A CALL … PART 5 ￼
However, like she observed earlier, it was not a perfect family, because the youngest son and daughter had derailed from the family values. Jude had fallen under the pressure of the peers he chose as friends and was always getting into trouble, while Evelyn had a child out of wedlock and put up an air of indifference. She appeared angry and rebellious towards the family. Jude, on one hand, had softened at her visit. Everyone knew how close they both were and that he had always been her favourite. And so, after a chat with him about being the positive influence on his peers with his own principles rather than succumbing to their negative ones, he promised to sever himself from the wrong peer group and change for the better.
Carol learned that her parents, in their frustration, had once rebuked Evelyn by comparing her to her religious sister – Carol and the industrious, married and responsible Ijeoma. Hence, Evelyn had to live with seeing her parents’ disappointment every day and eventually built up this resistance to get by daily. To heal this wound in the home, Carol cautioned her parents to completely forgive their daughter’s error and be thankful to God she kept the baby and not aborted it in a bid to avoid shame and then end up with a worse consequence. She appealed to them to try to show her some love, attention and understanding so that she would feel their forgiveness.
To her sister, Carol also called aside and embraced for a long while until she felt her coldness melt into tears. She told Evelyn that she did not condemn her, but that Evelyn could learn from this mistake and regain her dignity by focusing on her dreams and then actualizing them. She also told Evelyn that she did well to keep the child, and that she should revise her catechism on the commandments of God, especially where it has to do with sex. ‘God did not make the commandment to punish us but to help us find and maintain our dignity as humans deserving respect and to honour His presence in our body. ‘The man did not marry you as he promised but denied you completely. Would you want to repeat it ...
A CALL … PART 4 ￼ ‘Carol! Carol!’ Her friends and family called and hugged her affectionately, thrilled to see her again. Her siblings looked mature, healthy and doing very well. Some had married and had good jobs and others rounding off their academics. The family businesses had thrived under them, and were being run as the family name group of companies. Her entire family, which had grown with in-laws, nephews and nieces, looked well and happy, but not perfect.
Jeff, she learned, was heartbroken at her disappearance, but she was glad he got over it and got married with two children. She got her immediate younger sibling, OgeChukwu, to show her where he lived, and from a distance she watched him arrive home in a car while his beautiful wife and cute children came out to welcome him tenderly. The picture looked like what she had once dreamt for him and tears ran down her cheeks. ‘Sister,’ Oge called her in Igbo modulation, ‘should we leave or will you like to go meet him?’ OgeChukwu asked in an empathizing manner in the car they watched from. ‘No, let’s go’ And they drove away.
Jeff instinctively looked towards the car that was driving out of the parking lot. He recognized it as OgeChukwu’s car and wondered suspiciously.
In the car, Oge gave her time to calm down, and then asked, ‘Do you regret it all?’ Wiping her tears, she sighed and smiled, ‘No. I only wondered how it would have been if it had been me. But I do not regret my decision to become a nun’. ‘And that is what the tears are for?’ He frowned. ‘They are tears of joy. I’m happy that he is able to get over me because I was worried for him knowing how he felt about me. I’m glad to see that he’s married and has such lovely children. You know, I had been saying more prayers for him and you all than for any other. Now I’m glad to see that my prayers are answered. Perhaps, I can now channel my prayers evenly on the world as this is the cause of my vocation’ She smiled at her brother.
But OgeChukwu looked away from her, and then ahead, driving, ‘You took a bold step to give up everything for God. And it still feels like you made yourself a sacrificial lamb... https://milipadarose.com/2017/03/09/a-c
A CALL … PART 3 ￼
But that was not the only bad news that evening. While the family mourned the death of one of their own, a call came in to inform Ijeoma that their supermarket had been set ablaze by cultists. They later discovered that the café equipment have all been destroyed by the cultists too. They came in, shot OluChukwu at close range, dispersed the customers with continuous shooting into the air, and then destroyed all the computers and other assets they could lay their hands on; after which they left before the police arrived. Witnesses could tell they were cultists because of their uniform and continuous hailing of their slogan – Black Wolves! Black Blood! – It was a day that brought their world crashing down on them in a way they never imagined nor thought when they had woken up that morning.
At the gathering of condolence after OluChukwu had been buried, Carol, standing by the window, heard a couple of people discussing their misfortune just outside that window. ‘How sad for the family; who could have imagined such great misfortunes in one day?’ said one woman. ‘Very sad, my sister. One would think that with their religious life they would never fall so dismally’ said another. ‘It was like God turned His face away from them for only a moment and their ship capsized in one sweep of the wave’ this time a man. ‘You are right, it takes only a second’ the first speaker said again. ‘God knows what they did to deserve this’ she concluded. ‘Indeed, my sister, who knows what they did to get rich in the first place. After all when God gives, it is permanent. But see their case, everything, gone!’ the second speaker supplied again. ‘Well,’ the man added, ‘it could also be what they did not do’... https://milipadarose.com/2017/03/08/a-call-part-3/
A Call part 2
How did she come to put her craving aside for so long? It was many years back when she was much younger, a naïve fourteen year old who saw an old worn-out man, drifting along as if being pushed by the force of the wind. She felt pity for him. He did not look like a beggar but an old man tired of work which he must continue to do in order to survive. ‘Where are his GROWN UP children and what are they doing to alleviate their elderly father’s burden?’ She thought. How had he spent his youthful days or how had life unexpectedly dealt this blow on him? From then, she decided she would do all in her power to ensure her parents and family did not end up like this old man.
Now it seemed she had achieved that but could not tell of the future. It was probably a life-time job to look after family. Yet, for how long would she put God to the test? He, who had been patient with her stubborn desire to cater for her family’s well-being before answering His call so that her family would not want in her absence; and so, He blessed her endeavours. Surely, she should also do her part which she whole-heartedly wanted to, but knew would break a heart and surprise a lot others. Surprise, and not shock them because her moralistic disposition had informed them of the tendency but her past decisions would not have prepared them for it. ‘What do I do? How do I go about it?’ she asked looking towards heaven. *** She was watching TV with her parents in the sitting room when OgeChukwu dashed into the house calling, ‘Lock the door! Lock the door!’ as he rushed past them and into his room to lock himself in. Carol and her parents panicked and did as he asked. Confused, they went towards his room and knocked on his door. ‘What is happening, Oge?’ ...continue on site