Writing my exams were hard!!! I had severe pain in my pelvis.
This wasn’t the first time but mum would normally just give me pain killers.
This time, it was excruciating and I was taken to see Dr. Brown.
Before now, he had advised that I stopped exercising vigorously. I did.
On this particular visit, I was made to lie down on my back with my knees bent and my feet on a pair of stirrups. This was the most embarrassing experience of my life.
I was diagnosed with having an imperforate hymen. My mum was informed that a minor surgery would be required to resect my hymen to relieve the obstruction of my blood flow.
Although I was afraid, Dr. Brown did well in assuring me that it wasn’t a big deal.
Mum was reassured too. I did a pelvic ultra sound and the date for my surgery was fixed. 10th march 2014.
After the surgery, I woke up with Dr. Brown smiling down at me. “ you are now pretty down there” he said. That was so awkward but his smile put my heart to rest. I stayed in the hospital for two more weeks and at 6pm I was given tablets and dilators were inserted into me for 15mins each day to ensure that my incision didn’t close up.
I was discharged on the 25th of march and the back pain, stomach pain and all the problem I had had with moving my bowels and urinating were gone!
However, after a few months I was adding weight…
Dr. Brown assured mum that it was normal because I had stopped exercising or moving about for that matter. He gave me some tablets that made me bleed profusely. Dr brown called and asked if the bleeding was profuse. Yes, it was! He asked my mum to celebrate my first menstruation as he stated that it was normal.
Two weeks later, I was really sick and was rushed to the hospital.
The bleeding hadn’t stopped.
Dr. Brown was on leave. We tried to reach him to no avail.
A scan was done and I was asked the silliest questions.i’m 15 yrs old!!! I haven’t as much as hugged a guy, how can I try to abort a pregnancy?!!
Mum was so disappointed in me. I could see it in her eyes.
“ mum please how does one become pregnant” I asked.
The Dr on Duty; Dr Ojo smiled almost mockingly… he informed mum that I needed to do an ultrasound to see what was going on. The next day, mum was informed that the “product of conception” didn’t come out of my system and I had been infected. They needed to do a D&C immediately.
I was placed on an IV and given some drugs. Everything seemed like a dream… mum asked me one more time who was responsible for the pregnancy that I was trying to abort. With tears in my eyes, I assured her that I had never been with any man.
I woke up with my sad mum staring at me . she informed me that she had requested a prenatal DNA paternity test.
We were now determined to get answers. We made a formal report at the Alagbon Police Head Quarters Lagos and investigations began.
I was mocked and ridiculed …. The investigators kept asking me to “ tell the truth” … I tried to think out a truth but there was none to tell. Mum was the only human being that believed me and it didn’t take long before depression set in.
I started believing that I knew something but was hiding it. What could it be? Why can’t I remember?
All the men that were friends with me were tested but it was all negative…
Our days were spent trying to figure out who the father of my foetus could be.
Weeks turned into months until Dr. Brown was asked why I had to be in the hospital for two weeks after a minor surgery… why did I need to be sedated for the dilators to be inserted?
Why wasn’t there a nurse present each time the dilators were inserted?
Why did Dr. Brown buy mifepristol tablets from the pharmacy?
Why didn’t the hospital folder on the same day have those drugs?
These questions raised red flags and my 55yrs old doctor; Dr. brown was tested .
The DNA paternity test showed that Dr. Brown is the father of my aborted foetus.
At this point, tears filled my eyes as I looked at Dr. Brown…He bent his head in shame and I was asked to leave the witness box.
I walked out of the box determined not to remain trapped in my past. I forgave Dr. Brown but the justice system didn’t.
The day of judgement finally came and I saw the anguish in his eyes as he was sentenced to life imprisonment. I cannot forget the scream we all heard as a woman was pulled out of the courtroom.
I was powerless!!! I wished I could set him free for her sake. Though not within the confines of a jail room, I knew that Mrs Brown had been sentenced too…
*…Blog picture [donor] gotten from http://www.invitra.com/choosing-a-sperm-donor-in-the-usa/ through google search.
I would choose you over and over again Mike said as he held me close. I felt same.
I found myself the ideal man; Committed to family and God-fearing.
What else could I ask for?
I adore my husband and I have watched God bless him from one level to a higher one.
God blesses Mike again and we are off to South Africa. Being a wife and mother is just awesome and I couldn’t complain. Mike talked all day about fitting into a new church.
He talked about missing members of the first timers department.
I totally understood as he put in so much into soul winning. For me, family was all I thought of. I couldn’t imagine being away from mum. The kids on the other hand talked about missing grandpa and aunty K. As the days drew closer, I started conditioning my mind and that of the kids. I told them about the zoos in SA and the parks too. The kids started anticipating the move as we packed what we could and gave out the rest.
I organized lunch for workers of the first timers department and children’s department. To my dismay, only few people showed up. I was disappointed especially at members of Mike’s department. I had a lot of left over food and I washed up just a few plates. Pastor Lanre called and asked Mike and I to stop over at his place before mid night. Mike immediately asked that we go in order to avoid getting to Pastor Lanre’s house too late. We got there at about 10pm and Pastor spoke to us about making an impact in our new church in SA. It was so emotional for me and after we hugged him and said good-bye, he gave us an envelope. We knelt and thanked him and as we opened the door to leave, almost everyone from church was standing outside. Mike and I cried like babies. We were ushered to the back yard of pastor’s house and the party began..
