My birthday is in 8 days and I am thankful to the Almighty for the opportunity to own a breath. I spent the last 48 hours thinking of how to celebrate it with you and I have come up with a plan to do a post about myself from today till then. I wish I could host you all to a party but this is even better, you get to know more about your very own Femi Fragile. Everyone has a story to tell, some of us are just fortunate to be called writers. While I am excited about clocking another year, it is a mixture of feelings for me. You’d agree with me that except for the party that comes with the day, fluffy cake and wine, no one with a choice really wants to grow old. However, some of us would rather pay the price to grow old than die young.
Can we please observe a moment of silence for individuals whose light where smothered from earth before they began to shine. You and I could have been one of them. May their soul continually rest in peace. Amen.
The essence of these posts is to let you into the other side of me that you don’t know while I attain a new level of healing and growth. This is when you get to learn about some of my imperfections, we all make mistakes but only few would rather talk about them. I am willing to share mine with you in the course of the next 8 days. However, what I want to address today is the story behind my style of writing which I call personal.
I am presently working on a novel with a happy ending because a lot of my readers have pointed out that most of my pieces are either emotionally heavy or ends on a sorrowful note. Some have even questioned if a lack of love around me is what makes me Fragile. I don’t know anyone who will die for me but I know several who would live for me; I am not love deprived. Nonetheless, it is easier for a man who has known more hurt than good to write about pain because not expressing it will be to bottle it within and hold the soul captive.
As some of you already know I lost my dad at a tender age. We shared so much his departure was with a large part of my soul. For a long time after that everything I felt in his presence ceased. Imagine a boy who is used to being carried suddenly dropped and ordered to walk. I struggled. It forever remains an experience that enlightened me about how much mental torture children who lose loved ones or are exposed to unkind relationship go through. Expressing myself was quite difficult and so everyone concluded that I was fine. The only person, who could see deep into my soul, my mother, was also in shock of the loss of her lovely husband. I spent so much time by myself I began to learn about pain.
There were good times again. We stormed through that phase with high expectations of what the future held. It wasn’t without the help of some of our relatives who stood by us in that moment of sorrow. Relevant to this story is my uncle, Ishola. He is my mother’s youngest sibling; a very young handsome man who stopped his life so we could continue ours. He was there all the way every day. Mother will call on others but he will come running. For me, he didn’t fit into father’s shoes but he managed them well. He made sure I didn’t lose sight of my academic value. He increased my discipline level by making me understand that my father’s demise meant I was a husband, father and a leader. Whenever I erred he spanked me silly.
I still recall the day he accompanied mother as they shipped me off to boarding school. They settled me in and he told me as father would when it was time for their exit, “remember the son of whom you are.” I broke into tears as they faded from sight. My days as a boarder were numbered but that is a story for another day. Life happened again, everything is became was, he died after a not so brief sickness some years after. It split mother’s wound open and froze my heart. Prior to his death I had survived by God’s grace a life threatening sickness, changed school, made a new friend whom after her death I learnt was a sickle cell patient, Solape.
“God! Why does everyone have to die and not me?” I yelled as I smashed myself over the floor of my new house, by this time I had moved out of mother’s space in search of a better life as she had to tend to my siblings. Uncle Ishola’s death broke me, I said some silly things to God but now I know He was preparing me for these days. He has made me valuable and that is why you are reading this. You see why it is easier for me to describe loss and death. Needless to talk about the ones experienced from a distance.
This is why sometimes I snooze into darkness and people call me a sadist. I have experienced great love prematurely a couple of times and that’s why I feel a little too much. You call me emotional; I say it takes a lot of emotion to write the way I do. My name is Fragile but I handle others with care at the expense of my happiness, I am that foolish! I don’t have a lot of love in me but I am willing to give up all I have to make you smile, like a certain young man did for me.
His nickname is Shoso. This is also his birth month. Tough, independent and humble; he protected me from the claws of campus chaos. He is way older but I had the privilege of being a year ahead of him in school. Sometimes my ego will set in and he will slap me back to reality. He loved me and put himself in harm’s way severally just so I could know peace. When I started blogging he told me my writing was the only devotional that made sense to him. I made him proud. From time to time he checks on me to remind me of how much he believes in me and that all I require to be great is consistency and patience. Last we spoke he demanded that I wrote about his victory to inspire others. He died three days later, this year.
The title ‘Echoes of My Journey’ was from our last chat. He said, “Famo, na now everything just dey make sense. He con be like say all the long wait they bring echoes of joy. Na now my journey just start.”
There are two sides to everything. Death taught me writing. The memories I had with these loved ones inspire me to express such with my pen.
I was christened Oluwasegun Olufemi Victor but reborn by pain as Femi Fragile.
I will be glad to write about any part of my life you want to know. Just specify in the comment box.