It changed me
It did change me
I know you’re interested in what changed me and I’ll come to that but first, let me tell you something about me
I used to wish that time could bear wings and fly by,
So I can achieve my dreams quicker
I mean, the hours were lazy,
Days droned like old rickety trains
And a year would take like perennial rains
I wished it didn’t have to follow all these protocols but then again,
It hadn’t occur to me that fast forwarding my days will only draw me closer to my grave

Yes I was ambitious, I am ambitious
So much so that I beat my shadow to it, with every step I take
But I go it all wrong
Papa said to me, “Child, you gotta stop counting the days and start making the days count. Cos, at the end of it all, the money, the fame, houses, cars, education.. you’ll realise, maybe a bit too late, you got it all wrong” a sad smile formed across his tired face then he continued, “Child, the things that matter most in life are right in front of you, but sometimes we reach out too far and miss it”.
So I responded, I don’t see no money in front of me though.

He smiled again, and began “Oh I wish I had a lot of stories to tell you, I wish I explored, went on some adventure.. let me tell you one story though. It’s about a man, young and ambitious, just like you.

This is going to be interesting, I thought.
“He was so ambitious, he continued, he hardly had time for any thing other than his career. He eventually ostracized himself from friends and family and he wasn’t the least bothered. As far as he knew, when he becomes rich, family and friends will come running. Well indeed, he made it; money, success, wealth, he thought he had it all but soon enough it came creeping, then glaring, the emptiness of an awfully lonely life. Like every other disease, the symptoms began; insomnia, depression, loss of appetite, jadedness, stress, worry.. it came crashing down on him. And since he had no friends , no wife nor kids with his foster family deserting him, this weight was too much to bear he fell sick.
The doctors gave his condition all sort of names like PTSD, HBP, hypertension etc.
But he knows deep down, it’s the result of his wasted life. Child, he said, his eyes barely containing the tears, that man is me and this is the sad story of my life.
The best thing I’ve done in my life was adopting you. I have so many regrets but I don’t regret having you.
“Hell, I wish I did more, laughed more, traveled more or even had a break up. It doesn’t matter, good, bad, saintly or ugly. I wish I just did more because child, the things you regret are the things you never did or never tried, not the things you did”.
Those were Papas’ last words.

©Grace Okoliko 2018

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