We got gifts but that was the least of it all. we got testimonies of how our lives had impacted different people. There was a lot of sobbing. Mikky and I got home at almost mid-night and we talked almost through the night…
… We spent Sunday morning doing our final packing but Mike went to church. He got home right on time and we left for the airport. Our flight was a delight and the kids loved it. We got to our apartment at exactly 2:35am with the kids fast asleep. We held hands and prayed as we possessed the house that we would be living in for the next four years of our lives.
Pastor Lanre had given us the resident pastor’s number and we called him on Tuesday evening in order to get directions to church for mid-week service on Wednesday. We totally felt at home; the same message, songs and protocols. All the anxiety was gone.
Pastor Nzuma and Pastor Winnie welcomed us so warmly. It didn’t take long before I joined the children’s department and Mike the first timers department. Mike is a master soul winner and it didn’t take long for him to shine. I was proud of him as usual but little by little we started drifting apart. He was always in church…I tried to put in more time with my department as well but it didn’t make us closer. I couldn’t put my finger on what the problem was. I woke Mike up to talk and after minutes of talking, I couldn’t hold on to any issues apart from the fact that he was always in church. I felt ashamed as he explained how he had to do more considering our new environment. “SA has the highest crime rate in the world and if we win these souls for Christ, we could impact our environment as we were told by Pastor Lanre”. I held him close and apologized for being so insecure. I should be putting in my quota too. I felt terrible.
Mike being the husband that he is, stayed home more and verbally reassured me from time to time. Apart from non verbal racism, work was awesome for him. God had our back for sure.
The kids were enjoying school, Mike was enjoying work and church but I didn’t feel happy. I felt alone. Maybe I missed mum. I felt guilty that I expected Mike to be home more. I prayed about the way I felt but the feeling stayed. Mike and I saw each other for at most 2 hours in a day…and for most of the 2 hours, he was on phone. It wasn’t long before he was made a deacon. I was indifferent…
I was adding weight and I started wondering if Mike resented me. I asked him and he laughed hysterically. I started visiting the gym and wearing more make up. I missed my Mikky…On Friday, I decided to give Mike a special dinner. I made everything I know he loves to eat and wore something really sexy. Mike got home earlier than I expected and I knew God had my back. He saw my dressing and all the food on the table and he held me close and told me how much he loved me. I ran his bath and waited for him to come have dinner with me. We ate and chatted but he blew it! He had to be in church for Pastor Zeb’s birthday party at 8pm. I was sad. Why wasn’t I invited? I calmly asked Mike why I wasn’t invited and he said the party was for deacons and pastors. I was heart-broken. I was heart-broken at the fact that he saw nothing wrong with the situation. I thought marriage made us one…He dressed up and left for the party. I stayed home and wept. Mike got home at 2:30am.
My spirit was nagging and I knew that my mouth would vomit it all very soon and I decided to work. I got a job and work was awesome!! I stayed at work as long as I could and played with the kids the best I could. I still felt lonely. Mike had meetings in church everyday. Why did this bother me? I heard so much about Pastor Winnie that I felt uneasy.
Mike would not sit with me during services, we couldn’t give jointly, he won’t wear native anymore to church, he won’t help with the kids in church and the late nights became the norm. I didn’t know who to speak with. I thought of calling Pastor Lanre but what was I complaining about? How was I to tell him that my husband’s commitment in church had me lonely and unhappy? Mike had always been committed in church. Why is this different?
The situation at home got me sick. I tried to work it off but found myself in the hospital after I had passed out at the office. Mike was by my side when I woke up and he was smiling so sweetly. He planted a kiss on my lips and told me how much he loved me. He didn’t seem worried at all. It bothered me a bit. The doctor walked in and congratulated me. I couldn’t figure out why but it didn’t take long before I put two and two together. I was pregnant. This was bad timing. Tammy was barely one year old. I wasn’t ready and I made it clear to Mike.
I got home to my very excited babies. It felt good to be missed so much. Pastor Winnie called and to my utmost shock, she encouraged me to accept God’s gift. Mike told her??!! I was amazed. Mike and I had our first roar that night. Six years and we had never raised our voices at each other. The kids cried hysterically as Sibusiso took them away from the heat. Mike said things to me that I have chosen not to recall. I cried for days. The days that followed were the worse as Mike came home only to sleep. I prayed for myself and for him too. I blamed myself for everything. I started taking long walks, speaking in tongues and praying. The heaviness I felt had to leave by all means.
I also started speaking with people about Jesus as I walked. This gave me the kind of peace that passes all understanding. On one of the days, I led 12 people to Christ and I called Mike to share. He was cold but I knew that it would make him happy. He came home earlier than usual and for the first time since the fight, he ate his dinner. I told him how my day went and he listened without saying a word. Mike had breakfast before leaving for work and as I went to clear his plates, I saw a note that read “proud of you”.
Mike and I gradually became buddies again. I spent most of my time speaking to people about Christ. I totally enjoyed it. Pastor Winnie called to invite me for her birthday party and I obliged. I stood alone at the party but this time, I didn’t feel alone. Mike was busy ensuring that everyone was fine. Pastor Zimiamah came to sit by me and we chatted away. We went from kids to marriage, family, purpose and then ministry. I learnt a lot from her. Mike came a couple of times to find out if I was fine…indeed I was fine and enjoying my chat.
