100ways2smile’s 41st smile. It’s been a bit tough trying to keep up this project considering other work schedule but glad we are still on to see this through. The beauty of if all will be the ripple effect of inspiration and triggering of smiles. Now listening to ludovico Einaudi’s piano’s piece as I proceed thanks to my mentor Seun Akisanmi who gave me the CD years ago. You gift still speaks sir.
During a chat with my dear friend “Precious”, she spoke of a book she just got and would really want me to read. Asked her to give me a brief of the story and her answer was “I can’t really explain it but would just like you to read it and maybe we’ll discuss it together”. Hmmmm!!!! The discussing part sounded interesting but for God sake, give me a motivation to read was my thought. The fact that it was even a novel was not a motivation because I’ve never really been a fan of reading novels though I once specialized in giving novels as gifts years back. To cut the long story short, I walked into a nearby book store to get the book. It happened to be a work of fiction but the depth was quite intriguing. I was still on the foreword when I came across this phrase that brought me to a long pause with loads of “hmmmmmings”. Here it is:
“I SUPPOSE THAT SINCE MOST OF OUR HURTS COME THROUGH RELATIONSHIPS, SO WILL OUR HEALING”
I adjusted my sitting position and tried to ponder on those words. Really true!!! Most of our hurts do come through relationships. Our relationships do make or mar us- I muttered an old truth to myself. Then I thought of the countless folks who got stung by relationships and created a road block for any other relationship, even those meant to heal them, to come through. I remember paying a sincere compliment to a lady in a group meeting and she snapped back calling it flattery. I smiled and wondered why I was the one paying for another man’s sin. I guessed she must have been snared by flattery in time past. Different thought kept flowing through my mind till I remembered Stacy’s account.
It remains a mystery to me how two seemingly Love-birds would later transform into Hate-birds and one starts to sing Black eyed peas’ “where is the love?”. Stacy was fully engaged and had even gone ahead with her traditional introduction ceremony to Lebron. Don’t get swayed by the English names. They were both full ibo people (a tribe from the eastern part of Nigeria) and the traditional wedding was colorful as colorful could be with all the dancing and festivity. The white wedding date was set and both families and friends planned big for it with excitement. The preparation kept building to climax gradually until someone played a distorted tune to the building rhythm.
Lebron woke up one day or so it seemed and decided he would not be going ahead with the wedding and he wanted out!!! What?!!!! Out of what, his bed or his job? Stacy was trying to digest what clearly sounded like a joke. Out of the relationship he stated. His words were that “he’s just tired of the whole parole. Him say him no do again”. Wake me up and tell me this is just another nightmare were the thoughts playing around Stacy’s mind. Honey!! honey!! Please!!!! What have I done wrong? We can make this right my dear. I’ll do whatever you want me to do just to make this right. My baby!!!! I’m sorry. Please forgive me for whatever it is I’ve done. Lebron just kept turning his back and couldn’t even bare to look into her eyes, he tried to be manly but tears kept trickling out from his eyes. It seemed difficult for him too but for unknown reasons, he stood by his decisions.
I have tried to play the scenario in my mind over and over again. I took a stroll hand in hand with empathy into Stacy’s mind and I saw beyond the shame and the ridicule, I saw beyond the paper headlines, beyond her case being used as prayer points or even jokes by comedians in town. I saw how certain old sayings have been outdated in comfort for such a case like this. Sayings like “what you don’t know can’t kill you”. In her case, what killed her most were her unanswered questions. I realized that the unanswered “what if?” “what could?” “what went wrong?” are more cancerous than the pain and shock of break ups or events.
So that I don’t bore you with the long details and the process of hurts, about 3years down the line, Stacy is walking down the aisle with her hand in her dad’s staring in a distance into Michael’s eyes. She is walking towards him weeping profusely. You know that kind of weeping with your shoulders dancing to the rhythm of your tears. The beauty of the flood of tears was that it emanated from a stream of joy. Finally, what seemed lost was restored in folds. Questions still unanswered but there’s a thousand and one reason wrapped up in one Michael enough to set the unanswered aside. It was her wedding date. She got introduced to Michael by a friend’s husband who noticed her values and character. And the rest is history.
Ok ok!!! Story time over!!! . The bottom line is:
We were designed as humans to be loved. We were designed to receive love, designed to expect it and also to give it. Don’t let the pain from hurts prevent you from expecting, receiving, recognizing and above all giving love. Don’t let it make you judge all by the 10 men you have met in your short life. Don’t let it deprive you of a genuine smile.
Please share this with as many people as you can and I would really appreciate your comments.
Time spent with my family and my gorgeous lil daughter makes me smile. -Tolu Odunsi