I found the piece you are about to read in my pile of mails. It is a contribution from an elderly gentleman and loyal reader of the Vanguard Newspapers for many years. He admits that certain decisions made in his younger days turned out to be great mistakes and for which he now suffers tremendously. For the sake of this publication, I will call him Elder Bode. Kindly drop a message or advise for him through my contact addresses or on a website. Cheers!
I have been a regular reader of your column for many years as well as our dear friend Treena Qwenta’s column and also Bunmi Sofola. And each time I read your columns, I praise God for you. You all are wonderful. You are exceptionally good and I score you Excellent. But let me quickly warn you, it is more difficult to remain on top than to reach the top. Experiences abound and I will not build upon this too much so as not to lose track of my main objective. (I am most grateful for your kind words, sir.)
My first point is to say that even though your column treats issues across all strata of the society, I want to say that my age-group is marginalised. Since it is your paper, The Vanguard, one of the best papers we have around that said we should cry out to the world to hear, that we should speak out, if we are marginalised. I am protecting the interest of my age group to say that you should know our problems, so as to be able to advise us. Mind you, we often say, the rich also cry, so also the old and the aged, widows and widowers have their problems and they cry. They need to be heard so as to be advised too. Or you don’t believe that you can give advice to us?
Now to my life experience. I can say that I am blessed by God. Anytime I call on the Almighty God, with a little seriousness, believe me, He would answer me. But I am a prodigal son. I am a sinner, an adulterer. I don’t drink, smoke, gossip, go out like some other men who you can call crawlers. I don’t steal, I can’t steal. It is not in my character. I was blessed with a good, well mannered, gracefully cultured woman and beautiful children. They are all exceptionally supportive, too wonderful to express on pages of newspaper like this. Only God can bear me witness on these things. It is the grace of God, not my doing.
But as a prodigal son, I never appreciated these blessings, all these beautiful qualities, until I lost them and lost focus. It was my ambition to have a large family for I loved children. I want to just look right, left, front and back and see that I am surrounded by them. I want to call on Tunde, Femi, Olu, even when I have only one message to send. In fact, I become happier when about two or three of them struggle to pick up the message. That is me and that is where I derive my joy. My wife, before I lost her to the world and because of my wayward life, was exceptionally good, very humble, so loving to the extent that she completely renounced the faith of her birth for my sake to join my own Christian faith. She became more Anglican than me who was born in the faith.
Then, I met this satanic lady whom I thought would be a good addition to my happy family. Somebody said recently that you don’t marry two good wives in a lifetime. In order words, you can’t come by two good women in a life time. I think it is a wise saying. If you are lucky to marry one good wife once in your life time, you have to continue to praise God for such may not, with emphasis, cannot come your way again within a life time. It is impossible. This is a word of warning for the polygamous people. Let me quickly also say that as it applies to women, so also does it apply to men. Good husbands are equally difficult to come by. We only tolerate ourselves. No ideal situation but when you see what is good, you can identify it as good. There are families and there are families.
So, this satanic woman that I met was too flamboyant for my liking. I am a person that cannot hide his feelings, I expressed my views immediately and since then she started to work on me without my knowing it. However, the few years I spent with her was too eventful in my life that I cannot express the catalogue of my woes on the pages of Vanguard for one month, even if our story is published every day without advertisements or other stories. It was just too much.
She would kneel; she would beg, in all insincerity, she would deny facts stated by people against her as lies. She would do something glaringly like this and would deny. The defence she would put up could be so smooth that if it is stated before the International Court, they would uphold her case. Sometimes, she would turn it into a laughing matter after the damage had been done, or she had been outsmarted at her smartness. She was really satanic.
If I had never met her I will never believe that life could be like this. It was from her that I learnt that a good woman should not tell the truth to her husband, should steal her husband’s money, should spend her husband’s money anyhow so as to impoverish him and make him unattractive to other women, and she should always be with her husband alone to the exclusion of all others, (including his family, friends and colleagues) not even minding the fact that she met someone with him when she arrived. She was so venomous about my first wife that she did not see face to face with her till she died.
She could accuse my first wife of sending medicine (juju) to her and that she could not sleep well, whereas that one would pray for her from time to time. In fact, my first wife would always tell me she dreamt and saw a big snake entering our house but I would always disabuse her mind from such dreams. We used to pray as a family and as Christians, I believed that God could do all things and that was one of the reasons that made me marry this woman.
She was looking for a child and I believed that God could give her one if she prayed hard enough and I wanted to help her. But I made a mistake because I never thought that after getting the child, she would turn on me and try to turn me into her slave. Her child was her excuse for doing most of the terrible things she did. And when it was not the child, it was the fact that she was a second wife or the other woman and that people were resentful of her. There was always a reason for one evil act or another.
It was this that I resisted that led to my downfall. But she did not take it upon me but upon my wife, whom she concluded was the wall between having me exclusively to herself. She had told me several times that she would punish me if I dared to leave her. But when I could not find any peace, I had to leave her. Through prayer, God separated us. I thank God and still pray that she may never, never, look for me again. It was because of her threats and warnings to all those who cared to listen to her when I left, that she would deal with me, that forced me to conclude that she did the evil work of killing my wife. She has done her worst. But as a Christian, I can’t query God, more so, that I am a prodigal son.
One thing I know is that there is repentance through the grace of God which will give me forgiveness. I have been confessing my sins before God, and his people. During my crying period, I have stained my bed with my tears. Every day, I wondered why she chose my wife to punish since I am the offender. But as I said, a Christian who goes to Satan may not know how Satan works. Now, I have lost a gem, I have lost a confidant, a companion, one of the best Christian women in the world through my waywardness. Where do I go from here? How do I pick my life again? I am already 60 years of age and this is where I need your advice.
If you can publish this experience of mine, I hope that your readers will find it in their hearts to respond kindly to this call and perhaps back it with experiences of themselves or other people’s. My line of thought is that should a man at my stage attempt any union with a woman again? If so, what type of union? Should it be with a relatively young woman or an aged (advanced age) woman? Or, it is advisable that I accept this (life as a widower) as the end of life and remain aloof, facing Christ’s work?
It is my view that having been a loving and caring father to my children, I should be forgiven my inadequacies and wished well as they should not expect me to suffer in old age. But I have little idea what they think of me. It is said that a man who has enjoyed the blissful life of marriage for over 30 years can be said to be naked without a wife. Is this not applicable in my case?
A man needs a good companion, a friend, a confidant, not only at our advanced age but almost throughout our lives. A few friends have suggested that I manage on my own and if by the grace of God I am able to live to such an age where I’ll need a helper, then I could engage the services of a house help. But happenings all around the world shows that this is becoming more and more dangerous. I am in a fix. I want advise and I need enlightenment.
Finally, for those who may suggest that I should go and reconcile with the satanic woman, I want to say that she has since our separation been married to two men. When Jesus stated the parable of the woman with seven husbands, unbelievers would say it cannot happen in our own part of the world and at this age. But here in my presence, more than that is happening and only God can save us.
Hmmm! I have a few take-away from this narratives: We should never take our spouses for granted. That in our greed and self centeredness, we forget that we already have the best and may never get anything better. That no woman, no matter her position wants to share her man with another woman. And there are still a few more. However, as requested by Elder Bode, Please let’s have your views/contributions bearing in mind that we are to help him chart a new path for himself. I am counting on you. Do have a wonderful weekend!!