Tuesday, December 19, 2006

What would make you consider suicide?

If you have never considered, planned, or even deeply thought about suicide, you are blessed. Millions of people are ‘suicidal’…all for pains they could not endure, depression, abuse, guilt, failed relationship, dashed hopes and expectations…all sorts.

Sometimes, we think we have gone too far to make a come back. Sometimes, we think there is no hope for us, sometimes we think that all and everyone has forsaken us, sometimes we give up at the last lap of the race. No matter what pains we have buried, secrets that we cannot share…death of a loved one or loved ones…pains and sorrows we cannot comprehend and least of all explain…always remember that God’s arms are outstretched and His love is unconditional and His mercies are new every morning and great is His faithfulness.

Here is a story I stumbled on today and I thought I’d share it. The strangest part is that while people are getting ready for Christmas…some are contemplating suicide…two very opposing happenings…celebration of a gift of life and taking away of another life…

As you get ready for the festive season, do not forget to stop and say a prayer for people in pain, hospital bed…your prayer could be just what will stop one suicide attempt. Our life is precious to God…or He would not have taken the time and effort to make us.

Here is Virginia's story
It was the morning of December 24, 1998 and everything was almost in order.
"Hi, my name is Virginia and I called this morning," I said. I was so ready for it all to be over. I had no idea what was about to happen.
"Hi, Virginia, my name is Cheryl," the funeral director replied. "I will be helping you today."
I had no idea at that time just how much she would be helping me. This attractive, little 40 something-year-old lady was about to take part in a miracle, my miracle.
"I want to take care of my final arrangements," I said. "My husband and parents have already been through so much," I said, holding back tears. "I want you to know how much I appreciate you coming in this morning. I am only in town for a short time and wanted to get this taken care of while I still can. I know you must have been busy getting ready for the holiday."
"It's no problem, Virginia. I am glad to be here for you," Cheryl sweetly replied.
For the next hour we went over my choices. I chose the pink one, nothing fancy, just your basic casket. Then the dreaded question came, "May I ask what your terminal illness is, Virginia?"
"Cancer," I immediately responded.
Now comes the part I still have a hard time grasping. If you were a funeral director and a lady walked in claiming to be terminally ill with cancer, could you look into her eyes and say, "I want you to know you aren't going to need this, but I will write it up for you if you wish?" Cheryl did.
I was in complete shock. After a few moments I said, "What do you mean I am not going to need this?"
Meanwhile, I thought to myself, I am dying, and this is what dying people do. The only difference is my disease is depression instead of cancer. Everything was set for me to kill myself. I had been planning and storing up pills for months.
Cheryl looked down for a brief moment as if to prepare herself for the statement she was about to make, "When the secretary called me at home this morning and said someone was coming in to make their final arrangements I knew it was not necessary for me to come in; one of the others here could have helped you. But as I went on preparing for the holiday, the Lord was speaking to my heart. He let me know that I was to tell you that Jesus loves you, Virginia. He isn't through with you yet. You are not going to need this right now, but if you want, I will write it up for you. And I want you to know that I will be praying for you every day."

Monday, December 18, 2006

Husbands and Gifts

There is just so much I want to write about that I do not know where to begin…but first let me make good on my promise about gifts from hubbies…not everyone will agree with me…if you get the diamonds and perfect gifts…this piece is not for you but I have discussed this at different times and there seem to be a general consensus of some sort that hubbies just don’t get the gifts right even when they have the thoughts are right. Personally I have once told my hubby never to buy me any gifts…he should just give me the money…okay…that also has not worked.

Truly as boyfriends and fiancĂ©es…they are better…they put some thoughts to it, actually they know exactly what you look like…for some odd reasons, when they become husbands…they forget what size you are …yes…these guys live with us…they should at least look at us very well right? NO? They downright get it wrong all the time. When it is not bigger size, it is smaller size. But as boyfriends they can even call your friends and ‘conspire’ with them to get the right gifts but as hubbies…they cannot call your friends , first they do not even want your friend to know what they are getting you because it is now a “private family affair” and they get it wrong.

