This was tremendously hard to write probably because it’s my first time penning my thoughts like so. I feel like I am drifting closer to a mental implosion. Hence, I was pressed to do this. I feel like if I put it out there, I would feel better.
First Quarter (Jan – Mar)
The bond between mother and son is a special kind.
It remains mostly unchanged by time or distance.
It is the purest love.
It is unconditional.
It is true.
It is understanding of any situation and forgiving of any mistake.
Still high and reeling from last year’s successes, I decided to make true the promise I made to my Mum. She had just finished her radiotherapy. She was looking lively and at that time, it was the least I could do for her. I footed our trip to Dubai; she had business to tend to, I had things to buy and sights to see. We had been quarrelling and we were not as tightly bonded as we used to be. This trip was to be an avenue to mend fences and get closer.
As I am penning this, I am not happy about that trip. It was successful based on our individual objectives, but it didn’t strengthen our bond as I had wished. We had no sooner landed at Dubai International than we started bickering. Like all mothers, I love mine but she was specially gifted at nettling me.
When I think back on the cause, I feel disgusted and amused with myself. It was unnecessary, like these things usually are. We eventually made amends courtesy of my old man, once again. I take solace in this.
Second Quarter (Apr – Jun)
The calm before the storm
This phase of the year continued uneventfully. Work progressed with immense pace and it was a welcome distraction. Towards the end of this quarter, Mum fell really ill.
Third Quarter (Jul – Sep)
Life is a compendium of thought-provoking events.
I remember once seeing a banner at a mortuary saying: IT ALL ENDS HERE.
Back then, the words piqued and provoked my philosophical nature. I reflected and strained my thoughts on the words a bit before pushing it back to my mind’s archives.
Mum left us at 1:24am (24th of August, 2014). She had battled cancer for the past 3 years.
I saw her struggle to fill-up her lungs with precious oxygen till she could no longer do so. My entire being has classified the events of that day as traumatic. The mind and body has a way storing such experiences. In my case, I subconsciously suppressed the events that occurred that morning just so that I could comfort my grieving father and siblings.
At 2:30am, we got to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) Mortuary. I felt woozy, but weirdly lucid. My mind was a blank canvass. We settled the usual bureaucracies with the administrative officials and were finally availed assistance. Ambulance-rear facing the body collection entrance, gurney and 3 morticians in tow.
I saw these men pull out mum like she was cattle. She was dropped unceremoniously on the gurney. Involuntarily my body and mouth reacted. I screamed obscenities at the men, all my limbs were out to right the wrongs of the attendants. Yes, I wanted to smack them. I wanted her treated with dignity! They paid me no mind. They must have been used to such. She was wheeled in and I remembered those words: IT ALL ENDS HERE.
That morning changed me. I felt I left LUTH without a soul in me.
Fourth Quarter (Oct – Dec)
My job is quite technical. It affords me berth and opportunities to work on the field. This year I took on a facilitating/teaching role at work which I have greatly benefited from. For one, it has availed me the opportunity to visit different parts of the country. This brings to mind my last trip to Abuja. I was in town for 4 days to facilitate some Programmes. Usually, I would take time to see my good friend, let’s call her Ann. For reasons that have no weight and hold when I think back now, I couldn’t see her. I blamed work and work was indeed demanding. I called and promised to see her when I visited the following month. That was the last time I spoke with my friend. I learnt on Twitter, the following week, of her demise.
One of my favourite authors, Arthur Schopenhauer, once said:
“It is the good which is negative; in other words, happiness and satisfaction always imply some desire fulfilled, some state of pain brought to an end.”
Physicists and Chemists may readily understand this. For others, what the German Philosopher was saying in clearer terms is the fact that we generally find pleasure to be not nearly as pleasant as we expected, and pain very much more painful. The pain in this world, it has been said, outweighs the pleasure; or, at any rate, there is an even balance between the two. To impress my views on his point, I have found 2014 to be cruelly tasteless and painful.
I am not in any way tired of life. I understand life and love to live, if I do say so myself. Life just has a way of raining on us when we least expect it and that’s my annoyance.
I am finally where I want to be financially. This was when I wanted my mum to properly enjoy the fruits of her labour. Alas, we can’t always have these things.
Here is to a more tolerable 2015.
I couldn’t ask my friend to write a review of his year because he lost his mum. I wonder HOW you found the strength to write about this. But reading it, I’m overjoyed you did. You see, when what is in the darkness is brought into the light, it loses its power. I pray you find the strength to forgive anyone, including yourself, in any of the events leading up to your immense loss. Death is finality like nothing else. But I pray it’s a finality to all the negative feelings you might have harboured till now. God bless you and God bless her memory.
Thank you for putting this on record Bola.