We got home and I ran off to the bathroom. I sang as I took a bath and when I got out, Mike was sitting on the bed and staring at me. I smiled and dressed up. I hadn’t felt this happy in a long time. I suddenly realised that I had given Mike the keys to my joy and taking it and giving it to God felt good.
I meditated on John 16:24 day and night. Which said:
Until now you have not asked for anything in my name.
Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.
Things became beautiful at home again and my tummy grew longer and wider but Pastor Winnie had stopped coming to church.
Rumour has it that she returned to her parents as a result of emotional abuse that she went through in her marriage. I felt so sorry for her…No wonder she always wanted Mike to pray with her, plan with her and attend programmes with her. Mike was so sorry as he too realised that she was only using him to fill a vacuum in her marriage. Mike and I consistently prayed for her and soon enough, she returned to church.
I hope things are better in her home.
As for us, we welcomed Mike (Jnr) on the 25th of December, 2015.
I learnt two very important things from this episode:
Firstly, that the joy that comes from God satisfies beyond human understanding and secondly, people can hurt you deeply without intending to.
*…Blog picture [praying woman] gotten from http://www.shutterstock.com/video/clip-1759052-stock-footage-love-locks-on-the-pont-des-arts-bridge.html through google search
I guess love makes us do the most unlikely things …
I packed my bags and off I went to the park. I sat in the bus for ten long hours and finally I arrived. Bruce took me to our home and that one room remained our home for two years before we welcomed our sunshine, George.
The hustle became even more real as we had to provide for our bundle of joy. I joined Bruce in the hustle as we met people around the world and promised them things we knew we had no plans of fulfilling. The trips to the western union office became more frequent and we could afford to move into a two-bedroom apartment. Bruce suddenly got wild. He just tasted wealth for the first time and this really intoxicated him.
From time to time, I spoke to Bruce about marrying me but he said I was putting unnecessary pressure on him. I tried not to push so as not to look desperate. In addition to George, I had Stella and Brian. Was I really going to pitch my tent somewhere else? Of course not!
As for Bruce, he started hanging out with people that I wasn’t comfortable with. I wasn’t a saint but there were things that I wouldn’t indulge in. Bruce was drifting away…
In spite of the distance between us, he did the most romantic things. He made it a point of duty to give me a food treat every single day. Usually in the mornings. This was new but I liked it.
The peace in my home started reflecting in the way I looked. I got compliments from everyone I met. I started looking far younger than my age. That wasn’t even the best part. Brice proposed to me and wanted us to complete the marriage rites within two months of his proposal. Just when I thought it would never happen.
Bruce had made more money than I had ever imagined and the wedding was spectacular. My kids were happy. I returned home as Bruce’s legally married wife. The running around for the wedding was hectic and two weeks after, I hadn’t gotten over the fatigue that I felt.
Four weeks after, the fatigue was still weighing me down and I was losing weight. The weight loss became disturbing when I started looking sick and feeling sick. I went from one hospital to another but there was nothing.
The look on people’s faces when they saw me got me uncomfortable and I insisted on going to the UK to run every test available. Bruce refused but after several heated quarrels, he let me go. I got to the UK and ran every test available but there was nothing. After two weeks, I felt so much better and I returned home to him and the kids but it didn’t take long before I started feeling sick again. This time around, it came with excruciating pain and I was rushed to the hospital. At the hospital, I tried to stay awake but the sleep was heavy.
I heard Bruce scream and I watched his friends and younger brother take him home. I immediately thought of my children and there I was in their classrooms all at the same time. I watched them play at break time. Soon enough I remembered Bruce and how he screamed at the hospital. I wanted to comfort him.
I suddenly found myself in our home but something’s wasn’t right. Bruce and his friends seemed to be celebrating something as they cheered to “More money!!” …
At that point, everything made sense to me…
*…Blog picture [before-after-life] gotten from http://paranormal.about.com/od/lifeafterdeathreincarnat/f/Is-There-An-Afterlife.htm through google search
I met him at the Regional Maritime University….
He read for hours but I couldn’t keep up, I left after a few hours.
I never saw him again till we resumed for the next semester.
This time, he seemed different…..
I never knew he was Nigerian…..
He was as loud as they usually are…..
this was a huge turn off.
He wasn’t the meek young man I had seen studying.
After church on Sunday, I’m standing at the barrier almost fainting from the scorching sun..
It’s him again and he rescues me from my endless wait.
He is so soft-spoken, cautious and thoughtful……
(so different from the last time)
These Nigerians are not as bad as we think…
Every country has good and bad people…
I always had a good defense for Voke. My mum didn’t like the idea at all but I had fallen in love and there was nothing anyone would say to convince me. I took delight in washing, cooking, cleaning and even warming his bed.
I soon moved in with Voke. On his part, he made me his queen and treated me as such. Money was never a problem and he lavished my family with a lot of it…
I thought he was a student? Or maybe he was just reading within the school premises…
I couldn’t ask, I didn’t want to quarrel like the last time.
I just wanted the existing peace to continue.
He even gave me his car while he used taxis about…
Life was sooo beautiful! I had become the envy of my course mates, family and friends. “Nigerian men just understand what it means to be the man”
Voke had to travel for a business in Nigeria and I missed him a lot!!
My cash flow reduced drastically, I needed Voke to come back…
One beautiful afternoon while I was preparing to go to class,
I heard a knock on the door.
I was met by two uniformed men.
They wanted to know where Voke was.
