A DNB Reader shared this touching life story. Please endeavour to comment after reading. And be fair with your comments.
And we’d like to also utilize this medium to apologize, on behalf of Gloria, for not updating her column yesterday.
My name is Chukwudi [Not real name].
I stumbled on this blog last week Sunday and have been reading some of the stories. In fact, a story I read here [My Smiling Baby Boy] touched me so much I decided to tell my story.
I choose to share my story here because I see majority of people who visit this blog are women and, being a reader myself, I value the opinion of people who read. I hope that after reading my story you will understand why I chose to share it at all.
On a Sunday evening, sometime in 2006, I did something awful to my mother. Something I have regretted all my life.
I was the last child in a family of five. I have one senior brother and three elder sisters.
My dad died in 2004 after a prolonged illness. I could say that that was when things started to change in my family.
My mother was a very gentle lady.
The type that will threaten you with all sorts and in the end would do nothing. But my dad was different. He said little, but did surprising things. In fact you never could tell what was in his mind till he did it.
Like the day he invited army men to arrest my elder brother. He stole from his shop and refused to bring back the money.
The uniformed men arrived early in the morning. We were shocked. Though my elder brother managed to escape, but when he came back, he knelt down on the floor and pleaded for my daddy’s forgiveness.
It wasn’t until my mother interceded that my daddy finally hummed and asked him to get up.
But this story is not about what happened between my elder brother and my late dad.
It is about what I did to my mother.
My mother and I had always shared a tight bond. Call it the mother and last child attachment, but it had been amazing. In fact on many occasions, my other siblings had thrown an outburst of their dissatisfaction over my mother’s excessive pampering.
But she never stopped.
I was always the kid she asked first if I needed more food, why I have not had a haircut or why my face is crumpled.
Our bond even grew tighter after my daddy died. She begged that I come home from school and be going to school from home. In that period that she was down with grief, I readily obliged her.
We all lived peacefully together, though as family there are times we argue and fight, but it was never anything too serious.
Then I was living with my mother and immediate elder sister.
But one Sunday, there was a party in school. University students will know well about Departmental Nights.
Because I thought it wasn’t something I needed prior permission from my mother to attend, I did not tell her till it was the evening of the D day. I came to meet my mother in the sitting room already dressed.
She was watching a movie with my elder sister.
She saw that I was dressed and asked where I was going.
‘We have a party tonight,’ I said.
‘A party? Where?’
‘At school. Our Departmental Night.’
‘Which departmental party on a Sunday night,’ my elder sister said.
‘Maybe if you’ve ever been to the university before, you will know what departmental night is,’ I replied her.
My mother shook her head. ‘Nnaa, you won’t go o,’ she said and turned back to the TV.
‘How?’ I asked.
She turned back to me. ‘You can’t step out this night.’
‘Mama, it is our departmental night, and I’m emceeing.’
‘Call them to tell them that you won’t make it.’
‘Ha. I must go o. In fact, I’m leaving already. See you in the morning.’
‘Mama said you should sit down!’ my elder sister said.
My mother’s hand grabbed my shirt at the door. She pulled me back into the room and locked the door. ‘You won’t go anywhere. Not this night, you hear. We have prayers.’
‘Nwoke m, enter inside,’ my sister said. ‘No be only departmental night, faculty night nko? See your gangsta cap.’ She giggled.
This heavy stream of anger flowed inside me. I ignored them and held the door handle again. Opening the door, my mother grabbed my shirt again.
I PUSHED her off and left the room.
When I returned in the morning, I did not see my mother. My elder sister had taken her to a bonesetter nearby.
I ran to the place when a neighbour told me.
The man told us that it was just a minor dislocation of her waist bone. We returned home that same evening.
My mother never mentioned that I pushed her. ‘I fell,’ she always told anyone that asked.
But she never really recovered. She started walking with a bend and would groan each time she stepped too hard on the ground.
Each time I see her, my heart will turn sad. Some months later, it got worse and she stopped going to the shop.
My elder brother finally paid for her reduction operation. It was successful, but my mother never walked the same. Walking was always laborious for her.
My mother died in October 2011, the same year I finished Youth Service. Before her death we never once discussed that pushing incident.
I never told her how sorry I am.
Now my purpose of sharing this story—I need you all to say to me all those things my mother didn’t say to me.
Don’t censor your words, just say it as you feel it.
I hope that someone would learn from my story.