My father and I didn't always get along but then again as a teenager or a wise ass kid, who got along with their "old fashion" dad? He prepared me for the person i am today. We made up some 25yrs ago and since then we have built an unusual bond. He developed great respect for my struggles, consistency and focus. I was filled with so much morale and value that i became a misfit in an environment that degenerated and became vile and foul, where mediocracy, sycophancy, reigns supreme. In life there are a few things that can hit you so hard that even years later you are left emotionally scarred, one of such experiences for me was the death of my beloved elder sister Charlotte in 1981. That was the very first time I saw a dead corps closeup, my sister was too beautiful to die. Since then I always avoid wake keeps and funerals as much as I can, because i just cant bear to see people in grief. What I felt that day has never left me till date...
On Friday morning, the 15th of February, I left the Punk Palace with my no nonsense daughter Yvonne to meet up a few appointment already scheduled for the day. I just didn't feel right that morning, I got up from the wrong side of my bed, something was amiss but I couldn't put my finger on it. I was unusually quiet throughout the day and my daughter sensed it. I didn't know what was doing me until later that evening I got the phone call from Oguta (my village) that rattled the hell out of me. My Father has just been hit by stroke. My household were all in shock.. When a family member has an illness, the entire family can be affected. No one slept in my house that day, my daughter, Adaeze was visiting from the States, she was most upset. The following morning she and my younger brother flew to Owerri from Abuja to go be by my fathers side, while i waited till monday to do banking before i left to join them. By the time I left on Monday morning, I was emotionally and spiritually ready for the worst, but nothing prepared me for what I was about to face on arrival.
The hospital acclaimed one of the best in Owerri, was in my books , like a roadside mechanic workshop. The doctors and nurses I saw initially were like fulkanizers. By the time I saw my father and how the stroke had distorted his face I became teary eyed. The whole setup was wrong..The left side of his body was immobilised, reducing my handsome father to a corpse like state. The Socrates of the supreme court was not fit to be in such a hospital. From the day I came till 5days later when the consultant were satisfied to grant his discharge so we could relocate him to Abuja, he was making amazing and miraculous improvement. The care and attention my fada later got from the nurses and doctors was very touching, we became like one big family. I thank my brother cousin, Dr. Reginald Oputa and all those who showed love.
On the morning of the 21st of February as soon as my pops was discharged, I drove him from the hospital to Owerri airport e route Abuja. As I wheeled him into the departure hall, all eyes followed me. I even saw surprises on more than a few faces, but everyone was wearing such a big smile, the hall suddenly came alive. As I was readjusting my pops sitting position and cleaning his droll on the left hand side of his face. Almost all passengers in the departure hall was standing in line waiting to shake my fathers hand. Yes I know my Fada is a good man, always have been and am proud he taught me. That scene was a very touching one for me. It was such an outpouring of love. Moments later, an elderly woman walked up to us and put twenty thousand naira in my hand and whispered, "keep taking good care of your father, I love you for this" After her, as if it was choreographed a man came forward and put a white envelope in my arm and said "here is my widows mite." The show of love to me and my daddy that day brought tears to my eyes. Yes, I am very emotional and sentimental. I didn't quite get it till I saw the following mail in my face book page.
My Areafada Sir,
Some things in life can leave you with so much surprise, it leaves you wondering whether what your naked eyes see is actually true. You know the human mind always helps us to create pictures of things we’ve only heard of but yet to see or experience. Most times we might begin to believe the picture our mind has played out but sometimes we are privileged to see the real thing and we are shocked what the difference really is. Abeg no vex Areafada, you must be wondering where this is headed or who the hell it is but you don’t know me I’m a fan of yours on Twitter, Facebook and on BB, I’m a huge fan.
My mind has its picture of you and what you are like, I imagine you sometimes and you come out to be this very mean, hard looking, pompous and scary fellow. I have never seen you before but that’s what my mind shows me.
Then I saw you for the very first time at the airport recently with your ill father, though I had heard the news, I didn’t quite get the picture of what it was like. My heart melted abi na froze, don’t just get it. Not because he was ill or because of who he is or who you are but because of the compassion I saw. I mean you are Charlyboy, my Areafada and you could possibly hire someone to clean him up and watch over him while he was with you but you were doing it yourself, that’s what I found amazing and loving and caring. Short of words…
It was a beautiful picture, different from what my mind had created. I have learnt again that never should we assume that we know someone. I’m not saying you are a saint, I’m saying everyone has their good side. I saw yours the very first time I met you. Twale for you Sir.
Your Big Fan
Now this explains the big smile I saw on people's faces that day. God bless you all.