23rd March, 2020
I made up my mind I was going to move to my paid apartment at this Federal Government Quarters within my area. My neighbor and her second husband who fought every night heaping curses on themselves made this a quick decision for me. I left to go wash the place(I got an hausa guy really).
I came back home in this big Toyota Sequoia jeep owned by my unit leader in church and released to me for the purpose of moving. This amazing couple sent their driver to help me move my few belongings.
All my neighbors came out to assist in packing. My good neighbor, the one who makes badass jollof, who gives me meat, whose husband left some yams by my door last year, said to me
“How much did you rent this Jeep?”
I looked at her in astonishment
“Me, rent jeep? My leader in church sent it with his driver”
“Really?? Wow!!!! You are so lucky!!!!
Now this is the Crux of this post. The word ‘luck’
I am NOT a lucky person. A lot of instances when things happen for me among many people, people say ‘oh, she’s lucky or oh, she must be doing something else”. I am just someone whom God chooses to show mercy to. And I wouldn’t call that luck. I’d say everything I’ve ever achieved up till now is by mercy. Shikena.
Let me give you a very good example.
Last year 2019, on a very odd night, middle of the night,
I died in my sleep.
Wait for it. Did you just read that?
Yes you did. I told only two people since then.
In the twinkling of an eye, my spirit came out of my body and I saw my body on the floor where I laid. I was seeing two of me.
I had gone to bed healthy, was at work that day, eaten and slept.
I looked at my lifeless body for a while and just as I made to turn back to go away, I saw myself going back into my body. Then, I woke up. I was afraid to go back to sleep. I was shaken through out the whole day. It felt surreal. This event was a slow one. I didn’t go back into my body immediately. I spent some good time watching my lifeless body on the floor before I slipped back in.
I called my sister and told her just to notify her in case it still happened again. The second person I called told me that I should be thanking God and that if I didn’t go back into my body, that was the end. I knew this very well.
2019 was a scary year for me-healthwise.
Again, on another night, I woke up with sharp pains in my lungs. It was as if my intestines were being removed forcibly. I was in heart wrenching pain. I COULD NOT breath again. It was very scary.
I crawled to the loo from the bedroom. I sat on the WC trying to breath. My senses told me I was going. So I started to say my last prayers. I confessed the sins I remembered.
I felt life going out of me. Yet, I was feeling heat on the inside and outside. So I used my last strength to pour water on my body. As I did this, I regained little consciousness. But the water was drying off quick from my body and immediately it dried, I felt life ebbing slowly out of me again. I kept pouring water, talking to God in my heart. I could not speak again. I could not even move my lips. I had no strength to even stand up or walk.
I remained in this UNCONSCIOUS position for long, with my eyes closed. I wasn’t conscious enough to count the hours or minutes. I kept drifting between life and death.
I don’t know how long I stayed but God saw me that night and chose to answer the prayers I could only say in my heart. All of a sudden, I started breathing slowly again till it became normal. I came back to life and walked back to my room as if nothing happened.
This event also left me shaken. Up till date. I shudder when I remember the two events. I couldn’t have called anyone. I was too weak to ask for help. Besides it was around 1-2am. The period of time when my father died.
After those two events,
I became sick many times. I was in and out of hospital, treating malaria twice or thrice in a month. I even became ashamed to tell people I was sick again because it was now everytime.
Then in December, I took my annual leave. I had great plans for the leave. I had plans of stocking the house and reading a lot of books. But the very next day….
While coming from Kilimanjaro where I went to buy bread, a car came from nowhere and hit me on a bike. We fell on the main road. At first, I didn’t know that anything happened to me. I didn’t see the blood gushing from my knee or the big wound. I thought I escaped unhurt. Until one of the onlookers pointed it out to me.
That was the beginning of another painful episode of washing and cleaning wounds during harmattan. The pain was out of this world. I could not sleep well at night because of pain. I could not stand or walk. I sank into depression. That was the second time I’d have an accident on the same leg. I went for injection, took drugs.
You could just say ‘good morning’ to me that December and I would burst into tears. I was so depressed that I carried my bags and left Abuja for a while in order to clear my head.
But a whole lot of other good things have happened to me since then. And then people call me ‘lucky’.
He shows mercy to whom he will show mercy and compassion to whom he will show compassion.
24th March, 2020.
It was my birthday but I was outside, trying to get one or two things for my new apartment. I was too busy that I almost didn’t realise it was my birthday.
A gentleman sent me 10k for cake. Well, I passed through dominos and the place was as dry as leaf. So I got yoghurt and chin chin and used the remaining money to fix new nets at the apartment.
A kind lady gave me a beautiful bedsheet as birthday gift. I was just thinking of buying. So it came in handy.
For me, that birthday wasn’t a big deal but it was significant to me. I had yanked off my birthday from Facebook for years so a lot of folks didn’t know. I dropped a message for my birthday mates and attached my picture so some put two and two together.
We are too old to be moved by birthdays or whether people remember or not.
Now that I’ve finally settled in, I’m seeing most of the blessings in my life that I’ve been taking for granted.
The two times that God restored my life. The many battles he fought on my behalf when I was asleep.
The gift of writing.
I have never openly given myself a pat on the back. I’m the hardest critic of my own work.
However, I know I’m doing well as a writer.
Kidbrother had told me one day that a friend of his had called him one day to find out if he was related to a certain Yetunde Olasiyan who writes for bellanaija.
I once shared an anonymous story on a popular wall and some requested to speak with the writer.
A certain lady called me and asked for my name, when I told her she said
“Oh, I know you. I’ve read a lot of your articles on bellanaija”.
She gave me a job…to manage her Instagram page and she paid every month on time till she went to the UK.
I’ve written for people in Ireland and the US. I’ve done editing, ghostwriting and book reviews. Even though I don’t say it often, but writing has been good to me.
I got some mails and Facebook friend requests because of some of my essays. Bellanaija gave me a lot of popularity.
I have friends in the UK who connected with me because they read something I wrote.
I once went for an interview and they asked about my activity on social media. I told them I write. They asked for links to some of the sites. Then they googled my name and a bellanaija article came up. They asked me questions from that article and that was the end of he interview. I was invited to the next stage but I later had to shelve it.
I wrote a book that people are still demanding for long after I sold out. A bookshop in portharcourt reached out to me for copies and they were even willing to pay upfront but I didn’t have any more copies. I promised to get back to them but I never did. If they are reading this, I’m sorry. I haven’t republished since then.
I am grateful to God for a new year. I am thankful for his mercies. For the wonderful people he uses to bless me once in a while such as this couple in church, For the big people I meet in the court room on a daily basis…SANs, Titled Chiefs, Chairman of Unions in Nigeria, CEOs etc who call me on a daily basis to ask about their case, For having a boss like Milord who is a father figure. For the many people at work who are kind to me because of my father, I do not take any of this for granted.
Cheers to many more beautiful years ahead, if jesus tarries. But all in all, I am not lucky, I am just blessed and favoured by God.