Dear MIMSters: This Is Why Our Mom Will Always Come First Even Though We Didn’t Grow Up With Her| Part 3

As you may be able to guess, my story dates back to the 80s and early 90s.

Till I graduated from secondary school, I could count the numbers of times my siblings and I saw our mom. And even though we saw her those few times, we almost never talked to her or answered her when she spoke to us; it was that bad.

Rachael was the first to get into UNILAG. Two years after, I joined her. I never knew Rachael had started to communicate with our mother. Our father insisted we must not stay on campus; probably so that mom would not have access to us. So we would leave very early in the morning with him and return after classes in the evening. Rachael and I grew closer and we had secrets of times spent with mom between us. My brothers were not so lucky!

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Raphael and Reuben couldn’t secure admission in Lagos so off they went to OSU. Looking back now, I am certain those boys deliberately chose to go that far to gain some freedom.

Unfortunately for us, Raphael joined the cult and when he got into year 3, he was killed in a rival cult clash. His corpse was brought home to be buried. In our grief, my father still wouldn’t allow my mom to come around us. We would later find out that Reuben was part of the rivalry cult group. He asked Reuben to withdraw from OSU and together with Robert, he sat for JAMB again and they got into UNILAG. By then, Rachael was doing her Masters there, too while I was on NYSC. Finally, mom could see all of us unhindered.

Also, we started to free ourselves from our father’s grip and we would go out with our mom. She wasn’t doing so well for herself yet, but she was very caring. She augmented all we got from home. Do you know how this woman survived when she was first sent out of her matrimonial home?

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The first one month after he sent her packing, she told us she slept in Mile 12 market. She would work as a load carrier in the day, and sleep under counters at night. We asked her why she did not go back home and she said to us, “If I did, they will call me a failure.”

Can you believe this woman was still hoping her husband would forgive her and take her back. Forgive her for what?! Neither her nor we her children know her offense till date.

I cannot begin to tell you how we felt inadequate growing up. My father did not only keep us away from our mom, he also kept us away from families, friends and neighbours. No one could visit us and we could not visit any one, too.

He monitored all we did growing up so much that it was like he was chocking life out of us.

Robert, the youngest of us is 37-years old now. The irony of our story is that the boys – Robert and Reuben got married before I did.

Our mom moved in with Robert after he got married. After a while, Rachael and I did, too. We left our father all alone in his room and  parlour apartment. He is there till date but who cares!

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Rachael and I had lots of challenges with men; we were never able to hold it down with any of them until Michael came my way. He was different. He was a dream come true for me. On the eve of my 34th birthday, Michael and I got married. Things opened up suddenly for him and we moved from one level to higher levels in no time. As we moved, I pulled along with me my siblings. I have not been able to forgive my father for how he made life miserable for us. I blame him for Raphael’s death and also that at 47-years old now, Rachael is yet to find a man to settle down with.

Michael tries to help my father every now and then, but I think the man is lost. No one even goes around him. My mom, on the other hand, flies all around the world with me. I have refused to let her out of my sight. Her comfort is my comfort. When she is down, I am down so I do not ever allow her to be down. I love her so much…

Jokingly, I said to her the other day: “Mom, what if your husband wants you two to get back together?”

You won’t believe this woman’s response! She answered me: “That means God has finally heard my prayers!”

Yes, I am as shocked as you are. After almost 40-years, Mama Rachael is still hopeful of a reunion. Where do they breed women like my mother, abeg?!

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