Seemingly Endless Tomorrows

When I was much younger, my favourite newspaper was Vanguard, firstly because the front page had the hilarious cartoon “Mr. & Mrs.” illustrated by Dada Adekola with snippets of funny conversations between husbands and wives.

I liked Vanguard for another reason, a weekly column named “Sketches” written by Mr. Aig-Imoukhuede,  it was a delightful satire.  He had a way with words, he was the breed of Nigerians from the era of the brand new and promising Nigeria. His grasp of grammar was wonderful; words laced with wit and humour that caught one both aware and unawares. Ah! It was splendid.

He’d take the most random incident, a person he had met, the conversation that he’d had with them, something that had happened to him or simply the state of the nation and he’d relay the story in a captivating, mirthful style. It seemed so effortless the way he did it.  At one point, I started cutting out the column each week and stored the pages in a flat file.

I appreciated Mr. Aig so much, that I decided to write him a letter, telling him that I was a big fan and enjoyed reading his column.  I went as far as writing down the Vanguard Newspaper’s postal address, but for some reason, I kept postponing it.  Over and over, I’d tell myself “I will do it tomorrow”. The Tomorrows seemed endless.

And then, I forgot all about it.  The written-down address remained tucked away in this brown wooden cupboard that used to be my boarding school locker.

A few years later, in February 2007, I was browsing the internet and I saw an article that someone had written. It was mostly a Eulogy; and in it they’d announced the death of Mr. Aig the month before at 75, and included a brief biography.  I got to know him even better, but he would never get to know how I felt about him. He was gone.

Just do it 2

The realization struck me like a blow, I crumpled over my reading table and wept in such anguish, it felt like I’d lost something that I could never grasp again.

He never got to see my letter, he never knew how much I admired his writing, how he inspired me to dance with words, how I appreciated the way he’d showed me that words could be used to convey a meaningful message even when married with humour and wit.

The pain is still somewhat fresh even as I typed this; there was a tightening in my chest as I remembered that day in front of my computer. I still wish I had written and sent that letter.

I’ve learned that Procrastination is the easy route, it is as convenient as a lazy Saturday in bed munching hot akara, but Regret- that ‘woulda-coulda-shoulda’ feeling- is so excruciatingly painful, it almost feels like Grief.  Perhaps it is, for what else best describes mourning the death of something that might have been but never was and never will be?

Try not to take Time for granted, just do it.

“Procrastination is my sin.  It brings me naught but sorrow.  I know that I should stop it. In fact, I will…tomorrow” ― Gloria Pitzer

 

Rest in peace Mr. Aig.

Sign

 

 

 

PS:  When I finished writing this post, I decided to do an online search for an image of the Sketches page,  and it led me to a serendipitous discovery of my old abandoned blog, I’d even forgotten all about it.  It was there that I first wrote about this. Someone had kindly left me a comment with Mr. Aig’s daughter’s name and email address, I recall that I was quite shy at the time to contact her.

Well, I wrote her a few days ago and she sent me a heartwarming response. 🙂

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61 comments

  1. Hi Nedoux. I think I spelled your name incorrectly on another post. My apologies. I think sometimes for me procrastination and perfectionism go hand in hand. If I were in your shoes I probably would have put off writing the letter until I had time to make sure I’d thought of the right thing to say and the best way to say it. And then as is usually the case life would happen and it would never get done. I think the beauty of just doing it is it forces you not to overthink your intentions. Thanks for stopping my blog. I look forward to reading more of your writing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi,

      No worries, my name is actually ‘Nedu and the blog’s name is Nedoux. 🙂

      Ah! I agree with you, perfectionism, sometimes, causes delays as one spends time focusing on every little detail, and the task continues to be postponed, till the perfectionist is convinced that they are truly satisfied.

      Lol, Yes, life happens, the earth continues spinning and the task remains undone.

      Thank you so much for reading.

      Like

  2. Ah, memory lane, mine was Mee Mofe Damijo. I was driving the day her death was announced on the radio, I actually crashed the side of my car. Procrastination ehn? It’s the killer of all dreams, in fact it’s killing this blog, so many half finished posts. Your post might likely encourage me to be a more consistent blogger in the new year hopefully.Here is to a more fruitful year 2016.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww, I remember Mee.

