As usual, I ponder on what to write daily. It is not as if I am running out of topics, it is that there are too many topics to choose from. Which one to write about depends upon my mood and where my spirit will guide me, as spirit is the motivator of all things. Yesterday as we all blogged together a blogger mentioned his family, his children and that they are who he lives for, his love for his children was touching especially for me. This is what he wrote “Whatever dreams that I once had, I want my children to fulfill them. I now live for them–my family by and large–and all available energies are harnessed and targeted toward them”. This touched me, and warmed my heart, good men are out there, good family men who are responsible and loves their wives and children and for some reason whenever I see this I am wowed.
I pondered on that statement all night, and I had even more respect and love for this blogger, and I silently prayed for him and his family and also others that they be bonded together always with the spirit of family, love and unity. In recent years I had no thought to family, other than my children, I have no family. I was the one who grew all my children all on my own. There were no father around to help make decisions on school, or teach my boys about sex and the risks or take them to a baseball game, or just to hang out. I did not have anytime to regret either of these men who fathered my children because I had to think about other things, like how to survive and take care of them. So missing the fathers was the last thing on my mind. I didn’t. Non of the fathers are apart of the children’s lives, not one and they are both alive. I had never taken any to child support court or asked them for anything and none of them has ever offered. No phone calls for Christmas, birthdays or otherwise, it’s just me and them, my children. Some months ago I felt like gathering them around and asking them how did they feel not having a father in their lives and all of them said, “NOT MISSED MOM”!! That made me feel good for them and for me, it told me that I did a good job, but I know way down deep that the “Daddy influence’ would have been just as good, if I had chosen that road for me before coming here to this earth plane to live.
When I went to Africa I asked the Babalaows why? Why was it that in my life I had to do everything all by myself and I was the one to take care of everyone, including my sisters and parents. It is as if it is expected of me to do so and when It came time for me to do it, financially speaking, I gave no thought to it, I just did. They told me “And it will never change!, it will never change! Obara Meji it will never change!”, They went on to reason with me telling me of my Odu Ifa (the Odu which I got when I received Ifa), and how it tells them that God wants me on top. Osun wants me to be able at all times and in all things to be independent
This morning I woke up still thinking on the blogger and what he said about his family and also other people, men who I know who love and care for their families, I decided to sit down again with a Babalawo and discuss my life. In one of my posts, I do not remember which one I wrote about staying with the childrens father amid abuse because I believed that the abuse would eventually end and better would come one day, it never did. So I sat with the Babalawo this morning and asked the question. I told him what the other Bablawo’s had said to me and asked him to explain to me why it was that my life had turned out that way and he told me a story of Osun, the Orisha to whom I am an initiate.
The Babalawo told me that Osun is a very strong woman, and that Orunmila, although he had many wives, Osun was his favorite. He loved her the most because of her strength. Osun and Orunmila, though husband and wife, never lived together, she lived near the river with her children, while he lived in Oke Itashe in the town of Ile Ife (ill-lay E-fay). Osun had many children and she never left them, she took care of them very well which earned her nuff respect from everyone, which made Orunmila love her even more. Osun became her husband’s confidant, he would sit and talk to her about serious matters and he also took her advice, remember Orunmila himself embodies wisdom. She was no ordinary woman, infact she became known as the manly woman, although extremely beautiful and very feminine. Manly, because she did everything for herself, independent to the core and all and everyone depended on her. This was a power she had which has made her even to this very day, the most loved Orisha! When I became initiated to Osun, My Godmother said to me “Congratulations Obara Meji, you are now an Initiate of the most powerful Orisha”!
In Nigeria Babalawo’s seek to marry an Osun woman, if they can. It is said that when Osun is with the Babalawo, he can never go without. Osun is the wife who will go out and bring in the work for her husband, be with the husband who is out in the field planting seeds with her baby tied to her back working right along with him, the name Osun literally means Source. She is water, sweet water of which we drink when we thirst, who can live without water, “Water got no enemy”, this is a famous saying among the Yoruba’s and musician Fela Kuti made it a song.