Now I love my husband to death (after all that was what I vowed in church…to love him till death do us part so…I love him right?),…if anyone directs him to this blog site, I will ‘kill’ the person. My husband has really tried a number of times and while I want to look at the intentions…I get really angry and very unappreciative…how come I know his shoe size, his boxer size, his shirt size and all his sizes and he has no clue about mine? It really infuriates me so these days…he has resorted to ‘consulting’ his sister to help him out and so far we got through last birthday very happy and the gift very appropriate (only I knew ahead of time when he went to his sister and she called me and then we agreed but I also agreed to be very surprised and happy when I got the present…truly I was).

If your hubby gets it right all the time…the kind of bag you will buy for yourself not like my sister whose hubby will go pick a bag that she will not be caught alive with…maybe thinking he is buying it for his ‘old mother’ so now she asks him for a gift voucher.

Actually, last xmas we were in the US on the 24th everyone hit the shop for their gifts…we first stopped at the toy shop for the kids and them proceeded to other shops and then I saw a pair of shoes that I wanted to buy for myself …at the counter, he took the shoes and said it will be in his own basket so I knew what will be sitting under the xmas tree with my name on it but I did not mind because it was my size, and a pair of shoes I really liked…the brand that I would wear and that is important…you agree don’t you? The designer/brand is important in addition to the thoughts…cheapies?...I have issues with. So no matter the thought…hubbies should get what the wives would have bought for themselves or even up it a bit…what do you think? Jewelries from Argus is a ‘no go areaooo!!!! for those of you in the UK…you have a right to disagree by the way!!!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

The Things I don’t tell you

I know I said I tell you guys and gals everything but sure you would have figured it out by now that I do not say everything but everything I say is true. That is the difference…I will not sugar coat it, minimize it, or exaggerate it…if I chose to say it…then I say it as it is after all no one is forcing me to say it right? Yea!!

I did not tell you guys that I finally tendered my resignation a couple of days ago from this wonderful place that I have worked for two years come December 31. I have three months notice period which I will serve out and them move on to another phase of my life.

I mentioned that a couple things are going on here and I have been having one those conversation with my big boss and bla-bla…anyway thought it was best to have the conversation before the holidays so that I can be free to have fun…sleep well, eat well, exercise well, and read well…even blog well. You know how it is, once your mind is at peace, you have some sprint in your steps…okay…the sprint may disappear when you look at your bank account but truly peace of mind is priceless…you agree don’t you?

Now that I am writing this, I am trying to remember if there are other things I have not spilled yet. Oh yes but that can make a topic on its own. Be sure to come back and read on the uselessness of gifts from hubbies and if anyone directs my hubby to my site after I had written that…I will send EFCC after that person!!!

When I leave this place, I wonder how I will be getting my gists since the lounge is the best source for gists and gossips…oh well, I do not listen to the gossips but the issues I pick up really quick…some visitors to my site (they know themselves) will heave a sigh of relief…maybe finally I am going somewhere where they do some real work…I can hear them say. But I have not said what I will be doing next…anyone with a good guess out there?

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Behold the new Maestro

The last time I told you guys that my son is really a genius, everyone thought is the ranting and ravings of a proud mother …which I am by the way

Last Saturday was the year end music concert at my son’s music club and he was playing the recorder in the orchestra, doing a piano solo…and also providing the acrobatics for the ballet (yours truly did no know this)…he is a funny chap that boy, he never discusses what he is doing even when he is acting drama part in school…and he is only 6…when will he start telling us everything or maybe never right? That is already giving me the jitters and you should have seen him in his black tie outfit for the orchestra…dashingly handsome…he is really a good looking guy and I have bought the dog already to chase the girls away…

So the entire family (no hubby had business engagement) trouped out to see and support the super star…only there were more surprises. Like I said, we know about two performances but when the girly ballet group came out and did their thing...we suddenly saw them take a freezing pose and who came out…the acrobatic dancer and that was Pappee in his element. Okay you can ask anyone who was there (how will you find them so you are better off believing me)…he did his somersaults and got the cheers and the clapping…no he got a standing ovation.

