Category Archives: Letters

And 5 came calling….

Standard

Again, he added another year and we were apart, like last year’s. I made online presence with him, made sure he had fun…you could tell he was super excited about being 5! Maybe, he’s already counting all the responsibilities or wishing that he’d meet up with his sister. I haven’t asked yet and might just let that slip. He woke up in a mood to draw, I’m yet to see what he drew to celebrate this milestone, but the steady gaze in his eyes as he played said one thing, ‘my baby is growing up’.

From wanting his hair to be AFRO like his dad (which was cut off on his birthday), to doing the break-dance and other moves, whilst making sure I watch every one he makes, as he jumps up and down the sitting room; whispering comforting words to my ears “the sky is your limit, mummy” and contesting with Oba for his babe…he calls me ‘Babes and sweetheart’ to keeping an eye on Mmeme’s baby. We went visiting and he positioned himself beside Mmeme and the baby, reason being I want to keep an eye on her!. You are such a joy to have around!

I’m looking forward to receiving them back shortly. But until then, I celebrate King-Earl Ethan Emmanuel and I’m grateful that God chose us to be the bearer of such gift. Need I say more, I yob you my baby and like you always say in codes “so much, so much”.

©2016. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved

A Personal Note

Status

I always say that God keeps leaving people in my way to be the hand that gives the hug (when I need one), the shoulder for me to lean on, the one that gives a timely word to lift me above my pain. This is one of them and she wrote this years back in when I felt the world was on my shoulder. I kinda feel like that on and off and what a joy to stumble on two of her notes. Here’s one.

Baby,

Do not despair
You might be pressed on all sides, keep pushing.
The world might be caving in but hang in there
Keep on keeping on
Because you’re at the brink of your change
Something is about to happen
You are about to birth your baby
The pains you’re experiencing are those of a travailing woman.
You are about to carry your baby.
Don’t get weary
And don’t be teary
Be bold, lift your head up high
And put a smile on that lovely face of yours.
Why are you, so downcast?
Put your hope in God.
The joy that you have was not given by the world
So they can’t take it away.
Remember, to stay in the cleft of God’s Rock.
It’ll be okay.
Laugh at the devil. He has failed.
I love you
And need to see that smile you know a lot of lives depend on that.

Who else!

King Earl is 3

Standard
King Earl is 3

“Earl Ethan Emmanuel!”
“Yeees, Aunty!” (Hesitates, sees the shock on my face, replies again soberly this time), “Yes, Mooommy” …with this sweet innocence that says “why should being called ‘mummy’ or ‘aunty’ matter to you, after all you know I love you.”

And truly, “why should I be bothered?” You see, I’m not. Just that I know him long enough to know when he’s pulling my legs and when he means it and this was one of the ‘pulling-my-legs-moments-just-to-see-mommy’s-reaction.’

Earl turned three on the 25th of August 2014, 5 days earlier than his father. He is one of those children you don’t need to ask “who is your dad?,” as he has a striking resemblance with his father and I’m constantly asked if his father ran away because it is believed traditionally that when you give birth to a child and he/she looks like someone, it’s because the person was not always there. Truly, his dad was really busy during his pregnancy.

I usually call you the three names above when I want to get your attention. But when you were born, I gave everyone present the opportunity to give you a name they thought reflects you and your names are: King Earl, Ethan, Kokoette, Emmanuel, Roosevelt (The President, your sister adds), Owoidohoabasi, Alvah, Great, Essien-Imoh, Temiladeoluwa. Trust you to add your special glow to it, today, you call yourself, “Daddy’s boy,” tomorrow it is “Guy” or “Dude.” Recently, when you met with your cousins, you declared that you are “Chairman”. LOL

You are truly one of a kind, actually, the only one in your category. Apart from taking your time to come out from the womb, you are full of wits, famous one-liners, words aptly spoken with right facial expressions and mannerisms. If I had to make a choice, I’d choose you all over again, knowing what I know now. You are really cute and you know it, that’s one of the reasons you would look at a very beautiful baby whom your sister called ‘cute’ and comment, “she’s not cute, she’s just FINE.”

