang to me. There was something in knowing that she would always sing to me and even though she was not strong enough to keep me in check in my wild years as a teenager I would remember the words of her songs and be contrite.
My dad was struggling with the burden too; he would come back from work and sit by her bedside till he fell asleep. I had to grow up fast for her, for him, for me.
The doctor gave her 1 year to live, but my mother was a fighter. The embers of the love she felt for Daddy and I that kept her going. It felt like she wasn’t going to leave until I was old enough to take care of myself. She didn’t give up till 8 years later.
My mother, Oyinkansolami, the canary of my house stopped singing and was being laid to rest today. What was I going to say about a woman so strong and unique? I wept uncontrollably for my loss.