The best is yet to come…you know orchestra is a thing for all participants so I will not tell you guys that he took the show…it was a group effort but they have been practicing and rehearsing for months and weeks now and yours truly I have had to buy alto recorder, tenor recorder, I did not buy treble…maybe there is nothing called treble anymore…in my days the music parts were in three part…no that was only church and school choir…never went to a music school or learnt to play any musical instruments.

He played a classical piano piece…your truly I cannot remember now whether it was Mozart or his brother but sure it was classical and we are not meant to really love them except you are classical music person…I was more impressed with the flow of his fingers and the standing ovation. Then came the awards…he got two awards…one for being the most consistent member of the music club for 2006…my son will never miss a lesson except he is out of town…if he has a birthday party will be late sand will not go until the class is over on Saturdays. He even takes extra lessons to perfect his part…that is being really focused if you ask me…only he is also a bit restless. The second award is the one that completely blew me off…he was the best drummer for 2006…I had absolutely no clue that he drums. I have been to a couple of his shows and performance and it was always the piano and the recorder but when he displayed the drumming skill , I too was impressed…now you see what I mean…he never said anything to us about drumming at home. He is multi talented…let us face it…what else can a mother want plus did I tell you guys that he had straight A’s in his exams…???

So it was a very rewarding experience…the fees…the drop off and pick up and all the ‘related stress’ of the music club demands and requirements. His drumming award is to be placed in the music club’s hall of fame and the most consistent award is proudly displayed on the shelf in his room. He was very proud of himself and is learning first hand the joys of success…plus that hard work comes first before success. I must say that he only practice, ‘study’ that Pappee never needs prodding or reminding is music practices. Each time he learnt something new on the key board; he practices so hard and tries to replicate the tunes with his recorder. Another thing I found out is that Pappee practiced almost everyone’s solo piece …as they all played their piece at the concert; I realized that I heard all those tunes in the last couple of weeks. Now don’t you just think as I do that the new maestro is born…the best is yet to come!!! Say Amen!!!

Monday, December 11, 2006

My Christmas List

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote that it is Christmas season again and time to give and I even asked what will you be giving? Your truly, my list is getting too long and I have been slaving over this list with possible gifts and costs for the past 2 weeks or more, now it looks like I have to edit it…you know what I mean and it may take me another week to edit this long list…who knows by the time I finish with all the paper work for the gifts, it will be Christmas and I would not have had the chance to shop. They say it is the thought that matters…ever received one of those gifts that you wonder what was going through the person’s mind when they picked that for you or what in the world you are supposed to do with the gift? If you have not received, I am sure you know someone who has received one and then the rhetoric comes “you know it is the thought that counts?”

I think this year it will be the thought that will count …what do you all think? The fact that I have thought about them and included them in my list…is that not enough? But how do I let them know that I thought about them but could not get them the ‘perfect gift’. Come to think of it, it really does not make a lot of sense to give gifts that people will not appreciate…it will be best to just think of them since that counts as well. I will continue to work on my list and I am sure that before Christmas, I would have figured out how to let them know that I thought about them but could not get the perfect gift…so I will keep searching and who knows before the next Christmas, I would have found the right gift and at the right price. I also think it should be a year long project…one has to believe that she/he will see Christmas each year so each seasonal sale…you can buy stuff for Christmas gift recipients instead of waiting until November (after thanksgiving for the Americans…not sure when the others start their holiday shopping spree).