      Indeed, it is a killer of dreams. It takes real discipline to wriggle out of its grasp. Most people struggle with postponing the things that should be done. Sometimes, Life gets in the way.

      Lol… We all have something to improve upon.

      Thank you so much. I wish you happiness in the New Year! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. … And your story had a happy ending! I’m glad to hear you were able to communicate with his daughter. You got some consolation.

    But your story really touched me. Procrastination has a price and at the beginning we don’t see it. Nedoux, pele:-(

    I can picture you storing those write-ups in one of those office flat files. 🙂 And that’s the thing with words: they outlive us. Although he’s gone, you can still revisit his words in your own self-made library. Silver lining ba?

    Before I forget, let me take this opportunity to say you’re one of the best writers I know. Each post is well thought out, insightful and packed with lessons. Keep it up! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi dear,

      Happy endings are great! Yes, that was some consolation, I felt ecstatic when I saw her response.

      It does have a price. Thank you.

      Lol…Those cardboard office flat files. Indeed, words outlive us.

      Ah! That is the sweetest compliment that I have received all year. I am going to print out your compliment and keep it tucked in my brassiere. I will also print out a bigger version and frame it. 😄

      Sharon, I sincerely appreciate all the love and support that you always give to me. I read all your comments with a big smile on my face, there is always depth and humour within your words.

      Have a fabulous Christmas, I wish you joy and blessings in the New Year.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I feel like I know what you mean. I procrastinate but that’s not why I can relate.

    My granddad died when I was two. I later became interested in photography. It was then revealed to me that he was an accomplished photographer and cinematographer who was grieved that none of his children were interested in his art.

    I got to learn a lot about him through stories. My dad showed me his books (he had plenty books on optics and physics) and I felt really sad. I don’t really know how I feel about the whole thing but I guess it’s grief. I think I’m grieving the person I wish I knew.

    Great post, glad to hear that you eventually reached out to the daughter. Better late than never.

    http://www.miralabelle.com

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Ijenna,

      Your comment made me very happy. 🙂

      Grief creates this vacuum, a sad longing for something that’s irreversibly gone.

      I hope our passed loved ones can actually see us where ever they’ve transitioned to, and if so, your granddad would be so proud of your interest in photography.

      Thank you so much. Yes, better late than never.

      Like

  5. Oh Nedu! This post resonated with me on so many levels. Indeed, all the good we can do, all the kindness we can do, all the love we can give, let us do so today today TODAY; because we never know what tomorrow might bring.

    “Carpe diem!” I hold this close to my heart.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello dear,

      You’ve said it so perfectly, one should try not to postpone goodness, kindness or love. Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed.

      Thank you so much for sharing your words of wisdom. 🙂

      Enjoy the rest of the week.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for reading. 🙂

      I suppose that because we are inspired by the people that we admire, some of their style rubs off on us either purposely or by accident.

      Enjoy the rest of the week!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Nedu, this post had me on an emotional rollercoaster! What more to add? I am happy that you found a way to reach out to Mr Aig through his offspring and you know what, sad as it is that he could not read your words himself, it taught you a very important lesson at a young age.You are better now for what you know and that counts for something. Procrastinate no more!
    Also I’m sure he can feel your adoration where he is and is mighty proud to have inspired someone so strongly through his words, its every writer’s dream.
    Have a lovely wkend. ( :

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Biki,

      Thank you so much for reading.

      I am so glad that I finally wrote her. Yes, I learned a very big lesson, I am aware of the regrets from missing opportunities.

      You are so right, it’s every writer’s dream to be an inspiration to others.

      Enjoy the rest of the weekend. 🙂

      Like

  7. Hey Nedoux.

    Another nice piece. It got me doing a quick sweep of my life events, again.
    How easy it is to take the gift of past days for granted and proceed casually like tomorrow is a certainty.

    Very much like you, I held back on saying the things my heart felt until I lost a dear friend. I loved Gloria dearly but I doubt she heard me say so until she passed.

    I have made it right today, I tell; love; hold; like it was my last opportunity and it makes me feel really good 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Flo,

      Thank you so much for stopping by.

