Tuesday 26 July 2011

Life in Stage ~ My Story~My Life~My Man Cont... 3

Dear Fellow Blog Readers,

My sincere apologies for not updating asap, please forgive me. For anyone that has checked out for new updates and found none, I apologise. I have been quite busy as in busy, my sis wasn't feel well (now much better), meant I had to travel down to help. I was also preparing for my graduation (now done, will share the story and pics some time soon). Apart from that, I have been filling up job application, doing drving lessons etc. So I am determined to give u the rest of the story...

Please relax with a nice mug of Cocoa or Milo (milo hmmmmmm) and enjoy the story...

So I am incredibly grateful to Jonathan for all he has done even as I remember everything so clearly, he means a lot us as a family, a brother, a friend, a husband, a father, a servant and a son. I eventually got to communicate with the love of my life the day I came back home for holiday.  This was after 3years+ of studying abroad, Dad thought I was still doing medicine so he assumed I had few more years to go before I became a graduate.

I was 18 when I left for US and then 2,  came back home for holiday.  I had finished drama school, done internship and now working, yet nobody in my family apart from Aunty Joan and her family knew at the time. I  didn't know who to confide in back home, or how  to tell my dad or any member of family for that matter. I simply decided to go with a plan of coming home, playing happy families and then back to US where I will not set foot in Nigeria till whenever and that whenever in my dictionary was till Dad's death  and when he was about to be buried.. I know its mean but I never felt belonged in my family so I wont miss them neither will they miss me (That was the excuse at the time).

I had been in Nigeria for five days now and the whole excitement had died down, everyone that came to say hello was gone, attention was gone, and I was now simply Joan Kelechi Uzo no American Doctor tag. Even though, the attention and gifts I got from Dad and relatives where lavishing, I didn't feel excited within me at all. It was not that I felt guilty (for some reasons I didn't). I just wasn't  exicted(I guess part of me wanted to see Jonathan again, but it was a just a silly nonsense  so I brushed the feeling away). Although, I knew Jonathan was still working for us, I was yet to see him or meet him again, as he was the only sane person I sort of knew about.

Well, on this interesting Saturday afternoon, after helping with some chores Mum wanted me to do. Guess who I saw playing Ludo with my brother. Jonathan, (How happy was I, well, i didn't know I liked him at the time, but I knew I was just so happy seeing his face). So he was dressed in washed out stones jeans trouser with a blue shirt and playing Ludo with  Charles. As I approached the two of them, Bro Charles looked up and acknowledged my presence, he mentioned my name to Jonathan, asking him he was sure he had met his younger sis, the Doctor of the family. Jonathan looked up from where he was sitting (oooo he had nice long eye lashes, it still stings me in my belly till today). He looked at me with those beautiful eyes and he said, his exact "I am sorry, I have seen her but we have not been introduced". That was when he proceeded to stand up, introduce himself and shake my hands even before Bro Charles could say anything. That was it, I finally met him, I mean officially introduced (I was so excited, I could not do anything but smile..). That was when he said, "You have a sweet smile". (My head was going ding dong, ding dong, ding dong, whatttt...... he actually noticed my smile,  oooo... am happy).. (Then the compliment made me even more exicted, nobody apart from my Aunt in US and some co-workers complimented my smile, they tend to say my smile is beautiful and it makes them want to smile... But I didn't believe them 100% until my Jonathan said it... (I was not on cloud 9, I was on cloud unreachable).

Back to the meeting, my bro decided to leave us to chat as Jonathan was asking about my degree and US. He gestured towards walking to the balcony and I walked by his side (Jonathan was what I would call,a cool Guy..) If you have ever met a cool guy, you will get my drift and understanding..
We talked whilst walking and he kept on asking me about the weather, the food, the people, their culture etc, he seemed so excited and he would smile anytime I said a joke or told a weird. (Like the time a dog decided to run after me cos my bag caught the Frisbee that was thrown towards the dog in the park.. All I knew was a dog running toward me, and myself running for my dear life only to find out 20 mins later of sprinting that he wanted his yellow Frisbee that was caught in my black bag pocket.... It was so bizarre  and I cannot begin to understand how on earth the Frisbee was in my bag. It was hilarious too, everyone kept on point at  me toward the direction of the bag, suggesting  looking into my bag, but instead I thought they meant keep running, there is a safe place. Luckily, I was not hurt but I had never ran so much like that in my life. As I told him the story, I noticed his ears would grin up and down, and his eyes would pop out to show his interest and his smile was just so fixated on his lips that everything was listening to all I was saying. After everything, he laughed out so hard, he had to hold his belly (I love his laughter so much).

