Sent forth to bear
Just over 13 and a half years ago, in a foreign land, amongst strangers, I bore with stoicism and fortitude the heavy news of a grave diagnosis that left me comforting the bearer of the message.
Sometimes I wonder what strength and reserves come to the fore when faced with all sorts of circumstances, the ability to see beyond the situation whilst having to go through the many tough battles that have become interesting milestones in my life.
In terms, it probably goes back to when my parents thought the best way to toughen me up was to send me far away from home at the age of 10 to sit common entrance examinations for over 4 months to live between relations in the South-West of Nigeria from the north.
Since then and when I finally left for boarding school at 3 months short of my 11th birthday, I had literally left home and with that was the emotions and the life that has been singularly charted since then. My general welfare from the perspective of my parents and my guardians had simply been monitored through my academic reports and my behavioural development.
The result inadvertently has become a tenuous link borne of the relationship that was barely nurtured over my first ten years and the rest over conflict, disagreement, disappointment, anxiety, surprise and fleeting interest.
The fact is, no one in my family has the faintest idea of the reality of my life beyond the third week after my tenth birthday, we have increasingly grown distant from then, whilst they have only been affected by episodes of illness, of failure and of delinquency, the causes of which they never really bothered to explore and I just gone on with my life. With hindsight, there were periods of serious depression for which I got no help.
The walk on the wild side
Yet, as a result of their investments in the lives of others, I have been catered for and mentored by people who seemed to have given me a greater purpose in life and the courage to follow my convictions. The moment I had the opportunity and the ability to make my own decisions, I grabbed it and have never relinquished it.
It, however, does not get easier to face the challenges of life alone, but they are too far removed from my circumstances to be intimated and involved when new situations arise, that devolves to friends who are more acquainted with things as they stand today.
Maybe, we could have laid more groundwork for something more meaningful, there is a lot of blame to share amongst us in the scheme of things.
It is well
Today, I face something I am not as prepared for as I would have liked to be, not that any course of treatment presents a fanciful taste like sucking on sweets, but that is the way things are. When I attended 7 sessions of chemotherapy over 5 months in 2009/2010, I only had two of those sessions with friends accompanying me, the rest, I resolutely attended meditating in a reclined position, looking forward to the last session which would have been the eighth.
I am promised, it would neither be as gruesome nor as uncomfortable, it would have its discomforts, but they will be manageable. I may be going there alone, what I should avoid is the spectre of loneliness.
As they always say, by way of encouragement and support, ‘It is well’.