Life’s Bitter Sweet and that lemonade

July 11, 2020
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I woke up in the morning on Sunday 28th of June crying! Yes, crying and I was scared my wife may have heard me as the tears dropped on the pillow but thank God she was still fast asleep. The cry had original from the dream I was in before I woke up. I had gone with my dad in the dream to see Ojukwu of blessed memory. We had passed what looked like a bush path in front of late Engineer Uzochukwu’s house to enter Ojukwu’s house. Engineer Uzochukwu was my dad’s very good friend. On entering the house, Ojukwu’s wife, a dark woman (not Bianka, so I reckon it was the first wife) greeted my mum and asked about some other women I did not know.  As the greeting was going on, my dad walked past the ante room and disappeared into the main house as Ojukwu walked out to meet us at the door to the main house where he took a seat and sat down. I was surprised he was not old as I expected. Then I knelt before him and started crying. Sobbing heavily, I thanked him for all the sacrifices he and his colleagues made in fighting the Nigeria Biafran war. This position was surprising to me and I suspect I was overwhelmed by his presence because it was not my initial take of him and his actions during the war. This even led to our arguing over some decisions he took during the war as I sobbed holding his laps as I knelt down before him. I don’t know how the dream came about but I believe it is connected with me recent real life events. I had argued with him on the issues because I had just read Obasanjo’s book “My command”. I read it in parallel with another fiction book “Hidden” by Kindel Eliot in my first attempt to read two books at the same time; part of my experiences of COVID19. Obasanjo had detailed his account and perspectives on the war and this made me want to hear Ojukwu’s side hence the mixed feeling when I ran into him. Interestingly, from that book I got to appreciate Obasanjo’s position and sacrifices for this country. Most interestingly, I didn’t see records of Sani Abacha, Abdulsalam Abubakar or Babangida. Even if I did, I cannot remember unlike that of Buhari. I kind of appreciated why some of these men tend to appropriate this country as if it is their private estate; apparently they have sacrificed a lot for its existence and may have confused same with ownership.  I also read about Otome or Uncle Phillip as my colleague called him. I had called my colleague to confirm whether he was related to the Otome I read about. Surprising to me was the ulterior motive and conspiracy of some West African countries in supporting the war in order to ensure disentigration of the country as they feared the dominiaring effect a big country like Nigeria will have on the sub region.

As I cried, I reflected over the events of the past 24 hours which happened to be my birthday. Obasanjo’s wife’s book “Bitter Sweet” came to mind. The woman had abused Obasanjo to the heavens, painted him black and used some funny descriptions you would wonder whether it was this same Obasanjo celebrated across the globe. But my interest in the dream was on the title of her book rather than her message. The bitter sweet reminded me of my dad’s assertion sometime ago late in 2019 when he declared that he was having a ball! He literally shouted “Life is Too Good” as he enjoyed his holidays in Dallas. He added a caveat to the enjoyment when he noted that in most times of his life that he experienced such amount of joy that something sorrowful had accompanied it; he even sighted cases! That was where I deferred quickly with him! I advised him that the assumption was definitely a gimmick from the pit of hell; the devil sure knows how to keep the children of God in bondage. I reminded him that it is different right now and has remained so for all children of God that have come to know Him and His ways. I told him simply that the God that brought that joy to him has the capacity and is very willing to sustain that joy. And the icing on the cake is that the devil cannot do anything about it! Six months down the line, I gave that same advice to our nanny who informed us she wanted to go. I suspected the whole lockdown thing and not having to see her family was getting into her just like it had been frustrating for everyone. On deeper enquiry she confirmed it was not about missing her family but that she has had a history of not keeping any job beyond six months. That she has this evil attack in the night and all that, and that anytime it gets about six months in her job something happens and she leaves the job, sighting cases. Chai! I just looked at the poor woman and asked her to inform the devil that this time his gimmick will not work as she is keeping this job beyond six months. I opened her eyes to the same gimmick the devil wanted to use to plunge her family into same sorrowful state she had come from.

And those stories got me to the excitement of the previous day. When I reflected it appeared to be the emperor dancing while Rome burnt. With the COVID19 pandemic, it is obvious families are going through challenging times. Families are not even able to mourn their lost ones in peace. I know a friend that has lost mum and both parents-in-law in the past month. It is hell for people and yet you have the audacity to celebrate. How do you explain that dilemma; Bitter Sweet asked me as I cried on Ojukwu’s laps. But then I remembered that saying that when the world throws a lemon at you, you can make lemonade out of it. It is a tough time but we must not miss to celebrate life at full even as we reflect on its challenges.

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To be sure birthday wishes make one really feel like a kid again and I am not surprised at that because we are still all God’s children and must enjoy His grace to the fullest!

Obidike Peter wrote from www.peterobidike.com and p_obidike@yahoo.com

Sunday 28th June, 2020.



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