“He has gone to Nigeria” I said…
The police came over and over again…He wasn’t back.
Weeks turned to Months and Voke didn’t show up neither did my monthly visitor.
I had to find out what the problem was.
I asked his friends and they all seemed oblivious to his crime or whereabouts.
And that was the beginning of my problems.
How would I find the father of my unborn child?
how would I explain this to my parents?
ahhh, my friends!! How would I cope with school?
I managed to tell my parents and my dad was so disappointed!
However, when he heard that the person responsible was a Nigerian, he went ballistic!!! Daddy insisted that I get rid of the pregnancy but I was adamant about keeping it.
This brought all sorts of insults my way.
After Aseda was born, the insults didn’t stop.
On the contrary, it got worse.
My mum would refer to Aseda as, “Anago girl” (Nigerian girl).
I was faced with the shame of raising a child whose father I knew almost nothing about.
I was so ashamed! I know he is from Delta State and his name is Voke Ahigbe.
That’s about all! (Sobs)…
I thought of going to Nigeria several times but my friends thought it was a crazy idea.
Taking care of Aseda was so difficult! No one else cared…
My mum even detested the fact that she had Nigerian blood.
My Aseda, my World! She kept me going…
She made it easy for me to continue with my dreams without hating her father.
I wished I could turn back the hands of time but Aseda is so worth it.
Aseda never struggled with school work…
She was so well-behaved. Her good behavior was so striking.
Pre-school to university and she never stopped making me proud.
I wished her dad could see what he was losing out on…
“Voke your daughter is so awesome”.
If I could find him, I would. Just so that he shares my joy…
I’m standing at the airport watching my baby go away…
My baby is all grown up. It’s a bitter-sweet feeling.
God is indeed faithful…Barrister Aseda Ahigbe…
My mother should be so ashamed of how she treated Aseda and I.
She never missed an opportunity to insult me and rain curses on Aseda and her Nigerian ancestry. She made my daughter so timid. I hated her for it. I hated her so much!
I had to move to Kumasi just to protect my daughter from her unforgiveness, hate,bitterness…
I went back year after year hoping that time would have healed her anger but no!
She was filled with it. What did I do that had her so angry?
I was the one that laid on the bed that I made.
Yes I suffered!!!
My trophy; Aseda has made me proud. Indeed I’m proud.
We talk to each other everyday and my baby is doing well.
I’m busy with my chop bar. Business is good…
Alex has been my rock and I can’t imagine what life would be like without him.
He walked into my life and turned a bad situation around…
He was my bank account. He let me withdraw at will.
I withdrew for school, Aseda and everything I needed money for.
He blessed my life. Moving around with an old Obroni (White person) was so embarrassing but that seemed like my only option.
Soon enough, Aseda finished with her Masters degree and Whooooooo! Aseda is coming home… Mummy is proud as usual (wink).
Tears fill my eyes as I see my baby walking towards me.
I can’t believe my eyes…but we talked everyday?!…
I feel pain in my chest as she approaches me.
I give her a hug while sobbing…”Aseda why?”
She keeps saying, “mummy I’m sorry”.
I had good reasons…
History has repeated itself…o my God! Aseda, pregnant???…
She kept assuring me.
She was sure that I would be against her relationship with Nengi.
She fell in love with him and was sure I would refuse.
She knew she couldn’t let him go because of his nationality.
She was so wrong!
I still believe that there are bad and good people in every country.
I wasn’t going to allow my experience be the yardstick for assessing Nigerians.
I met Nengi and realized that my daughter is far smarter than I was..lol .
He was willing to answer my questions without feeling like I was intruding.
I asked a whole lot of questions and we chatted away like friends.
Aseda and Nengi soon tied the knot and moved to Nigeria…
My Aseda is now Mrs Aseda Bob-Manuel.
She made a better choice than her mother, I guess.
Forgot to say, my mum showed up just before Aseda’s wedding.
I have forgiven her…
Working towards a cordial relationship.
Voke left but he left me with the most precious gift.
How can I hate him?
I’m looking forward to going to “NAIJA!!” like Voke would say.
Omugwo on my mind.
*…Blog picture [Nigeria] gotten from http://www.nairaland.com/2277156/africa-world-happiness-report-nigeria through google search.
A good nanny is an excellent relief.
Having someone who knows her place in the home, respects boundaries and yet is able to genuinely love my children has made my life so much easier. God has blessed me so much and when I count my blessings, I count Uju.
Initially I was skeptical about letting a stranger come into my home but I needed the help as Nduka and I are orphans. I had just had Samuel by a caesarean section… I just couldn’t cope.
I remembered vividly the day Uju walked into my home. She was nineteen, skinny, breastless and very shy. She looked very feeble and I thought she would be unable to keep up with the house chores but I was wrong. She quickly learnt what I expected her to do and she maintained a good attitude. Uju knew how to integrate fun into her daily chores… I adored her and she fitted perfectly into my home. Everyone thought we were blood relatives and I didn’t try to correct that impression. She was the baby sister I didn’t have.
Three years went by and I had two more sons. Three energetic boys and Uju was still standing but I knew she needed a break and so I employed a maid; Sandra. After Sandra was employed. Nduka and I agreed to send Uju to a prestigious school of catering and like I expected, she did exceptionally well… We encouraged her further by getting a job for her in order to fine tune her craft. I was excited that she was on her way to a promising future.