Since that day, Jonathan and I became inseparable, I knew his time-table, I knew when he was free, what he would wear, how he would smile, and how he would say hello to me.. After two months of seeing him and being his friend, Jonathan told me one Sunday evening, he had something special to share with him and he wanted to introduce me to his friend. I was quite excited and looking forward to when next he would tell me to come to out and he would drive me to see this friend of his. I didn't  know Jonathan was going to share the best thing that has ever happened to me, accepting JESUS to be a friend, a confidant, an intercessor, my helper, encourager, supporter, deliverer, comforter, healer and provider. That was the night he also shared his childhood stories with me (which is quite long and painful, I hope to share it soon) and how he was able to cope and make something of himself and support his younger sister. During, his hardship was when he remembered how his mum taught him to pray and he prayed and saw the hand of God manifest, that  day he refused to doubt his faith and his believe in what God can do.

He told me to meet with Jesus  that night, and to tell him everything I have been unable to tell anyone and to also let him know that he can come into my heart if only I open and receive his unconditional love. Even though, I asked him loads of questions etc, he tried his best to answer and told me not to be religious about anything. God looks at your heart Joan not your appearance, he sees what is hurting you and making you happy and only he can make every single thing work out for your own good without you stressing yourself or worrying. He is the I am that I am.

Need less to say, that night was a night that I could not hold anything back, I trusted Jonathan and I met with JESUS in my heart, I didn't say anything with my mouth, because I could not trust my mouth to utter anything, so on my bed, I opened my heart and said JESUS if you are real and you really helped Jonathan, come and help me and help my family. I receive you even though, I cannot see you, but I receive you with my heart. I didn't know when I drifted to sleep, but I will share a testimony, that was the first night since I was three that I didn't have any bad dream or nightmare. I just slept like  a baby and it was the best sleep ever, it was so peaceful, I cannot believe I woke up in the same position. I have been having peaceful sleep ever since, unless for the occasional times Jonathan comes to say hello and wipes my tears and encourages me to be strong for him, our love and our children...

So Yes, 20 years since meeting Jonathan, accepting JESUS, alot has changed, I didn't go along with my plan to America. I told Jonathan everything, the truth, and he didn't rebuke me or condemned me, he prayed with me, for me and encouraged me to tell Dad everything. I did, he was upset, but he didn't forsake me or reject me, instead he opened up to me and told me everything (I was definitively shocked), I prayed for him and he felt better. Every night before Jonathan and I got married we all prayed together as a family. My sis came back from the failed marriage, my eldest began to change  from her ways, Mum  took control of her insecurity and emotional issues, my twin sisters  understood what they were doing was not morally right and stopped. Dad decided to beg his friend  that died in the War and forgave himself, as he felt it was his fault he died,  and kept to his promise of helping  his family. He stopped having nightmares, Bro Charles well, he is still insisting he is not gay, he is married with 3 children and says all I saw was not real.. (I know what I saw and I am still praying for him). So yes, Jonathan and I got married after 3 years of courtship and our marriage was beautiful.

He was everything and more and two years into our marriage we were blessed with our first child, Blessing, we called her sunshine mostly because she brought so much love, joy and laughter into our lives. We had two more sons 18 months later named  Isareal and Seth. The boys were so adorable, Jonathan actually received all the names through prayer.

 Yes, we fight, and ramble, disagree, agree, but we never raised our voices over each other, we never disrespected each other in a anyway, we never lied to each other, or say anything negative. We decided earlier on in our marriage to have a points card, anyone who breaks any rule, gets a point, the one with highest point by the end of the year and on certain basis will need to change before the year runs out or the coming year. But, change in a positive, so if I shouted the most, or complained the most and got the highest points, I would need to  make  sure my new year started with a new attitude of less shout, complaints etc. It worked because Jonathan,once had the highest point of constantly being forgetful at locking the store room anytime he took something out or dropped something in. Hence, the constant, mice partying around the food, and me closing it all the time. He had so much point, he decided  he wont be needing a store room outside the house but instead we would sell the house and travel abroad.

That was what we did, 5 years into our marriage we migrated to the UK with Jonathan's work permit to transfer to another branch  to the UK.

I did not regret the decision, I promised my husband, on our wedding day, that where he goes, I would go, his God is mine, his place of worship is mine too, his family are mine own, his ideas are ours etc.

Life in the UK for the next 15 years was great, hectic, busy and we got on with it. We would travel every two years to Nigeria to ensure our children knew their culture and their people. We were average family and we were very thankful to God and happy. Until, the day, my husband came home and said he had being having pains in his groin, and I thought that was weird.

