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Today I wanted to tell you about an event I attended. It was in support of  the  Learning Disability (LD)Week 2017. I was privileged to be invited to sit on a panel alongside Experts and parents to share our lived experiences in order to help health professionals appreciate the impact of the care they provide through our own eyes. It was a fantastic day at Great Ormond street Hospital London. The heat was less, allowing us to have an enjoyable session. It always feels great to come home to GOSH! Mencap– the voice of learning disability in the U.K. Supported us and it was a fantastic and empowering event to have been a part of. The need for LD nurses on the NHS cannot be over emphasised. We talked about the huge difference staff could make in transforming care for children and the families of children who walk through the hospital doors. We revealed how important it was to have someone who understand the needs of the children. Nurses in their role could also mediate on behalf of the children when their voices could not be heard as result of their Learning Disabilities. Learning disabilities limit the ability of sufferers to understand and learn. It made them appreciate things slowly but not impossibly. Parents talked about the impact of a “smile” from the staff. It helped foster the always values of the hospital. It made them feel more welcome and made an absolute difference to stressful outpatient appointments. Patient said they wished they could be acknowledged more and included when decisions about them were being made. Breaking down communication by using simpler language helps patients with learning disabilities feel included. Non-verbal does not mean that a child or young person cannot understand. Body language and tone of voice hold a strong an essential key to communicating with them. They can help non verbal children warm up! We also discussed about the difference a little patience and empathy can make in the lives of patients and their families.  It was nice to hear feedback from health professionals about the our challenges with dealing with children with learning disabilities. Notable among the feedback we received was how the “Patient passports” that provide more detailed and specific information were found to also fuel the anxiety of staff in delivering the care. Worrying about getting things wrong with these children compromised the confidence of some staff. It was reassuring for them to hear from parents how much it meant to see staff go above and beyond for their children despite their inner misgivings.  Parents were acknowledged as experts with their children by the Health Care Professionals but ultimately, the general consensus was for there to be a partnership between all parties with the child always at the centre of the decisions. This was in line with the GOSH  slogan The Child first and always. The event closed at 4pm and we all felt richer and more informed. Chapter 18 of the book “Through our eyes: what parents want for their children from health professionals” written by Jim Blair and Parents was the basis for our meeting. Jim Blair is a Consultant nurse in Learning disabilities and an Associate professor. Mary Busk, Hayley Goleniowska (Author of down side up), Simon Hawtrey-Woore, Sue Morris, Yvonne Newbold (Author of Special Parents Handbook) and Stephanie Nimmo were all contributors to the book and Experts by Parental Experience.  Photo Credit: Pixabay                 EVALUATION AND FEEDBACK FROM STAFF AFTER THE EVENT Through OUR eyes what people with learning disabilities and parents want from health professionals   The majority of staff were nurses or HCA’s others were doctors, play therapists or from facilities environment design department    How well do you feel the learning outcomes were met today? ‘Very well, much more informative than expected’ ‘The session fully met my expectations’ ‘I don’t know what the learning outcomes were’ ‘I think the session was very important. I feel I can take away new skills and knowledge and use them in my practice.’ ‘x4 Very well’ ‘Beyond expectations.’ ‘V good.’ ‘No outcomes given at start’ ‘Very well, met my learning outcomes.’ ‘ They were met well. A lot of discussion that prompted other topics to discuss.’ ‘The session has been very usful. It has provided me with the knowledge and the experts experiences was interesting.’ ‘A good start, foundation to find out more. Good patient / carer interaction., More.’ ‘Quite well, very out patient based, maybe some more ideas of facilitate nurses and teams on ward area.’ ‘A really interesting discussion and insightful to hear parent experiences.’ ‘I feel the outcome has been met and even several spots have been touched on. I belive understanding, acknowledging, confidence have been the key aspects.’   How will today’s session improve your practice? ‘To not be afraid and be more confident when dealing with patients with disabilities’ ‘I will consider the specific needs of the LD community in the design of departments’ ‘Might consider exploring idea of artist led training sessions for clinical staff around LD’ ‘it helped me to understand the concerns the people with ld have’ ‘By talking what the parent and patient needs from listening. Listening to listen not listening to speak and by working in partnership with them’ ‘x2 Greatly.’ ‘Increased awareness of specific accommodations that can be made for people with learning disabilities.’ ‘it will help me understand the struggle, stigma and fight the patient and families may have been through and how to approach and respond to them. It also has taught me not to be afraid or fear them but to smile and be confident when dealing with a child who has a learning disabilities.’ ‘See, say hello and smile.’ ‘It will make me more aware of how I communicate with patients an dtheir family. As well as how I offer care.’ ‘By treating all patients with LD the same way but ensuring communicating in the way they need to be […]

Learning Disability Week 2017 at Great Ormond Street Hospital


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My son Otito was born with a metabolic condition called Propionic Acidaemia. This condition sadly compromised his body’s ability to breakdown proteins. The implication of this was that he suffered with lots of metabolic decompensations and his body easily built up toxins called Ammonia in his blood. As a result of this degenerative condition, he was developmentally behind for his age.  His social and communication skills where severely impaired and he mostly existed in a world of his own. As a result, he was subsequently diagnosed with severe autism and learning disabilities. It was a huge shock to me as his mother to accept that my son would be different from other children. I took steps to overcome this feeling by getting as much information as I could once the diagnosis was made. His consultant at the time was very kind and eager to explain the condition to me. Before long, I understood most of the implications of the condition for my child. I also learnt about ways to spot the early signs of a metabolic crisis. Sadly, detecting the early signs did not prevent the metabolic crises that he characteristically suffered. The rate at which they occurred meant that he became a very unstable child. He became frequently hospitalised to keep him safe. Unfortunately, that also meant that he spent more time in hospital than we all would have hoped. By his 3rd  year of life, he suffered  a further complication of his condition with chronic pancreatitis and became hospitalised for one year to keep him safe. During his admission, we encountered many Health Care Professionals (HCPs). These were made up of medical staff functioning in different capacities and across various disciplines within the hospital.. While they all had the sole purpose of delivering excellent healthcare to our son, it was hard to get them to understand the care he needed because his level of development impaired his ability to express these needs appropriately. As his mother, I was also his advocate. I sprang to his defence like a mother hen every time his needs were missed. It was difficult to get the staff to listen. His inability to communicate left him non-verbal. He was also unable to express his emotions appropriately. For example, his expression of pain was not by crying or screaming as characteristically normal for most children. Instead, he became more quiet, withdrawn, less mobile and inactive. This pain response was mainly interpreted as being calm but not in pain. He was also very sensitive to being touched or held. During pain episodes, this touch sensitivity always became worse. His only position of comfort was always one where he could lie curled in a foetal position. He tended to pull in his limbs and stayed in the corner of the bed grinding his teeth. It was heart breaking to see him suffer at a time when he was closest to care. I cried for him every time he pulled away. I cried for the pain he could not express. I wished more than ever that he could do the same. I could not even communicate that to him. It was a helpless situation to be in as a mother. I could not pick him up to cuddle him or comfort him either as he could not tolerate such interactions as a result of being autistic. When the pain team got involved, I was a bit hopeful. However, his scores were low on their charts. The pain charts recorded higher scores for pain based on normal responses. For example screaming, being irritable and displaying active movements especially kicking to show pain was ranked highly. Incidentally, the pain endured by most pancreatitis sufferers I had met where always likened to excruciating labour pains experienced during childbirth. It was no wonder that the HCPs only disagreed with me every time I suggested that he was having yet another bout of the pancreatitis pain cycle. They could not justify the need to give the level of pain relief I was requesting since the pain scores they charted did not support my claim However, given his status as a severely autistic child with learning disabilities it was really not far-fetched. Their lack of experience with this type of autism that could lead to such pain responses in children meant that my son was unintentionally left to suffer. I knew I had to seek help for my son but had no idea how. As time went by my son became very withdrawn. While what the health professionals saw was more of a quiet boy, what I saw was less of my child and more of a chronic patient. To them his quietness was only a confirmation that he was after all unwell. We kept hitting brick walls at every corner trying to get him the help he needed in those first few months when he was admitted. It was while out on a walk along the hospital corridor one day that I made a discovery that changed the course of my son’s care for the better. After one of my routine arguments about the need to administer more pain relief for my son, I needed a change of scenery. That was when I accidentally stumbled across a leaflet hanging casually from a rack on the wall. It revealed the information about the existence of an expert in the hospital called Jim Blair who specialised in supporting families who had children with learning disabilities (LD). He happened to be a consultant and lead nurse in this area. Surprisingly and in the most unceremonious fashion, help finally arrived when I least expected it! Jim was very helpful and approachable. I was able to discuss my concerns easily with him. It was relieving to find someone-a health professional who finally understood my son’s plight. He simply got it! The pain responses that I described to him were anything but alien. In fact he said it was quite common with children who had the level of […]

Hospital life : Getting health care right in hospitals for people with complex health needs and intellectual disability


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Looking ahead can be impossible when you loose someone you love. I welcome you to unite your heart with mine today. We lose the ones we love in different ways. Some fall out of love with us, some abandon us and some unfortunately…die. Of all the losses, death stings the hardest because with death comes a finality. In death lies the impossibly of a reunion with the loved one at least not in this world. However, in death lies freedom. Freedom from all the limitations that life can bring. Limitations of suffering, poverty, distance , time and even … sickness. Death can conjur sad memories… only if you let it. We all experience our thoughts. If you think about something hard enough, you will feel it soon enough. When we lose someone we love, let us be comforted by the life we once shared with them. Let us experience the thoughts about the good times, the happy times, the laughter, the gains, the milestones. This is an important gift from them to us.The privilege of sharing in their joys and sufferings can not be taken away by death. Therefore no matter how death chooses to come, let us experience those thoughts. Let us realise that death is the ultimate end to the journey of all life. There are no timescales. When it’s time, it’s time. Sometimes it feels too short in our eyes but it is long enough for the deceased. “Fulfilment is not found in the number of days lived. It is found in the unquenchable joy that fills each day. Life may be short but the joy that fills each moment makes it perfect!”… Let us allow those feelings take their roots in our heart. The more you think it, the more you believe it. Let us forget the if’s, why’s and but’s that bring tears and focus on the gratitude of being part of the story of what was once the life of the one that once shared our lives. I love you all very dearly and I thank you for supporting us through this most difficult time. So I ask you “Is there any one you have lost to distance, heartbreak or quarrel?” You have the chance today to make your peace with them and be part of their story again. Don’t leave it till too late you never know what lies around the corner. Make that call you if have the time today!   Thank you for reading. Photo credit: Pixabay. You can watch the video by clicking below. Cheers

Death at my door (D.A.M.D) Part 7 Looking ahead after a loss…stay strong!



