The Circle of Life

This blog originally started as a place to “deposit” my thoughts. As time went on, I realized writing my thoughts wasn’t the hard part, but I was too private a person to share most of them. As more time went on, even getting the thoughts out became hard; not because I didn’t know what to say when I sat down to write, but because I didn’t like what I had to say. Anyway.. I have a few thoughts.

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My grandmother is somewhere in her 90’s. We’re not exactly sure how old she is, she doesn’t even know her birthday. Our best guess is 92, but she may be a couple years older or younger. More than likely older. Anyway, I went to see her this past weekend and she’s not doing too well. She’s at the age where they smile before they tell you she’s not too good. Like.. “any moment now…” I think we’re all just holding our breath waiting for the inevitable. And there will be sadness, sure. A lot of people will be sad. I will be sad. But there’s also this quiet acceptance we all seem to have. She’s lived a long life, she’s overcome tremendous adversity, raised successful children, and gotten to see her grand kids and great-grand kids. If she has one complaint right now, it’s that she wishes she could be back home, and she would love to pass on to heaven in the comfort of the village. That being said, she’s lived a fulfilling life. I hope I can see the same when it’s my turn. There will be sadness & there will be mourning when you do sleep grandma, but there’ll also be joy and celebration. And hey, on the bright side, when you do leave, you’ll stop complaining your body doesn’t work as it should anymore. 🙂

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I had a conversation earlier today that brought to light some unresolved trauma from my time at the University of Nigeria. It brought out an ugly, petty part of me, to the point where I was looking up how much said professor responsible for a lot of the trauma makes to compare to my salary today. That’s not who I am. I said to someone “I genuinely hope he’s not doing well in life today” and I meant it. And deep down, I don’t like that I said that sentence and meant it. I don’t like that I was looking up his income so I could say “look at you, bastard, after all you did to me I make more than you do today.” I need to forgive him. I am officially forgiving him. I still don’t wish him well, I’m not there yet. But I don’t wish him evil anymore either. I guess that’s progress, and it’ll have to do for now. One last time, Mr. [Redacted] you are a bastard.

***

I’ve seen a lot of people congratulate the dude who was in Banshee for his performance in Ozark, and once again I feel like I’m in the matrix. For context, I’m referring to Helen’s brother, the one who never took his meds & made inexplicable decision after inexplicable decision. I don’t think he was a bad actor, I just think he was a bad character. His character was so poorly written and so irrational, it almost ruined his role in Banshee for me. He felt like a convenient plot device, and I just.. I can’t. Maybe this will form part of a larger post on my Medium blog, since that’s the place for my more media-focused writing.

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My dad’s mother died on Feb 4, many many years ago, long before I was born. I have that date in my calendar (as I have most important dates) and I make sure to call him on that day to check on him and maybe get him to talk about her for a bit. I’ve never been in his shoes, so I don’t know if what I do helps/hurts the grieving process; I don’t even know if the grieving process ever ends. But I do know that this year, when I called him in February, he hadn’t remembered it was her passing, and he took longer to stare at his phone when I called, wondering why I was calling him on a Tuesday night. When he finally picked up, he started of by saying “I was just saying nke a Uche na-akpo m taa then I realized what day it was.” He said it with laughter in his voice, but I felt a little guilty about the fact that I’d inadvertently brought back a painful memory. I know he appreciates the fact that I check in on him on this day, but still.

***

My best friend’s mother died this week, a few years ago. Not nearly enough time has passed, and I know he still mourns her deeply. I want to reach out & say “I know this is a rough period for you” but he’s texted me multiple times in the past few days about silly, jovial, lighthearted things, and every time I get another text from him talking about girl trouble, or another Instagram DM sending me a rap battle to watch, I worry about whether or not I should acknowledge that one of the worst days in his life is drawing near. I worry about the best way to handle this. Even worse, he has his own little baby girl now, and I’m sure there isn’t anything he wouldn’t trade for his mother to have gotten to hold her. He’ll be celebrating one life, while mourning another. That’s life, right? One starts, another ends. And on, and on, it goes.

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