He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary and young {wo}men will stumble and fall. But those that hope in the Lord {those that wait upon the Lord} will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagle. They will run and not grow weary; they will walk and will not faint. Isaiah 40:29-31
I was driving the car and the nameless faceless passenger in the car was a friend. No, it was an unmarked taxi. There was the driver in his seat and there was me and this nameless faceless friend. She was devastated. I consoled her as best as i could. The car stopped. I gave the faceless person some money and told her to take care...God knew best. I watch as she carried the body of her {brother/sister/mother/father/uncle...} relative. No, she was still standing by me when the body, wrapped in a body bag was moved. And then i woke up!!!
Time was 2:33am, on a weekday three weeks ago. I woke up shaken to the core. I picked up my Bible and ran into the loo and prayed. I had had dreams where relatives died but none left me with fear as strong and as tangible as this one. Probably because, there were usually faces to the dreams and i sorta knew how and to whom to channel the prayers to. This one had no face to it!!!
I chalked it up to the dead body i saw on Ikorodu weeks before but my heart wasn’t still at rest. I called my momma; though her palpitations have subsided to a reasonable extent, i still insisted she had an ECG done! Daddy was fine...healthwise. My siblings were not sick; my inlaws were doing great!
I prayed. I prayed as best as i could. But the fear would not leave me be. Depression, panic attacks, late night drinking...it was just toooo difficult to think about tomorrow.
Somehow, kinds words from friends and tweethearts and no-so-kind words from the hubby, managed to pull me back from the brink! I told myself, “You have prayed. You have cancelled. You are reading the Bible more. God just wanted to shake me up and remind me of whats important”. I made the effort to shake the mood off....
....this was Saturday 24th Sept, 2011
12:03pm Sunday, Sept 25, 2011 @sphinx640 pinged to find out whether we were still on for our retail therapy date at LPM Sept Edition. I replied that we were and that was when i saw the BBM Recent Update that had me rushing back to the brink....
Shock, would be an understatement. I lack words.....totalllllly!!!! Arit was at work on Friday. Infact, i ran outta the office because she was hounding my unit about some accounts she gave us to work on. How is she dead???? HOW THE HECK IS SHE DEAD??????
She was so strong. In the face of soooo many tragedies and losses, she smiled through. She bore them all; Her faith remained as strong as ever.
At a birthday party earlier in the year: L-R Arit, Lauretta and Stella

AritKoKo, able Soldier, we miss you so much, colleagues and clients alike. You have fought your battles. Now rest on the Lord! REST IN PERFECT PEACE! AMEN!

A Stitch In Time...

My cousin visited a couple of weeks back and as is the norm with us, we got right down to gisting about any and everything. Nothing was sacred. Ok…almost nothing was sacred. Right in the middle of one particular juicy gist, she says, “Oooh, my hubby bought me this beautiful bra/panties set” and she proceeded to show me the said set on her person. She then made the statement that prompted this post. She said, “This man has never before bought me lingerie of the pant and bra category. After he gave me the set, nne, I read the handwriting on the wall. I went I updated my lingerie wardrobe!!!”
 As it with most of us married women, myself inclusive, we’ve become way too lax with certain things that had initially endeared us to our husbands and partners. Back in the day when we were courting/dating those men and in the first few years of marriage before the kids came, we made sure that the panties and attending bras were up to par. No grannie panties; no Coste bra. Twas lacy G-strings and equally lacy matching bra all the way. If you couldn’t afford a matching set, you at least made sure they were colour-coordinated. In those days, our nighties were the sheerest silk, the sexiest shorty shorts and matching tanks….you get the picture. Appearance was everything!!!
Today, we are rocking knickers as underpants; knickers that prolly has a couple or more holes in them. In some cases, the holes are the least of your wahala! Where is your shame when you hang those to dry? Or when the hubby actually helps you to wash them? Until that one bra protests, it is rocked until it is in shreds. Even then, it’d be held together with pins and needles. Bou-bous has taken the place of the sexy night wears. Comfort has become everything. Comfort is dullinq your marriage!!
I remember that one time my baby sister Nikki gifted me this sexky black lace bra with gold trimmings. One word: beauuutiful! The day I wore it for the first time, my hubby nearly hyperventilated. Frankly, if he were a dog, his tongue would’ve been on the floor, all the way to the living room. I rolled my eyes and told him, “Pull yourself together, man. It’s just a bra!” Wrong! It’s not just a bra o! Infact, it’s not even about the bra. It’s about the packaging {of a pair of not so bouncy boobs} and the promise of salacious things to come! The eyes first approve a meal before the mouth even gets to taste it! Need I say more?
Last week, my colleague *Ada mentioned another scenario that sorta buttressed the point of this post. Before I get into the story, I’ll like to just say that this colleague of mine is a hot-ass chic!! Well dressed, swanky bod….and she’s had kids. Anyways back to her story: Her hubby came home from work that fateful day and just delved into the back of their wardrobe, painstakingly looking for something. Countless enquires from Ada to see how she could be of assistance met with silence. Eventually, the man bellowed an Aha…he had found what he was looking for. He then called Ada, told her to sit and proceed to table the exhibits he had found. The exhibits were old pictures of Ada way back when they were still dating. He told Ada to spot the difference between her-picture-self and the person sitting in front of him. The chic of course said she sees no difference…she hadn’t added weight or anything. Oga then said, “Look at your nails; they look like untidy shovels. Look at the picture; well manicured nails…..” and poured out his distress to the wife he perceives as not trying enough to look good for him.
It is the little things. As little as how often you get a mani-pedi; how often you change the chipped polish, how tidy you keep your hair and its not just the hair on your head.
My nails used to be this pretty.