Everything was perfect until Nduka suddenly started insisting that we relocate to Europe. His friends had secured a job for him and he didn’t want to miss out on the opportunity. I didn’t have a problem with relocating but the only problem was Uju. Nduka insisted that we leave her behind. “ Nduka, this girl has become family” I kept saying but he put his feet down and we left without Uju.
Before we left, Nduka gave me some money to rent an apartment for Uju and Open a small confectionary shop. Uju wasn’t excited and I understood her sentiments. She had given us six years of her life and now that we have the opportunity to bless her, Nduka has decided to harden his heart. It was unfair!!
We arrived in Ireland and settled in just fine. I missed Uju so much and tried to reach her to no avail; she wasn’t picking her calls or replying to her messages. I knew something was wrong. I asked a friend; julie to find out what was going on. I was told that Uju was living with a “husband” and was pregnant.
Her withdrawal made sense to me now. Uju had promised to be celibate until marriage. She knew how disappointed I would be but I loved her too much to let this mistake spoil our relationship. I sent yet another text and she finally responded.
She was so sorry for not answering my calls or responding to my messages but most of all, She was sorry for disappointing me with the pregnancy and living with a man that had not married her. I told her it was ok and the weeks that followed were like old times.
5th of March, 2015 and her son finally arrived. I wanted to see pictures but unfortunately Uju’s phone had a fault.. I went on a shopping spree with the money Nduka gave me. I even bought a new Phone. I had to see my grandson. The kids were excited hat they had a “baby brother” and wanted pictures too. I quickly packed the boxes and shipped it to Nigeria.
After six long weeks, I finally got a picture of my grandson. He was so cute! I used his picture as my display picture (proud grandma) I celebrated his milestones even more than his own mother but my happy days ended on the 19th of April 2016 when Nduka fell off a badly constructed scarfold at work.
My best friend, confident, first and only love left me alone. We agreed that death would take us together … Nduka!!!
The days that followed were dark. I had to deal with in-laws and customs (that is a story for another day) and when all was said and done, the children, Nduka and I went back to Nigeria.
It was different because Nduka didn’t sit by us. I knew he was on board our flight but like a luggage, he had been tucked away somewhere…
As a family, we mourned him so deeply. Uju didn’t leave my sight. She cut her hair as well…I knew that Nduka would be honoured.
I stayed back after the funeral to sort out a few things.
I asked Uju to bring Junior to spend some time with me but she just didn’t. Nduka’s death hit her as hard as it did me.
The day before my departure, I decided to visit. She looked devastated … I wanted to see junior but was told a neighbor had taken him out. We chatted for about an hour and I had the opportunity to meet her “husband” . When it was time to leave, She escorted me to the waiting taxi and while we stood to say our good byes, I heard “Nduka!” Instinctively, I turned around and saw a fair little boy running towards us.
He looked exactly like my sons. This wasn’t the same baby on my social network profiles…
He looks like my sons and his name is Nduka…
“ whose son is this?” I asked but she was quiet.
I asked her over and over again until I found myself screaming.
She was still quiet but she had fallen on her knees with her hands on her head …
“ Mummy I’m sorry” she whispered.
It still didn’t make sense.
“ so whose pictures have you been sending to me?”
She began to cry profusely,
“Mummy he looked exactly like Samuel, Emma and Ben, I knew you would figure it out?”
That was the last thing I heard or remembered. I woke up with unending flashbacks … things that meant nothing now had a lot of meaning. this is so hard!
I always knew that the heart of man is desperately wicked but knowing it is so different from experiencing it….
*…Blog picture [two sides] gotten from https://www.pinterest.com/pin/331085010082567826/ through google search.
I couldn’t sit in the shop …
Mama had explained to me the importance of making good sales this weekend so, I stood outside and beckoned on customers to come in and buy their already cleaned “fresh fish”. Inside the inner room, Runo was busy cleaning the fish as fast as she could … getting the money for my school fees had become a family project.
Mama got back and like she predicted, Uncle Dafe didn’t fulfill his promise. We all sat down and counted the money we had made for the day. It was Fifty-seven Thousand Naira! we screamed as mama knelt down to thank God for providing my fees. With the savings and today’s sale, mama could send me off to school.
I arrived at my hall of residence at about midday and the porter went through a list where he ticked my name Tega Mudiaga. I walked into Room B16 with mama and we introduced ourselves to three beautiful ladies. Mama in her typical style; lectured us on remaining focused on our studies and then she rounded off with a very lengthy prayer.
My university life began …
I had never been away from home so everything was new to me. I was particularly surprised at the life my room mates lived; drinking, smoking, partying and men. I wasn’t enticed but I was curious as to how they made the money they spent.
Unlike me, they ate whatever they liked and whenever. They called friends and family and just chatted away without thinking about how much airtime they had to use. They took a taxi everywhere and wore very nice clothes and perfumes. They always had money …
It would be great not to budget all the time, I thought. Faith does indeed come by hearing because soon enough I started pondering on the futility of living a “self-righteous” life. It wasn’t as though the girls weren’t born-again. They were …
I spoke to the girls about wanting to join them for their next party and while the others had a good laugh, Bisi took me out and bought very nice clothes, bag and shoes in preparation for the weekend.
After lectures on Friday, I ran off to the room to do a dress rehearsal … the dress was beautiful but too short and clingy. I didn’t feel comfortable but I wore it anyway. The hotel was so beautiful and big too. We went up the elevator and into a very big hall with loud music. I tried to comport myself as this was utterly nerve wrecking for me.
