My Baby Is 6 Months Old And Not Rolling Over A Stroke Struck and Changed My Family Forever

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A Stroke Struck and Changed My Family Forever

Time waits for no one. Can ten years fly like a lightning bolt? Wasn’t it yesterday that I was overwhelmed by what happened on August 16, 2007? Wasn’t the pain shorter than the sharpest razor blade ever made? Wasn’t it hard for me to believe that saying that time will heal the emotional wounds and eventually heal me? Wow! As I look back on this month, I have no choice but to thank God for where He has brought me and my loved ones. If he hadn’t been on our side all this year, where would we be? Time has indeed eased the inexplicable pain. May the name of the Lord be glorified forever.

Back in 2003, an unexpected phone call from my younger brother Osa woke me up from a deep sleep. He had bad news! Her close friend in Nigeria had just called him to tell him that our mother had suffered a stroke – the right side of her body was paralyzed. A very cold chill went down my spine when it dawned on me that all her children lived outside the country. We were thousands of miles away. How was she going through this nightmare without any of us by her side? Tears became the order of the moment and they stayed until I broke the news to my younger sister Uyi who lived with me in the same city.

It was difficult trying to think about our mother to the point of paralysis. After all, I saw just a few months ago. She went with so much life while on vacation with us in the US I saw her leaving for the airport and she stood there shaking and staring at her until she was out of sight . Little did I know that I was watching my mother walk with her two legs without support for the last time. Life is like that!

Before the stroke, my mother lived in a world of happiness that she created for herself. We called her “paradise.” She loved convenience and paid for it immediately. She always had staff for anything – house help, cook, driver, gardener and security or Gatemen as we call them. My mother didn’t have to lift a finger because everything was done for her.

Her love for God was immeasurable. I remember her gathering children in the community and wetting their meals with cookies so that they had no choice but to partake when the real food (Word of God) came. She also provided a room in our house for prayer. When we were young, my sisters and I would be afraid to be called into that room. We knew that we spent at least a full hour in prayer with pangs of hunger struggling to remove the small collection we were struggling to keep.

Entertaining people was something my mother did with raw passion. Even if we had a visitor at midnight, she had a unique way of cooking with or without ingredients in the house. Her love of music went side by side with entertaining people. In the early seventies my mother connected loudspeakers from her bedroom all the way to the kitchen. How can I forget how the whole house woke up to classical music or hymns most mornings? As music played a permanent role in our home so did my mother’s love of art. From sculptures to paintings, she bought them as they were going out of fashion. The assorted flowers in her well kept garden were priceless to her. She talked to her plants every day and mourned even when the ugliest flower in the garden died.

One of us had to travel to Nigeria to be with our dear mother. Although the timing was bad for all of us because coincidentally, we were all dealing with separate storms raging like mad dogs in our lives, my brother Osa, her only son and last child jumped on the next available flight.

Reality was established when Osa arrived in Lagos, Nigeria. Our mother was worse than we expected. The original plan to take care of her until she was strong enough to travel to the US a month or so later went out the window. Osa had to take her back with him. They left three weeks later on a flight with a stopover in London.

Uyi and I spent the morning preparing to receive our mother. I had a hard time mentally picturing what lay ahead. For one, I can’t stand seeing people sick or suffering. How was I going to stomach seeing my mother sick and helpless? I had no choice but to sweep my fear under the rug, and wait until I set my eyes on her. On the other hand, my sister was more prepared. She loves caring for people and once entertained the idea of ​​pursuing Nursing. She was mentally and physically ready to take on the challenge of looking after our mother.

I can’t forget the moment we met our mother and Osa at the Arrivals area of ​​the airport. We were surprised to see our dear mother! She was a far cry from the woman I saw out at the airport the last time she visited. Who would have thought that her next trip to the US would be in a wheelchair? I was speechless, frozen with fear and in denial. Her size and joy had shrunk so much – she was half her size and so incapable. Her signature smile that always announced her presence was nowhere to be found. She could hardly speak. I stayed in a cocoon of shock all day. I couldn’t look her in the face. How could I?

That night I went to bed with her. She was lying on her back and looking at the ceiling as if she was looking for answers to the many questions that were on her mind. She seemed happy to be around her children and grandchildren but I knew my mother was wrestling with the unfortunate trap in which her body had been caught. Sleep was far from me because of how much I was hurting emotionally. I looked at her in the dark and felt tears falling down her pillow. I was also crying in silence until I called for strength and asked in a voice as I woke up “Are you okay Mommy?” She told me “I’m fine dear.”

The first few weeks were difficult. We wore the cloak of patience, dedication and patience because we did everything under the sun for our mother. She was like a new baby in our helpless arms. I babysit her at night while my sister took care of her during the day. Although we felt that we were fired because we didn’t know any better and the guilt of seeing her like that really bothered us. Her visit to a specialist doctor opened another chapter.

She underwent a series of tests and was referred for Physical Therapy. Her first day in therapy was the beginning of the slow death of addiction in my mother’s life. The beautiful but determined American therapist made my mother do some things that we never thought she could do even with partial paralysis. The therapist made us promise not to help her except when needed. I greeted the idea with relief but doubted my mother could handle it – she was used to being pampered. My mother did not find this diagnosis funny. How could she? We assured her that it would be a gradual process for her own good. This was the beginning of the gradual prohibition of my mother completely depending on us or anyone to do things for her.

We started by ignoring her constant request to be put on the next available flight back to her comfort zone in Lagos, Nigeria. We were not going to help her escape to her “parliament” because with the blow she had to do it herself or resign due to permanent paralysis. As our mother attended treatment regularly, she saw some patients come in without hands or feet but a strong determination to do things without help. She began to see the tendency to rely on others to do the little things you can do for yourself. This encouraged her and with time, faith, and encouragement from everyone, she began to do things for herself to discover the use of her left hand and leg. She learned to dress herself without help, get in and out of bed on her own, move around with minimal assistance, feed herself using her left hand and even go on trips with him the family with little support.

She improved a lot and realized that her idea of ​​”paradise” was hell because the ability to do things on your own is a valuable asset. Although a stroke is the worst thing anyone can experience, in my mother’s case it helped us learn a valuable lesson. For one, it showed the ugly side of dependence, taught us patience and tolerance, increased our faith in God that nothing is impossible, fostered unity in our family and discouraged taking advantage of circumstances any We learned to live each day on purpose.

We were honored to have our mother for four more years. We all cared for her in our homes for 6 months to a year at a time. At about 9:30 pm on August 16, 2007, our beloved mother passed into glory. He left a big void in our lives but 10 years later, I can look back and thank God for seeing us through this very stormy but precious part of our lives.

Dear mother, although it seems like yesterday, your beautiful memory will always live in our hearts. I miss you so, so much! Melody, memories of the good times, your unique smile, jokes, mozzarella and almond craze and everything you stood for. I am eternally grateful to God for the privilege of having a mother like you. I will love you and respect you forever. Thank you for bringing me into this world, the beautiful life you gave us all, your values ​​and everything you stood for. Not a day goes by without remembering you. Rest in peace your beauty until we meet again.

May the souls of all our loved ones depart, rest in perfect peace, in the name of Jesus.

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