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Today in the house we had the privilege of receiving this message from one of you. He is very popular for his emotional write ups here at WHHQ. He is simply known as Ezimen. Well he shared a tip that we feel can help us deal with one of the most popularly unresolved feelings we experience quite frequently as individuals- anger. Anger can be triggered in nearly all types of relationships. It can lead to breakups whether justified or not. When I asked him what his best tip for anger management was he said “communication”. In his own words “Communication is very important and it’s the only way to manage anger without committing a sin”. I also asked him about how one can break the communication barrier when emotions are very high. Interestingly his response was “by writing”. “A simple note, text or write up can soothe an angry person”. Words have the power of healing and mending things once applied correctly. The media used to express words does not diminish its restorative ability. By words, we can properly communicate our otherwise misunderstood feelings. It doesn’t matter if the words come through your voice, pen or fingers (via texting). Below is a sample of one of such heartfelt apologies as written by Ezimen himself: I did not deal with my anger properly, I was sulking instead of dealing with my anger about what happened. I let my pride get in the way. Normally, I would have managed the situation better but I allowed myself dwell on the feeling. It spiralled out of control. Since we are bound to hurt each other from time to time perhaps next time we can agree on how best to deal with situations like these. We spoke yesterday and apologised to each other – I like that. We can build on that and try not to hold things against each other. I was sulking and I know you didn’t like that. I was hurt because of my pride and anger. So can we talk about things that we disagree on when we feel less angry? I apologise – do forgive. Thank you Ezimen for your advice. Thanks also for stopping by. Here at Whispering Hope we are committed to supporting aspiring writers. If you also have something you will like to express then do contact us. Have a lovely day guys! Thanks for reading You may also like others from this series About the author : Ezimen is a professional in the daytime. He loves writing, travelling and having fun! Do you know that you can now submit a post like this? To find out how, click here. Perhaps you fancy reading from others in the community? Find other articles here. Thank you Photo credit : Pixabay

You can write to say sorry… By Ezimen


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Him: It kills me to write this to you but I have to be in touch with reality. The truth is, affections are mostly never enough for a healthy relationship. We have to constantly work to build what people may perceive as a perfect relationship. Ours is one that is drifting at the moment like a floater on water. I can’t start to explain how difficult it is for me to not see you as often I want to and I know you feel that way too. While I admit that I am a sucker for attention,  I also want to dote and cater to your every need. The way our relationship is currently going, I can’t share your excitements and disappointments on a daily basis. Sadly, there is only so much technology can. I will not blame you if you think I am giving up on us before really trying. However, you will agree with me that we are both at phases in our lives that cannot be uprooted and changed completely. How can I ask you to leave your current identity just to be in the same city as me? This is particularly difficult because we have history … beautiful history. I am taking a closer look at our relationship and feel that I have to be as practical and fair as I am emotional. That is because I respect you too much to give a half effort at this. Instead, I am asking that we build a friendship that would transcend time and space to enable us get settled with the new roles in our individual lives. We must do this without dragging all the uncertainty that characterises our relationship into this narrative. Trust me when I say that I know how you will feel after reading this. I feel that letting it go on for too long would only cause both of us more pain. I have and would always be crazy about you. I am now left with the dream about how actually spending my waking moments with you would have been. I am now only left with memories of how I used to actually share my fears with you,  goof around with you and just be with you as I know how to. I have so much yet to do in my life and it would be unfair to ask you to stand by my side all through considering the place I am right now in my life. I am battling to convince myself that I am capable of achieving my every dream. I don’t want to lose you, yet I know I have to let you go so that  you can find true happiness with someone who would recognise all he has been searching for in you. You deserve a place in the heart of a man that would live his life with a sole purpose of giving you the best always. You deserve to be treated like a queen, loved like a sister and cherished like a treasure.   Her: The fact that you conceived the idea of having me fulfil another man’s desires makes me wonder if you truly treasure me as you say. You have left me shattered into a million pieces with your words. I will break along with my heart if you let me go. There will not really be any reason to carry on aspiring and trying to be all you think I desire to be if you are not here right next to me to share it with. I dream because you dreamt first. I aspire because you showed me the way. You have been my hero since you became mine and so I have allowed myself take my lead from you. What makes you believe that the answer to the question that has not been pronounced is no. The worst judgement a man can face is one for which he was never allowed to stand accused. It would have been my decision and not yours if ever it was brought to my knowledge. You have not asked and so you cannot be sure about how I will answer. Each word of your letter although heartfelt stabbed me as I blinked away tears. The tears were not because of your rejection but of the fact that you belittled what we have. Is our love so weak that it cannot withstand the storm? Is our ambition so strong that we will forgo the love we share? What will be the use if we become all we ever want to be without the very other half to share it with. I will rather a million years in your arms than a million dollars in my account. I will rather take the fall than to be a thousand miles apart from you. I grieve the love we shared because I too have begun to wonder if it was real? That you can give up on our love because of all you want to be makes me wonder now where I truly reside on your scale of importance. It went without saying when you got transferred and progressed in your career that something had to give. At no point did I envisage that I was to be the sacrificial lamb for your success. How you can bear the thought that I would prefer to be with another makes me wonder what you think I meant when I told you that I loved you more than anything in the world. My bags were packed the moment your news came. I was going to surprise you with the news that I had been given the go ahead to set up shop in the town you now call home. As I read your letter today I was so broken that I unpacked my bag. The realisation that if it were I who had to relocate you would choose your career over me is a heavy blow that I cannot recover from easily. I am not sure I can undo my relocation to the place right next to you because it has now been signed and sealed. What I can tell you for nothing is that this […]

Letters for her…by Ezimen


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Today on the D.A.M.D series, there is a bit of a twist I must say. Did you notice something different about the title today?  I omitted my usual “Musings of a grieving parent” caption. You did? Well done!!!  It is with good reason though. Today, the piece is about a grieving parent but not my muse. It is a poem sent in to me by a very special friend Agatha. I have know her for the type of short while that feels like ages. If you have ever met someone who fills your life with joy and the beauty of her intelligence, then you have a friend like the one I bagged in Agatha. She plaits words and has a distinct voice that pierces through her work. I find myself  feeling very excited every time I read from her. Special thanks to you her for this lovely poem. I am really touched by the words and the web of emotions that I continue to experience overtime I read it. She has a fantastic blog where she shares her special romance with the webs she alone can twist with words. Please make sure that you can check it out here. Its called Black girl wanderlust.  I hope you enjoy it too. The beauty of poetry is the way its meaning transcends all intention. Enjoy! Now. There is a boy-sized hole in her heart That is the twin of the child-sized pain sitting In the pit of her belly. In the pit of her belly Where he first resided before he was Where his sinews were joined with bone And flesh was wrapped around his awesomeness. Now it is an empty room Where the fire of his smile has gone out And the ghosts of his memories flit around in the shadow. II That slight quaver you hear in her voice – No, that is not the sound of shattering glass Nor the hint of quiet desperation as it seeps Through a tightly woven mask of placid acceptance This – this here is the sound of a willow; supple Swaying gently in buffeting winds Safe in the knowledge that though this river swelled, Swelled and burst its banks Though its raging waters lap at her roots like tongues of fire She will not be swept away. They hold firm, her roots; Buried deep in a nest of love   Thank you for reading. You may also like to read other articles like this. They can be found here. Photo Credit: Pixabay.

Death at my door D.A.M.D Part 6 A Poem – By Agatha (Poet and scholar)



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  So here is this seemingly innocent dude. He believed in “love and living happily ever after”. Once in his life he found the one. Little did he know that he was about to be introduced into a world of heartbreak, deceit, lust and sex. In fairness to him, he kept striving to find the one as he had always pictured (oh yes… guys do that too!) but he kept giving love. Life kept taking from him and giving him nothing in return. A series of events had redefined this young lad and built him to be who he was- someone who had fallen out of love with LOVE. Here is strike one – Guy meets girl, and for the purpose of clarity we shall call the beautiful lady Sharon and the guy Zuchi. Sharon was a goddess; she was so pretty that it scared him. They both met at a matriculation event where he got introduced to her by his sister as her course mate. From that moment he could barely take his eyes off her. Zuchi made small talk and found out that she was also funny and smart. The day went on better than he had hoped. Sadly like every good thing that comes to an end, so did the day! He wondered if knowing Sharon should end with the day but decided against it. He realised that if he played his cards right, then it could be the start of something beautiful. Sharon began to make her way home. As she started to leave he reached for her hand. He looked down at her and asked if he could see her again. She said she was going to be busy over the next couple of weeks and so could not assure him of her availability. Well at least, it was not a no! Therefore, he settled for her number. The next couple of weeks and months were blissful. They spent most of the time talking and texting non-stop on the phone. He tried to arrange a proper date but that didn’t happen as quickly as he had hoped. School was in full swing and both parties got busy with their respective schedules.  One evening, Zuchi decided to find time to visit her at her hostel. That was the best decision. It became easier for them to see each other more often. They always met up after classes and just talked. At other times they took walks, sometimes they even ate together. They just enjoyed each other’s company. He got a little carried away with their arrangement thinking that all he needed to do was profess his love for her and she would be his forever. Luckily, he came up with a plan to tell her exactly how he felt about on Valentine’s Day. Zuchi got the perfect gift and headed to Sharon’s hostel to unburden his heart. He could finally get the woman he had always wanted to call his. When he got there he met two dudes already there to see her. Zuchi was surprised because he had informed Sharon the day before that he was coming to spend the day with her and she had agreed. He didn’t mind though as he acknowledged the guys’ presence. He went in to greet Sharon with a peck but she ducked and opted instead for a side hug. At that moment he began to reassess the scenario he had walked into. Zuchi kept telling himself that he was over analysing it all. He spent the next half hour trying to make conversation with her but she seemed to split her attention seamlessly amongst her three guests. After a while, Zuchi just decided to end the most awkward experience he had ever been in. He reached into his pocket brought out his gift and gave it to her. She collected it from him and smiled. She mouthed the words “happy Valentine’s  Day dear”,  and then Zuchi left. Zuchi left the room thinking and contemplating every second he had just spent in her hostel. He told himself that he would get another opportunity to tell her that he was in love with her. That night he decided to tell her everything. He couldn’t wait till the next time they were together. It was 9.59 pm when he left his room.  He headed straight to Sharon’s. All through the journey, he kept rehearsing his lines and trying make them as smooth as ever. In reality, he didn’t care too much about the delivery. All he hoped for was the courage to say all he had to say. He had held back his feelings every minute and every second he was with her. Zuchi got to Sharon’s door but hesitated for a second or two. He could hear Coldplay’s “In my place” playing lightly in the background. “Yes, the stars are aligning for this” he thought to himself. The mood was definitely right for him to pour his heart out to her. With a deep breath he knocked on the door. “oh!!!!!! Bimpe don’t come back here to ask for anything again”, Sharon barked. Bimpe was Sharon’s nosey neighbour who was always borrowing one thing or the other even up to food items. Sharon opened the door with a frown that quickly turned into shock as soon as she realised that it wasn’t Bimpe at the door. She looked straight at him and started shaking uncontrollably. He moved to hold the shaking arm with which she held the door. Zuchi was also trying to understand her reaction to seeing him. She looked like she had seen a ghost. He tried to go in but she didn’t move. She stood firm, blocking him with the door slightly open now as he held her arm. Zuchi then opened the door wide so he could hold her as she seemed like she was about to completely fall off balance. She was muttering stuff he couldn’t understand. In the dim light he could see a […]