      I too have regrets about not saying enough before a dear one passed away suddenly. I’ve come to realise that it’s the permanence of death that makes the regret from holding back more painful.

      Sadly, death doesn’t give one second chances. The experience motivates us to be better versions of ourselves going forward.

      It’s so great that you’ve made it right, I’ve learned that it’s best to show affection when the intended recipient is around to appreciate it. 🙂

      Have an excellent weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. …My GOD you are a fantastic writer! I mean this post gave me Goosebumps.. aswear down… Aha! Kilode?! What style.. What Emotion.. What Depth.. Aha! Please can I be your Apprentice.. I mean I soooo need to be like you when i grow up eh Biko! **Pretty please 🙂

    You know yeah beauRRiful Nedoux.. Tomorrow is a time that will never really come.. I mean often times yeah.. we push stuff till we forget them,. and trust me.. life is teaching this 24 years 13 days old boy daRREeetEes a farrr better feel to feel failure than eet eess to feel regret.. This was a fun read Bubba.. It was Truly deep.. May the soul of Mr. Aig Rest in the perfect peace of our Lord GOD in JESUS mighty name.. Amen

    P.S: Thank you soooo much for coming by the Young and Confused Gang a while ago.. **In the beauRRiful words of the gorgeous oneplustheone.com; Your comment gave me Laaaiiiife.. hehehe and the crowd goes… Oooooossshhheeey Turn uP!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Duru,

      Thank you so much for the bubbly comment, it put a big smile on my face. 🙂

      Indeed, Tomorrow really isn’t guaranteed, it’s best to do what ought to be done today today, or else it may never get done.

      So true, failure is better than regret, at least one knows that they even made an attempt, they then realise their weak spots and can focus on improving.

      You are most welcome, I enjoyed reading that post on your blog, it was very entertaining.

      Enjoy the rest of the week.

      Like

    1. Hi Ify,

      Thank you so much.

      Lol… Ok, I’ll share a little bit- She was glad that I had written her, she also mentioned that she had read the post about her father on my old blog years ago.

      Enjoy the rest of the week.

      Like

  9. My dad is an avid newspaper reader. And his favorite newspaper used to be vanguard. And he always dropped the pages he was done with on my lap, so I naturally started dragging pages with him soon enough.
    I remember the Mr And Mrs Cartoon and other interesting columns.

    Procrastination is a big thief!! Can you tell I’ve been bitten severally?
    Am learning tho..not yet there, but there are improvements.

    Off to read your earlier writings.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Tamie,

      ‘Mr & Mrs’ is so funny. Lol @ “dragging pages” 😀

      You are correct, it is a very big thief, it steals opportunities. I am also learning, one day at a time…

      Thank you so much, enjoy the rest of the week.

      Like

  10. Nedoux, this is such a beautiful and heartfelt post. I can imagine how you felt when you heard about his death, knowing that you could have sent the letter but didn’t. I’m glad you got to reach his daughter and that she responded.

    This just goes to show that you should appreciate them NOW, not later.

    Berry Dakara Blog

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Berry,

      Thank you so much. I felt bad. Yes, I am happy that I finally wrote her and knowing that she replied makes me even happier.

      Ah! You’ve said it so beautifully. Indeed, it makes more sense to clap for people when they can still hear the applause.

      Enjoy the rest of the week. 🙂

      Like

  11. This is beautiful, Nedoux.

    I remember vanguard being the most read newspaper back in the days before the tide turned against them and I remember the column you’re talking about. You can’t read it without wanting to write, he’s such a beautiful writer.

    Procrastination is something we all do, except we’ve got someone we can delegate some of our work to or we can stay true to our schedule, procrastination will be a thing we have to live with but like they say, prioritize (i.e do the important ones now and procrastinate the others) lol.

    Someday, I will get a P.A to handle those other less important stuffs but before then, I hope I get my priorities right.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Tola,

      Thank you so much for your kind words..

      Yes, Vanguard was the preferred newspaper back then, I think Punch has now taken over . I agree with you, Mr. Aig’s column really inspired me to write too.

      Indeed, it is a habit that most people have, it takes discipline to overcome it. You raised a good point, getting one’s priorities right would help them avoid procrastination.

