Things have been unbelievable hectic here. It’s been one thing or another…who knew running a guest house could be so much work! I got a working holiday on Monday and Tuesday … I had a guest I had to show around. It was actually a very good friend who was on vacation and wanted to see the hills and rocks of Plateau State. I spent most of my childhood here so I know most of the sights…that is, the sights that are not on any tousist map. It was an awe inspiring experience. Yea, I’ve done it several times over, but when confronted with nature in it’s most raw and truest form, it can bring a grown man to his knees. I don’t have any pictures yet because my camera acted up, so my friend will send me his when he’s got the time.
On another note, my cousin, who lives with us ran away two days ago. His name is Jonathan. His dad is my mum’s younger brother. My mum knew nothing of his existence till a about three years ago when his mum dropped him at our grandparents’. The poor woman had him for 16 years and wanted to get married again. His father (my mum’s brother) had continuously denied his existence even though the boy was an exact likeness of the man. It was so sad that everyone of my mum’s siblings knew about the child except my mum. Sad but understandable as she is the eldest of them all and they are well… a bit scared of her. My mum is very no-nonsense. The boy’s mother was thrown out of her home when she got pregnant; my grandparents took her in and took care of her even though their son kept protesting the baby wasn’t his. After Jonathan was born, she stayed with them till she could stand on her own and then she left. 16 years later, she had had enough. My grandparents are retired and could not handle the boy’s education so who was called to take over the care of the boy? My mum.
Anyway, Jonathan was put in a school (he wanted to be a boarder) and things have been up and down. He grew up in a slum… I know a lot of people grow up from there and turn out right later, but Jonathan had so many bad habits he needed to get rid of. My brothers and I adopted him as a honorary younger brother and treated him as such. Then just last week he got suspended from school. He kept playing hooky, was caught smoking (we’re a bit more strict about that in Nigeria), and worse, he kept beating up the girls. So he came back home. We were all so sad about it. But I guess he was saddest. He went to my youngest brother (the closest to him in age) and said he was running away because he had brought shame on the family. My brother assured him that he wouldn’t be the first…we all had at one point in time, no one ran away.
I called him and talked to him…praying the whole time. He’s like a brother to me and I dream such great things for him. Most of his childhood friends have ended up drunks with zero work ethics…he was to go to the university in a couple of years. I advised him to just focus; the world was at his feet. He was happy when he left. I don’t know what happened the day after, but he came to me in tears and told me he was leaving. I got angry with him then. I told him a person needed to face whatever trouble that person was in…running away was wrong and futile. You can’t run away from your problems, they are wrapped around you! I felt so frustrated. He said he had brought shame on the family. I told him to get a life… I had brought ‘shame’ on my family more than once, where would I run to. I told him this was his family now (his dad still doesn’t want him and his mum, God rest her soul, died last year). When you are in trouble, you do not run from your family, you run TO your family. He said nothing. The next morning, he was gone. I felt so bad…still feel so bad. We can’t file a missing person report; he is now 19 years old – definitely of age. Besides, he left of his own free will. Where would he go to? I pray for him everyday that he’ll come back and if he doesn’t, that he’ll still make something out of his life.
He is a good boy, just a bit troubled. But that is understandable too. His dad has a new family now and they want no part of him. I would be troubled if that happened to me. I wonder if maybe I failed him…if there was more I could have done that I did not. But I’ll keep praying. AT least I can do that. And if you can, please say a prayer for Jonathan…he’s just a boy.
So that’s mostly what has been happening with me. I have been experiencing a withdrawal… I can’t explain it. I just feel myself withdrawing into me – maybe I just need some ‘me’ time. I’ll be moving into my little house this weekend. The renovations are almost done. Phew! I love my family, just not under my feet. Once I’m through decorating, I’ll post the pictures. Meanwhile, have a fantastic weekend and please don’t forget to say a word of prayer for Jonathan.