Basket of Dreams

Indisputably, Death’s supreme power lies mostly in its permanence.

She bade farewell to the last visitor, it had been a long sad day. They had come home straight from the church service while the others accompanied Naomi’s body to her final resting place.

The house was quieter now so she could hear her emotions clearly – Sorrow and Regret. The former was expected and the latter despite its futility amplified the former.

In the Seventies, people weren’t so careful about these things, love was all that mattered. If they had both known about their AS genotype would they have still gone on with the wedding? She tortured herself with questions requiring answers past their sell-by dates. Expired common sense.

The past is another country, even if she were magically issued a visa to travel back could she even consider a life without him? It was hard to imagine now, their paths seemed so intertwined after 25 years of marriage.  Still, how does one let go of a twenty-one year old daughter forever?

Raffia basket

Oh! How she blamed herself, with each painful crisis she was taunted by the sickle-cell disorder that lived inside her daughter’s body rent-free. Her sweet Nana, so full of promise and with a radiant future bursting at the seams with dreams. What does one do with the memories of a child?

Her grief made her tremble sometimes, it was like an overgrown fist pressing against her chest till she was breathless. Sleep brought sweet escape, but some nights it only released visions of that terrible day at the hospital when Naomi passed on.  She’d whispered that the pain was unbearable and her bones felt like fire.

She walked into her daughter’s bedroom, the emptiness always made her heart stop, it resembled an open mouth that wouldn’t shut.

The large basket sat in a corner of the room, the sort peddled by Hausa traders and made from tightly woven raffia strips.  Its squat shape reminded her of pot-bellied politicians.  She pulled it to the centre of the room, removed the hat-like lid and offloaded its content.

She knelt in the middle of yards of colourful silks, laces, chiffons, organzas, satins and cottons.  A lush fabric throne.  She laughed softly at the sight of the Adire with an indigo batik pattern that she’d gifted her daughter.

Naomi loved to sew, her delight with each creation was so infectious. She smiled at the memory.

“Mummy, please help me hold the fabric, I need to cut lengthwise”

“Mummy, what do you think about this design?”

Her eyes filled with tears. She heard her husband’s footsteps. He took in the scene. “Obi’m, it’s alright” He said gently, patting her shoulder affectionately.  She wiped her tears, shot him a brave smile and began to fold each fabric carefully before placing it back in the basket.

The basket of dreams, full of unfinished business.

Sign

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75 comments

  1. I am just here to ask you when you are writing a book o. Your writing is amazing!!! even if you do short stories I will buy.

    This post hit in places you do not even know! I recently lost a friend to sickle cell & it was very sad. Her death definitely reminded me to test my blood group and my future partners blood group. I currently have a draft about the importance of blood testing before having children on my blog 🙂

    Like

  2. Awww such tale I’m filled with empathy …..

    Life is filled with doldrums experiences, well we should live for heart warming moments…

    Amazing piece!

    i miss your beautiful stitches.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi dear,

      I agree with you, life has its ups and downs. We might as well embrace the happy moments and do our best to avoid unhappy situations that are within our power to change.

      Thank you so much. 🙂

      Have a beautiful week.

      Like

  3. Your writing captivates, Madam. You’ve described grief with moving words. Now, that is skill. 🙂

    A basket that holds dreams … and memories at the same time. If we walked through our houses, and took an account of things we’ve chosen to keep, more often than not, it’s because some important memory is attached to it: a place, an event, a person.

    “Expired common sense” –> That really struck me. Common sense that ought to have been applied when it mattered. Love is not enough, and in this case, it was glaringly obvious. In this case too, the question of knowledge beforehand arises, but what I can’t understand are those who press on “armed” with knowledge. Why? Can’t you make your life with someone else?

    Living rent-free —> Truly sad. Rent-free, uninvited, unwanted, and on and on.

    *sigh*

    Have an awesome week!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Sharon,

      Thank you so much.

      When it comes to describing grief, I’ve learnt that experience is the best teacher.

