Through the Eye of FAITH (8)
It’s been an amazing experience writing this story and I hope it touches you as it does me. We need faith to walk through this world and as many that are presently walking through the ‘fire’, rest assured that like the characters in the story, Jesus is close-by. Please click here for previous episode and thank you for following our blog. Enjoy!
Patience stood in front of the big, white duplex and, for the umpteenth time, wondered where she got the courage to take the most foolish decision of her life. What was she doing here? On the contrary, she should be farther away from here as much as possible as originally planned. She had vowed she would never step into this house again, but here she was, just few steps away.
A wave of emotions rushed through her. This was where she once had a good, enviable life; where she had everything a rich child could ask for. This was also where her innocence had been stolen away from her on a dark, lonely night… she swallowed hard. She would never forget that nightmare. How hard she had tried to forgive and let go… and she thought she had until that call came in.
He didn’t stop calling after the first time. He was persistent and though she remained adamant, her weakened heart gave way to her step-father’s plea. No matter how hard one ran away from a troubled past, it would always come back chasing like a hungry lion until one would meet a brick wall and have no choice than to face the shadows. Lord, this Lion is too big for me and I am no David. I am just a lady with a fearful heart.
A tear slid down her face as she took a step closer. And another. And another. Then she stopped. She could not go further. Another step would bring her world crumbling down. Her breathing became faster and she could hear her loud heartbeat. She was not ready for this. She needed more time, perhaps years, to come to terms with a scar she would carry for the rest of her life. She would return at a later date when she was ready to pay her last respects. I am sorry, mother, but I am yet to get over what you and your husband put me through. I have tried to let go, but it is difficult for me. Still, I never stopped loving you and I forgive you because you didn’t understand. I only wished you were supportive enough. That would have made me not to abort my baby. That would have saved my womb… She burst into tears. The thought that she would not be able to have a child of her own anymore always made the world stop. When the doctor had given her the news, she almost killed herself. How she managed to survive was something she herself could not comprehend. Thank you, Lord, for being there all the years and for Your sustaining grace.
She cleaned her face and stepped back. She would not go in, not now, not ever. Her past was no more and the future waited. She had started building a life for herself and God had blessed her with wonderful children in her class. If she could have no child of her own, she would invest as much as she could in others, especially those who God had placed in her heart.
She turned to leave. Goodbye, Mother.
“Patience! Is that really you?” Someone shouted, peeping through the opening in the big, wired gate.
Patience stopped and wondered who would know her after such a long time. The gate opened and she turned to see the caller. He was a bit elderly and looked so excited that he almost toppled over her.
“Uncle Jack!” She never would have thought the gateman she left over 16 years ago would still be working in the house. “Gosh! Is this you? How did you recognize me?”
“It is me. Look at how big you have grown from the little girl I used to play ball with.” He held her in his hands and assessed her. “You still have the same face, though and you look like your mother more than ever.” Then he sobered a bit. “I am sorry about your mother. I guess that is why you have come home after many years.”
“I came to pay my last respects, though she never wanted me around.”
“That is not true.” Uncle Jack disagreed bluntly. “At first, I agree she was stubborn, but later she changed. She looked everywhere for you but it seemed you had disappeared into thin air.”
“Really?” Patience laughed sarcastically. “After I came back begging many times, you want me to believe she suddenly changed her mind and decided to have me back?”
“Yes. That was exactly what happened. Many times, when I had work to do in the house, I caught her staring into your photo. She missed you. She realized her mistake and she did all she could to correct it, but never got the chance..”
Patience inhaled deeply. This revelation was too much to take in at once. Her mother had wanted her return? She could not control the tears that rushed down. How many times had she tried to believe that? Even while at the ‘Home for the Destitute’, where she had gone for temporary solace before running away, she had wished her mother would find her, and when she didn’t, Patience knew she had to take her destiny into her hands.
Uncle Jack drew her into his arms. “You have to forgive her. She was your mother and she loved you till death. I can confidently say that.”
Patience sobbed. “I believe you. I never stopped loving her too.”
