Finally we got to count our blessings and there was a thanksgiving ceremony for the life of our parents and above all to Thank God for all that he has done for our family,
They started two back then in the early fifties and today we are nine living siblings out of ten, one having passed away at the tender age of three. There are several grand children and a few great-grand children, Please be kind to me not to ask exactly how many grand children there are, but I can tell you for sure that I have two and I am aware that Omalut has none, Olive three, Owenya five, Rachel three, Aswatt seven, Grace one, David three and Epuwatt has four. So, that is how big the Odekes’ family has grown.
For the first time in a very long time we were all home for both Christmas and International Boxing Day which was the day for the thanksgiving ceremony. There was joy, laughter, fun, a lot of eating, challenges and like the author of Secrets of Happy Families put it about siblings; – “disagreements.” Siblings may disagree but they have work with each other if they want a happy family.
Our parents are Octogenarians now and for most us, like our parents, our heads are rapidly graying, even the one who has no kids yet has a few gray hairs. Sometimes I wonder how the years have gone by, that I now see the picture of my departed grand parents in my parents – grey heads, poor eyesight save for Toto who is still able to read with glasses, feeble knees and taking a step at a time with support of a cane. It makes me feel both young and old at the same time, depending on the direction of my mind. My son was surprised to learn that I was disciplined by my parents when I was a kid, like I do discipline him. He probably never imagined I was a kid and my parents were never young and agile.
My daughter on the other hand does not think she is growing older in any way. Recently we were listening to music together and when she heard a verse in the song, “Your Love” by Brandon Heath which says, “I am growing older each day and I am running out of dreams”, she said, “Daddy, that is for you because you are old but I am still young and full of dreams; I even had a dream last night.”
Well, it is a blessing to have our parents around at that age, but it is one which comes with challenges, for they are ever more immobile and delicate to handle. They need both much care and great amounts of patience and listening in almost every aspect of their lives.