Please stay tuned for the Final Series.....

God is love, love yourself and on others too..

Wednesday 6 July 2011

Life in Stage ~ My Story~My Life~My Man Cont...

Dear Blogsville Readers,

The continuation....

So  I have quite an interesting family, before actually seeing Jonathan on the day, My Dad had been talking to me about studying abroad and going to my Aunt Joan, we refer to her as Aunt J. Aunt J is mum best friend from school and they have been so close ever since, she is like mum twin. I got my name from her, only because Mum asked her she wanted a nice English name for her unborn child, and Joan happened to be the one she was talking to about it. She suggested why not call her my name, after all it is a nice name and its means God is Gracious.. And she added, according to Mum, you know God has been gracious to us since the war. Hence, Mum called me Joan...

I apologise for deviating, so yes Dad was very adamant for  me to study abroad and  attain a  qualification in Medicine  in order to be qualified as a Doctor. To be honest, that was not my passion, I know I bring home the good grades and teachers /personal tutors had recommended to  Dad that I am a strong individual who is capable of studying medicine and doing well at it. So yeah, they chose my future career without consulting me and how I felt about it..

 It was on a bright Saturday in Enugu, when Dad summoned me into the lounge and told me that I would leave for America in 2 weeks, so I should get started with packing and sort all I need. I didn't get a chance to protest at all. You see,  my Dad is a military man, he grew up in the army he was recruited just at age 16. He fought in the Nigeria Baifra War and worked for the Nigerian Army too. Hence, the strictness, whatever Dad says goes no arguing, no talking back, no  nothing... 

I am the only that Dad is actually proud of... My two older Sisters and Bro did not make any effort at all. I will tell you abit about myself, I am an introvert and because of that I am incredibly observant.
I know everyone's character and the secrets in my household and I am quick to tell how they will react or respond to any situation. May I also say I know of everyone's weakness too.

I will start with my Dad, as I mentioned earlier he is very strict and very direct, he is also loving, he gives us the girls hugs and handshakes my brother only during Christmas and New Year and I am actually glad he does this. Dad younger brother is also in the Military but never never does he show love like my Dad does.. So we are all grateful for the once a year hug and peck on the cheeks. Although, Dad is direct, he is generous and a good listener too, he offers good advice and helps out with homework etc. But he has a weakness, he hates the dark and he sleeps with a rod (I mean an iron rod, specially made for him) and talks to himself (as if he is begging for something). He sleeps with the lights on and never never ever stays in a dark room. He just hates the dark but nobody actually thought it was weird, because he tells us that light is essential in life, but I felt it was weird.  You know how I knew,Dad only goes to bed in his own separate room when everyone is sleeping. So one day,I couldn't sleep and I mean I could not sleep, so I decided to go downstairs this was when I was 6, I went alongside the corridors and the light in his room was on, I thought ok. I went about my business to get a cup of water,  I started this when I was five. I feel thirsty in the night, apparently it is a condition... (I doubt it, cos I have stopped now), most people in the household are aware  I wake up at a particular time to drink water (I hate bottled water, I just hate it.. so my water has to be fresh from the source). This night was like every normal night, I went downstairs, got the water, and was going to my room and I saw something that looked weird in my dad's room (I have never noticed this before, so I think all this started when I was about  6 years old). I went to check and that was when I knew he had issues, so here is a grown strict man sweating uncontrollably, holding  a rod with both hands, with his knees on the floor and begging for his life... 

I stood there for what seemed like hours, wondering why he was crying, sweating and begging for his life. I left the place, I didn't tell anyone anything.. The next day, I woke up again not for water this time, but to wee, and I remembered what I saw, I went towards my Dad room and I saw him again doing the exact same thing. I must say I have seen him do this for more than 12 years  since I was 6 (begging, holding a rod and sleeping with the light on). I knew it was weird and I was bothered but I didn't know who to tell in the family because they all seem to have issues. 

My eldest sister, Chinyere, was practically the street slut, every man in the street claimed to have slept with her. I confirmed this, whilst I was around 10,  Chinyere was 18 and relaxing with her friends (So I thought). All I kept on hearing were  females and male laughter with the ohh's  ahh's and  all sorts. I peeped through the door and I couldn't believe what I saw, I carried myself back to my room and wished I had not been curious..(Btw if you are wondering whether mum and dad were around or the other siblings, No, they weren't). I was the only one around the family household (remember our maids do not stay in the family home, they have their own home). Besides,  people generally think am not aware so they do what they feel like.. I myself do not make effort to make them think am aware, I play along to the fact that they think am dumb, stupid and all sorts, they refer to me as or tease me with.. (I knew where I was going and I knew I was smart).