Falling out of love…with love. By Ezimen


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The Journey There are times I think to myself ‘will I ever be finished?’ I want and plan to do so many things, some I have accomplished others remain elusive yet I keep striving to be what I think I can be, where I think I ought to be. It is a constant battle convincing myself that I am making progress, somedays it is slow, sometimes no forward steps at all and I begin to question myself, am I expecting too much from myself? Are my goals unrealistic? Is it possible to achieve everything I have set out to do? Is success meant to determine my worth? Does one stop or keep pushing in the face of failure. These are a few of the concerns of the average person I on the other hand, have felt this way for a long time. During times of success, you ride high on the wave of self-accomplishment and expect every area of your life to at least be this successful and then one disappointment brings your world crashing down, back to the harsh reality that it is not always rosy. Life has its crazy way of halting you when you have a spring in your step on your way to conquer the world, when you are ahead and ready to make history by breaking already set standards. Life will make you acknowledge that you are not always in control, you can plan all you want, execute as ruthlessly as possible and yet your outcome can still fall short of 100 percent. This is not to say that you should give up rather you suck it up and continue striving to maintain and even surpass previous performances. Last year was one of those years, many projects started and some of them not turning out to be as successful as I had hoped. I felt down for a while but as always, I found a way to bounce back and keep working to improve results and to accomplish set out targets. The new year is here ripe with new opportunities, expectations, old and new projects to complete or begin. It would be advisable to hit the ground running but most importantly don’t start your year without a masterplan. Take time to reflect, see where you are now, appreciate your journey because that is the best way to look at it, ‘a journey’. See how far you have come and how much more effort is required to see you to the finish line. Here are some tips to improve your productivity this year; Stay focused, don’t let the noise in. it is a very noisy world we live in but you must be able to filter it all. Be in your own space always. choose your goal and break it down into smaller manageable tasks. Yes, you want to walk on the moon this year, it may seem daunting or even impossible but if you start chipping off at that massive rock little by little you would make a lot of progress eventually. monitor your progress regularly and adjust if necessary. Remember to be flexible in your approach. seek information everywhere you are, always strive to find something new that you didn’t know about. This is the only way you keep growing by learning as you go. If you apply these tips and the many more you can come up with, there is certainly no limit to what you can achieve this year and in the future. I am here, not where I was last year, not where I want to be yet but HERE and I would enjoy the journey and I am proud of my progress, you should be too. You may also like others from this series About the author : Ezimen is a professional in the daytime. He loves writing, travelling and having fun! Do you know that you can now submit a post like this? To find out how, click here. Perhaps you fancy reading from others in the community? Find other articles here. Thank you Photo credit : Pixabay

The Journey …by Ezimen


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This series was created to share with our readers the thoughts and emotions of a grieving parent dealing with the monumental tragedy of losing a child. Enjoy! TOO SOON TO MOVE ON I woke up this morning feeling like I could take on the world…. However, somewhere along the line, as the day went along, I soon lost all my mojo, All I really wanted was to just have an early night. The problem though, was that it was just noon and nowhere near bedtime. That was how it felt sometimes… on days when I entered grieve mode. Personally, the weekends are the hardest for me. Weekends used to be the highlight of the week for my family until a few weeks ago when Fred decided it was time to begin his exit from this planet. It was the one time all the boys used be together. I remember fond memories with all of us in the little room that was Fred’s cubicle on the hospital ward. Fred, darling Fred… without a care in the world. Mark?  …he would attend the activity centre where he loved to play. Karl and I? …we mostly watched movies to pass the time. We later converged before the end of the day to take Fred on walks as soon as the nurses thought he could be taken out for the day. I honestly would not have done anything differently about our family time. It was so ordinary, yet so special. Now since he passed, the weekends have become quieter. No stressful trips to London. No looking for what to entertain the boys with. No changing diapers. No listening to Fred’s music for the umpteenth time….No stress! That is good right? Well, that was our normal, our routine and “our thing”. This new normal was something I had desired for so long and had given up on ever experiencing. This new normal feels strange without Fred in it. I still feel so apprehensive about settling back into normalcy. I feel like it’s too good to be true. I know that it isn’t and I am teaching myself to relax more. I am trying to unlearn having to wake up constantly to do Fred related chores- diapers, medicines, feeds, safety… I am trying to unlearn being on alert every minute. There are so many normal things that have become strange to me now, but… I am taking baby steps trying to learn to be normal again. Some friends have been asking me “what next?” …. As a matter of fact, make that … everyone asking me and being on my case! I know they mean well and I probably need the nudge but it feels so wrong to treat my Fred…my pain… like a chapter in a book that should be snapped shut. Well I don’t want to. I want to linger on…fiddling with that chapter. I know I shouldn’t but it seems so disloyal to let go and simply…move on as all propose. Did he mean so little that I should move on so easily?The ripples from the blow life dealt me when she decided in her infinite wisdom to let Fred slip away are still so profound that they are still spreading through my every vein… my every heartbeat… my every step. All I want is to savour and hold on to it for that bit longer because they are all I now have left… I know I should be thinking about what my next move should be in this new normal. However, somewhere in my head, I think it is too soon. It just seems so unfair after all the special times we shared with our son that we would just move on so easily and so quickly. I am trying to clutch at them. Sadly as much as I would like to stay melancholy, my brain is moving on faster than I would want it to. That too is a good thing as well right? I have found sleep to be my trusty companion. It helps get me well rested and more refreshed to take on each day. It is just that the weekends are so quiet…. I am going to talk to Karl about this today. I will find out if he is experiencing these emotions too. You never know. Do they not say a problem shared is halved? Perhaps we can find new ways to fill up the silence that is quickly filling up our weekends. The weather is getting warmer too, so perhaps we could even go out on our family walks again. Find new ground because I am not sure that we can possibly pick up from where we left off even if we tried. So if you are out there, trying to cope with the devastating loss of a loved one, I want you to know that we can all get through this! Thank you for reading

Death at my door D.A.M.D (Musings of a grieving parent) Part 5 – TOO SOON TO MOVE ON



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This series was created to share with our readers the thoughts and emotions of a grieving parent dealing with the monumental tragedy of losing a child. Enjoy! THE SPRING CLEAN Our spring clean this year was long overdue and today we decided to start with a clean up of all our phones and devices. The main reason for this as the primary starting point was that unlike other areas that needed a proper clear-out in our lives- given the events of the last few weeks, our devices were the most volatile and dis-organised. We had many pictures and videos which had suddenly evolved from being mere captured moments to becoming treasured moments. The demise of our son two months earlier, meant that he stopped being captured in our moments from then on. Our devices unfortunately were subject to loss or damage. We had to hold on to every memory we could milk off them. There seemed to be a sense of urgency in carrying out the clear-out although I honestly could not tell why. Although having the memories stored in this way kept them to hand, they unfortunately also made us stumble into our son’s videos or pictures very suddenly. Such sudden appearances of his images were sometimes welcomed and comforting but at other times they were very upsetting depending on the state of mind we were in. It became necessary to keep them safe elsewhere. That way we could reach them when we felt readier to confront them. It also had another alluring advantage of freeing up the space in our devices thus creating room for us to capture even more memories as life sadly went on. Interestingly, something happened as we sorted through our devices. Our emotions swung into overdrive. What we did not bargain for were the surge of emotions that came flooding out as we sorted through each memory that each image or video we came across pulled into our consciousness. What started off as an innocent exercise began turning into a gruelling experience for us all. In no time we were in bits. We thought we were doing well and feeling strong emotionally since our loss or why else would we have felt courageous enough to begin this exercise? Each memory seemed to stick us right into a lane in our memories where we stood watching each event depicted by the capture photograph or video unfolding. We wished we recorded each event more or better still that we started the recording earlier. We filled in all the blanks in our minds as we relived each moment with our late son in those photographs. We confronted the foolishness in the dreams we revisited as we remembered nursing them when those images were captured. Would that we could have known what lay just a few years, months, weeks or even days ahead from when we took those snapshots! Our  activity today made me feel like a child pulling at scabs, fascinated by their appearance and yet not knowing the pain that lay ahead after pulling sweetly at it. The allure of curiosity overshadowing all common sense. I wondered if there was even any wisdom in capturing so many images as one walked through life. I questioned the sense in storing them. I missed the power of depending on only the mind to recall memories as was quite customary before all this technology. A time when memories in our hearts faded away with the passage of time until they lost their potency as painful reminders and reduced to just a dull ache. I toyed with the idea of deleting them all but I knew better than to make any decisions while overcome with emotion. As we all tried to get through each last image, I could see us all crumbling but pulling each other along as we talked through the different emotions we were going through. My little strong son Mark said he wished his late brother Fred could visit us sometimes. He made this painful wish in his usual innocent way. My broken heart ground to a pulp as I explained the impossibility of his simple request. He claimed to understand as he sat on my lap in silence while we all put each memory away in the file we had opened in the removable hard drive. With the last one done for the day, we heaved a sigh of relief. The dull absence of the sunshine to warm our hearts clouded up what was left of our day not only in the literal sense but in every way. Afterwards, we switched on some happier songs on the sound system to tune us out of the emotions we had just unexpectedly confronted, I saw again how we began to brighten up even without any sunshine in sight. The torch of hope was kindled again as we swayed to the beats. We knew the importance of letting life go on. One foot in front of the other, one day at a time would mean that surely one day soon the memories would not hurt so badly. We had to trust as we always did that there was nothing without reason. Our boy Fred was safe in the place where not even the pain of his disease could ever get him. So here I am standing between the isles in a shop where I came to as an excuse to get some air. I am staring blankly and wondering if I would ever open that hard drive ever again? I know I am as curious as a cat and won’t resist but that will have to be sometime in the future when I too feel far away from today, far away from the pain, far away from the emotional drain…. Thank you for your time. Hope you can join me again next time! Just so you know, there was Part 3 last week. Click here to catch up. You may also like to read other articles like this. They can […]