I look forward to experiencing the vastness of wisdom in you and your not-asked-for hugs are a welcome any time of the day…you have this uncanny ability to know when I need to be hugged and always plant a kiss on my forehead. Come to think of it, I’m the one that should be planting kisses on your forehead, but you always like to take charge my lil’ man of the house.

tiff infomation

Your dad travelled and every night during that period, you always showed up in my room to sleep beside me and once when I queried you, you replied “I’m lying in my daddy’s space” and when I complained further, I heard “I am your husband.”

You talk a lot for your age. Last week I bought you trainers, while Esther (his nanny) was struggling to put it on your feet, you exclaimed, “This cannot be happening to me, oh my goodness! This cannot be happening to me.” You repeated with your hands raised in mock exasperation. We had a field day laughing…amidst our shock.
I have tried documenting some in a book which you will get to read when you grow. Till next year when I write you another letter, know I love you to bits and you are my chairman anytime.

IMG_00000665 King Earl is 3; he got a very lovely yummy chocolate cake from my brother in-law Avi & family. Before his birthday, he had requested for a cake with a blue horse and for someone that got scared of horses after watching ‘Rise of the Guardians’…no thanks to the Boogey man; that was a bold move. Guess what, he got a Blue Horse cake from Auntie Otibhor. And when Imani sang the happy birthday song and said “Happy Birthday to Earl” (which was what was written on the cake), he replied, “I’m not Earl, I am King Earl.” 🙂

IMG_00000702

Ayus 4 sure

Standard
Ayus 4 sure

…and the song goes “who do you love?” we replied “Ayus 4 sure” and we all giggled.

Dear Ebony,

Funny how we met and became close over 22 years now…how times flies. Ours was not one of those planned meetings, maybe Divinity designed it that way before the foundations of the Earth, but somehow we struck a cord that has been difficult to break…who wants to break or spoil a good thing anyway?

Life and love has done its bit to put distance between us, so have other friends and ‘fiends’; but somehow we know the truth. You are one of those people I don’t have to dress up for (with you, I’m just me). Back then you were not the chatty type, but those who knew us thought I knew the fabric your dreams were made up of. Over the years, we have grown and have spoken…the things you didn’t tell me in school, my ‘concerns’ about your silence, have found answers. In one day you told me everything I needed to know from across 7 seas…and encouraged me to ask you about anything, which I did. Now I lay claims to knowing things others don’t 🙂 In that one conversation, you asked your own questions, stated your ‘fears’ and got your answers.

Strange how I started out being friends with your sister Ebikela whom I call ‘PC’ aka ‘Partners-in-Crime/Partners-in-Christ’, and ended up with you. Now my family and yours acknowledge me as your friend rather than hers. Other friends have come into my life like Darlene (Uche), Bola, Otibhor, etc. and for every one of them, I’m thankful for the part each play in my life…in your present absence.

Why do I love you?

For always knowing when I needed a good word, a rebuke, a hug…you can be such a Mummy, though I’m a year older…and you have a HEART!

For the poems, that said “I care and my shoulder is strong enough to carry that burden you bear,” I still have most of those poems you know…

You even wrote me a song …just for my birthday. Do you still remember the tune?

For the prayers, when my pains were beyond words and tears were all you got (especially in love matters…more like broken-heart issues),

For watching my back and wanting me to embrace peace at all cost.

For always remembering my birthday and I yours…you said to me some years ago when I made all attempts and couldn’t reach you on your birth date “that the jinx was broken”. God knows I tried, but hey…life happens. LOL

You taught me how to rhyme my poetry lines, now writing without rhymes is so difficult…sometimes I miss that! Also showing action via words in my poems, allowing my mind to run wild and free. It’s been a wonder-filled ride in that genre, all because you pointed the way *wink*

I know you know I love you but how much is what you are yet to grasp, and while you are still thinking about that, I ask again “who do you love?”

Always your Ivory.

* Challenge for My Dear Watson

To Whom It May Concern

Standard

Writing 101, Day Fourteen: To Whom It May Concern
Pick up the nearest book and flip to page 29. What jumps out at you? Start there, and try a twist: write in the form of a letter.

