I had little desire to review my year in writing. Perhaps I did not consider that I really accomplished anything of note. Then again I wasn’t sure I wanted to share. What’s the point of sharing if others are not inspired by what you are saying? When I finally thought I might write after all, I couldn’t make the decision of whether to just give a general boring blow by blow account of the year or zoom in on particular experiences. I still have not decided. All I know is that I have much to thank God for.
I recall walking down the street sometime in June. It wasn’t that I needed to go anywhere. I had to walk to get better. Pain. The clear knowledge that if there was sudden danger, I would want to run, but be unable to was new to me. I like to desire to do a thing and be able to just do it. It’s the reason I hate being sick. But well, I had been sick and I was recovering.
I take a silly amount of flights every year. It so happened, however that here was this period of 10 days where I spent over 45 hours flying, and then some more driving to airports and waiting at them. What happened happened on the last of many flights. All I remember is I slept on the plane and woke up with a sharp pain in my left leg. I assumed I slept in a wrong position and hurt some muscle. I should stop this winding story. Summary is I had a blood clot in a vein which travelled to a pulmonary artery or something like that and suddenly in the mall on a Sunday I discovered I could not breathe properly.
The emergency room, the grave doctor, the series of tests and scans, the “drip” and the bogus and scandalous oxygen tank – in fact sometimes I believe that the whole get up in hospitals is arranged and works to make you feel sicker than you are and drown you in more info than you really need. Like oh mahn you gone and did it now bruv; you sick as a dog: look at that huge oxygen tank these many people in white coats are wheeling after you! I was fortunate and have much to thank God for. It could have been much worse. It wasn’t something that had gotten to a level of being critical. I would be fine. But it would take a while.
I had to be careful. The medication I had to take prevented my blood from clotting. And so for three months I had to ensure I did not hit my head or get scratched or injured. That was quite a tall order for clumsy and injury-prone me. But somehow I did it, despite returning to work in an environment where these things are common place. I thank God for that as well. At first I could not walk for longer than 10 minutes at a go due to the excruciating pain I still felt in my leg. But this gradually improved. I gained a deep appreciation for the things we do mindlessly. When I could run again I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Wow – I can actually run and stoffs. Glory in the House Lord.
My understanding of and appreciation for meaningful human connections were deepened. We need to be grateful for those connections we make that transcend the usual superficial levels. We need to strive to be honest with the people we love in any way at all – no matter how small that love it. Cup that little flame and nurture it. Afterall we are nothing if not lonely travelers, united in our brokenness and loss. These connections put together remind us of the greater connection we are meant to have with the One who really loves in truth. Perhaps we may find and understand it before this short life is carried away as a morning mist before the winds, perhaps we might not. My friends lost loved ones. I cannot claim to understand the pain, but I felt a measure of the frustration. There’s nothing that provides a jolt for a man like a casket being lowered into the earth containing a person he knew and who was dear to his dear friend, while a choir sings “Abide with me” in the background.
A wise man once wrote:
“If a man would live well, he would do well to remember his last day, and make it his best friend.”
Seeing as all things must eventually pass away, once again I am grateful for the people I was gifted with this year. To take care of me when I was sick; to provide me with a reason to carry on when I slowed down and perhaps despaired; to inspire me with their own personal triumphs and spring bloom after a winter of adverse circumstance; to be a rock of reference and compass of correctness when I lost my way. Even if I might not have gotten back on the correct path for many things – at least in many cases I have found out what the correct path is, and am walking slowly towards it. I hope to continue being a better friend, son, brother, mentor, mentee, and all else to the people placed in my life by God.
Concerning the rest, as another wise man said, while uncomfortable or sad events make for a good story and require many words in their telling, there is usually not much of a tale to tell about things that go well. And so – it is well. Promotions, successful projects, health progress, nice vacations, time at home with my family, becoming a godfather, et cetera, et cetera. I have a pretty clear vision about what 2015 should be about. That hasn’t happened for me in the last few years. And so I know it’s going to be good.
My mother had two sons and this is the second one. When I heard about my brother’s brush with pulmonary embolism, (the same thing that we lost Goldie to) I was shaken. I was almost certain if the symptoms were manifested on Nigerian soil they might have not been so quickly recognised and handled. So with this thanksgiving is an earnest prayer for comfort for all my friends who lost a member of their family this year (about 7 of my friends). People, let’s also be alert to contribute towards making our health care system robust enough to stop preventable deaths. This is urgent please.
Thank you for sharing Mudi! Today is also our parents 33rd wedding anniversary. Mum and Dad, your love for each other and your love for God was the most solid foundation we your children could ask for. Thank you very much. Love, Efe, Mudi and Ejiro.