The journey of a thousand mile begins with a step, reasoned Muna as she tries to comprehend how she would face her family after closing all relations with them since the death of her husband whom she lost to the dreaded cancer disease. She has never been herself ever since that black cloud of death found a way into her once happy home, 3 years ago.
Her family whom she thought will be there for her abandoned her, all because they never wanted her to marry Osahon, the man she loves so much. The man that wouldn’t want anything to happen to her, the only man that can buy the world for her if is possible and her folks couldn’t look beyond their tribalistic way, to accept him, rather they cut all ties with her, refused to share in her joys and pains as a married woman and now they want closure.
She still can’t forget what her elder sister, Lisa told her when she learned of the death of Osahon, still wondering how can her own sister tell her while she is still mourning not to mourn for long and after all they never wanted him. How can a fellow woman like her reason so callously? Thinking about all those almost made her changed her mind of having lunch with her mom and sisters but remembering the plea of her younger sister, Uche who still keep in touch gave her motivation and besides her late hubby would have wanted her to go.
I just hope Muna will honor our invitation, asked Chinwe as she gets herself busy in their family kitchen with her sisters Uche and Lisa. Uche had to reassure them that hopefully, Muna will come but she has already given her own condition and that is meeting in an open restaurant and not the family house which Lisa isn’t happy with as she quickly chipped in that she sees no reason why she would want that.
That got Chinwe angry as she angrily shouted at Lisa,
‘I don’t care what you think, she has a right to meet at a neutral ground after abandoning her for so long and the fact that she was able to accept our invitation should be an opening we should be grateful for’.
That outburst came as a shock to Lisa as she is the oldest among all three ladies and never expected her younger sibling to talk to her like that, but she had to agree that Chinwe is right in this one and she just has to swallow her pride.
‘What is going on here? Why is Chinwe screaming’, their mom asked as she entered the kitchen, and Uche responded by saying, all was well, that they were just coming into agreement about Muna’s meeting with them at a restaurant.
Lisa expected her mom to decline but was surprised to see the sober expression on her mom’s face indicating she doesn’t really care where she gets to meet Muna as all she wants is to ask Muna for forgiveness.
Still expecting the nanny she had hired to look after her twin boys, Muna decided to have a quality time with God in her bedroom. She had developed a strong relationship with Him during her husband’s battle with cancer, she had wanted peace and someone to tell her all will be fine with her but there was no one around to walk the road with her as her hubby’s folks were late and he was the only child. No other option was there for her than to seek for spiritual solace and ever since then, she doesn’t make any major decision without first seeking God’s wisdom and this day was no exception because there was the voice in her head trying to remind her of the Ill-treatment meted on her by her family while a still voice telling her all will be well.
Are you still going for the lunch date with your daughters? Asked Muna’s dad to his wife of 34 years who gave him 3beautiful daughters and 3 handsome sons. He has always loved her and still do even though they are both in their late 70s. He always knows when she has a lot on her mind and right now he knows something is seriously eating her up. Pressing further resulted to his wife crying that she failed their daughter, that she can’t believe she is tensed just thinking of how she will face Muna again and that got her dad so sad because he also knew deep down he had failed his daughter, abandoned her when she needed him.
Muna has always been his favorite daughter even though she could be stubborn sometimes and always trying to have her way which he does let her but in the case of her marriage to her late husband Osahon, he just couldn’t come to terms with it and even when he kicked against it, she refused and instead got herself pregnant by him which to him was an act of rebellion. Out of anger, he had to cut all ties with her and mandated everyone to do so but seriously he was surprised that they didn’t counter his decisions and even in her Hubby’s death and final passing, they still weren’t there for her. How can he face his daughter again, how can he ask for her forgiveness? He clearly understands what his wife is passing through right now.
“So mummy when are you coming back home”? Asked Muna’s son Riley who is a splitting image of his dad. He always has a way of making her miss his dad the more.
“Am gonna be back soon my love, just make sure you take care of your brother Ryan and be good to aunty Rose”.