      Indeed, those who press on armed with the knowledge surprise me. Sensitive as it is, best to ask the genotype question before people start “catching feelings”. 🙂

      Have a wonderful week!

      Like

  4. This is such a beautiful and well-woven tale. It goes deep into the soul and yes, your story made me remember that raffia basket I had in my room as a little child.
    This story struck a nerve especially as I just read the In House News on Stella’s blog where a mother with a sickle cell daughter was asking for ten thousand naira to buy her drugs. This is super sad.
    Thank you for this story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Adaeze,

      Thank you so much for reading, coming from an awesome writer as yourself, that’s a sweet compliment. 🙂

      Sadly, SCD is an expensive disease, what with the other secondary illnesses that piggy-back on it.

      Enjoy the rest of the week.

      Like

  5. You write with so much passion and depth. I couldn’t stop reading and wish it didn’t end.

    I remembering watching a Nigerian show on YouTube called Living Hope. It’s about a family with children with Sickle Cell. It’s so heartbreaking, but nothing is unbeatable. I believe couples that are both AS can live in harmony… all while putting their trust in God.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Seun,

      Thank you so much for your kind words, means a lot to me. 🙂

      I’ve watched a number of documentaries on YT about SCD. I was heart broken by the video of a three year old boy crying in agony as his little body was racked with pains, while his mum comforted him.

      The hope that comes from faith is a wonderful thing, but I still believe that sometimes prevention is less complicated than cure.

      Enjoy the rest of the week.

      Like

  6. If you wrote a book, I would look forward to it at the end of the day like a mother’s welcoming embrace. Your words have a way of pulling one in into a comforting hug.

    The thing is with AS-concordant couples, there is always hope that their love can beat the possibility of the disease; that they can weather the storm together; that technology and medicare are improving. It is hope really with a healthy splash of optimism.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Lady!

      Thank you so much for reading this. I love my mother’s hugs so that is the best compliment ever. 😀

      I was keen to read your own take on this topic, being a Medic, I’ve heard about the breakthrough with regards to bone marrow/ stem cell transplants as a cure for SCD.

      While it makes me very happy that there’s light at the end of the dark tunnel, I’d still prefer if people were more determined to “stop the sickle cycle” because it is a preventable condition, all it takes awareness and an acceptance of one’s reality.

      Love is a wonderful thing, but sometimes it crumbles under the pressure of caring for a sick child dealing with the sort of illness that a parent is quite helpless to fix.

      Enjoy the rest of the week.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The treatment options are there but the protocol to get bone marrow transplant is not beans! It’s actually better to avoid it but the truth is that people do not always listen to medical advice. As a people, we believe in miracles.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Nne.. aYaf never and i reiterate NEVER!! Seen anyone who writes like you.. I mean such style.. Such Depth.. Such sincerity even in fiction.. Inshort forget all this British English aYam forming hia!! **In Olamide’s vioice.. Oshey! BaDDest geh Ever Writteth.. heheh Make una dey watch eh!!! Play play.. Play Play… Nedoux go win Noble Price for Writing oh! Chisosssss ohhh!!! You can Write faaaa.. **Throws both hands in teh air ouTTa respect 🙂

    Nedu.. As regards to Genotype.. Love is never enough. We need to be real as regards this issue.. cause Love is just. never. enough. Thank you for sharing Nedoux of Destiny.. You can Writeee Chisoss!!!! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Duru,

      Thank you so much for your effervescent kind words. 😀

      Indeed, love isn’t always sufficient. The issue of genotype and genetic compatibility should be treated with realness rather than vagueness.

      Enjoy the rest of the week.