These are my nails as at 6:15pm today. I swear, those nails were manicured and polished on Sunday!
When was the last time you tended to that garden south of the equator? In the early days, it was characteristically gorimakpa. Well oiled, correctly tended gorimakpa. And it was usually tended, on a weekly basis to avoid any errant hair standing in the way of pleasure. We took pride in that. These days {and especially after the pregnancy experience where we literally have to hold up the extra folds to even sight the garden}, the garden is now tended every once in probably four months. *Side bar: Biko, if you are guilty of this particular sin, please just say this with me…Get thee behind me, Satan.* As I was saying, these days, rarely do guys see the gorimakpa ‘hairstyle’. It is but a distant memory. Times and styles have changed. Now, it’s the natural ‘fro, the dredlocks and the 100% human weave. I swear, some are probably that long.
The truth is that unless your partner works with you or works from home or leaves for work late, hardly does he see you all gadged up. You dress up and make up for others to appreciate. He would judge you by your appearance when he can see you and that is usually at home. Its a pity that at home, we womenfolks just want to be comfortable. I count Ada lucky because, at least her man drew her attention to her ‘shortcoming’!
A woman marries a man expecting him to change. He does not. He still wants his meals cooked and served on time, his clothes laundered & ironed, his children well taken care of but most especially, he still wants her looking tres chic as she does all these.
A man marries a woman expecting that she won’t change. She does. So much to do...so little time for self! From one woman to another, biko find time. For starters, go tend to the garden! Tres importante!

My Sister; My Friend

You know how you love all your siblings but you have that particular sibling you just jell with? That sibling for me is Belle!

Growing up, my mother labelled us all. It's usually hilarious when i hear her say this to her friends those days but she was usually right...but of course. There was...
My brother...the heir apparent.
My sister...the owner of the house. Her word was the law; its in your best interest to respect it, parent or no.
My humble self...the bookworm laz ekwueme of the house. Boy, was i lazy!!!!
Belle...the industrious daughter.
Nikki...the daughter you dont wanna cross!

My siblings are special but today is about Belle! She is special squared to me. When we were younger and my mother teased me about my laziness and wondered how i would survive in a man's house as a wife, i used to jokingly retort,"Belle would stay with me the first year to make sure everything runs smoothly". She did more than that:

She taught me how to cook....in my husband's house. I kid you not!
She took care of me while i was pregnant with Chets
She initiated my omugwo {sp?} until Mummy dearest was able to come and she continued after mom left!
She raised Chets for me. I was Mummy in name only by virtue of the fact that the boy proceeded forth from my vjayjay! She loved that boy! {Oh, but she meet her hubby from taking care of MY son! Chuck one up for me...teheheheh}

Belle has been through a lot, fought so many battles, been through grime but has emerged smelling like Chanel No 5. I'm so darned proud of her! I just wanna go on and extol her virtues but i wont...the resultant swollen head might derail her!


A few pictures of the aforementioned chinchi. Enjoy...

When she just arrived the UK. Cold wanna finish the poor girl!

Pregnant Labelle

Cute, aint she?

I swear, i thought that was me in that picture with my Maman! Belle's striking resemblance to yours' truly in that picture was quite jolting!

Her son, David {read his post here}

Ok, so that was a little more than a few, yes? Who cares...i love her pictures!! Oh, and she's on Twitter @Labelleace. Y'all should say Thank You on my behalf. She try for me no be small! She is a rockstar!!!!