It always feels lonely not being with her kids but she has to make good use of the fact that her trusted nanny is around to help her look after her kids while she honors the lunch date she has with her family. Hoping for a good day, Muna got into the car and drove off.
Muna got to the exclusive restaurant they agreed to meet and was greatly impressed by the architectural design, being a sought after architect among corporate organizations, she always appreciates good design when she comes across one and this was certainly one to appreciate. She got to the reception and was about to confirm her reservation when she saw her sister walking down to her with a happy face, she couldn’t do anything other than to have a tight hug with her because at that moment words alone wasn’t enough. Uche has always gotten her back and from her hug, she was sending a message that she is with her in this one.They walked hand in hand to their table with Muna already sweating in her palms and wondering if she is doing the right thing.
Her mom was the first to sight her and she quickly stood up to acknowledge her presence, which led to Chinwe opening her arms for a hug which Muna accepted with indifference. They all did the usual greetings and all sat down, it was already getting awkward just sitting down with no one saying anything as they were waiting for the first to say something. Uche broke the silence when she asked of her kids which she replied that she left them with their nanny. Her mom chipped in and asked why she didn’t bring them along and that got a cold stare from Muna who told her she didn’t feel like imposing them on a family that never acknowledged them, visited them or even buy them a gift.
All the pent up anger was already trying to burst out from her but Uche quietly placed her hand on hers and this led her to calm her nerves. Her mom continued that she knew they hurt her but she should find it in her heart to forgive and forget about the past. Lisa chipped in that they did what was best for the family and she carrying it negatively is so wrong of her, that no matter what she tried to do, she is part of the family and there is nothing she can do about it. This apparently didn’t sit well with Chinwe as she kept shifting in her seat. Noticing that Chinwe wasn’t comfortable, their mom asked her if she has anything to say and Chinwe said yes. She looked directly to Muna and apologized to her, and made her aware that she understood whatever she is feeling right now and probably she would have done worst if she was to be in her shoes but two wrongs can’t make a right and let her forgive.
Muna has had enough and she cut her short. She asked them looking at them one after the other, what is there to forgive?
What did they do to her that she has to forgive them for? Why do they feel she can just snap her fingers and forget the hurt, pain, and disappointment. Where were they when she needed them?
Looking at her mom she asked her, what wrong did she do that she couldn’t visit her when she gave birth to her kids, and up till now her she doesn’t even know how they look like.
She let them know that apart from Uche, none has ever asked her how she is faring. Her hubby was sick and none showed concern even after informing each of them, and even in death no one was there to give her strength.
And to you Lisa, “why do you dislike me so much that even till now you are still the same, you opened your mouth to tell me good riddance as my husband is dead, that after all, no one in the family wanted him”. That got a shock from everyone, with Chinwe screaming how could you lisa and Uche crying.
Muna kept on asking Lisa, how will you feel if I said that to you in your grief? I expected as a first daughter, you will try to be there for me even if my mom fails at her duty, but to my greatest surprise, Uche who is the last daughter is carrying out your responsibility.
During my time of grief and mourning, I expected my family to forget the past and help me forge ahead but they left me on my own, and now you expect me to just forget everything over a lunch date? If not for God and this is what my late hubby would have wanted and also the love and affection Uche has shown I and my kids, I wouldn’t have honored this invitation, because I have come to realise that my kids have only me in this entire world as it is us against my family and the world.
Her mom couldn’t contain her emotions anymore as she started crying, Lisa also started crying which surprised everyone. Chinwe knelt down and asked Muna repeatedly to forgive her mom even if she doesn’t want to forgive she and Lisa, with that Lisa also joined in kneeling down and asked for forgiveness. That she had always known she did her wrong but her pride and always wanting to be in the good book of their father, made her rigid and unsympathetic to her.
At that point, that still voice in her told her to let go of the hurt, that she has done her part, the healing process has begun, with that , she started crying and cried for good 30minutes with them joining her in the crying, consolation and also still pleading with her to forgive.
After getting herself together, she told them calmly that Rome wasn’t built in a day and hopefully God will see them through. That statement from her made her mom smile because she knows all will be well in due time.
To be continued….
Photo Credit: Google