Flipping to page 29 of my book “God’fessions: Daily confessions of God’s word and promises over your life”, the first word that hits me is ISAIAH! Now that’s a dicey one as I’m wondering what will I say to Isaiah, which Isaiah? And then I remember an Isaiah I knew but didn’t know, one I met but didn’t meet. You must think me confused. Wait till you read about him then you will understand the Isaiah that was and is.

godfessions-cover-300x254

Dear Isaiah,
I’m not sure you would approve of my calling you by your name and neither do I. But for the sake of intrigue, suffer it to be so now; now I sound like I’m preaching, don’t I?

I’ve been meaning to tell you so many stories and fill you in on my updates and what’s been going on in my world, but you seem too far to listen. Do I pen down those thoughts or make a call? Who will deliver this letter when I’m done? Oh, the few complexities of life and one more reason to live on and that is the joy of solving these kinds of mysteries. Did you know I love puzzles, enjoy watching thrillers and reading books whose end is difficult to grasp?

You were not there when I got married, when I had my first child or my second. You were not there when I was growing up too. Hmmm! And it just occurred to me that you weren’t there when I was born either. Where were you, I ask no one in particular, no one but you.

It’s been a very long while I heard from you…actually, I have never heard from you. But I suspect that you peep through daddy, reflecting another of your nature through Uncle Rich and another aspect in Mma Uju. Uncle Sam, Auntie Rose aren’t left out. I didn’t mention Auntie Mmayen because she came to visit and stay with you. Hope you still recognise her. She’s all grown now and has grandchildren you haven’t met too!

So much has happened in all our lives, the good, the bad and the ugly but in all we are grateful for every new day and the opportunity to reflect a part of you Isaiah our grandfather we never met! RIP.

Your grand-daughter,
Iman

Day 5 – A brief letter

Standard

Dearest Miriam,

Living is difficult but when I remember your tenderness, the look as I walked away, the unasked questions your lips raised, my promise to return soon, I inhale, thriving on. Aching to be where you are, a place called home.

Speaking of home, I heard the storms swept through town, wreaking havoc on our memories, carrying people away. Sad I am but grateful you are alive.

No more sad tales. Remember I love MORE each day. Reply soonest.

Des

As I folded the letter back, I wondered how to reply Des informing him Miriam had passed on too!

5 years and still counting…

Standard

My baby…”boogie” (I always call you),
I was going through Babycenter today and they recorded that you are (as at today) 5 years, 4 months and 2 weeks old and I wondered to myself. Woah! How time flies. Following their instruction, I have decided to write you an annual letter.

…but where do I start?

What would I want you to know about you that has made me laugh, cry, happy or sad. Should I tell you about the good moments only or a blend of all that makes you my Oluwatamilore?

Now I’m thinking and trying to remember what did you do last year? For one, lately you have become a defence to your brother…no matter how he throws his toys at you or won’t share his can of Malt, if I want to smack him, you always plead “mom, please don’t smack him…I don’t want him to cry and if you do, I’ll smack you too”. I have corrected you on the ‘smacking-me-too’ part so all you do now is plead I don’t make him cry.

Funny when it’s your turn, he quickly gets the cane or smacks you himself…I guess he’ll get to the “Voltron” age soon and start protecting you!

I heard from your teacher (Mrs. Dafe-Joseph…remember her?) that though you don’t like finishing your school work on time, you made your team (grade 1) take first place in the spelling competition for the whole school! Did I tell you I was totally proud of you!!! Muah!

From not being able to read a line, you read lines now and even a whole book. You are forever correcting me on my pronunciation and diction…I’m grateful for that though it can be somewhat embarrassing at times but I’m glad you know the right thing and the right way.

You told us you want to have 12 children like Jacob did but that your children won’t behave like his! I’m so impressed with you and your line of thought…though I think 12 children are a bit too much! Or what do you think? I took it like a joke but imagine my shock when I saw that you wrote it down in your composition in response to your examination question. Also that you would love to live in New York…may your dreams for impacting our society and your generation come true.

On the home front, we have been without a maid for 6 months now…but I hardly feel it because you and King Earl make my life so much easier. Both of you offered to help me sweep and mop the other day and a number of times you have arranged your room by yourself!

I love you baby and wanted you to know that again.
Mom

© 2014 Frances Kelvin Otung