Just as I was about to take a seat with the girls. I saw him … tears filled my eyes and I stood up and walked towards him but I stopped!!! I remembered mama. She would be heartbroken to find out that I was in a hotel at almost mid-night I couldn’t afford to disappoint her.
I turned around and made for the door. Bisi tried to pull me back but I couldn’t let him see me.
I got back to the room and wept so bitterly. I didn’t even realize that I had slept off until I felt Bisi tapping me. I woke up and she told me how I had missed an opportunity to meet a generous “Big boy” Chief Benson Mudiaga. Big Boy??!!! A sixty-four-year-old man is a boy?
She told me how Chief wanted two girls at the same time and she had to pick Lola although she wished she didn’t have to. She brought out crispy clean notes and waved it in my face. A Hundred Thousand Naira!!!
Tears just flowed freely as I remembered how this “generous big boy” threw us out of OUR home with nothing. I was only twelve years old and I remember his last words to mama; “Your girls will amount to nothing”
By the next day, I felt sick and needed to speak with someone. I knew I couldn’t speak to my only confidant; mama.
I decided to attend the campus fellowship and it was all I needed. The speaker spoke to me as though I had confided in her and right away I knew what to do.
I called mama and pleaded with her to let me go to school from home. I couldn’t live with Bisi and the girls without being corrupt. 1 Corinthians 15: 33 emphasizes this and I explained this to mama. After much negotiation, she agreed.
Going to school from home was stressful but I didn’t have to deal with the constant teasing I received from the girls. watching them live a relatively “ better life” was also a torture…
I had not seen Bisi for months and so, I decided to visit the room but I was told by the girls that Bisi had also moved home. She was sick.
I called her and she sounded weak … Bisi was very bubbly and hearing her speak in that tone got me really sad. I went home and told mama and she told me uncle Dafe had informed her that “papa” was also sick.
Could it be from that night at the hotel?
My thoughts were everywhere…
Had God used Papa to save me from living a promiscuous life?
Is the illness a deadly one or am I just making assumptions?
Whatever the case, I am grateful to God that he forced me into the right path.
*…Blog picture [choices ] gotten from http://www.positivegoalsandsolutions.com.au/2013/10/20/lifes-choices-arent-all-easy-but-they-are-all-yours/ through google search
Six years went by and not even a miscarriage…
My irregular period became regular and well on time too but yet, no pregnancy.
I saw everyone around me conceiving effortlessly and this got me confused,
frustrated and angry. Brian and I had been subjected to all sorts of tests which required very compromising positions, we endured the embarrassments and went through it all. We even went ahead to take every advice we got from anyone. We tried different ‘positions’, different places, different times in the day and even different countries.
It sounds like madness but we were desperate.
This process was particularly difficult for me as I had to be with the cutest little children everyday …
I experienced how amazingly sweet most kids could be. I enjoyed staying in school because going home reminded me of my ‘situation’.
On one of the days I stayed in school, the proprietress; Mrs. Akpan sent for me.
She told me of a student whom needed a home. The little girl; LOVE, had just lost her sponsor to an accident. Her parents had eight other children whom they couldn’t afford to take care of.
I was excited at the idea and I couldn’t wait to ask Brian if it was ok. Brian was indifferent…
I met Love’s parents and few weeks later, she was a part of my home. I took up my role with excitement and although she was nine years old, I did virtually everything for her …
Making her hair was my fondest thing and hearing her call me ‘mummy’ was so fulfilling!!!
My ‘situation’ wasn’t the constant on my mind anymore.
Brian and I had just finished building our own house and so we had to move.
We packed! and packed!! and packed!!!
And when everything had been moved to the new house, the arranging started.
I was particular excited about fixing Love’s room.
As I put up the wall paper with brains help, I remembered feeling dizzy and then I was in the hospital, three months pregnant, yippee!!
I could hardly contain myself and to say that Brian was ecstatic, was to say the least.
However, Love withdrew so much!!!
She suddenly became a moody child.
She broke almost everything she held and started doing badly at school …
This got me really worried.
Love made my pregnancy a difficult one as she suddenly became sickly too.
I was a regular visitor at the children’s ward but the doctors couldn’t diagnose any ailment.
After Jaiden was born, Love got even worse.
She would vomit after her meals and fainting became a norm.
I did everything to get to the root of the problem until my mum noticed a pattern …
The fainting occurred anytime Jaiden reached a new milestone and I was excited.
I finally got the picture and did more to show her how much I loved her.
The more I tried, the more she played mind games with me …
I prayed for Jaiden for seven years and upon his arrival,
It seems like I never prayed to have him.
I was always attending to Love and trying to prove my love for her.
I cannot tell you the amount of time and resources I spent on Love at the expense of my biological child that I begged God for.
I am now at a cross-road and don’t know what decision to make.
I love this child with all my heart and I know she needs me but how can I continue to neglect my son just to satisfy Love?
*…Blog picture [decision] gotten from http://apurposefulbusiness.com/wpcontent/uploads/2012/05/iStock_000016899961Larger.jpg through google search
My life has taken off on a fantastic note … I am Mrs Acheampong!!!
The wedding was a low-key one because Nana isn’t one to do anything elaborate …
He is very rich but yet so modest.