Talking about shopping early, 2 Septembers ago, I was in a shop in God’s own country and this upscale shop was having a sale and when they have a sale it is real sale…I had gone to the boys section to see what is available for my boy and this old woman had packed up all the Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren shirts that were brought out for sale…I mean literarily packed the entire thing and I was so angry I even asked her if she was going to buy them all or should I wait until she’s been to the payment counter…I actually followed her to the counter and the old woman packed everything and paid…the prices were rock bottom and she said she was buying them all for her grandchildren for Christmas…in September? This woman has the right formula…I thought she was whacko but nay…she is smart.

Back to my Christmas list…I sure have to trim it down…remove some nieces and (his and mine), some cousins (his and mine)…uncles (definitely mine)…get the picture? Wish me luck and pray that at this rate I do not delete everyone’s name.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Providing Wifely Support

It is one of those weekends when 24 hours seem not to be enough…when wifely duties call, motherly duties call and personal needs pull and thug at you…

This weekend I have been running from pillar to post…funfair at Pappee’s school, racing to get some household need sorted not and racing to the music club for Pappee’s concert and I will tell you all about the music concert, Pappee’s performance and awards in another piece.

So I was saying that yours truly has been up and about for wifely support duties. It is end of the year and this weekend it is hubby’s bank activities all the way…Saturday night …CEO’s award night to deserving employees…No, no…hubby was not nominated this years so he did not win…have to keep my fingers crossed and pray for him so that he can win the award next year…who knows maybe he will give me the accompanying check since behind every successful man is a woman…which means that I am really his key to success right? So if he gets the hefty award check, he should simply hand it over to me right? This is a must prayer point everyday for next year…he had better won it …it will not be fun to pray for him for 12 months and nothing happens.

Then it is CEO’s dinner for directors (ex-director)…in all these yours truly had to dress up…really dress up and since I am not the going out type so I have has to think seriously about what to wear each day…I even have one very suitable outfit for the dinner but it is slightly big and I have not had time to adjust it. See what I mean…I have made a resolution come 2007 I will have a well equipped wardrobe…not jeans and tee’s or shirts and pats for work. I cannot be caught unawares anymore…I will even be asking when the dinners and the awards are scheduled months ahead…that is how ready I will be going forward…wish me luck!

Okay gotta go now and see how I can adjust my outfit because it is Sunday and it is almost time for another wifely support business outing and I have to be polite and make little conversations…only they starved us yesterday…too many speeches and the dinner was not until 10.30pm…your truly I almost starved to death…today I have eaten, had a glass of wine and ready for long speeches, little polite conversations and even plastering a permanent smile on my face as if I have no issues or problems all evening.

Did I mention that it did not stop me from the other duties…kitchen…bedroom…oh boy...those of you that are not married I am sure that you think it is all fun dressing up and hanging on the arms of hubby or better half as my husband has chosen to refer to me this whole weekend…not sure where that is coming from.

Oh I almost forgot that I had a piece in one of the major newspapers today and it was not properly edited. They used the first draft and not the latest version…not he greatest piece I have written and I am hoping no one mentions it tonight because I really do not feel up to discussing it…it was a poor outing…well that is the life a writer…remember I said I am a writer right? Some are good, some pieces are great and some a down right below par…boogey as they say in golf.

Something sad today too in the papers…faces of the little boys and girls who lost their lives in the plane crash a year ago. It has been very sad looking at those faces and as a mother my heart is broken…

Friday, December 08, 2006

Making a Difference

Yesterday I went for one of those thought provoking, soul searching events. An NGO focused on “wealth creation by promoting business and entrepreneurial development among Nigerians” had their annual celebrations Entrepreneurial Awards and yours truly had volunteered as a resource person and facilitator for the foundation’s programs…you know bringing my expertise and passion to the budding entrepreneurs…you will hear more about this mission in the coming year.

There were two speakers…brevity and punctuality were well displayed by all attendants and speakers. However, each speaker left me dumb and numb. As I listened to the speakers, each an entrepreneur of good repute and successful professionals…I was awe struck and even when people will clap…my hands could not move…actually no part of my body could move…they held me spell bound to the point of feeling like my hands were tied…if you have never experienced this…it will be hard to explain…the eloquency, the courageous steps they have taken, the risks and the focused vision that kept them on their track were worthy of emulation.

