Editor’s Note: This is not to be confused with the post by Dammy which went up a few days ago HERE. Enjoy
2014 is a year I will never forget. It was challenging and awesome and culminated into what I call the most beautiful ending I could ever ask for.
After having a baby in November, the ASUU strike ended and it was time to go and face final year of medical school. Moyosoreoluwa was a little over a month at the time. Then my mum did the incredible, she packed her bags, mine and Moyo’s, and my fiancé drove us to Ibadan.I had a most amazing quarter. My mum and Moyo stayed at one of my sister’s house. (I call her my sister because that’s what she has become to me). They came by everyday to cheer me on in my preparation for my semi final exam, MBBS part 3.I had an amazing schedule: get up by 4 am, pump milk, wash and sterilise bottles, do devotion, study, school, then baby time.Moyo became our class baby; everyone wanted to carry her and just generally be around her.Her dad came around all the time to see us especially me. Odunayo my lover always made it clear who the most important person in his life was: me.We wrote the exams eventually. God was and is faithful. I passed. It had nothing to do with how much I studied. God just favoured me.February came, Moyo grew stronger, I had to part with her temporarily. My mum came back to Lagos with her grandchild and left me to concentrate on the last leg of medical school.
I missed her so much. I missed seeing them everyday. Every other weekend saw me in Lagos.
This same February, I got my USA visa. *insert moon walk and shoki*
Then we picked a wedding date for us. December 18th and 20th.
One of my friends lost his dad, one of my favourite teachers in medical school. He was a vibrant soul, one of my father figures. You know those people that just take interest in you.
I remember when I passed my Mb part 1, he gave me a handshake, I was so proud to have impressed him, I remember how I’d go to his office time and time again. I still can’t believe that he’s no more.
Preparations for finals were in top gear. Materials flying here and there. Tutorials, discussions. We were all excited, relieved, scared. School was ending soon. The questions on people’s minds were so many. We were leaving the certainty and comfort of school for the uncertain future. Well I was excited because my dad had said I wasn’t getting married until I was done with school. I had a wedding to plan so school couldn’t be over quicker.Then for some inane reason, finals got postponed.For two whole months!!!!
Aaarrrgggghhhh!!!!! That was my reaction. We were angry, tired and just. .. tired.
Then my cousin got married. It was quite the experience and she decided to pay for my wedding make up artiste. Jolly.Eventually, we were slated to write finals in June and just a few days before our exams, life dealt us a huge blow.
My best friend lost her dad. I’ll never forget that period. I cried all the time but she didn’t. I was so worried about her, she just internalised it, she didn’t show her grief. I wanted to just shake her and scream at her that she should cry or something, but she’d just smile all the time. Before when she threatened to take my stuff, I’d just say to her, ‘your father is a rich man, he’ll replace it.’ But now, I had become so conscious of the fact that he had left us on earth.
We wrote our finals and another huge blow was delivered. Only 55 percent of the class passed. What was supposed to be a massive celebration became a reference for sadness. My friends were affected, my best friend naturally was affected as well as my humble self.
Odunayo came around to Ibadan the night results were pasted, he had already checked mine so he already knew that I had a reference in public health. He held me as I cried, comforted and encouraged me, drowned me in pizza and ice cream.
My parents are the best. They rallied round me, encouraged and prayed for me. I could tell they were disappointed and scared though they never said or acted like it. My mum naturally upped her prayers and encouragement but my dad didn’t seem to bother. My resit was in 3 months and he’d say to me, ‘no shaking, Dami. God has done it.’
My fiancé told me all the time that I couldn’t fail the resit. They all had more faith in me than I had in myself. My would-be in laws were not left out of the encouragement game either.
So I encouraged myself in the Lord and started studying again.
I traveled to the middle belt for my bestie’s father’s burial. She comes from the most cultured home. Very tush, very beautiful people. It was as fun as it could be given the circumstances. Quite the experience.
The Bible says the memory of the righteous is blessed. He was a good and godly man. Everyone remembered him for good, for impact, for ministry. As I watched, I prayed that when I depart this earth, people would remember me for good and for God.
Back to my life. My home church decided that since I had had a baby out of wedlock, they weren’t going to conduct my wedding ceremony. That blow hit my father the hardest. He had always imagined how his only daughter’s wedding would be. A beautiful church service and an awesome reception.
He wasn’t always a believer but since His conversion in 1996, he became an ambassador of the saving grace, endless love and depthlessness of the Saviour’s forgiveness. He was upset, perplexed and angry. I remember him always saying that we Christians buried our wounded instead of binding their wounds. So my mum went church shopping and we found this beautiful Anglican church in Victoria Island, just 5 minutes away from the reception venue. My fiancé and I met a man we’d always love in the person of Reverend Olajide.
Then came Ebola.
That was a frightening period in my family’s life. My dad was at the forefront, seeing the sick people, supervising burials. He even shook hands and embraced the late Dr Adadevoh. Seeing him count 21 days, for himself, seeing him fall ill was so scary. It turned out to be malaria. God was faithful, he protected my father, and delivered our eyes from tears and our hearts from grief.
