Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Love for the Season

February 14th. Saint Valentines Day. A day set aside to celebrate love. Yet I had no lover. Years had gone by and I had always hoped to share this day with that special someone. This year was not different. Once again, I was alone.

The most hurting part of it was I was still nursing the heartbreak of December 23rd the previous year. Christmas and New Year were spent in tears. I thought Valentine’s day would be different for once. I almost cursed the guy that put me into such state of sadness, emptiness and lack of self-worth.

I could not bear the squeals of excitement as my sisters unwrapped their valentine gifts. I could not remain in the atmosphere of happiness filled with laughter, exchange of kisses and embraces. I left them and drove towards one end of Port Harcourt. I wanted to be far away from home.

All along the journey to no destination in mind, I saw couples. Couples on the streets, couples in cars, couples about to enter a shop, couples coming out of a boutique. It did not matter what kind of couples they were. They were what I wanted at that time. I felt I was the only one alone in the world.

In my state of sadness and depression, I drove down a lonely road. At a T-junction, I was stopped by two policemen. They wanted to see my papers. I had no plans of cooperating. I was all emotions at that time. After some moments of arguing, they asked me where I was going to. I pointed left.
“Oh, the Motherless Babies Home,” one of them said. “Let her go.”
I got directions from them to the Motherless Babies home.

I walked into this room with babies crying. The adults were probably used to these sounds and were not moved. They went about their daily activities. A woman walked up to me. She was the matron of the Motherless Babies Home. She did not ask me much questions. She took me around and showed me the babies. Most were less than six months old. They looked like they were starved of something. Not food. Not clothing. Not shelter. Something was missing.

For each crib I went to (and the child was not asleep), I noticed the child reached out to me. They wanted to be carried. They wanted to be touched. The moment I carried them, stoked and patted them, there was this satisfaction they had. I cannot use words to describe it. They became peaceful, relaxed and some even went to sleep by my mere carrying them. Then the Matron said, “some of these children die because they lack love. All they need is someone to hold them and touch them. That love a mother shows a child in the early years is like a nutrient needed for growth. That is what these children are lacking.”

Only this morning, I was wishing for someone to hold me and touch me. Here I was seeing children who had never been adequately touched before. Touch-starved babies.

Love is affectionate, a gentle voice whispered in my ears.

After I had touched each child to rest, I started my journey home. I began to think about my mother. If I ever doubted her love for me, every trace of doubt was erased that moment. She loved me. She touched me enough to make me a healthy human. Despite the heartbreak, I knew there was someone who loved me. I was going to tell her I loved her too.

Love is proactive, the gentle voice whispered in my ears.

I thought about the mothers of the babies. How could a mother ignore her child? There are many women out there who would give anything to have a child yet someone was throwing a child away. If I was such a child, I would never forgive the woman.

Love is forgiving, the gentle voice whispered in my ears.


Maybe the mother had to do it in the best interest of the child, I began to reason with myself. Maybe she knew she could not take care of the child but someone out there will give this child the love and comfort she could not give. The abandonment might have been in faith.

Love is sacrificing, the gentle voice continued whispering.

By the time I got home, I was thinking of who has made sacrifices for me. Maybe many people have. But greater love had noone than this, than to lay down his life for me. That was what Jesus did. That was all the love I needed that day.

I opened a bottle of wine and shared among the family. For the first time I told my mother and siblings that I love them. That made their day. I felt very happy seeing them filled with joy. I was genuinely happy for the fun they had that day.

Love is not envious, the gentle voice whispered again.

So I reflected on the words of the gentle voice. I learnt a new meaning to love. I learnt that Valentine’s Day was for loving, anyone, and for giving.

I knew from that moment on that I would never lack a lover for the Valentine season, because there were so many people to love and to give to.

Love is in you, the gentle voice concluded.

6 comments:

John said...

Simply... Beautiful!! Love is...

Amaka said...

Reading this at a time I'm down emotinally brings tears to my eyes but at the same time, it tells me there is much more love than the type we crave for....and that His Love is the Best, Supreme, Ultimate!!
We need more pls!!!!

princesa said...

First time here and i love it!
Really nice inspiring post.
There are lots of peeps who need love out there.

aloted said...

wow,..this is such a lovely and deep post...

love makes the world go round...

Standtall said...

Just today I decided to visit the oprhanage once again. They are opened to visitors on the 9th of Aug and would receive gifts from people based on the list of items they need.

I even want to adopt a kid. I think it's good to show love this way too

Rita Esuru Okoroafor said...

@ ALL
Thanks for your encouraging comments.

@ Amaka
His Love never fails, does not break a heart. U just reminded me of that.

@ Pincesa
Thanks for stopping by. I like the humour in your posts.

@standtall
What a nice move you made. By adopting a kid, you will surely be blessing the child... changing his destiny for better. Thanks. I admire your person.