      Ah! A PA would be wonderful especially one that can go to the gym and sweat on my behalf so that a six-pack would appear on my abs. 😉

      Have a great day!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Cassie,

      Most people struggle with avoiding putting off for tomorrow what could have been done today, I need to do better too.

      Thank you so much for your kind words. 🙂

      Have a great week!

      Like

  12. The way you write! I’m such a last minute person in fact, I think I must have inherited it because it’s like I have no control over it like my genes.. Reading this post, I wish I had known Mr Aig too.. I’m sure he’s resting in peace now though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Ella,

      Thank you so much!

      @ “I must have inherited it ” 😄

      I’ll admit that I still battle with the ‘last minute dot com’ syndrome, overcoming Procrastination is a process.

      Yes, he was a gentleman, I know that he is resting in peace.

      Have a great week.

      Like

  13. You take me back to those pages. The vendor knew that he must pass and blow his horn and even if I was not around, he would keep my copy. I enjoyed his wit and wise cracks and admired the man well well. Procrastination should be labeled a sin in fact. It’s good you got in touch with the daughter. I am sure she appreciated it. Let me go and take a peek at the other blog. Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Jackie,

      I’ve observed that some of the people who enjoyed Mr Aig’s work, love words and write beautifully too. I miss reading his stories.

      Yes, I am glad that I finally kicked myself in the butt and wrote her, the response that she sent gave me so much joy. She mentioned that she’d read the post in my old blog years ago. 🙂

      Lol…I read the posts on that old blog a few days ago and I laughed, it felt like a walk down memory lane, a meeting between who I used to be and who I am now.

      Thank you so much, have a great week.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Timi,

      I am so happy that I eventually contacted her. The sweet part is that in her email, she told me that she’d seen my blog post about her father all those years ago.

      Lol… Good idea, I suppose it’s best to say what needs to be said whilst one still has the chance to. 🙂

      Have a great week.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Nedoux..this post is another surefire way of charging me up! Beautifully written. 🙂

    I never really had access to newspapers in ‘dem days. Readers’ Digest was my fave thanks to strict dad. 😐
    Wish I “met” Mr. Aig. He really left a great impact on people apparently. Sigh…
    Off to stalk your other blog… :*

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi dear,

      Thank you so much. 🙂

      I used to read Readers Digest a lot back then, that small magazine was always packed full of interesting information.

      One painful part about my regret is that I am certain that he’d have kindly replied my letter.

      Hahaha! I read the posts on my old blog recently and I smiled, it felt like I was getting re-acquainted with who I was 7 years ago.

      Have a great week!

      Like

  15. I loved Aig too! He was soooo funny and insightful, he’s one of my biggest influences as a writer and maybe one day I’d become half as good at satire as him.
    I have almost the same story with my ultimate writing hero Cyprain Ekwensi, I used to pass by his house in Lagos but never had the courage to go in. I see him in my dreams now, maybe that’s my way of coping.
    I love this post, love, love love.
    Have a splendid week.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Adaeze,

      I was soooo happy to read your comment. Yes, he was very insightful, I have the same aspirations too, he wrote very beautifully.

      Cyprian Ekwensi remains one of the Literary Greats! I recall reading ‘Passport of Mallam Ilia’ in JSS 1. It’s nice to know that you’ve found a way of coping. 😀

      Thank you so much.

      Have a great week!

      Like

  16. Awwwwww. The shoulda coulda woulda moment that leaves us so furious at ourselves. I had mine with my bff Brian. He had called me on the morning of his surgery, and expressed his fear. I yelled at him to have more faith and we ended the call. I wanted to call back.and pray with him but shrugged and said ‘soon ‘ my soon became hours later and then I got news that he died. Two years later, I still blame myself.

    Procrastination steals valuable time. Like the sign, just do it already..

    Epiphany29.com
    Olive X Mustard

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello dear,

      I remember seeing a post about Brian on your blog.

      I understand the fury that regret brings, try not to blame yourself, it will only make the pain from his passing more difficult to bear.

      You are right, Procrastination is like a thief. It is wise to live for NOW.

      Have a great week.

      Liked by 1 person

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