If you were there (of course you were not), you’d leave asking yourself what difference can I make? I was challenged! I was humbled!!

We seem to think that success in so many ways especially in this part of the world where wealth and money seem to be the ultimate measure…it was motivating, inspiring and sheer ecstasy to think and to see that there are still visionaries who think beyond themselves and move on to build a legacy and all in their ‘youth’. They embark on missions that do not enrich their bank accounts but enrich their souls and the lives of others in the society…some of these are very noble endeavors indeed but they have results to show for it.

The recipients of the awards talked of their challenges but more than anything their resolve and holding on to their dreams. One thing running through all of them was doing things ethically and with the right values.

I often ask myself, ‘why am I here?’ What gifts do I have to enrich my life and the life of the people around me and the society as a whole? We all have a purpose in this life no matter what you believe in and as the new year approaches, maybe it is time to reflect and ask yourself…”what contribution can I make to add value and leave something for the generations coming behind?”

Think about it!!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

The evil and goodness of Google

I was going to say that no one is safe anymore and we cannot run and hide as we used to...cut all communication, erase people from our phones and delete their email addresses and we are safe...no more! What is new? Everyone is aware of now technology and its spiderweb connectivity is liking us all up...

But I have changed my mind ...I am entitled to changing my mind right? Right. So I decided that I will talk about how the spiderweb connectivity and google cannot only mess up your life ...they can also make you smile and help you find your long lost friends...as long as they are still alive and use the technology (of course)...google is yet to develop the virtual search engine which will locate people even if they are not hooked on any computer or blackberry...but they will get there I am sure then I can reach my uncles in the remote villages...please do not ask me how...I am not paid to think into the future. Talking of thinking into the future, I was very impressed the other day to learn from one of CNN's program that some people are paid to think into the future...some people have it all made!!! And they are paid handsomely...I think I like that job. I can lie on my bed all day long dreaming into the futre the money is deposited into my account. I do not even mind if they do not want me lying on my soft bed with luxury sheets...I can wear my suit and sit in the office and stare into the empty space...and get paid very well because I can imagine all sorts of things in the future and then they can take it and start desigining ...oh boy! Won't that be great?

I was talking about search engines helping you find lost friends...a friend just found me through google or whatever after so many years spanning over 10 years... My sister said the other that she saw an old friend and it made her day and now this friend found me and is happy for it.

The one thing I must say though is that google helps me do my job...I am forerver googling stuff and getting useful information although it has also taken me to some whacko sites from very innocent information search.

Okay...did I appologise for not writing for a few days now? I guess I should. I have been going through one of those professional periods where you need to flex some muscles to get what you want...mental muscles and relationship muscles...if you work, you know exactly what I mean...having the make or mar discussions...where did it get me? Watch out...I will spill all on the blog.


Friday, December 01, 2006

Lasting...Lifetime Impressions

Today is Friday, usually I look forward to Fridays because of the weekend when I always think I can do everything workout...eat...rest...read...write and then more often than not, I do not get to do half the things I would have planned.

There was just so much I wanted to share today, everything that has been going on...Pappee preparing and writing exams which he is so relieved is over now and he can play his nitendo games...preparing for his music concert this christmas...he will be playing in the orchestra. I will definitely update you guys about that one.

