This right here is family. We are seven amazing unique spirits who occupy Williams Castle. We sometimes drive each other up the wall, but most times, these people are the sun that rises everyday in the window of my life and I can’t imagine how life would be without them.
I don’t how many of us ever pause from the fast track modern lives we’re living to reflect on life and how our journey on earth has been so far.
Wednesday, July 13th is the birthday of my youngest child, Harel. It is also the day I have one of my most sober reflections.
Harel wanted a Spiderman theme for his 5th birthday, and he wanted to celebrate in school with his classmates. Everything was set. The cake was lovely, sitting on the dining table. The party favours/loot bags had been packed for his friends. His outfit ironed. I’d already picked out what I was going to wear. The meat had been pre-cooked and vegetables chopped for the stir-fried rice.
I sat in the living room to do a mental check of what I had missed, then it hit me…today would have been the fifth anniversary of my death. Did I hear someone say tufiakwa? Yea, unspeakable but true.
When I found out in November 2010 that I was pregnant, the discovery came with mixed feelings. I already had four children, I’d thrown in the towel and was on birth control. I had given out every single baby stuff I had, resigned from my job and relocated from Calabar to join my husband in Abuja. I wasn’t sure I was happy about this pregnancy because I was just starting to figure out how to take my career to another level and I didn’t want any distractions.
I remember the morning I broke the news to my husband that we were expecting a fifth child…lol! He was standing in front of his wardrobe, picking out something to wear to work. The guy man went ballistic. “What?!” He screamed. “This is too much na! How am I going to cope? Are you going to born Jesus?” Then he even went ahead to blurt out something that was not even in his nature to say, “You wan come born girl full house!” (You want to fill this house with female children.)
But bros, na you give me belle na? My first instinct was to hurl my shoe at him, but I kept calm. Two days ago, he had shared his fears with me. His company was downsizing. Someone in HR had hinted him that his name was in the next batch of people to be relieved of their jobs. After November, he’d be a jobless man. So I knew it wasn’t Ben talking. It was that man who was afraid of how to cope with a pregnant wife and four other children.“Erm…God will have to forgive us but we are having an abortion”, he said. “It’s easy for you to say”, I retorted. “Do you know how traumatizing an abortion is?” I said. Then we had this ugly fight where we called each other unprintable names and how we regretted making the love that brought this pregnancy and how we should have just minded our business and slept on our own side of the bed…you know, stuff silly, frustrated couples say to each other. At that point I was so filled with rage that it felt senseless having a part of him grow inside me. The fight ended with, “Fine! I’m having an abortion!! I don’t even want any part of you growing inside me, anyway!” “Fine!!” He hissed back.
Then the challenge of which hospital or doctor would ‘do it’ arose because we were practically new in town and didn’t know anybody. He told me about a clinic suggested by some female acquaintance whom I was sure would rather have me dead so she could take my place. Nah! If we were doing this deed, then I’ll look for the hospital myself.I found a good hospital and scheduled an appointment for the evening of the next day. That morning, I received a phone call from my mother. After the regular pleasantries, Mummy said,
“Ubong-eyen, I had a funny dream last night. I don’t know if it’s because of the late dinner of eba I ate before going to bed. But a man came to me in that dream and said, ‘tell your daughter Peace, that if she gets pregnant again, she should keep it.’ The dream makes no sense to me because I know you’ve stopped having babies.”
My mum is the last person on earth I would have told that I was having an abortion because as a church minister, she’d have done everything to prevent it. Only Ben and I knew about the pregnancy. Just when I was summoning courage to go do the deed, my mum just had to have a vision! How frustrating can this get?Well, Mummy it wasn’t the eba.” I said, dejected. I’m pregnant and please don’t interfere because I’m having an abortion. Long silence on the other end. Then she said,
“Hmmm…daughter, I know you’re a woman of God. That means you’re sensitive enough to know that this message must have come only from God because there’s no way I’d have known you just missed your period. I know you are very stubborn and won’t listen to me, but I pray you’ll listen to God.”
“I’m not the one you should be talking to Mummy, you should be talking to Ben,” I told her. “He’s bent on getting rid of the pregnancy. He been acting crazy and talking rubbish.”
“Okay, I’ll call him,” she said.Mummy didn’t have much luck with Ben either. You see, my husband adores my mother and would do anything for her but not this time. In fact, he was slightly irritated that she was talking him into considering keeping the pregnancy.
“Mummy, didn’t Ubong tell you, I’ve been laid off work? How am I going to care for five children without a job?”
“God is never wrong with His timing my son. He knew you’ll be laid off work, yet He still blessed you with this baby. Why don’t you let God do His will?”
“God is so wrong with His timing this time around. It’s so easy for everyone to say. But I’m the one shouldering all the responsibility, so I know what I’m saying.”
“My son, what if God were to surprise you with all the provisions you need to cater for your large family? Do you know God can do it?”
“Then that would be a miracle, because I don’t see that happening any time soon.”
“I’ll ask God for just that my son, to disgrace you with a miracle.
The next evening, I drove to meet Ben up at an agreed rendezvous. We were going to the hospital together to have that abortion.
Written By: Peace Ben Williams
To be continued…