Those who read/spy/enjoy my blog would have noticed the long hiatus since Nov. 26 when I last posted. Well, the reason is that just two days after that last post, I lost my mother to the cold hands of death. Ever since, I’ve had what writers popularly call brain-block which made me unable to do things I love most such as reading and writing. All I’ve been able to do is think, think and think. I’ve never been more depressed in my life. At a stage in every man’s life, one or two event will occur that will make you question your own mental strength and religious faith. My mother’s demise has been one of such events in my life which shook me.
Do you know everybody would one day die? We’re all doomed to die someday, whether we like it or not. You ask how I know so? I won’t even use any of the hundreds of passages or verses in the Holy book which points to that fact. Rather, I’d merely use the one logical answer that should appeal to any rational mind. Now, I know everybody is bound or doomed to death simply because if my mother could die, then everybody will! I’ve never met anyone who feared death more than her. She didn’t want to go, she fought the illness for about four years. My mother, even when battling with the terrible sickness that nearly paralyzed her body, was always hopeful. She was always so full of life! She was meant to come to this world when she did and make all the impacts she was able to make in a short time. She died at 55.
Though she had little education, she used to stay up at night with me in those early years while I did my school assignments. I didn’t even know her academic qualifications then as I was too young to understand, but her mere presence always made me calm as I did my work. Few years later when I read something similar on Dr Ben Carson’s autobiography, I simply felt déjà vu. My mum had done the same thing his mother did for him! I have so many fond memories of her. I was able to be the best student in my preparatory and high schools simply because of my mother’s help. As a kid and the last born of my family, she was very fond of me. Whenever she wanted to do her hair, we went together. My barber’s shop was side-by-side with her stylist’s salon. So we used to wait for each other while our hairs were being done. She was my best friend, my one & only ‘woman friend’ and my biggest fan!
My mother would have allowed me if I wanted to be a footballer or musician. She was that understanding with me! She’d simply ask me, “are you sure?” and that would be final once it’s what I really want. My mother bought my elder sister her first piano even though my dad was seriously against anything asides academics for his children. When I was in SS2, my mother ‘gambled’ on me and got me a NECO form (my dad was also against it) which is why I passed O’level before high school graduation & my final year was just a formality! I owe everything to you mother. I can’t possibly write down everything you’ve done for me mum! I just know we’d meet again, soon.
I wouldn’t want to end this article without mentioning how I got my writing grove back. Or didn’t I say earlier that I’ve had a brain-block for 2 months? Well, me being me, I love going out casually and hanging out in those ‘lowkey’ places most of you will probably never visit. I don’t know why I cherish my interaction with ‘everyday people’, probably due to my humble beginning. But one thing I’ve learnt from experience is that some of the best conversations go down in those street (ghetto) corners. Ever since that last November, my hair had remained uncut which had made it very hard, brown and rough. So, today I visited a salon. This was the salon I’ve been using for some years now & this barber friend of mine had never asked specifically after my mum before for once, until today. What a coincidence? That was how I felt when he popped the question. I couldn’t hide it, just had to tell him she’s now late.
Immediately, the barber recalled a particular day two yrs ago when after barbing, I had asked him where I could get a nice air-freshner for my mother’s room. In his own words, he said, “I know you must be very close to your mum as you told me that day you must get her the air-freshner she sent you before going back home.” I was really shocked to see this man recall this. Also these past few weeks, some very close friends have reminded me about a lot of experiences I had even forgotten I had with my mum. An old friend of mine called me on phone by January 2, 2016 after hearing the news and said, “boy, I’m deeply sorry. I would have called you sooner if I knew what happened, because I know you were the most closest to your mum.” Seeing & hearing all these testimonies, I had to dust up my pen and paper & get back to writing. I have a responsibility to chronicle my mother, she really deserves it and more!
***To be continued.
Kindly follow me on twitter @tom_olas