I have written many times that I am an unbelievably lucky guy. I thank the Almighty for the incredible protection He has given me in many trying circumstances and under conditions that would have broken many men. I have just been through such an experience. The fact that I am serving Saturday Breakfast this morning means that the Almighty has done it again! If you are my friend and you have not heard from me for a while, I am sorry. I have been out of circulation.
A few months ago, the unexpected happened to me. In an instant, my engine knocked! My system collapsed and the end looked very-very close. The son of man was in that state between life and death. It has been a struggle, a very big struggle. For a guy who does not go to church as often as he should, that I am alive is in every way a miracle!
Believe me, I have repeatedly seen the treachery and betrayal of men and how people rationalize their duplicity and all the nonsense they do. But in the last few months, I saw love in every colour and sweetness in the heart of men. I had no idea I had such goodwill.
From everywhere across the world, my family fought for me. They did not want me to die, not now. In an instant, telephone calls were flying across the world and every possible medical arrangement was being made.
I did not get to use many of the arrangements made because God made his own arrangements. My friend, Dr. Moses Jatto and his beautiful wife, Josephine cared for me and mended me like a baby. I gave nothing to them but they gave me everything. Even when in the middle of my health trials, heartless men showed up to abduct me and whisk me away in the middle of the night, they showed up for me.
Many thanks to my gorgeous niece, Dr. Adanna Akujuo, a first-rate surgeon. From Pennsylvania, Ada called every doctor she knows in Nigeria to save her uncle. Babe, my love for you will never-never die. From Dallas, my boy, TJ, and his sweetheart, Andrea, a sharp medical person herself, were on the phone making various arrangements for immediate evacuation to an excellent hospital in the US.
How do I thank my big sister whom I fondly call ‘Miss’? By the way, ‘Miss’ is the mother of Dr. Adanna Akujuo and the undisputed rock of my family. She took charge from Queens New York. My brother Iyke who I do not joke with, was making things happen from Baltimore and so was my sister Nkechi in Westchester, New York. One afternoon I spent with my elder brother, Victor, changed my perspective. From giving up on life, I wanted to live again. After talking with him, I saw many reasons why I should not die. I saw the many people who depend on me one way or another and I begged God to let me live. My job is not quite done.
Believe me, I saw love in every colour. From Bernice Eriemeghe, Vincent Adawaisi and each member of the Board and staff of COSON. Many called, KSB and Simi came. I saw love from my team at TOPS particularly from the ‘Benin Girl’ I call Deebee who single handedly wanted to fight whatever was ailing me. My guy, Abey was always by my side making sure there is no vacuum of any type. Thank you, King James, thank you Peedee.
Most times, it takes a tremor to reveal the true beauty in the world. In the last couple of months, the true beauty of my daughters, Alex and Booboo have been revealed to me. They have done everything any father can ever expect of his children. They abandoned everything to keep me alive. Motivated, supported and monitored by their mum who is away, Alex and Booboo gave me love in every colour. At home, my nephew with the big muscles, the one I call “Mr. Cash” who stays awake most nights wondering when the money will arrive stood by the door constantly daring the strange ailment to come in.
It is not yet completely over. I still have many tests to do and hospital appointments to keep at home and abroad but I am standing more straight again and walking without a walking stick. I have learnt to speak coherently again and with some intelligence. I have even learnt to write again and use the laptop properly. Baby steps… gently… one at a time.
I have seen love in every colour. I have seen love from Nurse Peace who got married while I was down and l could not attend her wedding to her heartthrob, John Bosco. In the hospital in Lagos, I saw love from Okpokpo, the matron and from Anu, the nurse who always hung by my bedside. I saw love from Fatima and Beauty, the beautiful nurse.
The good Lord makes things possible. He is the one who brings love. He brought two Queens to my family, one who for thirty–eight years has tolerated my many excesses. For more than two months in Maryland USA, she cooked every imaginable delicacy to make me well again, made sure everywhere was spotlessly clean and tended to me like a delicate flower. She brought her friends to pep me up. The other Queen, married to my brother, Iyke, became my chaperon. She scattered her very busy schedule in America, driving me from one medical facility to another, one test service to another, one pharmacy to another and making sure I lacked nothing. I owe a lot to the two Okoroji Queens.
Truly, I have seen love in every colour. While medicine has done so much to give me a new lease on life, in truth I have been healed by love. And my wish is that as you go through life, you experience love like I have experienced.
See you next week.