“You should come into the house as proof of that love. I know you have been struggling to do that, but that is what your mother would want. She is in the house, embalmed.”
Patience withdrew sharply. “What! No, I can’t. I mean I won’t. I cannot bear to see her that way. That was not how I saw her the last time I was with her. Plus, I am sure father is around and I do not want to see him.”
“He isn’t, and that is why this is the best time to come in.” Uncle Jack insisted. “Please, I beg you. Do it for your mother.”
Patience tried to control herself. She would take a shot. After all, there was nothing more to lose. “Okay. Just 5 minutes and I’m out.”
Uncle Jack held her shaky hands and led her through the gate into the compound.
“A lot of things have not changed.” Patience remarked as she took in the clean pool, the beautiful garden and the car pack that housed five exotic cars. “Mother always loved cars.”
“Yes, she did. God bless her soul.”
When they got to the door, Uncle Jack stopped. “This is where my journey ends with you. The rest is yours.” He waited till she passed through the door before turning away.
Patience took in the once-familiar surroundings and in her mind’s eye, she saw herself sitting in front of the television and watching her favourite soap with a pack of popcorn in her hands. She could feel the fresh taste of the snack in her mouth and her mouth watered considerably. She snapped out of her fantasy and walked upstairs to the room where her mother was laid. Slowly, she turned the knob and it seemed like eternity before she finally opened the door. The sight that welcomed her pulled her to the floor. Her mother laid lifeless some few feet away and Patience could barely move. I am sorry, mother! I am sorry I kept myself from you all these years. I am sorry I never listened to my heart. I shut you out and now it is too late. Please, forgive me.
After several minutes, Patience finally found the strength to stand and she walked closer towards the body. She thought she saw her mother’s face soften and Patience could not help, but smile. “I have forgiven you and I hope you have too.”
A small box on the bedside table caught her attention. It was the jewelry box her mother had given her on her 14th birthday and which Patience had considered her favourite possession. Instead of keeping her jewelry there, she had instead kept her favourite photos, and she believed Uncle’s Jack’s words. Mother had really missed her. She reached out for the box and opened it. She smiled as she went through the photos one after the other. At the bottom laid a paper she knew she would not have put there.
She opened up the folded paper and what she saw made her weep. It was a letter.
My little girl,
Yes, you will always be my little girl, though I know by the time you see this, you would have been 32 or more. Oh! How I miss you. I miss plaiting your hair, I miss watching you eat, in fact, I miss your nagging and I could not have had a better daughter. I thank God for giving you to me.
By the time you read this, I would have gone to be with the Lord. Yes, don’t be surprised. I am now a born again Christian. I gave my life to Jesus shortly after you left and He has been my comfort all through my cancer years. I never told you I had cancer symptoms because I did not want to make you sad. Well, in Heaven, there is no cancer and I shall be healthy again. I also made your father promise he would keep me embalmed in the house and not take me to the mortuary until you returned home.
I am sorry I was not the mother you deserved. I threw you out when I should have protected you. I regretted my decision every day and I pray that God would forgive me. Can you grant a woman’s dying wish? Please can you forgive me? I never stopped loving you. Also, find a place in your heart to forgive your father. I knew you were right, but my foolish heart blinded me.
Lest I forget, I started a fund for you and in your name. Just call Mr. Olamide on 01-2902558 and he will guide you on the process. I think it should be about N100million or so now. I’m not completely sure.
Last, as a mother, I tried to give you the best I could, but there was something I wish I had given you before now and which is never too late to give. That gift is Jesus. Please, accept him into your life. He is everything you need for your life to have a purpose. Accepting Him is the only way I can guarantee we shall be together again.
Even in death, I still love you.
From: Your mother in life and in death.
Patience was shocked for many minutes. She pulled the closest chair and wept deeply into the paper. I LOVE YOU TOO, MUM! And don’t worry, one day, we shall see again at our Saviour’s feet. She felt a soft tap on her shoulder and when she turned, she thought she saw a figure standing behind her with a smile and telling her everything would be alright.