Death at my door D.A.M.D (Musings of a grieving parent) Part 4 – THE SPRING CLEAN


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This series was created to share with our readers the thoughts and emotions of a grieving parent dealing with the monumental tragedy of losing a child. Enjoy! BACK IN TIME I keep walking… I keep taking one step after another. I keep putting one foot in front of the other. Sometimes it feels like I can feel my feet being printed in the ground as I take each step.   I walk for dear life. I walk to keep you near It’s the one thing we used to share. I can’t stop myself.   And then came a comforting thought as I walked today….   Perhaps all I need to do is retrace my footsteps. Perhaps all I need is to walk backwards. Perhaps 6 million steps back is all it will take. To get me back to the time when you were here.   I would probably need to walk back in time till I find myself … Till I find myself pushing you along the path we used to thread together. With my eyes closed I can feel your little hand in mine. I can see your big eyes looking up at me. Asking me to lead you on as only I could do.   Come along my love and I will take you to the place you loved. I will guide you to your place of freedom. The place you wanted to be all along….   Now all I have is your song. With your song I make that journey every day. With its melodious tune I am guided back to the time When you were here right next to me humming along.   Now all is quiet but right here in my heart you are never silent. I can feel your presence near. On the strings of the cords that you played. I can see the marks that your fingers made.   I want you back! O how it hurts so…. But to have you back will be to wish more pain on you. My only wish is for you to fly free. Sometimes it’s hard, most times it’s easy   To see your face in the memories we carved on still paper. Feels like my heart is being stabbed with a dagger. But catching that glimpse gives me every reason to be strong It makes me long for you but keeps my heart warm on cold nights.   How can all of life point to the exit sign? How come all we have is a box full of memories? How do you pack up a man’s life in a box? How come it all fits in even though you were larger than life?   But back in time my love is where  I know I have to go Back in time is where you live Back in time is where I go when I want to be with you Sleep sweetly my love…. Thank you for reading. Just so you know, there was Part 2 last week. Click here to catch up. You may also like to read other articles like this. They can be found here. Photo Credit: Pixabay.

Death at my door D.A.M.D (Musings of a grieving parent) Part 3 – BACK IN TIME


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I have now stayed over one year in the hospital with Fred and a whole lot has happened since then. There have been tears, laughter, sadness but most importantly, hope. Just “good old hope” about positive outcomes or at least finding the positive sides to our outcomes whatever they may be. One very interesting should I say side effect of the whole hospital experience has been that I have become more “hospitaley” than I would like to admit. I can now exist in chaos; beeping machines and screaming toddlers make up the sound track of my life. I have turned into an art waiting an art. Somehow I have become less fussed about dates and postponements, they always come in the end no matter how far they are thrown. One less part is that I can now eat bad tasteless food. I can eat fast foods, bad food, good food and you would never tell from my face. My taste buds are as bad as my ears to less than desirable foods and sounds. I have also conveniently forgotten how to do house chores, live at home and be normal. Our life has been quite split into hospital and domestic. Karl handles the domestic side expertly ( and for that I feel blessed and remain thankful) while I handle the hospital side. It has been working for us. Fantastically, I must add because as “Adam Smith” said – division of labour leads to specialisation. Karl and I have become gurus in our chosen fields. Sadly the downside is that I have now honestly forgotten how to handle the domestic side. One of the mums on the ward calls it “being institutionalised”. I can still cook (that will take more than a year to get de-skilled) and that but when I say I have forgotten the domestic side, I mean, I now experience a feeling of apprehension when it is my turn to stay at home with Mark. I find I secretly can’t wait to leave. No one notices this but deep down, i know my brain will rather do what it has now become used to – cleaning beds, clearing up vomits , chanting nursery rhymes, making sure Fred is fine. It is stressful but it has become my new normal. I can’t seem to find where things are kept when I am at home. I can’t get over how much Mark has grown. He sees through our white lies (which by the way are meant to be my parent secret tools). One year is a long time in a child’s developmental clock and it seems like a shame to feel a sense of loss. There is always time to do something. Many parents with sick children especially those who have long admissions can relate with this. There are some ways to try to overcome this hurdle: Communicate: If you feel left out of the lives and routines of the family, it may be time to have this discussion with your partner or one who shares the care of your family with you. Keeping your frustrations bottled up may not allow you find solutions. It may fuel your helplessness. For those without partners or who are single parents, it may be a good time to speak with HCPs or social services. They are there to provide support and signpost you to other services that can assist you. Swapping: It may be a good idea to consider swapping. By swapping I mean allowing a partner, family member or person of trust swap places with you for a few hours or days at a time depending on what is available. No matter how little the time off is, it will still be helpful. Some local authorities provide only a few clustered hours of care depending on the family needs and what is available. Do not decline help except you are sure that it is not really suitable. My rule of thumb is to accept anything I get to enable me consider my options before declining I find it is easier than declining and later realising it may be a good idea to avoid disappointment. Maximise the quality of time spent with the rest of the family as the time at your isposl may vary and be limited, it is not such a bad idea for you to plan the activities you intend spending with your other children or family members. Remember that if you only plan to do anything, you may end up doing nothing. Also, having a plan will endear positive sentimentality towards you. It will make other family members or children feel important and cared for. The siblings of sick children normally feel neglected. Little steps towards improving the quality of the time you share with them can help foster family unity which in turn can be stress relieving for the caregiver. Don’t feel guilty: As long as you have made adequate arrangements for the care of your sick child, there is no need to feel guilty about the time you take from caring for your them. Guilt is emotionally exhausting. It also robs you off the enjoyment of the short time you have to spend with the rest of your family. It can make you appear absent minded and unhappy to be with the family. The other siblings can pick up this from you and in some cases resent you for it especially when they can compare your mood and demeanour and find a sharp contrast between your behaviour with them and the sick child. You deserve a break. Spending time with the rest of the family is good and healthy for you. It can make you happy. Happiness impacts positively on your overall well-being as a person. When your well-being is improved, you can feel refreshed and rejuvenated, becoming the best carer you can be. Make time to rest: resting can help lighten your mood and leave you feeling less stressed. Time spent with the rest of the […]

Hospital Life- The past year



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This series was created to share with our readers the thoughts and emotions of a grieving parent dealing with the monumental tragedy of losing a child. Enjoy! ACTUALLY BURYING MY SON I had times were my thoughts were marred by the inconceivable idea of committing him to earth. I thought all sorts. I had all sorts of images about the decomposing and loneliness down there in the grave. As a mum, I felt subdued, helpless and on the receiving end. That was when I decided that I had to take back control of my thoughts. I could not let them control me. I like to think that we experience our thoughts. If we begin to think there is a snake in the room, even though it is not a statement of fact, we soon begin to feel scared or unsettled. I did not want to lose control of my feelings. One of the reasons why death is scary is because unlike most experiences, there are stories about those experiences from those who have been through them that can either throw more light on them, reassure us or scare us. With their accounts, we begin to separate fact from fiction and ultimately gain more understanding about the issue. Death is one experience that by virtue of its finality remains a mystery. No one has actually come back from being dead to tell us about what it is like. There are no real tangible facts. All the facts that exist are intangible explanations that require more than the five senses to make sense of. People tend to adopt a “faith” to help make sense of it. Sadly not everyone has a faith to help.The uncertainty surrounding the death experience fuels anxiety leading to various reactions to death. Shock, fear, grief, loss, anger, confusion and the list is endless. We as humans are made to make sense of things by mirroring them with our past experiences. This helps us understand. So if I tell you that I broke my leg, you are most likely going to remember (draw on a past experience) where you either broke your leg (experienced yourself), nursed someone with a broken leg, or knew someone who broke their leg (experienced by proxy). Either way, you will tend to understand better because you have felt that sort of pain before. Unfortunately, no death experience is felt by any of us directly, it always happens to someone else. This means that we can only make sense of death by thinking about it in the way we can understand. We may worry about how the deceased feels. In my case I worried about my boy being “lonely” in his grave, I worried about his skin “decomposing” and looking horrible. I worried about him being “trapped”, not moving etc… all these are characteristics that affect people who are alive and really nothing to do with the dead. A dead person can feel nothing and therefore can sense nothing because all life is gone from the deceased. The things that lead up to death are a process that release the person into the state of being…. dead. For some the events that lead to their death are peaceful, for others they are tragic. Either way, without these processes, death will not occur. They will then stay alive, just like the rest of us who they have left behind. It is only if the deceased was alive that they would experience the feelings of pain, love, laughter, joy, sorrow, worry and so on. It is important to try to consciously stop trying to make sense of the feelings of the body of a dead person. To stop worrying about how the dead “feel”. That word “feel” is a word that only makes sense when you are “not dead”. The deceased that we think about are in essence “dead” and therefore have no need or ability to feel things. They can neither feel anything on their physical bodies like wounds or decay nor can they feel any emotions like pain or loneliness for example. I prefer to experience a feeling beyond what my senses can call factual to help release me from being imprisoned in by grief. You can think of the dead as free from pain, disease (in my son’s case), free of being limited by whatever circumstance held them down while they lived. It may help you experience happiness amidst the sorrow. It also does not make any factual sense … which is the whole idea of this line of thought. Being dead cannot make sense beyond the lifelessness of the deceased that is left behind for us to deal with. To enter into any understanding about death, we have to find that way to connect interiorly in our being either through faith or deep spiritual exercises. As this may be a feat possible for only monks and mystics, I am afraid, we may be better of leaving the dead well alone. I also saw my son one last time before he was committed to earth and although `I had built myself up for a disastrous experience, it was one of the most emancipating experiences of my life. He had began to transition into a state of oneness with Mother Earth. There was no trace of resemblance with my beautiful boy. He was simply gone! It helped me free him in my heart to be buried. You know when he initially died, he still looked so beautiful and peaceful in the chapel of rest where he lay. Somewhere in my head, it kept feeling like he would wake up. I knew he could not because he was gone but it did not stop me wishing.This increased my anxiety about having him buried. I felt a lot of comfort knowing he was in the mortuary. In my mind, I could only feel comforted that he was “asleep” in death … in that cool fridge. Sadly my emphasis in that statement was on the “asleep” not on […]