What the Babalawo said to me made sense, because he told me of my life when he spoke of never leaving my children, and as I was an Initiate of Orisha Osun, I realized that I was indeed her archetype. This was who I was/am. This was my life and I had to accept it. Though I wanted the LIFE, so to speak of the husband and children, what my mother and father had together, forever, for me it was not to be. The Babalawo continued to say that I should consider the two father’s of my children and why we could not work out as a family or as husband and wife, he said it is because both our energies(vibrations, I am using his words) did not agree. He pointed out to me that whenever I heard their names or voices how my spirit got cross, (which is true), he said that was an indication that our spirits did not agree and that a long standing relationship between us would not have worked much less be pleasant.
I told him I understood that and I was not sorry about neither of these two being apart of my life but what about the childrens life, not even an attempt has been made by them to be around the children, and he shook his head and said “No Obara Meji, If you were an Ordinary woman I would understand, but you are not an Ordinary woman and neither are your children ordinary children”. He asked me if any of my children ever lamented over their father, and I did not have to think about it because the answer was no, and he answered by saying “eh hehhh!”, while nodding in agreement with me, “You see?, they had no time to miss de daddy, he said in Pidgin English (their form of patois) because you, de mommy did de two job very well. You are Osun and it is to be expected.
I weighed my mind as he spoke, and thought about Osun. A part of me wanted to say, this sucks! Another part wanted to shout Oore Yeye OOO Osun OOOO! (All praises to my mother Osun!). Then the thought came In my mind that It cannot be All Osun women who took care of their babies on their own, some had the support of husband and children, and formed the family that I wanted and missed out on, I said this to him and he said, “Obara Meji, you cannot put your destiny with another person, everybody has his own destiny, this one is yours. What you admire in another person’s life, which is not what you have in yours, is not for you, if it were for you, you would have had it, instead something took its place, a swap out if you want to call it that, what would you trade now for that life which others have and you do not?” he asked, and I pondered seriously for a long time while he waited for my response. I looked at everything in my life and all which I had gone through and all which I now have and where I am currently and thought, As for material things I have nothing, I am not wealthy in terms of money wagga wagga (plenty money), I do not own properties or lands, other than with family which I have walked away from (the fight too much). I looked on into space as I pondered on, while he waited patiently for my reply, I have health and all my children are doing well, I have the love of God, the spirits, Orishas and human beings (some), I have lived an extraordinary life and it continues, I want for nothing, and I have met some incredible people and have been apart of some exclusive things, I am an Initiate, a Spiritualist, a Traditionalist, a Medium, a Diviner ,a Herbalist, a Blogger, Chief Cook and Backle washer, Hell of a Hair Dresser, Student, Teacher, Candlestick Maker (lol), Mother, Father, Sister, Brother, even Village Lawyer, Counselor, Adviser, Chief Decision Maker, Royal and Never Dis-Loyal, to anyone, and more. I looked up at him and answered “No, I would not trade a thing, God has been good to me”. To this he smiled and spread both hands as if to say “you see, what more do you want?” I felt complete, happy and whole, and I silently thanked God, and Osun and Orunmila and all my ancestors. I then fi ori bale, (touched my head to the ground) before the Babalawo, Orunmila’s representative for his wisdom, then I went to Osun’s shrine and thanked her, OOre Yeye O Osun OOOOO, Omi oooooo!!!! how blessed am I to have her!
