DISCLAIMER: I consider myself blessed! I believe I come from a good family.
Just a reiteration, this blog isn’t just about things I have personally experienced, but what people around me have gone through, or what I’ve observed. Albeit, all the blog posts are 100% factual, non-fiction.
Growing up, it was not uncommon to hear sayings like “blood is thicker than water”, “you didn’t choose your family”, “friends come and go, family is forever”, were heard A LOT! I believe there is a degree of truth to this…but are we overestimating the power of this unit called family? This isn’t necessarily focused on just your nuclear family, but on your extended family as a whole.
Blood connection is an undeniable fact that you’re a family, but for me, it’s not just about blood. I have family that I have ‘acquired’ along my sojourn on this beautiful planet. There is a lot that goes into any relationship for it to be seen as a successful relationship. They include time, money, affection, prayers, fights, arguments, good communication, and most importantly, food 😀
Uncle Ranti had always seemed like a queer man. There was just something about him that couldn’t be placed. He possesses the talent for starting the most awkward conversations, and had a way of “jaboing” (telling secrets/ private discussions) to parents. Uncle Ranti lived with his sister, Musa’s mom for 15 years in Nigeria, before relocating to Atlanta, GA.
Musa got married to Dupe in Nigeria, a place where the culture expects you to give birth exactly 9 months after your wedding date, or in merciful cases, 12 months. They waited for 5 years before Dupe took in. 5 years may not be seem like a long time to you, but it seemed like a lifetime to Musa and Dupe, especially as they had not intended to wait at all. When Dupe found out she was pregnant, her resolve was: “I must have my baby on American soil!” Just incase you didn’t were wondering, the power of the blue passport is worth all the stress, MONEY, time away from family, and MORE MONEY.
Musa immediately called uncle Ranti who now lived in a 5-bedroom mansion in Atlanta, and could afford just about anything he wanted to.
Musa: Uncle Ranti! I’ve got great news! Dupe is pregnant!
Uncle Ranti: AH! Musa, great to hear! Our God is indeed faithful! Congratulations.
Musa: Thanks sir! Actually, she wants to come have the baby in the States oo.
Uncle Ranti: Ok dear, no problem! It should cost about $20,000. When will she be coming?
Musa: Chai uncle that’s a lot of money, but thanks, we will get it together. She’ll be coming in about 4 months, sometime in November
Uncle Ranti: Say hi to your mom and the mommy-to-be.
Musa: Uncle Ranti! How’re you?
Uncle Ranti: Musa, I’m fine thanks.
Musa: Uncle, Dupe and I are currently in London, she leaves for Atlanta in a week.
Uncle Ranti: Where in Atlanta is she going to be staying?
Musa: Uncle what do you mean? We talked about this. The plan is with you sir. Uncle Ranti: Ok, it’s $15,000 to stay with me for a total of 3 months. It’d cover her transportation, feeding, and rent.
Musa: Ah, uncle! We didn’t plan for this. We have the $20,000 ready, and some extra, but I honestly can’t come up with $15,000 in under a week sir.
Uncle Ranti: Ok. Bye Musa.
Musa: Bye uncle Ranti.
Musa and Dupe were stunned! They couldn’t understand what had happened! How could his dear uncle, who lived rent-free with his mom for 15 YEARS ask him to pay $15,000 to host wife in his house for 3 months?
Musa immediately called his friend, Jonah. He explained the situation to Jonah, and Jonah said that he would house Dupe for the duration she had to stay in Atlanta. Jonah had a 2-bedroom apartment, with 2 kids. His wife was in a PhD program out of state. Dupe helped around the house, cooked and babysat the children until she was full term! Then, Musa came to join her (he had to work and make the $$ hence him not being in Atlanta with her the whole time).
When the baby was born, they heard from uncle Ranti. His wife came to the hospital to see the baby with a pink balloon that read, “It’s a girl.” Couple of days later, uncle Ranti came and cradled the baby proudly. That was the last Dupe heard from them.
A little over a year after the baby was born, Musa died. No sickness, no accident, nothing. He slept, and never woke up. Dupe didn’t get a condolence call from uncle Ranti. A few months after, the baby was diagnosed with a disease. Dupe had to pack up and come back to the States for baby to receive proper treatment, which included chemo. The day uncle Ranti calls to show any sympathy on both sad happenings, I will let you know.
Dupe has many good family members around her for support. Some, without whose she help she may not have been able to cope. So, no, not all family is bad. She’s also been blessed with good friends who have held her hand through the process. Most importantly, she has unshakable faith in God, one that inspires me, and gives me the assurance that there is a silver lining at the end of the tunnel.
I don’t want you to disregard your family, but this is just to measure how we weigh things, especially “blood”. If uncle Ranti should lose his wife today, and maybe go into depression, I know there will be some people of the opinion that Musa’s family should show him love and care for him as if nothing ever happened… because he is “blood”. Should an instance like this occur, I think he should be forgiven, but left alone to fend for himself, or what I call love from a distance. What would you do if you were in this situation?