Resit period came. I went back to school for the last time to finish up what had taken 8 years of my life. I was determined. It was emotionally tough, but God strengthened me.
The tutorials began, my dad and I discussed public health matters all the time. We discussed Ebola till I was eating and breathing Ebola, epidemics, disease patterns, health management, and public health in general. My dad was my pillar in this period. We talked about everything, he woke me up every morning to study.
Then came NYSC batch B’s turn to go and serve their country, the bae was going to serve. And they posted him to
So much for settling in Lagos. I actually cried when I saw him off to the park. Anyway, he was redeployed to Lagos. Thank God.
We began counselling, then I was told I couldn’t wear white or cover my face because I had a child. I was so sad, but my fiancé came to my rescue. He drove me home to see Moyo’s face. And I knew that if they asked me to wear black, I would. I would choose her over 1 million white dresses and veils.
I learnt a tremendous lot, plus I had fun. It consisted of intensive, gruelling and extremely funny sessions. I’m extremely blessed to cross paths with the Reverend. He became so dear so fast.
Exams came. We passed, all of us among my friends but three. One of the three, a close friend of mine, one of my dudes, my personal bro, dampened my celebration.
Then went I to the Harmerica.
Ok, my long overdue vacation was finally due. Bye Nigeria, hello obodo Oyinbo.
Houston was so much fun, I met up with family that I had not seen in forever. I had a blast!!!!
Maryland was fun too especially when my parents came over.
Picking a wedding dress was so challenging, I was spoilt for choice. I eventually picked myself a beautiful ball dress. Ivory in colour. Absolutely beautiful.
It was a rewarding and busy journey, try shopping for 7 bridesmaids then you will know.
I had a great vacation, I missed Odunayo through out though.
I came back to a flurry of activities. My graduation ceremony from University of Ibadan was a blast. Then came my family’s birthday; Odunayo and Moyosore share the same birthday. I was so happy, grateful, and overcome with emotion.
Then Induction ceremony came. I was going to be licensed to practice medicine. 8 years of study and finally something to show for it. I remember the oath all the time and my affirmation, I Dr Damilola solemnly do affirm…
Everyone was so happy, I was through the roof with joy. My parents were proud. My family was proud. My in-laws were happy. So many pictures, so much joy. Odunayo hugged me and told me he was proud of me.
My father called me one early morning and told me how proud he was of me. For keeping my baby, for finding my feet and becoming a doctor. I actually cried. I actually am my father’s baby.
My brother had his graduation from Oba Awolowo University, Ife. Q4, 2014 was a quarter of celebration.
Our wedding was fast approaching. I was giddy with excitement. I finally was going to affirm my love and say my vows to my friend, brother, companion, partner, my heart, my love, my everything and become his wife. God knows I love this man with every fibre of my being and now people were going to witness it.
A day to my engagement, my friend and sister lost her grandmother. I wished I was there to hug her. Grandma as we called her had gone to rest.
Our wedding was beautiful. It was everything I dreamed and more. I’m forever grateful to my daddy for giving me my dream wedding. I’m grateful to my husband for giving me the most amazing rings. I LOVE THEM!!! I’m forever grateful to my uncles for being there through everything, supporting me during these past years. I thank my mother, she’s a mother in a million. My brothers are not left out. I love everyone of you deeply, fiercely and tenaciously.
My friends like sisters and my friends like brothers, I love you.
My lecturers like fathers and mothers, God bless you.
My husband Dr Odunayo Joshua Odewole, words can’t express how much I love and appreciate you. You stood by me, you supported me, prayed for me, gave me your shoulder to cry, comforted me. You make me very happy, you’re my pillar and my rock. You loved me for a long time and have sworn to love me for longer. I’m so proud to bear your name and be called your wife.
Our daughter decided that Christmas day was the day to make her walking debut. She finally began walking everywhere just yesterday Dec 28.
As I watched her repeatedly fall, relentlessly pick herself up and walk, not giving up, it came to me that that’s how we’ve been since toddlers. And God has given us the strength to keep trying till we walk.
I’m ending this year on a high note, I started it out as Miss Damilola Longe and I’m ending it as Dr Mrs. Damilola Odewole.
Blessed be God forever. To Him be all glory and honour and power forever.
2015 has God within her walls. I know He knows, that’s all that matters.
Happy new year everyone.
Just for context, Dami’s post last year was the most popular on the 2013 review series. You can read it here. CLICK.
Dami, your story seems like just a plain family story. But it’s so beautiful. Do you realize how blessed you are to have so much love and support around you? You did it this year, but yes, God used these people to do so much more for you so you reach these heights. So grateful to read this. I’m also especially grateful to read about how your dad was spared the Ebola scourge. I’ve been waiting for a review that touched on the Ebola effect on this year and it’s finally here. Thank you for sharing Dami.