Sunday, 27 October 2013

Experience of a Sickler...

Recently, my mother started complaining of back/waist pain. Initially, I thought it was the all-night marathon of prayer she does all week but after a few days of drugs and methylated cream, it simply got worse. Her legs had started aching too. Now, I don't like to boast or anything but this is something I'm quite experienced in (*chuckles*): Managing pain. And so, I took it upon myself to take care of my mother and make her feel better. I kissed her, joked, and tried to make her feel better.

I remember the day I was first diagnosed with sickle cell disease, my mother had to trek over 500km because there was no means of transport (it was a june 12 riot), with me on her back to the hospital.
I remember when my mother would sit with me, all night because I had to get hydrated at the hospital.
I remember how she would 'force-feed' me, just so I remain healthy.
I remember the way my mother would get my drugs and help me take them all, one by one. Even the ones that threatened to make me puke.
I remember vomiting on different occasions after using some drug and my mother would mop up after me with just a little tiny bit of complain (LMSAO).
I remember the days and nights my mother would bath me because I couldn't walk or bath on my own.
I remember the prayers my mother said on my behalf every hour of the day.
I remember the jokes and laughter she brought to my face when I was deep in pain.
I remember the pain I felt when my mother rubbed "bengay/deep heat" on my body and the grateful relief I felt as soon as she was done!
I remember each drop of every tear my mother shed when she thought the illness would take me away.
I remember my very few terrifying nightmares and how my mother soothed my fears
I remember how my mother took care of ALL my needs because I couldn't.
I remember the late nights we spent gisting about me and MY life!
I remember how she wouldn't sleep all night because she sat beside me on the sick bed.
I remember how happy my mother has been since I have been healthy and crisis-free....

I remember that I have an irreplaceable mother, and it is my duty to take care of her. As I helped her into bed, I pray the Lord keeps her safe and healthy for me.
My mother is a queen and she raised a mini version of herself!

See how well I turned out: A Queen of my own standard!

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Merger Match #2

Our traditional wedding (or is it called engagement?) was celebrated in grand style in the United Kingdom 2months before the white wedding is to take place... The event was graced by high society personnels, as well as the media. It was aired on national TV, and I'm sure a lot of women would have wanted (some might be willing to kill) to be in my shoes. I smiled so much, my cheeks ached at the end of the day. We were asked to stay behind in the UK for dress/suit fittings, and final preparations would be done on our behalf back home. 

...It is true that the person who risks nothing, does nothing- has nothing.

Last year when it seemed like he had exhausted all other options, Fola had attempted to go against his parents and marry the woman of his choice. His sister and I have always been close (almost like sisters) and she told me all he went through when he attempted it. His father sent his aides after him when he left the house, personally visited the girlfriend's family and all but threatened them, and threatened to curse his own son if he insisted on getting his way. Fola may be stubborn like his father, but he wasn't stupid. He knew when to step back and take another route but his father was quicker. He immediately met with my father and fixed a wedding date.
Shortly after our traditional wedding, we were left to be on our own and under the same roof. Only then did we start to talk about our future as a couple, as if it had just begun to dawn on us that "this is it". We talked about how we would make the most of our marriage. He had noticed how calm and laid back I was about the wedding and he feared that I may have a plan that could not only jeopardize the wedding, but also tarnish both families' image in society. He talked like a true man and pleaded with me to work with him, seeing as we were both in the same boat. He said he would like very much to trust me, and be a real husband to me but I had to give him a chance. What choice did I really have? I think I had accepted my fate long before he did, even though a part of me still tries to find a possible way out, but what's the use of pointing that out? I agreed with him, and we went for ring sizing the next day.

All we know about the future, is that it will be different. Perhaps what we fear, is that it will be the same or worse?... or do we fear it will be better than we hope?. 

I'm getting married in the presence of God and man in 2days and I have no idea what my wedding cake looks like. Tonight, when we had dinner, it dawned on me that I had no idea what my husband's favourite food is. We never even talked about our honeymoon, although I suspect our families will have that covered.
We got back from the United Kindom late this evening, and my father in-law sent a car to pick us up. This night is the last Fola will spend with his parents, while I still have one more night to spend with mine. Our parents had gotten us a house in our absence, fully furnished, and ready to live in with cars. We haven't been there yet, but the news was dropped on us at dinner. It was also decided that since we would not spend our wedding night in his family home, we should spend the night together before I go home in the morning. While everyone else assumed we were 'consummating' our "wedding" in his room, we were busy packing his things in preparation for him to move into our home tomorrow. We weren't done before he slept off, but I made sure to finish off before I joined him in bed. Sleep eludes me this night, and thinking about how it started till this minute has done nothing to help me. I realise that I cannot get out of this arrangement, nor will I disgrace my family. Fola may have been a pompous spoilt brat as a boy, but he has proved to have grown into a fine man. The few days we spent in UK after that 'talk' was quite beautiful. If we had been in love, it would have been amazing but I guess it's a start. He seemed to be more attentive, patient, and caring. It all seemed so confusing and complicated now. Unlike how it seemed easy months ago in my head. How do I leave this new man I have known, at the altar? How do I do the exact things he had predicted just weeks ago? Tarnish our families' image? I may not love or want him, but his family is like a second family and mine means the world to me...
I can say I've had a change of heart, but how do I explain myself to Ayo whom I have promised to elope with? How do I explain that I'm starting to develop strong feeling for a man I barely know?- possessive feelings! Do I tell Fola about my proposed plan? I have no idea if he still pines for his ex, but I know it's none of my business. What if our families hold on to their threats? Will we ever be happy? I know I have a better chance of peace doing what my parents want but will I be happy doing it? I may be the most unhappy wife on earth, if my husband chooses but I could also end up being the happiest bride in town. What if I elope with Ayo and he betrays me? How would I ever face my family again. Most importantly, how do I disobey a man I have NEVER disobeyed in 26years- my father.....
I don't know much about my husband and it feels like plunging into a dark path not knowing what to expect. Whether it is going to be worth it or not is something I cannot predict but I know that if he can accept fate and hold on to his word, then nothing stops me from doing the same. Nothing stops me from working with him to make this work.
I snuggled closer to my husband and his arms held me closer to him. 'That's a good sign', I thought and I smiled to myself. The last thing I thought about before drifting off is that I'm having my court wedding in approximately 6hours. I hope I those pearls I got last week will suit my outfit....

