Today, we have another widowhood story. Everything that happens to someone has life lessons we can learn. My pastor used to say that people learn in three ways, first through their mistakes, second through the mistakes of others and thirdly, through the word of God. Any which way you choose, one must realise that growth and progress come from minimising one’s mistake.
One of the key challenges of people particularly people in less developed people is a lack of long-range planning; the planning for unforeseen events. Somehow, the hallmark of poverty is to always assume that conditions would always remain the same. As such, they are vulnerable to every shifting wind of fortunes.
Today’s widowhood chronicle takes a look at one of such planning decisions; the number of children one should have. As we can see in previous widowhood chronicles, these aren’t the other such crippling decisions. One re-occurring one we have seen is when the woman is fully dependent on the man. Widowhood isn’t something planned. At the same time, it comes without a warning as such, one should always plan ahead.
Please take time to read today’s widowhood story. I look forward to your comments and thoughts. If you want to share your story, please send to firstname.lastname@example.org. While you are here, please take time to read our other exciting stories.
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The Widowhood chronicles 16, Ibinabo: Cut Down By Armed Robbers
When making decisions, it’s of utmost importance that you weigh the consequences and risks etc. I should have done that seeing that my mother suffered after the death of my own father. My name is Ibinabo and this is how widowhood has affected me.
My father died when I was very young. My mother had five of us and struggled to see us through secondary school. It was only my brother who finished university thanks to a trusted family friend. The rest of us just learned skills after our SSCE. Life was rough but eventually, we all stabilized.
My other brother achieved a bit of success as a trader and furniture maker. My sisters did catering and teamed up to open a restaurant which became one of the popular ones. I, on the other hand, learnt tailoring. I was making little cash for myself and along with my siblings, we supported our mother. My eldest brother eventually left the country. We exchanged letters regularly and he called once in a while.
I met my husband when he came to buy fabric from my neighbour’s shop. I attended to him because the shop owner wasn’t there and it was normal to attend to each other’s customer if one was not in the shop. We got talking and he said he wanted to date me. I agreed because I wanted to settle down too.
He was the only son of his parents. He liked to hang out a lot and drink but I really didn’t mind. I also suspected that he was a womanizer. He spent money on me a lot and this made me happy. He was a businessman who was thriving. Before long we got engaged. We had our traditional wedding with pomp and pageantry.
Ekiye, my husband, made me know that he wanted a large family. I didn’t mind because I felt he was rich enough. We had seven children together including a set of twins. It was so overwhelming that I had to quit tailoring to face the family.
One would think having so many kids would keep a man from straying; not Ekiye. He kept on womanizing until he got another lady pregnant and was forced to marry her. The woman moved into our home and had a total of three kids.
Money became tight. I was forced to return to my tailoring to help myself. This woman fought me at every occasion. My husband became an absentee father. He hardly stayed long at home. Our house became like barracks. We stayed that way for years.
On his way back from work one day, he was waylaid by robbers and killed. It was a bad time for us. The second wife had no job and my tailoring brought in just a little cash. Thankfully the house was built in my husband’s name and in his will, he stated that the children should live there.
It was a bungalow with six rooms. We divided the house, I took three rooms and she took three. I had to give out two for rent in order to pay their fees and we all lived in one. I began to wish I had given birth to fewer kids. It’s well.
Two of them are currently serving; three are in the university and two in secondary school. It’s good to prepare for unforeseen circumstances as women to avoid pathetic stories. Thank you.