My friends and family helped me move into his Labadi mansion while I familiarized myself with each room. Did I mention that Nana gave me the keys to his brand new Toyota Camry 2014 Hybrid? Yes, he did!!!
Nana’s business in the US needed his attention and so he left on the Monday after the wedding. I started work at his company on that same Monday.
… (honeymoon things will be done later in the year *wink)
I walked into the company expecting to be accorded “madam” privileges but everybody seemed indifferent that I arrived . No one stopped chatting and no one ran off to their desk … Eissshh!!! These people don’t understand the consequence of disrespecting me.
I was taken to my office by HR Manager and I got furious !!!
It was a little cubicle with a table and a normal chair not even an executive one.
“Nana would surely let some people go for this utter disrespect of his wife “.
“I will just hold on till I speak with him … “
My main responsibility was managing the factory workers and production doubled after six months. Nana was so proud of me. However, he dodged my issues with the other staff and just didn’t act as I thought he would.
That wasn’t even the main problem. The main problem was that I didn’t have access to company funds. Not even one pesewa! All I got was my salary.
The GHs 5,000 koraa, wasn’t enough. I used it to pay bills; electricity, water utilities, domestic staff salaries. At the end of the month, I had nothing left to chill with.
Mrs Ahceampong is hot paa.. I am not feeling the money at all!
Nana promised me a US trip and in June, he fulfilled his promise
My friends and I went wild! I packed the best clothes I had and off I went to Dallas.
Nana’s Dallas Mansion pleased my eyes and I didn’t wait to get in before I started taking selfies to post on Facebook. Nana opened the door and had a good laugh. He took my luggage to our room and we had a long chat.
He informed me that his elder brother, wife and three children also came into Dallas for their holidays. He asked me to promise that I’ll tolerate any offence against me. I wasn’t to confront her Susan – ( His Nigerian Sister-in-law) on any issues.
Hmmm… that won’t be hard, after all, I’m only here for a month.
My vacation turned out to be a “staycation”.
It was fun but I still needed to explore the town all by myself or maybe with Nana.
Somehow, Nana always requested that I do one thing or the other especially for the kids … I was always with the kids and although I love children, that’s not why I came to Dallas.
Another thing that bothered me was the authority in Susan’s voice.
If Nana didn’t have a competent house keeper, I am almost sure I would have filled in that position. I’m far younger than she is, but it is my house for crying out loud!!!
I spoke to Nana about it and he begged me to keep tolerating her excesses.
He took me to “the french room” in down town dallas for a very romantic dinner date and I felt much better.
Days later, it dawned on me that I had just a week before the end of my vacation ,
I didn’t even have nice pictures to share on instagam, pin on pintrest, tweet about or show to my friends and siblings. The mansion pictures were all I have posted on Facebook so far.
I decided to just go out and discover the town for myself.
Susan was having a coffee in the kitchen and I informed her that I was off to explore and without mincing words, she asked me who I thought would take care of the kids for me.
For me ??? !!!
Chale!! I just forgot all my promises to Nana and gave her a piece of my mind.
As I talked, she started laughing hysterically and before I could finish,
she shut me up with her usual authority and told me the story of my life;
Nana was fully dependent on her husband and then they took me in good faith.
She said unlike my husband, I was ungrateful and proud.
She talked about how I came to the US to take care of the kids but yet I am so focused on looking good and taking selfies.
“Asem oo!!” Azaa!!!
I quietly went to my room …
Nana walked into the room and on seeing me, he knew that I had found out.
He knelt down and begged..
But what did it matter??
I have already lost out both ways…
No Love!!! No Money!!!
*…Blog picture [truth] gotten from https://www.google.tg/search?q=NO+love+No+money&biw=1373&bih=771&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiT-rKv0tXMAhVJBsAKHRoWDzUQ_AUIBigB#tbm=isch&q=deception&imgrc=ZmCw8ybcUBahWM%3A through google search
After the doctor made the diagnosis, my world stopped.
Charles held my shoulders, “Grace, this will turn out well …”
I could barely hear anything he said.
She seemed ok. What was the doctor talking about? It couldn’t be.
This should have been detected at birth or at least when she was much younger.
‘Nne’ said she was just slow and that some children were like that …
The days that followed felt like a dream and the subsequent days brought pain to my heart. I read every article I could find online.
There is NO cure …
I woke Charles up and I told him what I had in mind.
“ Grace you have gone Mad!!!”
“ I love you and would do anything for you but not this!!!”
I wept through the night as Charles kept encouraging me “ Grace, Everything happens for a reason …”
I got angry at Charles and as for God, Hmmm… it was over between us.
I stayed away from everyone and refused to respond to my calls,,,
Since Charles had refused to my proposal,
he would have to take care of Ada himself and I made it clear to him.
I watched him run from pillar to post. He joined different support groups and took her to her new school every day. He tried to get me involved but I was too bitter to care about whatever group he had joined. I couldn’t understand how Charles always had a smile on his face. He played with Ada all the time and her unending repetitions made for fun times together.
After a few months, I came to terms with my situation and Charles kept being patient with me. I remembered times when he would wake up and pray for me without knowing that I was very much awake. I had watched Charles go to church with Ada for 24 weeks and I finally decided to join them.
Everyone was excited to have me back. I looked for anything to show that they were making a mockery of me but I didn’t find any. I got encouragement from everyone and they treated Ada nicely too.
Soon enough, I took up my responsibilities as a mother and Charles joked about how relieved he felt. He deserved the relief and even more and true to it, more came …
The proprietress of Ada’s school invited Charles and I for a meeting .
