Monthly Archives: July 2012

25 Hearty Cheers!

Yaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyy!!!! Birthday is finally here!
On this day exactly twenty-five years ago, a screaming little princess came into the world. That princess ain’t so little anymore or that “princess-y” either. The end!

Lol.. I kid! I honestly don’t know what to write about. Sigh.. Twenty-five years, gosh I’m old. I couldn’t think of anything worth writing about myself for this special day so I asked twenty-five friends to do the honors, one for each year of my life. Here’s what they had to say:

1. Valerie
Happy birthday to you. You are such a sweet, loving person. You love God and you always always find a way to be happy and you always believe that it will be alright. I pray that good things always find you and I’m glad that you choose happy. May God bless you. Today and always. And may others be a ray of sunshine for you, like you have been for me. Love always, Vee.

2. Ugo (My bestie)
Friends come and friends go but a true friend sticks by u like family….I have known Miss Parker for about 7yrs now…and I have never once regretted my friendship with her…she has been more than a sister and that’s why d only way I can express myself is quoting Proverbs 18:24 – “A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”

3. Phenom
Happy Birthday 2 a special friend. Thanks 4 adding me to that special rank of people who know the intelligent, respectful, witty, kind-hearted, principled, music & fun-loving, but sometimes annoyingly adamant lady, behind the shy pretty gerh, everyone else sees on d outside.

4. Nini
Happy birthday to U Miz Parker, u make my world so much brighter….wishing u d awesome birthday that u deserve n looking forward to future birthdays when we can paint d town(s) red;) partying like rock stars. Love U to bitz gal.

5. Efe (My Twubby ^_^)
Kovie! 🙂
Happy birthday to the girl who lived on 19th Street with me without my knowing her. Oh that we were friends then! Such inner beauty and hunger for the deep things of life. Like the woman at the well, may God lead you to the ever-flowing, soul thirst-quenching, wellspring of life. Much love darling

6. Kenny
Happy birthday to my young niece with beautiful eyes, through it all you’ve been there for me and I pray one day I’ll be able to “revenge”. Have a beautiful year darling and may all you desire for good come be yours. Love you Kovie-Anna. From your favorite Uncle :*

7. Chris
I can’t speak for everyone but I know most people have this one particular person in their life whose worth can never ever be measured. You, dear are that type of person. A lovely friend, very quiet but like all jewels, people can’t help but be attracted to you. On this day that is so special to you, I want to wish you joy. I want you to wake up every single day with a joy filled heart, a bounce in your step and a readiness to take on the day with smiles. You deserve so much happiness for all the smiles and warm feelings that you have given out. I hope you had a great day love. Stay blessed.

8. Francis Rotkang (he is a nutcase, don’t listen to him.. Lol)
Anna Evi-Parker……..hmm, from afar she posits as a piece of work and utterly complicated but upon closer examination, she is indeed simple,warm and accommodating, though spoiled (Lol). In summary she is a wonderful person to be with and would have married her if not for an existing encumbrance X_X … Francis (esq)over and out.

9. Yemi
So you’re 25 today. What’s that in Avatar years?
I wish I could’ve been with you today to hug & kiss you and sing happy birthday in your ear…
Who am I lying to? I’d have beaten you small and poured coke in your hair.
But I’m glad you’re alive, quite glad you made it to 25. We’ve known each other for a couple of months and you’ve become a very important part of my life. I hope you’ve had a good day today, Anna, and I pray you have a great year ahead. One that we can enjoy, one that’s full of success and joy. But most importantly, one of many, many many many more to come.
Happy Birthday, my avatar.


10. Ferdinand
Its not often u come across beauty,brains and humility all in 1 take. A great person to have on your team.
You r a lady whose deserving of her dreams…

11. Franque
I stayed up all night to wish u a happy birthday, and then at midnight I was stumped! Didn’t know which of the three numbers I have for you actually works. Yes, that’s how long it has been between calls. I did the next best thing; sent you a bb message and went to sleep. Now I am up and half the day is gone, and I am sending you this wish in the hope that today isn’t turning out to be as boring as you suspected, and that the year will bring you that which you desire most. More than that though, I hope the year brings you joy, happiness and true love. This message is sent with most of my love.

12. Anonymous (He gives the perfect forehead kiss)
Wow! She’s 25 today; her silver jubilee on earth. Going by milestones, that is half way to a golden jubilee. But she is nothing short of GOLDEN in my opinion. Armed with a heart of a loving mother and the desire of an intending lover, she has muscled her way through her struggles and aspirations. She has earned both stripes and scars in her ‘beautiful struggle’ but hasn’t lost her zeal to ‘live’..You know what and you know who. A breath of fresh you definitely are. Do have a blessed day (Happy Birthday!!).

13. Zigi
Happy birthday darling… As u add another year today I pray the good lord blesses u with good health of mind and body, long life and prosperity and I pray he grants u ur heart desires..have a wonderful day dear, cos you deserve the best.

14. Angel
If I wish you my best desires, it would not be good enough for a star like you. If I wish you your best desires, it’ll still not be enough. This is me wishing you God’s best and a prayer that you miss none of His plans for you. Happy birthday lil’ sis. I love you!

15. Daniel
I called to sing you a birthday song but your line has been busy all day, as it should be, because you are special and greatly loved. Happy Birthday Miz Parker, God bless and Honour you as you celebrate. The shout of a king will never depart from you. Love you always.