My second sister, she is just so rude and insultive. Although, she is smart and yes she helped me when I was much younger with my Maths and English. She messes up during exams and gets low grades. She has a condition called Dyslexia. She is able to understand but she finds it difficult to write it down. And she gets rude and defensive to cover up and pretend  be to tough. She dropped out of school  and willingly chose to leave home just before I turned 16 to marry a dude. My Dad hated the idea but she made up her mind and she left. 

My Bro Charles Chukuemaka Uzo, the only boy in the family. I tell you he is nice, friendly, polite and cool. He is a queer. He just loves dudes, but wait for it, he did not know this himself at the time, I actually knew it for him. He has a friend that came to our  home  then every summer holidays after term to chill with him. This particular time, he slept over, my Mum told me to get Charles and as I was about to knock, I peeped through the hole, and guess what I saw...Charles was sniffing his friend yellow shirt and was doing something nasty at the same time. (Do you know why I peep before I knock, because in our households everyone has a secret and knocking startles everyone.. trust me I have been shouted at numerous times even beaten for knocking and opening the door). So, yes Charles plays tough guy and plays bad boy, not doing well in studies, smoking and jamming with the guys. But comes home and sniffs on his best friend  shirt whilst doing something nasty to it... (How rude)...

My two younger sisters, are so adorable,  am 3 years older than them. They are actually normal expect that they do stuff with each other and say they are practicing how to kiss.. I caught them once and asked what they were doing, they said we are playing a game.. Kiss and Tell. I was like ok, tell me more, but before I could join them, I must kiss both of them full on.. I asked them where they got this from and they said from TV. I was so perplexed and thought (this family is definitely crazy).

Now to the woman of the house, my Mum, she is so sweet, so supportive, so kind, and well mannered, church goer (am sure she knows she married a psycho). But, she never never never pays attention to anything, it is all about pleasing people. She is just so concerned about what people will say, so she must attend this party, attend that party and attend that club.. It is just so draining...
I knew she was a people pleaser,  the day, she told us off in front of her friends, most especially me.. Her words, Joan look at you, you are so boring, go and get make-up and do something with yourself and look as beautiful as your sisters. I looked around and just went upstairs, it was like the 100th time she said  it that month in front of her friends. I mean, she told  me in the past, in her own space, how she loves me and how she likes my plain look and how I am a good girl and I make her so proud. But in front of her friends or relatives she switches her tone and makes me look like a weirdo (I am not surprised all our cousins thinks am the weirdest one in the family.. if only they knew), and not just me she does to all the workers too, very rarely does she try it on my older siblings or in front of her husband my Dad, because they knew her. But,you will see her being bossy showing  off her authority in front of other people (so called prestigious friends).

These  are my family, they all  present a perfect family outlook and smile and portray happy family but deep inside they all have issues beyond measure. All I do is just observe and watch how they change into chameleon each time people come around. (Btw when we have guest Dad sleeps in Mum room with the light off but am sure he clings close to mum). I knew this because every time they slept in the same room, mum always says my arm aches, you rested too much on my arm..). I assume he had to hold on to something...

After that dinner encounter, I didn't see Jonathan again,  I sort of saw him drive dad into the compound but I am yet to set my eyes on him like I did before. I went for America, and I was glad I did. I told Aunt Joan  what I thought of Dad plans and she asked me if I wanted to do it, I said no. I hated medicine, I only did well at school because it was what they expected of me. She asked me what my dream career was and I said Drama. She said alright, drama  it is.. 
About Aunt Joan, She fled for America just slightly after the Biafra in 1970, her husband then a doctor told her to to flee if anything happened to him She did exactly that, he died and she didn't wait a second or attend the burial she took off with her two girls. Aunt J, settled in Chicago, worked as a maid  for  a retired Military Caucasian Man, who later married her and they lived together.

Hence, the mentality do whatever pleases you my child. Despite, agreeing to the arrangement Dad made, she said I will not force anyone to do what they do not want to do. (Considering I was an adult, I went along with my plan and that was when I actually knew what it was like to be happy).. I was actually happy, I felt free and    complete. It did not end there, I had to be real with myself and I knew the pain it would cause Dad if he knew that I broke his heart. This is  why I am grateful today Jonathan stood by me. He actually helped me through and I cannot forget the love of my life. The guy that was willing to put everything on the line for me. 

Please stay tuned for the Next Series..

God is love,  love yourself and on others too.

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