Death at my door D.A.M.D (Musings of a grieving parent) Part 2 – THE COURAGE TO SAY GOODBYE


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This series was created to share with our readers the thoughts and emotions of a grieving parent dealing with the monumental tragedy of losing a child. Enjoy! For the next few weeks, I have decided to pen (or type) down my feelings as I walk my way through … and hopefully …walk my way out … of the weight of the emotions that have taken up abode in my heart since my son’s demise in February this year. I, as usual, refuse to let this whole experience be the end of me… but a rebirth. I am absolutely certain that within this circumstance, there will be many lessons to learn. Hopefully many interesting emotions too! I can certainly testify to the fact that I have been swept by many so far.  I will tell you about this one that I feel I have just come through: GETTING HIS FUNERAL SERVICE DONE We had the final service in memory of our son at the St Christopher’s chapel at Great Ormond street Hospital London. It was special. After a lot of e-mails and phone calls back and forth between the chaplain and I, we pulled it off! When Fred died, I was not really sure about how the next hour would be because it hardly made any sense to me. All I knew was that I was not going to let myself worry. The worst had happened and in my mind, everything would be easier…fall into place. Nothing could possibly be worse than his death. I set out asking questions and being initiated into a new world of funerals, flowers, invitation cards, thank you cards and what have you. One by one each activity slipped into place. We were directed to the Coop funeral services by another lovely parent whose daughter had also sadly passed away. She reassured me about how personal and comforting their service was. I knew I had to contact them. Although I had been referred to many other directors locally, I could not shake off the reassurance in this woman’s voice. So I made the call one morning and booked an appointment. The atmosphere was serene and comforting when we arrived. They put me at the centre of all the discussions to my discomfort. As a woman of African origin, it was quite difficult for me to have these discussions when my husband was present. It just felt disrespectful. He was the dad too. Interestingly there was a cultural shift in my favour. My husband was too westernised to care so I ignored the discomfort and let myself enjoy being at the centre of the deliberations. It began to feel comforting that I was being indulged in a sense as the “Mother of the child”. As soon as the signatures and payments were done, the Coop funeral services took over. They handled bringing our boy back home and all I really had to do was focus on giving him the best send-off. The day of the funeral service was a day of remembrance. We had all Fred’s nursery rhymes on cue. We had no hymns per se. What we sang were two of Fred’s favourite nursery rhymes. Row your boat and Twinkle little star. We all shared fond memories of him throughout the service. His lead consultant, Ward sister, School teacher and Former PA to the consultant gave lovely tributes to my boy. There was laughter and love in that chapel that day. It was filled to capacity with all his team. It was amazing that everyone could find the time to come and I will remain eternally grateful to everyone who attended physically. Many hearts were united with us from all over the world… those who could not attend in person. I appreciate all their prayers too. It was also a memorable experience for Mark who now is left without a brother. He kept asking if he could play in the hospital Activity Centre because he had missed not being in the hospital for that reason. It was lovely that everyone who attended made the day special for us as a family. We all felt fired up with strength for the event of the following day which was the day Fred was to be committed to Mother Earth. We did not really want to invite anyone because we were very conscious of what Fred meant to everyone. He was a special cheerful boy and we worried that it would be too much emotionally for some. On that sunny Friday morning, we arrived the Cemetery all set to go on that final walk with our boy. But guess what? We met all the nurses in his Local team right there waiting to walk with us. It was amazing. His consultant was in attendance, some  representatives from GOSH, even Mark’s class teacher attended. We also had friends, Family, Fred’s school Driver, people from his school….we were blown away. Now I am sitting here this sunny Sunday afternoon thinking about how blessed I have been because of Fred. He drew all these people into my life. All this love, comfort and support network now surround me. I am blessed because he was mine. I feel honoured to have been the one who bore him. We hope to learn more about Propionic Academia because Fred once walked this earth. His life may have been short, but it was long enough for him. This is a vote of thanks to everyone who has stepped into our life in the last 4 years. We love you all. Not forgetting all of you online who have supported us through this most difficult time. We appreciate you too. Thank you for reading If you enjoyed this, you will find more articles like this here Photo credit: Pixabay  

Death at my door D.A.M.D (Musings of a grieving parent) Part 1 – THE FUNERAL SERVICE


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A good friend of mine sat across me with so much excitement in his eyes as he narrated how he landed his dream job with little or no effort on his part. He saw it as nothing short of the miracle he had been praying for. I was so happy for him that I couldn’t hold back my questions as to how and when it all happened. In that moment, all I could feel was genuine satisfaction that someone who was in a similar situation as I was had found his breakthrough, but as a human being I couldn’t help but have mixed feelings later on when I sat alone thinking about how his prayers and not mine had been answered. Selfish, right? This is the constant battle we face as human beings. The ability to be truly happy for the progress or success of others without making it about ourselves generally eludes us. I am not saying that human beings are naturally bitter. However, the act of being absolutely selfless while rejoicing with the friends or family members who have succeeded at something we have not achieved is difficult. You may have tried a number of times to perform a particular activity without a breakthrough. When you later find yourself sitting across someone who with little or no visible effort has achieved that very dream of yours will you be honestly happy for them? Do you rejoice without remembering your failures, setbacks and regrets? It is really difficult but possible. How you may ask? Well, here is how… 1)Remember that we all walk different paths in life and so you shouldn’t be comparing your successes, your failures, your pains and generally, your life to that of other people. 2)Be grateful for every situation you find yourself in so that you can use every story of success around you to fuel your hunger to achieve your dream. Do this not only because you are competing but because you truly want that job, that promotion or that marriage. Be willing to put in the extra effort required to get it. 3)Wish people nothing but the best and be sincere when rejoicing with them in their time of plenty so that when you are blessed beyond your imaginations, true and equally genuine people would surround and celebrate you. Who wouldn’t like that, I guess we all do, so be that person. 4)Do not let your current struggles leave you bitter or make you a HATER. You are bigger than your present reality. 5)Most importantly, remember that your life is a journey. So be sure to enjoy yours and celebrate your milestones. Whenever you achieve something you have worked or prayed for, look back at your mindset while you waited. If you were patient, you would find that the wait was worth it and you will truly value your accomplishment. On the other hand, if you lived in constant worry while waiting, it would be absolutely clear how unnecessary that was. Worrying about things that have not yet been attained only deprive you of happiness. All you need to do during those times is to master the art of patience. So live in the moment, be grateful and be PATIENT because that’s all you need to lead a fulfilling life. Thank you for reading. You may also like others from this series About the author : Ezimen is a professional in the daytime. He loves writing, travelling and having fun! Do you know that you can now submit a post like this? To find out how, click here. Perhaps you fancy reading from others in the community? Find other articles here. Thank you Photo credit: Pixabay