For all the women out there who have met the perfect mate or a good man, fathers of your children who are with you and are present in your children’s lives, I am happy for you, be happy for yourselves. You have been blessed, truly blessed! I urge you to treat these men in your lives very well and honor what you have. For single parents such as myself, who had four to take care of, and all mine were born one behind each other, not many years apart, and there I was with them all on my own, many nights I worried as they all slept what would tomorrow bring, but tomorrow always brought food and we always had shelter and we were ok without a father’s help or presence. Women, respect your men, love them and honor them, the ones who are there and are supportive, who work and take care of his family, love him, he is hard to find and he is a treasure, as Dennis Brown song says, “Hold on to what you got“! In Africa when a woman serves her husband his meal, she brings the food on a tray and goes on her knees and serve him, while on her knees, Ite Riba fun oko, which means Loyal to husband. At first when I saw that, the Jamaican in me said “mi nah do dat !”, I will not do that, (and I still will not, but I understand and respect them), but as I live amongst them and saw how important family was to the Africans, and how the husband loved and took care of his wife and children, he respects her. I saw how devoted the fathers were to their children, I realized that the wives as taught by their mothers to honor their husbands, had the right to honor her King this way.
He was the man, and he played his role. It does not take away your strength as a woman to honor your men, it shows that you are indeed very strong, because you both play a role in each others lives and so as you honor him, he also honors you. He stays with you and hold down his household as a man! It is so easy for men to run away from their responsibilities, especially here in our part of the world. We see it every day. In Africa I have learned from these women, what I learned from my mother, but it had left when I met some no good men. My mother honored my father, in the evenings she would share his food, the meat shared separate from the provisions (yam, banana and dumplins), vegetables and rice in separate containers. If he was late to come home she kept his food warm over a pot of water on the stove and when he came home, she served him. My mother was a very strong woman but she loved her husband and showed him so by her actions. I saw my mother’s action here in Africa in how these women treat their Kings and same in how the men treated their Queens. When I speak to them and they speak of their wives they say “look what she do for me”, meaning taking care of the children. I was puzzled at first when I heard them say that because I thought, “What she did for you?, they are her children too”. I thought it was her duty to look after her children as I had to look after mine, but then I realized that they did not see it that way, they saw it as a responsibility shared and appreciated their Queen for all she did. Lovely!
I know some of you will say “Obara, on my knees to serve a man I will not do”, and I am in no way saying that is what we should do, I just wanted to show how in other cultures things are done differently and looked upon as such. It is easy to praise the mothers, and we do so all the time in our part of the world because so many of our men skip out on their responsibilities. However this post is to tip our caps to the good ones out there and give our respect, they deserve it. We know it is their duty but unfortunately many of them skip, run, skedaddle or in the case of my first child, if I do not want him he has nothing to do with us.
Women, do not spend time cursing the dead beat dad’s, they cannot do any better, it is to be how it is, it is fate, apart of your destiny. If he has wronged you or the child, leave him to God. Do not succumb to high blood pressure or depression wondering why you or why the kid (s), it is what it is. If you fight him for money or support through the courts, then that is on you, but if he walks ways from his responsibility having nothing to do with the children, leave him, do not mind him, he was selected by the child for a reason and only God and your Ori knows why, move forward and do the best you can, find your strength.
I have accepted my fate, and at times (de being human ting) I sigh and wish, but then I straighten up and realize that my destiny is my destiny, but I am a romantic at heart and I love to see families together, I am in love with love! Ah me sey Harem, (lol). Horray for all ah de good man dem, big up oonuh chest!. I applaud you. Not every woman will be able to have this family bond and setting in their lives, for those, who like me had to do it alone, know that you chose that life before you came here, and maybe you had to swap something important out for it, nothing happens by chance. If you could not do it alone, your Ori would not have allowed you to chose your life like that, also know that you have a depth of strength and you are not alone, God will always pick up the slack of the dead beat dads. For all the women fortunate to have men like my blogger for a father for their children or step fathers, honor and love them, do not take them for granted, they are a dime a dozen, a dime a dozen! nuff respect!
Yíyọ́ ẹkùn, kì í ṣe t’ojo. /
The stealthy movement of the leopard is not out of cowardice.
[Do not mistake gentleness for stupidity or cowardice]
All religions are valid as long as it teaches peace and love…Obara Meji!
When one has not had a good father, one must create one.
I hope I am remembered by my children as a good father.