Column: Honour them still


A family in my village woke up one day and claimed that a prophet said their father was responsible for their woes in life. The man was into traditional religious practices.

They bundled their father to the prophet and there, he was tied to a tree and left in the sun to confess his “atrocities.” He died shortly after he was brought home.

Papa took one look at the man and declared that he died on the day his family humiliated him. This was a highly respected man in the community.

 A few months after that incident, the said prophet was executed publicly for aiding and abetting robbers and ritualists. You can’t imagine what has befallen each of the children.

The only one that seems exempted from the calamity is the son, that actually fought against the humiliation meted out to their father.

I also remember papa’s daily practice of “igoofor” (libation). Their generation may not be your average church goers but their faith and uprightness is remarkable.

I have yet to remember a day in all the years that I have known papa, that he didn’t do that FIRST THING in the morning before starting his day.

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They don’t just affirm goodness, they LIVED it, knowing that our choices bear repercussions.

Theirs was a richer life with depth. The moment papa was committed to mother earth, there was this feeling of vulnerability that seemed to descend on the family.

My sister described it as a “protective energy” leaving our space. Believe it or not, that is the reality of every family that loses their parents.

That “protective energy” is symbolic of the purest kind of love that ONLY parents have towards their children.

The reason things seem to turn upside down (in families) when parents are no more is because that energy is what has been holding it all together in the family. Life gives us the grace to experience such pure love but they often leave with their source, our parents! Only the purity of parents’ love layers a family with a protective energy.

Every other love brings forth stability only.

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There are incidents of families experiencing losses following the death of parents. There are also scenarios in which the death of parents seems to open a flood gate of blessings for the family.

This is where HOW MUCH CARE you gave to your parents while they lived comes in.

Some of us are incapable of coming down from our “big man” horses to help nurse our ailing parents even if all the time is in our hands.

Have you personally taken your mum or dad for a doctor’s appointment?

We know you can afford to pay people who do these things but there comes a time that parents don’t really need your money and what it can buy but your personal touch. It soothes their emotions.

Papa (in his last days) would not eat what his minder gave him but would gladly eat whatever came from my hand!

What I did was to adjust my schedule to enable me to help out with his care, yet the family had people we paid for his care.

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How does anybody who is alive but doesn’t go home to see those that brought them into this world live with themselves?

There’s a reason it’s said that the person who is BLESSED is the one, whose parents pray for.

Whatever their imperfection is, HONOUR them!

Part of that honour is going out of your way to do the much you can do for them while they are still alive. If they need your help, give it to them.

If they are down, lift them up. If they have been deadbeat, respond to them responsibly. Even when they irritate you, respect them. Don’t ever see your parents as a burden.

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