Life requires Patience…By Ezimen



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RAINFOREST WARD It is a time in my life that I can never forget. I first walked through those doors 4 years ago when my son Otito was born. He had gone straight into coma and our world was shattered. A simple birth has turned into a nightmare. At a time when we were trying to make sense of the diagnosis, we walked into the loving and welcoming arms on rainforest ward. It’s a ward unlike any other at GOSH because I have been through many wards along the way with my boy unfortunately. There is a personal touch to the care you get on Rainforest ward. The culture and atmosphere is exemplary. The staff there are a team. There is a feeling of peaceful coexistence and healthy rivalry. Not the usual cut throat competition that is quite common in some female dominated professions. In the last year, it became my son’s home- our second home. He was looked after and loved on Rainforest ward. I often wondered if he would ever adjust to life at home after being spoiled by the nurses who loved him to bits. Now and especially at this time, I look at those doors behind me with fondness. Although he never made it back home, he was at home there. When he was there, he was less of a patient and through the year that was to be his last and in their care, we saw more of the happy little boy that he deserved to be. That gives me peace. The interesting thing about hospital life is the unintentional intertwining and inter-mingling with so many people. You learn to get along with them and adjust to all their qualms. In the end, a peaceful coexistence ensues. I remember good times and sad times in equal measure. I resist the urge to sway towards being stuck in the sad times. Instead, I deliberately swing the bias towards the happy times. Otito brought these wonderful people into my life. Had I not birthed him and nursed him through the roller coaster years, I would have remained oblivious to the reality of the wonderful team existing behind those doors. For this I am thankful. When Otito passed away, I saw all the pain and I watched the tears flow through their eyes and I felt very lucky to have them all in my life. Sharing the pain with these team of love made it easier to bear. No epistle can convey how tough the last year has been. However, in the company of the staff on the ward, I felt like they witnessed my struggle and no explanation was required. Therefore I could just get on with trying to make sense of what had unfolded. Rainforest ward was our ward. I made and formed new friendships with many parents that I can never forget. You see, there is one privilege of having a tumultuous life as I have had. You begin to see that many things are overrated. “Friendship” is one of those. Sadly, many long formed relationships fizzle to a trickle. Phone calls reduce to faded chat lines until they become history. This is usually not intentional but it happens anyway. Having a sick child can take you into a different league. You begin to have less common interests with old friends until you drift apart. Old friends cannot identify with your new reality. Trying to get their attention may keep you spinning until you are saddled with so much emotional baggage at a time when you need less stress. I had a friend once think that I was lying when I said my son was sick- again. My supposed friend in not so many words said “Like seriously, how can someone be so unwell?” before ending the statement with the usual “bless him”. On the other hand, I also experienced the helplessness from friends who would have loved to help but did not know how or were too far away. I made new friends on rainforest ward. When I did, the gap was filled. I did not mean to make them but they happened because they could feel my pain. We were in the boat together. Somehow they got it! It was a comforting relationship. We all were united in the struggle and pain we felt for our children. We were fighters and pulled one another along the way. We shared tips and tricks depending on what we had learnt. I am sitting on my sofa now missing them all. Somehow like before, I know that no matter how I try, life will happen again and the calls will fade because we are now in different worlds. We will begin to have less things in common. My day will probably begin to have different events. I may start to feel insensitive when I call to moan about my new challenges and you may start to call less because you do not want to disturb me with your Parent Caring challenges. But it doesn’t have to be that way because no matter what happens, I will always get it. If you have walked this path, you are never the same. It changes your life positively if you let it. You become more sensitive to things you never could have thought you would even notice. One of the mums gave me a life time membership of the Parent carers club. Like an invisible alumni. It was comforting because it really feels strange being “normal” again. I feel like a bit of a cheat- being relieved of my duties so suddenly! For the first time yesterday, I experienced something weird. Before I tell you what it is, I will take you down my lane of memory to help you understand why it felt wierd…. In 2012 when I watched the London 2012 opening ceremony, pregnant, I saw a display by “Drs and nurses at Great Ormond street hospital” and thought -Awwww, bless. God help “those” people. After that, […]

Rainforest Ward…Otito’s final home. (A thank you letter to all the teams that made his last year special)


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If the evil one knew that killing Jesus will bring redemption he would have turned him into Methuselah and stopped his crucifixion. There is always light at the end of the tunnel. There is no mountain we cannot climb if we can only believe. Remember if you can…you can. No one has power over us except it comes from above. God is a good God and there is no evil to be found in him. His thoughts towards us are of good and never of evil. Therefore we have to put all our trust in him no matter the situation. Sometimes things go wrong but at other times they will go well. Life is like a bed of roses. Very beautiful to behold but also filled with prickly thorns. We must never claim monopoly of ill occurrences. They happen to every one- only some are visible to all while others are not so obvious. If we are better disposed, the blows life deals us will be cushioned by our inner fortitude. It is deep rooted in us but sometimes we are not aware of our strengths. Some events occur in our lives that help us access them those strengths. There is no proper certification without an exam. For those of us who are Christians, how can you really know you have faith if it is not tested? The bible called Abraham God’s friend after he abandoned himself to God’s will by sacrificing his son. He who the Lord loves he chastises. So we see Job being tried and tempted to the end because he loved God and God bragged about it. Do you love God? Can God be sure that you will continue to trust that he loves and cares for you even when things seem horrible? The trials we face in life unlock our inner strengths- but only if we let them. Remember the glass is with “half-full or half-empty” depending on how you see it. There is no right or wrong answer. As long as your answer does not draw you down and make you sad- choose it. Whichever one you choose, the quantity of water in the glass remains unaltered. I am a firm believer in God’s strength and God’s grace. I have complete confidence in his God’s divine plan. So I made a deliberate and conscious decision to make today about praising God and celebrating Fred’s life. I cannot change what has happened but I can change how I view it. I can change how I let it affect me. That gives me control. One good thing about being in control about things that happen in your life is that it helps you feel stronger. So you too may be out there feeling down – please rise up today and move on. Feeling down will not lead you anywhere but raising up your head will help you start to find the light at the end of the tunnel. Fred bore his pains gallantly. His passing is now “my pain” but in time it will not be so painful. I choose to see his passing as a way that gave him peace.God’s glory and beauty surrounded him. He inspired me as his mum with his strength -God’s strength. So joy has come in the morning. Joyful trust that this is the Lords doing. Nothing happens in this world without God allowing it to happen. No one can surprise God. I remember when Pontius Pilate got angry with Jesus for not answering his numerous questions. He said ” do you know I have power to put you in jail and release you?” Do you remember what Jesus said? I will remind you today. He said “you have no power over me except the one that comes from above”. This was a man whose life and death had been “foretold” before time began. How could any man claim power over him. God has written down all that is happening and all that will happen in your life before you were born. So let us have trust in God. I know I do try not to make my posts about my faith because I acknowledge that my followers cut across all walks of life. However at times like this… of great pain, it is impossible for me to make sense of it without holding firmly to my faith. Only the joy of the Lord can be my strength at this time. Praises to God in my native tongue: Ebubedike, okwusi ogwu. He speaks and the earth trembles. The beginning and the end I bow in submission to you o lord. I thank God for the privilege of being Fred’s mother. Praise the Lord ! Ije awele nwa’m oma (safe journey my good son), ujor atuzina i (do not be afraid) Otitodilichineke bi na enigwe (Glory be to God who lives in heaven). Igweeeeee💪💪💪💪 Thank you for reading. If you enjoyed reading this, you may also enjoy some other topics we have discussed in this series. Photo credit: Pixabay

Death at my door : Giving God all the glory for Otito’s life…


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God is good. He gave us “Otito” and he was a beautiful pearl that brightened up our lives. He was always on loan to us and so we looked after him completely. Now God has requested him back because he was too precious in his sight to overlook. He suffered so… death became the key to set him free from it all. It hurts but he is now at peace. His peace will be my peace in the end. My heart bleeds. Not because of pain but because of a different type of joy. A joyful trust that this bitter pill is good for me because my God allowed it to be. I trust his decision completely because his ways and thoughts are not like mine. If anything his thoughts for me are of good and never of evil. This blow dealt to me feels horrible but nothing happens in my life without God’s ordination. Therefore I decree today that it is the Lord’s doing it is marvellous in my sight and I will continue to praise him through the pain. It is hard now but I know it will get easier. Otito was strong amidst his adversity and so I draw from it and remain strong. Although he suffered endlessly, through it all, he managed to remain happy and filled the hospital ward that was his final home with his laughter and music. He will be greatly missed by us all especially his older brother Mark and all his friends- the devoted staff at GOSH who were devoted to him. Otito was their boy too. They loved and cared for him like their own. He was admitted Feb 2016 and remained an inpatient until he passed away on Tue 21 Feb 2017…. He will always be remembered for his singing, humming, dinosaur stumping around the ward and enjoying endless nursery rhymes with his iPad on Rainforest ward at Great Ormond Street Hospital and Children’s Charity He brought us all together for a reason and please let his passing not separate us. This changes nothing and although I have been relieved of my duties as a Parent carer, I shall not rest until I spread the word about the world I was privileged to be part of these past few years. This will be Otito’s legacy…… Thank you Photo credit: Pixabay If you enjoyed reading this, you may also enjoy some other topics we have discussed in this series. Photo credit: Pixabay

Goodbye Otito…



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She was tired…absolutely exhausted. She had a calm exterior but was screaming on the inside. She felt like running… Running very fast, very hard until her feet made a print on tarmac. She felt like flying so high until she became weightless. Light enough not to be weighed down by anything.   She was heavy and burdened. She was caged and imprisoned. But it was an imprisonment without a choice to be free. It was not for a crime or else this imprisonment would have become a form of punishment. It was an entrapment for which she was never given the chance to stand accused.   She was not given the chance to defend herself. It just happened. It felt like a lot was cast and she was the one who had the shackle slung on her neck. A burden that was immovable. Every time she tried to lay it aside she was awkwardly drawn into positions that felt worse than she could bear.   She could not breathe. She felt constricted. She could not spread out her wings because thorns circled her resting place. She could not rest because there were endless decisions to make. A moment of slumber was costlier than a tired awakening.   She was enslaved… By every breathe she drew, she paid dearly for her existence. To make her own choices and ride on the horse of destiny was to thwart her whole existence and bring it to a halt. Better not to exist fully than to exist and to lose that existence in an abrupt slash of sorts.   What was the point to her life? Vanity they said all was in the end. But vanity was still important to give value to her existence. She could not throw out or condemn all vanity. Some vanities seemed necessary while others were luxurious. They all gave meaning to her life in different ways.   Waiting was the game of the wise… Mother Earth took her time to churn out fruits at times and seasons she chose. She could not be hurried. Yet time waited for no one even her. It was the reason she was tired and weighed down.   She was jealous. Her jealousy is not of anyone in particular but in the unfairness of it all. Like a hamster in a cage, she seemed not to make a headway. She kept running, never faltering, never stumbling yet never arriving at any destination.   What she cannot stand was this fate… The endlessness pain, the enduring, the waiting, the patience. It felt so inappropriate for her because she was a hurrier. She knew she had to take what she was given. She had no choice or influence in the matter.   She was tired and wanted out. The more she moaned, the more she felt guilty. The weight of the guilt burdened her freedom. She was doomed whichever way she chose to go.   Does she sound familiar? Well that is because we meet her sometimes in different ways. Stop daring to dream.  We have to accept what we have got. When the time comes, the status quo will change. Let’s keep our eyes on the ball, things will get better someday.   Thank you for reading. Photo credit Pixabay