      Like

  8. 😦 😦 you want me to cry abi… it won’t ‘werk’ The story hit some notes, felt the shiver and the sadness. Let me not analyse it too much. 😀

    Nedoux!!!!! There’s something about your writing and fabric. You just had to bring in your passion into this piece and weave it so beautifully well. I don’t want to sound cliche but you my darling need to write a book? Or you don’t want to show off all that load of talent in your hands and head abi.. okay I get..haha

    Okay even if its just teeny weeny something. I would buy your writing, because you write so beautifully well and make me feel all warm inside with my chocolate and coffee beside me of course. *coversface*

    Have a fab weekend dear!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s a really sad story, the loss of a child will always pull the heart’s strings. Though I wrote it, I get a bit emotional whenever I read the final line- “unfinished business”

      Ah! Yet again, this book writing seed has been planted in my head. l’ll have a ripe harvest of inspiration soon. 😀

      Thank you so much for your kind words.

      Like

  9. Hi Chinedu,
    I’ve read this post over and over. Its nice. I don’t want to comment on the story. I’ll simply say, I’m glad the husband and the wife still have such a great relationship with each other.
    I like your fiction pieces sweetheart. Please write more fiction.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. So so beautiful Nedu, I feel like hugging you after reading this. Erm, pls dont be creeped out. Do you ever want to write a book some day? This piece of writing captures loss so well, this part, ‘it was like an overgrown fist pressing against her chest till she was breathless’- so spot on..I have a friend who on the first date, asks what the dude’s blood type is to avoid a similar ending to Naomi…She asked a good question, should she have gone ahead with the r/ship when she found out their clashing blood types, hmmmm…( :

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Biki,

      Thank you so much for your kind words.

      Lol @ “creeped out”. You’ve planted the book writing idea in my head, l hope it grows like Jack’s magical beanstalk.

      Your friend is smart. Although not every date will lead to marriage, it is best to know about the important things before emotions set in too deeply.

      As for the character in the story, I wonder if she would have gone on with the wedding if they had known about their genetic incompatibility? It’s funny how Hindsight has perfect 20/20 vision, as one becomes knowledgeable only after an unfortunate event. 🙂

      Enjoy the rest of the week.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Cara,

      Grief is like a vacuum that drains one. A mother who loses a child that she nurtured inside her body would feel like she’s lost a piece of her own self forever.

      Thank you so much for reading. 🙂

      Enjoy the rest of the week,

      Like

    1. Hello Bisi,

      Thank you so much for reading. 🙂

      Indeed, love is not always enough, genetic compatibility should not be taken lightly.

      Enjoy the rest of the week.

      Like

  11. Nne! I’ve missed you.
    Rick Warren said God didn’t include death package of any sort while creating humans. That’s why we are so torn when a loved one leaves this world. Grief/mourning wasn’t part of our makeup.

    Sad touching post you wrote here. Best is to know on time what each other’s genotype is…before emotions set in.

    Thanks dear.
    PS. Blog on sabbatical…tweaking it behind the scenes. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi dear,

      Thank you so much, I am happy that you came by today.

      Rick Warren’s view is thought-provoking, it also provides some clarity on human emotions. The finality of death is what hurts the most.

      Yes, genetic compatibility should be prioritised when deciding to settle with Mr./Ms. Right. Emotions that have set like dried cement are quite hard to crack.

      I’ve just seen the “Something new is coming” on your blog, I look forward to seeing the unveiling, I know it will be great. 😀

      Enjoy the rest of the week.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Very sad but very meaningful read. I truly believe that prevention is better than “cure”. The pain of losing a child (or children in some cases) is indescribable.

    May the Precious Spirit of comfort heal the aching hearts of these parents all over the world in Jesus mighty Name Amen.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi IJ,

      It’s a heartbreaking reality. I imagine that for a mother, the loss of a child that she carried within her body and nurtured, is like losing of a piece of her own self.

      Amen. 🙂

      Thank you so much for reading.

      Enjoy the rest of the week.