With everything I have planned to write today, nothing compares to the story that I read this morning. I know we kind of get all sorts of mushy mushy stories but somehow one or two stick in our memories and even affect us (hopefully positively) and spur us to help make this world a better place. I have never prayed to be able to change the whole wide world, I have always prayed that the people that come my way are better of and are blessed just by meeting me. I have often prayed to be a channel of blessing. This story below touched me and I hope it helps us be patient and nice because those virtures go a long way. Enjoy it:

The Old Phone ... How Do You Spell Fix?
Author Unknown
When I was quite young, my father had one of the first telephones in our neighborhood. I remember the polished, old case fastened to the wall. The shiny receiver hung on the side of the box. I was too little to reach thetelephone, but used to listen with fascination when my mother talked toit. Then I discovered that somewhere inside the wonderful device lived anamazing person. Her name was "Information Please" and there was nothingshedid not know. Information Please could supply anyone's number and thecorrect time. My personal experience with the genie-in-a-bottle came one day while my mother was visiting a neighbor. Amusing myself at the tool bench in the basement, I whacked my finger with a hammer, the pain was terrible, but there seemed no point in crying because there was no one home to give sympathy. I walked around the house sucking my throbbing finger, finally arriving at the stairway. The telephone! Quickly, I ran for the footstool in the parlor and dragged it to the landing. Climbing up, I unhooked the receiver in the parlor and held it to my ear. "Information, please" I said into the mouthpiece just above my head. A click or two and a small clear voice spoke into my ear. "Information." "I hurt my finger..." I wailed into the phone, the tears came readily enough now that I had an audience. "Isn't your mother home?" came the question. "Nobody's home but me," I blubbered. "Are you bleeding?" the voice asked. "No," I replied. "I hit my finger with the hammer and it hurts." "Can you open the icebox?" she asked. I said I could. "Then chip off a little bit of ice and hold it to your finger," said the voice. After that, I called "Information Please" for everything. I asked her for help with my geography, and she told me where Philadelphia was. She helped me with my math. She told me my pet chipmunk that I had caught in the park just the day before, would eat fruit and nuts. Then, there was the time Petey, our pet canary, died. I called, Information Please," and told her the sad story. She listened, and then said things grown-ups say to soothe a child. But I was not consoled. I asked her, "Why is it that birds should sing so beautifully and bring joy to all families,only to end up as a heap of feathers on the bottom of a cage?" She must have sensed my deep concern, for she said quietly, "Paul always remember that there are other worlds to sing in. "Somehow I felt better. Another day I was on the telephone, "Information Please." "Information," said in the now familiar voice. "How do I spell fix?" I asked. All this took place in a small town in the Pacific Northwest. When I was nine years old, we moved across the country to Boston. I missed my friend very much. "Information Please" belonged in that old wooden box back home and I somehow never thought of trying the shiny new phone that sat on the table in the hall. As I grew into my teens, the memories of those childhood conversations never really left me. Often, in moments of doubt and perplexity I would recall the serene sense of security I had then. I appreciated now how patient, understanding, and kind she was to have spent her time on a little boy. A few years later, on my way west to college, my plane put down in Seattle.I had about a half-hour or so between planes. I spent 15 minutes or so on the phone with my sister, who lived there now. Then without thinking what I was doing, I dialed my hometown operator and said, "Information Please. "Miraculously, I heard the small, clear voice I knew so well." Information." I hadn't planned this, but I heard myself saying, "Could you please tell me how to spell fix?" There was a long pause. Then came the soft spoken answer, "I guess your finger must have healed by now." I laughed, "So it's really you," I said. "I wonder if you have any idea how much you meant to me during that time." I wonder," she said, "if you know how much your call meant to me. I never had any children and I used to look forward to your calls." I told her how often I had thought of her over the years and I asked if I could call her again when I came back to visit my sister. "Please do", she said. "Just ask for Sally." Three months later I was back in Seattle. A different voice answered,Information." I asked for Sally. "Are you a friend?" she said. "Yes, a very old friend," I answered. "I'm sorry to have to tell you this," she said. "Sally had been working part-time the last few years because she was sick. She died five weeks ago." Before I could hang up she said, "Wait a minute, did you say your name was Paul?" "Yes." I answered. "Well, Sally left a message for you. She wrote it down in case you called. Let me read it to you." The note said, "Tell him there are other worlds to sing in. He'll know what I mean." I thanked her and hung up. I knew what Sally meant. Never underestimate the impression you may make on others and whose life you have touched today!