Trapped


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Build from where you are, build from where you lie. No use waiting for the stars to align Before you take action to improve yourself You will in turn improve the quality of your life.   In every area of your life take control, Make conscious efforts to be better than who you were yesterday. Make it a project to continually strive to improve. Improvement can be slow, it can be radical. It all depends on you. Build your tomorrow, Leave the past alone. Don’t let it hold you back. Keep surprising yourself by excelling at things that you fear. Fear is a crippling feeling Imposed on ourselves by our minds. Conquer in your mind And see it come to be in the physical world. The first rule is to practice appreciation Always be grateful for the little things you overlook. Your family, friends , that job you keep grumbling about. The roof over your head, your health and most importantly your mind.   You are driven by how you think. Do not compare your path with that of another. You are unique You must find and walk your own path. Learn from your experiences and that of others But never judge anyone. Remember one thing – time waits for no one So get up, start thinking right and most importantly start building your future.   Thanks for reading You may also like others from this series About the author : Ezimen is a professional in the daytime. He loves writing, travelling and having fun! Do you know that you can now submit a post like this? To find out how, click here. Perhaps you fancy reading from others in the community? Find other articles here. Thank you Photo credit : Pixabay

Build from where you are – a poem by Ezimen


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Out of every stressful situation that comes our way, something beautiful can be born. The holy bible (2 corinthians 4:17) reassures us that our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. Praise God. Why then do we scamper and panic whenever troubles come our way? Do we not have a God who is aware of whatever trouble that we face? The bible refers to our troubles as light and momentary. This is a bit thought provoking because we all know that problems vary in weight. Why then does it all get grouped as light? It is because their is a command that Jesus gave to lighten every burden. He said if we come to him when we labour, face trials, problems and feel heavy laden he will give us rest(Matthew 11:28). The question becomes about who we turn to when we feel weary, burdened and weighed down? Do we turn to ourselves, to others (who by the way are as imperfect as we are and are lacking in the wisdom and knowledge that can solve our problems) or do we turn to God? He has asked us to take his yoke upon ourselves. By taking his yoke, we can learn from him how to carry our own burdens more perfectly. His yoke is easy and his burden is light. As Christians, we must learn to focus solely on Christ especially during times when we are unsure about which way to go with our problems. As soon as we stand on our own two feet, we can endure our trials more easily while we await the outcome for our future. Precious metals are made after passing through fire. In the same way, we who are precious to God(Zechariah 2:8) will sometimes face trials in order to grow, be toughened and have a better understanding. What is the use of a lecture without an exam? We have learnt about all the virtues and commandments necessary to lead a good Christian life. Sometimes trials come and when they do, they give us the opportunity to put them into practice. You say you have faith in God, when trials come rather than scampering , you can spend time exercising your faith and totally trusting in God. The Lord chastens and disciplines those he loves (Hebrew 12:6). Rather than will our trials away, let us find ways to cope. We need to try to cope because, things do not last forever. God has the final say. The sufferings of Job teach us that much. He was loved by God and there was no part of his suffering that God was not aware of neither was there a time in his suffering that God was absent. He went through every one of his trials because he was God’s special son whom God had bragged about. This reason remained unknown to him but God took this chance because he had the assurance of Job’s faith. God did not doubt Job’s faith even though he was materially blessed. God could see through all Job possessed and what he saw every time was a true and sincere faith. To think that God is against us because we face problems will be folly. It will be equal to becoming a child of God only because of what we stand to gain from God. A thousand years are like a moment in God’s eyes. Since God’s ways are not our ways and our thoughts different from his, our sufferings remain momentary to him. So it does not matter how long they last because they are not counted by God using our worldly standard of time measurement. Just because we feel weighed down does not mean God will change the time he has set for our answer to come. He makes all things beautiful in his time ( Ecclesiastes 3:11). Notice that the bible says in “His” time. Not in my time or your time. We must trust in God’s divine timing. He said that he will not suffer our foot to be moved (Psalm 121:3). Therefore when we start to wobble in faith we need to go back to our eternal source for strength. We need to replant our feet firmly in Christ by taking his easy yoke. We need to find Jesus in our calamity like Peter at the stormy sea and focus on him so that he can calm our troubled spirit. God can allow suffering to occur in order to propel us into greater things. By complaining we reduce our focus on him and struggle when we should retreat into his presence for the renewal of our minds. I bet when Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery, they had no idea that that singular act was going to save a whole nation from starvation one day. It was all part of Joseph’s destiny and a divine plan by God to redeem his beloved people. However, put yourself in Joseph’s shoes for a moment… a young man enjoying the company of his brothers being suddenly sold into slavery by the people he trusted the most. If we were Joseph with our habit of complaining and rebuking every misfortune as devil designed, would we not have wondered why God allowed it to be our portion despite our faithful service to God? The bible describes Joseph’s total faithfulness to God. He just accepted his new life but knew his God was with him all the way.That confidence in the might of his God meant that in a foreign land, he still served and trusted in his God. his complete trust in God steered the course of his his destiny throughout his life. When we suffer, we sometimes blame the devil and evil forces. How about believing that as baptized Christians, nothing bad can ever befall us without God’s knowledge. Realizing that God knows all things we pass through, can that not be the reassurance we need to be steadfast? What is most […]

Trials Are Not Always Bad for Us



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There are sometimes when you cannot help. There are some people you cannot save. There are dreams you cannot make come true. There are circumstances you cannot fix. It’s not because you are weak. It’s not because you are mean. It’s just because you are strong enough to realise you do not have all the answers they seek. It’s only then that you will know that you cannot save everyone you meet. There are times you want to solve a problem so badly it hurts. There are times you have to realise that as much as you want to make things okay they cannot be mended. There are times you get sucked into every problem thinking you hold all the solutions. There are times you get so worked up that you cannot see that you don’t have the answer. Maybe it’s because this puzzle is already broken. Some parts are missing and so it cannot really be solved. It’s not about what you have not done right, it’s just that it cannot be fixed. It is only sincerity that helps you see that it is time to stop trying. To let things go so that they can slip away. It is emotion that keeps you bound to all the reasons why you should hold on to what needs to be set free. Some battles will surely be lost because the victory is too costly to celebrate. So you realise soon enough that although you lose them, the loss is cheaper than the victory. It’s time to take back control… To control how you let things make you feel, to stop the circumstance from pulling you in. So that this time maybe you won’t feel it’s mean to see that is not down to you to always be the one to keep it real. You need to control your emotions and stand firm with the decision that stepping away is what you need to do to help things heal. When you try to find the right words, search deep within you and you  will see that silence will be loud enough to fill the heart that seems to sink in despair. So you find that by standing aside you let things slip back into position. Some relationships cannot be mended. Not because of want of trying but because they have come to a point where like a rope they are severed. By trying to mend them you keep going round in circles and coming back to the beginning, to the point where the problem started and like before they start to pull at your heart. Throw in the towel and choose your battles. If you delay you may lose yourself with each arrow off hurt that finds and strikes you. This thing will eat you like a cancer in your soul. It will take over all your sense of reason. It will feel like the more you try, the more your efforts get frustrated. As you keep trying to fix the unfixable, it damages you more. Soon you will look in the mirror and the one you see is someone who definitely did not exist before all this stuff began. You look deep inside and you know that you cannot even recognise this person you see. The one you have become since you refused to let things be. Instead of letting the circumstances take all control. Perhaps it’s time to take the bold step by saying goodbye to show the strength you have and preserve your self-respect. Self belief keeps you trusting that this road you have chosen is for the best. It may not be good for everyone but what matters is that it is good enough to keep you in check. That’s when you will see that waking up from the slumber of self deceit is far from a display of weakness but rather it’s a show of the strength within. Self-knowledge helps you know that the outcome will be the same again. You can move on to preserve your strength and focus on other battles you can win. If you keep choosing your battles rightly you will realise that things are not static. You will win some and you will lose some. It’s the way it has always been from time immemorial before you even came into being. Thank you for reading You can click here for more articles like this. Photo credit: Pixabay

When it’s time to take back control


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One thing people must do is … wrong us. Another thing they always do is …make mistakes. We all know this yet every time it happens,we lament. We get upset and the funniest part is that we are always surprised. The truth is that there is really no need for lamentations and surprises. We just have to accept that it is human nature to do wrong; it is human nature to make mistakes. Nobody is perfect only God is perfect. We too are also guilty of offending others and making mistakes. Many of the errors we commit happen unknowingly without any intention. Unfortunately that does not make us less guilty. Every time we point one finger, the other four keep pointing back at us… and with good reason. It is good for us to sometimes pause when we are about to carry out our actions in order to put ourselves in the other party’s shoes. When we feel offended do we expect understanding? Will we feel we deserve a chance to be allowed to explain? Perhaps we might even desire that our wrongdoings be brought to our attention so that we can make amends. If we feel that any of these questions describe our feeling in different situations, then perhaps we need to take our foot off the anger pedal and just forgive. Forgive others even before they realise they are wrong. Forgiveness is difficult to exercise but powerful enough to free your heart of anger and worry.  Realise that if people were wise, they would not go about offending others…especially you. Don’t let yourself go crazy because of their own errors of judgement. Apart from the bible asking us to do unto others what we want them to do to us, it annoyingly says we have to forgive 70*7 times. Sometimes I get angry with those Jesus’s disciples for asking too many questions. Their inquisitive nature gave rise to this decree. Now we must obey because we can no longer claim ignorance. They allowed Jesus to give a clear order on forgiveness to the extent that Jesus brings it up in the Lord’s Prayer – “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”  Therefore in not so many words, as long as we hold on to grudges, we are asking God not to forgive us! Now it gets even worse – Matthew 5:23 – 24 takes it a step further: i call it the peace making decree: It says if you are about to dance happily to the altar and suddenly remember that “your brother has something against you” then stop and find him, make peace, before you continue that altar dance! Seriously?!?! Not only do you have to make peace with someone you have offended ( which honestly seems logical) , you also have to  look for those who have offended you (who by the way you may not want to hear about) Chai!! Na you do me wrong but na me go beg! To me, illogical!! However, our God up there thinks in ways different from us (Isaiah 55:8). Unfortunately, the way that may seem right to me (like begrudging my brother for wronging me) may lead to my destruction (proverb 14:12). So I have to obey God (1 Samuel 15:22). Obedience is better than sacrifice. One thing I always do even against my own personal wish, is follow God’s commandment. It’s hard but it gets easier with time. Like everything else in life, (“na to start na im hard pass” –meaning that things are more difficult to begin with) but constant practice leads to perfection. If you resolve today to hold no grudge and start making peace with others,before long it will become second nature. Do you know what the best part is? You will be doing God’s will! So today, let our prayer be – God teach us how to forgive all around us, you gave us the ultimate example on the cross, and you asked God to forgive us as we know not what we do. Help us to realise that those who wrong us know not what they do and so deserve our forgiveness in Jesus name, amen. Please make peace with someone today. I know by God’s grace that as you read this piece, the names of those who have wronged you or those you have wronged might spring to your mind. Don’t ignore the urge to make peace, stop holding on to the pain they caused. Take the first step, make that call, and find that person. We all join you in prayers; let Jesus do the rest as he is a man of peace. If you let him, he will pour his peace into your life today and always.  I leave you with a quote by Charlotte Bronte which my father taught me when I was little – “life appears to me to be too short to be spent in registering wrongs and nursing animosity”. Thank you for reading. If you enjoyed this article, then trust me… you will love my meditations too! Look here to see them. Photo credit: Pixabay.