      Like

  13. Beautifully written as always, Nedu when are you going to write those books bubbling inside you?
    This hit close to home for me because I have family members who suffer from the disorder, one of them died in 2014. The pain and physical torment they go through is unimaginable, I am AS and I’d rather die unmarried than put a child of mine through that pain and suffering. Let’s not forget myraid other symptoms of the disorder especially the bone marrow issues that usually lead to hip replacement surgeries, I saw plenty during my internship at National Orthopaedic Hospital Igbobi, heartbreaking stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Adaeze,

      Thank you so much. You’ve sowed a seed of motivation in my head, it might just sprout and surprise me. 😀

      It’s easier to relate with a situation when we’ve experienced it either first-hand or on the sidelines. Yes, SCD is rather cruel, considering the chronic complications that tag along. I was once told that the degree of pain is almost sadistic.

      I am glad that people have become more aware of the hows and whys. Genetic compatibility now has its well-deserved place on the Mr./Ms. Spouse check-list.

      Enjoy the rest of the week.

      Like

  14. I have been away too long comment-wise, but I have followed your posts and this is yet another beautifully written thought-provoking piece! Need I say I like the way you ‘sew’ your words together?!

    I have friends who have lost loved ones to sickle cell…the loss is better imagined.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Abeni,

      Thank you so much for your kind words, I am so glad that you stopped by. 🙂

      Yes, the pain from the loss of a loved one is better imagined.

      Enjoy the rest of the week.

      Like

  15. Though a sad one , this was written beautifully .
    The pain, pyscho trauma that comes with SSA isn’t a funny one . Where it can be avoided its jus best, really.
    Miracles do happen too…two people I know personally had theirs changed to AA.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Tamie,

      Thank you so much for reading.

      Yes, the trauma is far from amusing. I am glad people are more aware of their genotype status these days and more importantly about the implications of genetic incompatibility.

      Miracles are a wonderful reassurance of God’s grace. 🙂

      Enjoy the rest of the week.

      Like

  16. Beautiful post! Its so sad what SS victims go through. I can’t wished my enemy the agony of their experiences. But it wasn’t the parent fault back then as there was no serious awareness about genotypes.
    Thats how one guy was asking a female friend of mine the first time they went on a date, what is her genotype. Love aint enough these days though.
    I pray for the family of SS and the carrier, God best and strength to enjoy life to it fullest

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Immanuel,

      Thank you for reading and for your kind words.

      Yes, very sad. Indeed, it is an agonising experience that is better imagined. Love and support makes it a bit more bearable for those afflicted.

      I am glad that people are now more conscious of genetic compatibility when making decisions related to marriage. While romantic love is beautiful, it isn’t always the primary factor to consider. 🙂

      Enjoy the rest of the week.

      Like

    1. I have not had any experience of someone around me battling but the agonizing experience I have heard about those who had it is entirely awful.
      God is able but the bible says wisdom is profitable to direct.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Hi Berry,

      Yes, sad. SCD inflicts a cycle of pain that causes anguish to both those afflicted and their families.

      I am glad that public awareness about genetic compatibility has now increased.

      Thank you for reading. 🙂

      Enjoy the rest of the week.

      Like

  17. You write so beautifully! 😊
    Sickle cell is such a sensitive topic. As easy as it is to say: Don’t get married if you both have AS genotypes; Love, Technology, and in Nigeria, religion make it more complex.
    I know of two people, both AS, who are planning to get married, because, ‘there is nothing impossible for God to do’.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s why I often say spirituality does not cancel common sense. Except God specifically told you to get married, you have a case. Apart from that – you have intentionally decided to truncate your happy days.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Hi Dumebi,

      Thank you so much for reading and for your kind words

      I agree with you, it’s still considered a sensitive topic and that tip-toeing somehow overshadows its harsh reality.

      Yes, the marriage decision when dealing with incompatible genotypes can be a bit of a dilema. 🙂

      Have a lovely week.

      Like

    1. Hi Gracey,

      I know how much you miss Brian, I remember seeing your heartfelt post . I know the pain that this sort of loss brings, I think it will get easier with time. 🙂

      Thank you so much for reading.

      Have a super week.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Sis,

      When one has dealt with the loss that death leaves in its wake, they know the words that can capture sadness in its raw form.

      Thank you so much for reading. 🙂

      Have a beautiful week.

      Like

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