Never out of mind


My parents had three beautiful daughters and did not want another
child. Father knew it would be difficult for him to carry a large
family of more than four along and decided to lavish his attention on
his three daughters.

Mother became pregnant afterward and father decided in favor of
abortion, while mother decided against it. She was a woman and was not
different from others. Women and children are two inseparable things.
They can do anything to save the life of a child, even an unborn.
Mother was not a good talker, but she could well carry out her plans
without getting anyone involved, especially her private life. Besides,
she was from a good Christian home and society which placed high
regard for life. As for father, religion does not truly matter to him.
It was only a formality and a show of outward pretence that he was a
Christian. He was a child spoilt by his parents, an only child who had
no respect for people and for God.

Father knew mother more than anyone else and for the first few months,
she persecuted her greatly. Mother! She could rather die than seeing
the pregnancy which was considered a gift from God go. She could die
to be remembered by God than killing her unborn child. Mother! She was
kind. She flatly refused to compromise even though, she could not
openly confront father. She was well aware of how unpleasant life
would be for her if she ignored father’s warning.

“Master, let us keep this pregnancy. It is not in our blood to kill
unborn children. We are Christians. I shall learn to adjust when this
child comes. Our daughters would soon grow and be married out. No one
knows what this unborn child would be” mother pleaded.

“Then we shall have to part” father answered.

Mother lowered her face and cried. She could not go back to
her parents for she was a refugee when father married her. Her parents
had long died at a civil war and father was the only one she knew. As
for father, she seized that as the only weapon to get her loose the
pregnancy. He had to force mother to obey him. Father was really a man
strange in feeling and anger runs in his blood. He could never say yes
when he had said no. Father! He was a difficult nut to crack. Poor
mother! She knew her man had said his final and would not go back. She
was frightened when father could not hear her out. It was a man she
knew well, who never had feelings.

Finally, mother left home. Father took her three daughters
to himself.  When they were suppressed not to think about mother
still, there was nothing more for any of them to say to each other,
but they silently cried, I imagined.

Mother gave birth to a boy when it was time; and I was named after my
grandfather. Father brought us back home and still treated us
unfairly.  I grew up when my mates were growing and suddenly lost the
gift of walking. I was not healthy enough; purely lame. Father hated
me more. I was generally considered inferior, but I was very
intelligent and was loved by my mother. She sent me to school and
cared for me the way a loving mother would to a son she loved.

“My family is ashamed of me because I am lame and usually
ill. So, I go about very little in the society” I cried out to her one

“I understand, but you are one of the brightest boy I have met”.

That was the last encouragement I got from mother which left me going
with life. She gave me a piece of her love to be remembered and she
died one day from an ailment that did not last long. I cried that day
that I had lost mother and nearly followed her to her grave. We all
cried for her. My sisters knew she was hard work packed parked in a
little frame. She died with her goodness.

I knew henceforth, I had lost someone too precious to go out of mind,
who cared, a mother. She had been starved of attention, comfort and
love which could have lasted longer than I knew. Mother. I was only
trying to get a steady gaze of those beautiful moments; she shared
with me, but she had gone.

Emmanuel Ugokwe

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