I don’t think there was a day I didn’t see Kola laugh or smile
He was shaking a friend’s hand and he was laughing,
He was writing a memo and smiling, or at least not frowning,
He was talking to people and he still had that pleasant disposition on…
Did anything ever upset Kola? I wondered each time.
Kola would step into an atmosphere, and he carried with him an amazing ambience… oh yes he lessened the tension…
You didn’t know it, but you always wanted to be where Kola was.
One Monday morning, someone came with a message for Kola, it wasn’t good.
I told this fellow, “please don’t tell him…” I didn’t want that light out…
But he gave it anyway. I heard Kola storm out of his office, I followed him
Calling after him, I guess he didn’t hear…
I got to where he was, he was standing over a man lying on a stretcher, I went closer and put my hand over his shoulder. He turned to look at me and smiled with tears in his eyes… his friend just had an accident.
He took his friend’s hand, and said to him “when all of this is over, don’t stop smiling, Never”. That was his message to a man in pains…
As I drove Kola back to the office, I asked him why that was his only message to his friend?
He said to me “you are never broken if you keep your heart merry”. He paused for a while, then he continued; “one has a choice to stay happy or sad. Life is short, and in this short time here, I choose to stay happy and I tell you I’ll never be broken”.
So that was it… a happy man is never broken…that was Kola’s secret…it soon became mine.


when my water broke


When I was little, I broke my mother’s china plates

I never broke them on purpose… my mother unhappy, yet made excuses for me

“she’s a child” she will mumble under her breath

I am a woman now, I remember when my water broke…

Nothing in the world compared to the pain, yet excitement I experienced

 My heart raced… with screams and long pushes, this breakage brought another living creature out of me… oh! The awesomeness of God!

I recall tearing up profusely as I held in my hands, my own child. I continually said to myself ; “he came out of me” it was too amazing for me!

A new experience had begun… my life changed in split seconds…

There were sleepless nights, lullabies sung most times, in futility!

Multiplied responsibilities… I was the multi-tasking mother, and wife!

Our home was beautiful, it smelled of lilies… “B” literally always raced back home!

My heart gladdened each time he would rest on the recliner and exhale “ahhh”! as though he long waited to breathe.

“ Maami, eti ko mi dada”…my soul sang…

 I watched my mother build a strong home

When she reprimanded, I learnt

When she responded to Baami, I listened… I understood every inflection

Sometimes her eyes spoke… I read them

She would knot her wrapper to the left, bend down and pluck flowers for the house… they were everywhere! Then, you could call us “the floral family”

She laughed hardest to Baami’s jokes… he felt like the king of humor

Oh Maami!

Sara’s mum always remarked on how pretty we dressed… my mother just knew how to match colors…we were the cities’ best dressed!

The memories I relish in most, are those times we would just sit for hours, listening to Maami speak! So much wisdom proceeded from her; soon books had to contain them!

She always reiterated my Father’s words to us… I was determined to honor the one now over me and make him my children’s hero!

I hear my husband praise me… I owe it to what Maami taught me

Today, I am someone’s most prized possession, a one in gazillion mother, a strong sister, I am another’s best friend, I even head a team of laudable staff!

 She is a queen, a friend, a mother, a nation… she is my Mother!

In word and in deed, she taught me… she taught me well.

                                                                                     Paula Ezeka