One cold morning, I felt a soft tap on my arm, I just re-adjusted my sleeping position and pulled my duvet above my ears. Just before I slipped further in my sleep, I felt the tap again…This time I was angry, I bat my eyes open to see who or what was troubling my sweet sleep. It was my mother’s eye I saw gaping down at me with mixed emotions. I got up slowly, trying to understand her expression and the reason why she was in my room at 5am. I thought I was on holiday and I could sleep till 7am, afterwards, get to eat breakfast with my siblings at the table. Just before I concluded that thought…..it came rushing down…. events of the day before.
My father believes so much in communication. So, whenever there was a situation at home, he calls a meeting. If the situation bothers him through the night, he gets up before dawn to call a meeting. This time, it was me, I was the situation. I had just finished my secondary school education and I had come home with a result that spelt a woeful future. In simple terms, I failed almost all my subjects.
Please don’t ask me what I was thinking and don’t give me that look. Youthful exuberance has its rewards. That’s my reward for not being conscious of what I was in school for. I wasn’t even sure of who I was and what I represented.
He usually starts with a short prayer. This particular meeting, after prayers, he asked me what my next plan was, since, all my mates who had passed were on their way to university. I looked down at my palms and spoke quietly, my sibling sitting close by could barely hear me…”Will you speak up or you want me to slap that mouth of yours? Is this the time to keep quiet? After spending so much on school fees, support you, provide you the best and you return with such disgracing result, and can’t even speak up for me to hear…. you better speak up or I will teach how to”, he shouted.
I sat there trembling and startled; I haven’t seen my father this angry before, especially at me. So I tried harder to speak up, I was ashamed and full of guilt and as I spoke I met my mother’s eyes filled with tears as the clouds when it’s about the rain. “I will re-enroll’, I said
That’s what dad needed to hear, though angry and spoke more angry words. He steered the wheel in motion as he always does. He started to make new plans with strategies, he asked me some questions, he asked for some truth…he asked me if I knew what was responsible for that result and what I think can be done. He also asked me if there are things I expected from him and my mum as parents….. I answered all his questions. He then did what was the most important thing and that is what has kept me bound to him till this day. He encouraged me. He told me that I have capacity, he told me I have gifts, he told me I could become the successful person he sees since from infant. He supported all his words with pictures, stories and illustrations from the neighborhoods, families, and friends. Finally, he told me to choose what path to thread. He dismissed everyone by telling my mum his schedule for the day.
One of the easiest things in life is to fall and one of the most difficult things to do in life is to stand up… Getting back on the wagon is not exactly the issue here; the issue is the process it takes to get back up. The decision to get up or not is one thing, making it up again is another thing.
For me, my biological father is my greatest motivator. He makes sure he is the first contact after the fall. He believes in talking it out, which is the first process of healing. He fills your entirety with the right words. He won’t allow any other thing sink except his, and his message is usually the same. “There is no big deal in falling; the big deal is not to stay fallen”.
You may not have a biological father or mother who can do what my father does. But I am sure you can choose the people you allow into your world, you can choose your friends, you can choose the right environment, you can choose your mentor, you can choose your words, you can choose what goes into you (what you read, watch, hear). These are the things that determine getting up and also staying up. Importantly, being in a functional relationship with God is the ultimate. The process will fail again if you leave Him out.
Today’s a new day, there are blue skies…. Try again!