While You Were Away – 3 of 4

Family Tree
The following day, the third day of January 2015, was Mercy’s birthday. We have just ended our morning devotion. This morning, we read from Isaiah 1:16-20. The prophet enjoined us to walk in obedience to God. As we so walk in faith and obedience to the Almighty, He will answer our prayers. Also, we will be beneficial influences in our communities and the society at large.


On weekends, we indulge ourselves by staying longer in bed before we rise to pray around 7 O’clock in the morning. On other days of the week, we all wake up around 5 am to pray before rushing to school and work. On some school-week days, we often have to just pray together while skipping the Bible exhortation part. No thanks to “late to sleep late to wake up” unavoidable schedule.


This morning, we all woke early before 7 am. We were all in high anticipation of Mummy’s return from Lagos. She has only been away for less than a week but it felt like she’s been absent for several months. We’ve missed her so much. Her influence and atmosphere pervade and fill every corner of the house and every member of the entire family. She is always on the alert to attend to every one of her children’s needs or to give her sharp, yet loving rebuke.


I really thank God for giving her to us. Often, she will work all round the clock into the late hours of the night. We were all feeling her absence keenly. I never cease wondering how she used to cope when I am away on my many short-notice trips out-of-town and even outside the country. At such times, she will assure me lovingly, “You see now. I think you can see how it feels to me when you are away from home. That means I am doing a good job. Just recall all those past days when you will just come back from your office and inform me you are travelling for offshore work the next day. Just like that.”


Later in the evening, I drove Happiness to the hospital for her injections. When we got back home, Mercy got to work attending to the cooking in the kitchen. Happiness used her drug as prescribed and was soon back at the shop. She spread the padded mat on the floor and with the electric fan enhancing the ventilation; she lay down to rest.


G-boy is in the habit of dropping his books all over the place for daddy or other family members to pick up after him. This time, it was one of the Ladybird series that was left carelessly on the floor on the balcony. Happiness occupied herself with one of these. She slept off with the book in hand.


The washing machine has stopped humming now. Yet, Bobby instead of removing and spreading the already washed clothes on the line at the back of the yard, went back to sleep. I decided not to wake him up to spread the clothes in the sun. I took out his clothes from the machine and dumped them in a bucket along with my laundry.
When he came out of his room, I told him and Emma to go water the flowers. They failed to do this yesterday and I am intent on not further indulging their negligence today. Sulking, G-boy dragged his feet to begin the assignment.


“Come on, stand up and do what I told you. Can you tell me when and where you learn to drag your feet when daddy sends you on an errand? My friend move before I hit your head.”
Emma giggled. He knows my threats were just that – empty threats. At least for now. Surely daddy will pound nobody’s head to get him to wet the flower beds. Emma is a year younger than G-boy. He has a throaty adult voice whenever he laughs, but when he cries, you will know he is still a big baby, sulking and whining like a pampered toddler.


The two boys stepped out to get water from the tap affixed to the wall by the laundry room. I shouted to urge and hurry them on. “Make sure you do it quickly before the sun rises. If you wait until the heat of the sun sets in, you will do more harm than good to those plants. They will be parboiled and soon wither off from the hot wet soil. ”
The morning sun was reluctantly shining through the misty clouds; hence, even though the morning hours have worn on, it was still cool.


Emma and G-boy had helped to trim and weed the flowers yesterday evening. Willy too joined in. When I trimmed the flowers the three had tried to stop me, surprised, they asked,
“Daddy, why are you cutting the flowers?”
I replied, “Just wait and see.”
After I was done with the flowerbeds, the kids were surprised at the transformation that has happened.
“Daddy,” G-boy said, “The flowerbed looks more beautiful now.”
I smiled. “I need to trim the flowers because it is losing shape. Now see how I have given it form by trimming it.”
“It is beautiful now, sir. Very beautiful. We love it.”


Where and when did you two learn to ‘love it? I need not guess any further. That must have been one of the new catch-phrases they caught from the many episodes that they have spent several hours watching on the cartoon and other kids’ channel of DSTv. I wanted to tell them that we don’t love things; plants, materials, and other inanimate things but let them go. They will not understand that now.

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