The Dilemma of forgiveness


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There is indeed no use wasting time thinking what life has made you become. The past is in the past, the present is now and you can do something about it especially things that are within your control. The future remains unforeseen and we only hope it turns out in our favour. The uncertainties in life mean that nobody can claim complete mastery of it. We just have to keep up the daily struggle that is, for those who are able mentally and physically. We all have our individual idiosyncrasies and sincerely speaking, our paths in life are tailored towards different directions leading to our individual destinations. For me, the past three years have been a mission that only God has been my fortress. The waves and tides of life have tossed me up and down but my resilience has seen me through it all. I am the eldest of a family of four. My other siblings are all married and supposedly happy with kids and affluence. My parents to the glory of God are still alive and kicking. My relationship with Stanley was known to all in my locality, we both graduated from the university the same year but we were posted to different states to complete the compulsory one year national youth service corps. I was in the south precisely Ebonyi state while Stanley was posted to Zamfara state up north were the sun showed no mercy to the inhabitants. Distance did not hinder the love we had as we inter visited during the service year. Four months to the end of service year, Stanley visited and announced he would be with me till some weeks to “passing -out”. I was overjoyed but at the same time concerned as to how he could pull this off knowing how strict the zonal coordinator in his place of service was.  Stanley simply asked me to calm down that all was sorted before he left Zamfara. It was the best time in my life… We went to the pictures, shopped, clubbed, quarrelled and made up with hot sex! Three months flew by so quickly. I was so happy and did not want the fairytale to end. Stanley preferred to stay indoors a lot. It was so sweet that we could not seem to have enough of each other. However, I woke up very worried so I had told Stanley that I was feeling unwell. The truth was that my period was late. We had thrown caution into the air. I could not blame Stanley totally but…my thoughts were cut short because all I could think of was how to leave the house to get some pregnancy test strips to confirm. There was no need to worry him. That windy evening as I was on my way back from the pharmacy, I bumped into Ezekiel. Ezekiel was Stanley’s friend who had recently gone AWOL. It was definitely lovely to see him. As I approached him, he wore a sombre expression. “It’s so good to see you looking strong “, he said embracing me tightly. “How do you mean?”, I asked puzzled. He met my gaze with a surprised look. His next words confused me. “Stanley died in an auto crash on his way back to Zamfara from home”, he said. I burst into laughter. It was the most ridiculous thing ever. “Are you ok? I asked wondering if he was drunk. “I left Stanley in my room and he has been here for the past three months”. I added. The look in his eyes was scary. “That can’t be possible” he screamed. “I attended his funeral personally and assumed your absence to be down to grief”, he blurted. I felt like punching Ezekiel really hard. He was speaking out of character. He was either drunk or sick himself. Stanley was in my room and only stayed back because I tricked him. I felt I had to buy my pregnancy test kit on my own. It was all a bit awkward. I decided to take the silly Ezekiel along with me to prove his craze. This was certainly an expensive joke. We got to the room and it was locked from outside as instructed by Stanley because he didn’t want any disturbance from my neighbours. Stanley was nowhere to be found when I opened the door. It felt a bit eerie when I walked in. I looked around the room but he wasn’t there. His bags were gone, his slippers where not on the doormat. I checked the bathroom and even his towel was gone…gone! There was no trace of him. I was shaking all over and screaming hard. There was just nothing. I was downcast. I sank into my puff. It all made no sense. Buzzzzz! My mobile phone began to ring. It was my mum. I picked it up and she was telling me to be strong because she had some news…. “It’s not true … don’t say it mum” I cried, interrupting her. “Is Stanley really dead?” I was weeping like a baby now. It was then that I felt his hands. He held me close. I turned around but Ezekiel was still standing by the door where I left him. Shhhhh…..Shhhh…. he whispered. I relaxed into the puff and my phone fell beside me but I could still hear my mum. Her voice pierced through the quietness in the room. Very softly….very distant … but very definite. “Yes baby, Yes…I am so sorry. His mum just left.” Mum said. “Are you still there?” mum asked I was whimpering. The sorrow hit me hard. It all did not make sense. I shut my eyes and I was in his arms again. It was warm. It made me smile but I knew I had to be strong. He was gone… I began to cry hysterically as the realisation hit me. I cried….mum could hear me. “Sorry baby…are you going to be ok, or will you come home?” mum asked. I just cried…. I woke up […]

A day never to be forgotten… The day my cookies crumbled!!!!



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My relationship with Flora started sixteen months ago. I was initially troubled about this whole idea but at the same time eager to keep it secret from my wife and three grown children. The relationship blossomed beyond my imaginations and i wholeheartedly looked forward to our meetings with much gusto!! Flora my midnight lover is the sweetest thing after lollipop. The love we shared was equal to none. It never lacked a spark. Poppy-love  is a speck when compared with the undiluted love between Flora and yours truly. We had memorable moments anytime i had her in my mouth. I kept Flora away from the reach of unwanted adversaries (my wife and kids). I made sure her ambience lacked nothing. She has been my everyday solace and escape from this hot planet set on fire by humans.  No day has elapsed without me having a taste of her ever since i met her at the shops in the ever busy Trident mall in Cardiff. Sadly, our love went sour last night when i came back from work. There had been a power failure all day and nobody was around to have it fixed. Flora had lost her cool and wasn’t in any mood to cheer me up.I couldn’t have her that night as a result and that made me sick. To be frank, i was miserable all evening resulting in me having nightmares when i finally slept. I reached for Flora in my dreams to no avail. I was shattered , cried all through the moments of rejection in the dream and woke up sweating profusely. As i opened my eyes today, i prayed and vowed to always keep her sweet at all cost. I rushed to the secret room we shared only to find that Jonathan my nephhew was all over Flora.. I almost exploded with rage but held my steam as he explained the whole room was smelling when he walked in and had to empty my Flora yogurt in the bin….. Dr Love as we all call him is one of our WH writers. He is a professional by day and clutches his pen and paper by night… Thanks for reading. Do you know that you can now submit a post like this? To find out how, click here. Perhaps you fancy reading from others in the community? Find other articles here. Thank you Photo credit; Pixabay

Flora my midnight lover… By Dr Love Asiok


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I wish I could take all the pain, all the hurt, all the struggles you have all been through all this time. I wish I could wipe it all away and make everything okay I wish I could tap you, wake you up and then we will all be happy that it was all a dream. But my love it is real, so real it hurts so bad. I can’t do that- make it go away as much as that is all I want to do. What I can do though is take your hand in mine and sit right here beside you. Although I am miles away I will do my best to be here for you as best as I can. What I can do is be here for you and ask you to let me know what you want me to do What I can do is pray for you and all the family especially during this trying time. What I can do is stand by you and make you know that I care too. This life is a puzzle with more questions than answers. It is ok to feel relieved by the knowledge that she is now gone, now free, now at peace It is ok to know that she has no more pain and she is now at rest It is ok to be reassured that because she lived a good life, she must be now resting with our lord It is ok to lay awake at night in tears and only long for her It is ok to wonder where she is now and if she is fine there It is ok to wish you could see her one last time to tell her how much you love her But one thing is sure she knows and never doubted how much you all cared for her She is not alone but in a better place where she can soar like an eagle Though you are far from her, she is in a better place where nothing can hold her back. Though we can’t see her now, she is waiting for us until we are all reunited with her never to be parted again Though she was weak and frail, she is now beautiful again. She is now stronger than she ever was. She is now our angel interceding especially for us all What we can do now is remember her as she was. What we have now are all the memories of her from the first time we set our eyes on her and felt her warmth to the moment    we said goodbye. Keep in mind that when the ones we love answer the sweet call. They are set free. No longer   trapped in a body, in a place or restricted by time. So we can carry them around with us in our hearts and never be far away from them. Let us not dwell mainly on all her pain and tears (though we will never lose sight of them). Let us at this time remember all her laughter, all her achievements, all her successes, all her struggles ,all her joys. Let us not only remember the pictures of her that were the most recent ones Let us not only dwell on the pain we could not save her from. Let us not only remember the things that make us cry. We will celebrate her life in total. Let us flick through the album that was her whole life….every day, every moment both those we shared with her and those she had by herself I cannot imagine the way you all feel now. But I can assure you that it will get better. There will be smiles again in your home when you think about her. Time will make everything better for you all. Try not to drown in this grief as large and as deep as it is. Don’t suffer alone… Let   those you love in. They only want to help. The only want to be there for you in the way they can. They may not always get it right but at least let them try. It is true that we all may not know how you feel but it doesn’t stop us all caring. If you reach out we will be here to catch you, to hold you. But we too on our part will let you work through your emotions and feelings the best way that you can. Only know that I am here if you need me. God will bless and console you during this difficult time. May her beautiful soul and the souls of all the faithful departed through the mercy of God Rest in Peace….. Amen Thank you for reading. You may also enjoy some of my musings here Photo credit: Pixabay  

Take heart my love…