We had no idea what the meeting was about, I was a bit concerned.
More worried than concerned…
We arrived at her office and there were four Caucasians smiling at Charles and I.
They were from an International Organization and they wanted Ada to be the face of their organization. I had so many questions and I was given a proposed contract to peruse.
It was a five (5) years contract which required that Ada’s picture could be used by them for Adverts that had to do with Autism.
Within this period, her education would be taken care of but she would be required to do two (2) international travels with both parents (all expense paid),
She would be given a branded car and we were to receive a Ten (10) million Naira lump sum payment and a hundred thousand Naira monthly for the duration of the contract.
Charles and I sat on the floor with tears rolling down our eyes.
Ada sat by us clapping loudly as she would always do.
I suddenly had shivers at the evil I had proposed …
How could I have proposed to take the life of my miracle?
Guilt overwhelmed me as I cried uncontrollably.
As usual, Charles had God’s word in his mouth to soothe the guilt that overwhelmed me.
I now know that every human being has a purpose to accomplish. Even when it doesn’t look like they do.
” Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from him” NLT
*…Blog picture [msitua girl] gotten from http://www.omaha.com/momaha/blogs/understanding-nebraska-s-new-autism-law/article_e56eab62-9ee6-52ab-934f-001745bb572f.html?mode=image&photo=0 through google search.
I was sick and drugs weren’t just working. I felt awful especially because I had to tend to my 3 months old Lisa. I went to the hospital again and I was asked to do a pregnancy test. I knew I wasn’t pregnant because I had taken necessary precautions religiously. I couldn’t be pregnant.
I was!! The test was positive.
I cried like a baby. I was 2 months pregnant already. How could that be? I was absolutely petrified.
Dr. Addo insisted that I terminate the pregnancy. He spent about an hour explaining possible complications that could arise; an increased risk of pre-term birth, a low birth-weight baby, an increased risk of autism… I was going to go through two C-sections in one year!!
An abortion wasn’t an option for me. I wasn’t ready for this child but apparently, God had a different plan for me. I walked like a zombie for about an hour and just tried to process it all. Tears filled my eyes and different emotions overwhelmed me. I picked a taxi and went to church.
My faithful friend and father was there to comfort me…
I left church assured that everything would turn out better than I expected. I left church and went straight to the market and bought a few baby things. All blue… I wanted a boy.
My next hospital visit wasn’t pleasant either. The sonographer announced that it was a girl. I went home and told George the sonographers report. He accepted it in good faith but I insisted that we didn’t have to accept that report. We held hands and agreed on the sex of our baby; we prayed.
As the weeks went by, friends and family at different times dreamt and they all saw a baby girl.
I wanted a boy and was confident that God is able to do what He promised.
I called a painter and asked him to paint the nursery blue and each week, I picked out blue, boyish outfits, bedding, curtains and diaper bag.
On the 1st of December, 2015 as I laid on the operating table, I said this prayer:
Dear Lord, You are God all by yourself.
You made me and everyone else from fluid.
You arranged our complicated bones and organs within
the small space called womb. Father, I know how mighty
you are that’s why I am making this request without fear.
If the child in my womb is a girl, please change her to a boy.
I truly want a Boy!
Just then, I noticed there was a panic and I could see George trying hard to comport himself.
I knew something was wrong. I was given another injection and that’s all I remembered.
I woke up and mum, George and Pastor Lola were by my side. The cot was empty…
I closed my eyes again and tears rolled down uncontrollably. George told me that the doctor had to remove my womb.
“And my baby?” I asked.
George pressed the bell and a nurse came in with a hairy beautiful baby. This was my last child…
I took the baby and opened the diaper to check.
I cried profusely and couldn’t be consoled.
It’s a boy!!
I gave my heart to Christ over and over again in secondary school. Every good message caused me to give my life to Christ again … lol.
I took my relationship with God very seriously; I wrote numerous letters to Him, I fasted, I prayed and did everything humanly possible to do right. He took me through life perfectly sorting every obstacle that came my way. God sees my heart and my utmost desire to please Him, I thought …
But then, he left.
He just walked away and didn’t look back…
My beliefs were shattered!
I couldn’t figure out what was true anymore. I wept for days but as I did, I held on to the word of God. I was certain that “Everything will work together for my good, because I love God…”
Reality hit me when I realized that what I just found was a glimpse of the reality on ground. My “ God fearing” Husband had been living a double life. He had a family just like mine and he had chosen her over me. He had chosen her over the church he pastored. He had left me and my world behind and he never looked back…
I was shattered, I was bitter! It all felt like a dream but as much as I tried, I couldn’t wake up… I questioned everything I ever believed in … Is God real? Is Church a charade? Do prayers work? The questions were endless.
I tried to end it all, The relationship between “the God” and I had to end. I tried hard but He won’t let me go. He gave me peace that I couldn’t understand although I didn’t want it. All I wanted was to go far from Him. He just won’t let me go.
He used people to pour love on my wounded heart. He had to be real…
Hope, Joy, Love, Peace, Faith were all restored and the pain didn’t hurt as much anymore. I could actually laugh heartily if you cracked a good joke… lol
I didn’t get the happy ending I desired and I really don’t know why. He alone knows the end from the beginning. I have just chosen to trust Him anyway.
I won’t try to figure it out.
I will just take it one day at a time ….