... We must celebrate changes because as someone once said, "everything will be alright in the end, and if it's not alright, then trust me it is not yet the end!"

Con amor

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Merger Match!

... I don't know what I want, but I know it's not this!...
That's all I could think of as I laid beside my fiancé. I looked at him as he slept, and what I felt was neither love nor hatred. It was resignation. We have been engaged for as long as I can remember, and it definitely wasn't a "match-made-in-heaven". Our parents have been the best of friends even before we were born, and I have a suspicion they made up their mind we would get married even before our births. It doesn't help that our fathers now hold political offices in the country and it feels like a merge acquisition or a business deal. My name is Dupe Olakiitan, soon to be Mrs Dupe Lawson. I was only just informed of my wedding date, and my husband to be is more or less a stranger to me. True, I've known him for 26years (Hell!, he was at my naming ceremony) but I really don't know him. When I was younger, and we would go visiting or vice versa, everyone called him my husband and called me his wife. Who would take such seriously? Definitely not a 5year old girl that barely spoke to the said boy. He is 4years older than I am, and I was more comfortable being friends with his younger siblings who were closer to my age. At the age of 16 when I got admission into the university, I realised it wasn't a joke at all. Our parents did our introduction, and made us realise we would get married as soon as I completed my education. Talk about being in denial! At the time, Fola was in his 3rd year (in the same university I got admitted into). He was asked to take care of me in school, and I was asked to try and get to know him. Naturally, none of that happened.
Two years after my father was satisfied with my qualifications, and I had started working, they decided it was time to get married. Wedding date was picked, we were informed, and they started going out of their way to throw us together. It was awkward at first, since we had nothing in common but after our parents made it compulsory that we represent them at occasions as a couple, we endeavoured to get along.

... The only real failure, is the failure to try. And the measure of success, is how we cope with disappointments.

Fola and I have known and accepted our fate has it has been drawn for us, but that doesn't mean we never tried. I can personally tell you about the times I tried talking with my mother, and pleaded with my Dad. I even went rebellious at a time and started a relationship with a guy I liked back in school. Actually, I told myself I was in love with him. Thinking about it now, I might have agreed to date him for selfish reasons.
My first month in school taught me that my fiancé is a pompous, and proud spoilt brat! After that, I did everything to avoid him, although he didn't bother seeking me out himself and I was fine with it! The times we 'mistakenly' ran into each other, we simply acknowledged each other's presence with casual greeting regardless of the fact that I wore the ring his parents bought me. He had strings of girlfriends (not that I gave a rats ass), had a reputation in school as "the ladies' man", and he definitely told none of his friends about his "arranged fiancée". As soon as he graduated, the first thing I did was remove the ring when in school, and the second was accept to date a guy I had been friends with since my 1st year. I had explained to Ayo that I was engaged, but he didn't mind. We dated for 2years, and we got serious by the 3rd when we both went for service. Of course I stayed back to serve in Lagos, while he was sent to Kano. Before my service was over, I was sent to UK for my masters programme. When I told my mother about my relationship, all hell broke loose. I was forbidden from seeing Ayo any longer and they made it clear he was not to be welcomed in our home. Ayo understood the pressure I was going through, coupled with the distance, and he started drifting away from me. To say I was heartbroken is an understatement, but i coped well enough as I stayed back for over a year in the UK after the completion of my MSc.

... Can we be blamed for being too scared of disappointments to start all over again? We get up in the morning, and do our best: Nothing else matters.

We (Fola and I) got along nicely, although more in the terms of 'politely'. Not the way a-soon-to-be married couple should act, but at least we were civil towards each other. Sometimes when we were really bored at these occasions, we actually talked about our lives and we seemed to understand each other's plight. From our talks, I learnt that he still had a girlfriend he was seeing. Apparently, he truly loved her and had no inkling how to inform her of his impending marriage. His family totally rejected the girl, and embarrassed her when she went visiting. At a point, Fola became miserable because his girlfriend broke up. She had read about our engagement in the paper, and called him with insults and curses on her tongue. When I noticed how sad he was, being that I knew exactly what he was feeling, I tried to help him get her back but she virtually told me to mind my business. I didn't take any offence though, nor did I hold any of her words to heart; Infact, I felt for the poor girl because all her hopes of marrying the man she loved had been crumbled.

(to be continued..)