16. Efosa
Happy birthday to a super, duper chic I know… A boo with a lot of difference, my lovely Kovie, my adorable darling.. Enjoy your day and kisses (He proceeded to make a silly song out of this. Lol)

17. Emmanuel Parker
I’m elated for you my beloved sister. Time does fly. More importantly I rejoice with you even as you make another progress on this journey called life. My prayer for you is that you fulfill God’s plan and purpose for your life. That, your deepest heart’s desires are established by the Almighty Spirit of God. Congratulations and enjoy your your day, your week, your month and especially your new year. I love you

18. Emmanuel (Kolours)
I’m wishing u a very big warm Happy Birthday ({}) and all my love to you this day. Part of me knows just what I should say to u today, the other part thinks perhaps some deeper word would send the message to you. But in all I silently write u this note. Have a lovely Birthday. :*

19. Anwuli
Happy birthday small sis. Its a great great one. Abeg don’t forget me when it’s party time. Love u big big time. Ur babies are singing for u 😉

20. Uncle Pete
Happy birthday my beautiful, intelligent, little niece. God bless you always. Keep shining.. You are our star.

21. Dave
First time I met you, I thought, “wow, she’s a lady”. You are an embodiment of beauty in it’s purest form. It’s beyond physical, your beauty… And this is not to downplay your physical beauty, I couldn’t even if I tried. Those eyes, Good Lord! There’s something about you I can’t quite explain, something on your inside that screams innocence, and honesty, and light, and love, and hope. There’s no one who would be blessed with the privilege of knowing you, that wouldn’t fall in love with you. You are woman, you are whole. Happy 25th sunshine, I love you.

22. Timi
You are beautiful on this occassion, and that occassion, and the other occasion too.
You are fair in my light, and their light and though theirs be dim, you are still fair.
You are comely from my perspective, and their perspective, and though his plane be obtuse, you are comely.
You are things sweet to me, and to them, and though their math be inadequate, you are all things sweet.
You are a woman to me, to them and though they fiddle with it’s definition, you are a sweet woman.
Happy Birthday Kovie, you mean the world to all of us, especially me. Thanks for letting me be a part of your beautiful life. I belittle it not.
I respect the very fine woman you are, even more the one you become by the day. It would seem very little to some but I’ll share quickly one of the many things I like about you. Kovie, I like that you have never disbelieved me, you have never made me have to explain myself and try so hard to get trust from you. You have never called me a liar.
This means plenty to me. You are different, sweetly different, you are a woman, a sweet woman.. -____- i should stop here before i kneel down and pull a ring.
Happy Birthday Kovie.


23. Ara
Happy birthday, Kovie! It’s been a pleasure and a honour knowing a 21st Century wise woman like you (a scarce breed, I assure you). I admire the way you’ve chosen to rise above the mistakes of the past and look forward with zest to the future. I wish you all that you wish yourself this year and pray that you will have cause at the end of your days to be proud and happy with the life you lived. I know we’ve just met (physically) but I love you! Do have a lovely year :* :* :*

24. Ayorinde (the incredible Ayo wrote me a poem)
It’s a new day for Anna
Like a cousin of Karma she comes back
again and again, like a good friend
who wants you always on track
Hooked on a beautiful woman like an addict on crack
Great personality
It seems to me, I’m not the only one blessed
with a friend who’s strength for my weakness
I am a living witness of an amazing gift
My sixth sense
All I wish for you today is unending success
A fountain of grace and happiness
and Love that never ends
So have a Happy Birthday
Stay beautiful and stay true
because there’s nobody like you
Happy Birthday

25. Joey (the bestest brother in the world sent this. It deserves a separate post of it’s own but I’ll do this here. I love you bro, beyond words)
Dark ages.
That describes my three-year sojourn away from home. I remember the silent, sanctuary air of lone hotel rooms. Amidst the elusive scent of freedom and the uncluttered interference that followed, there was a deep yearning for the knowing smiles of my sisters, disapproving nods of Mother and the general comfort of having a cup of warm cocoa when summoned.  Although I am back home now, and oh the joy of the home cooked meals and hearty talks, my presence is still been robbed by other seemingly important matters. I am writing this short note for one of my sisters, Anna from a conference table many streets away; symbolic of how slightly strained our relationship has been over the years – close, yet not present. As I write this, I think of our past as one weirdly formed collage; one that is now being cemented with multiple acts of kindness, thoughtfulness and affection. Now she comes to the office almost every day, sharing meals and meaningful laughs. 
I look at Mother now, soiled with grit and ash, as she toiled and fought for us. But joy wells up within me like a fountain whenever I see her and Anna interact together like jolly-old sisters in their eighties. Damn, she’s grown, I say to myself. And she has taken care of herself, and the house.
I have so much to say that can never fit into a post, or a chapter, or a book, or a volume; so I woke up this morning with a resolve. My words are my new actions now. Be present is my mantra now. Breath, Joey.
For Kovie, for only she understands this; understands me.

I have not been able to stop the waterworks. You guys are truly amazing. What makes this so special is the fact that I know these words are truly from your heart. I don’t need this day to get any better.. I’ve just been given the best birthday ever! I’m so overwhelmed. I don’t even know what to say. God bless you all and make you smile the way I did today. I love you to the moon and back!!!
Kisses, love, light, peace, and chocolate cake…,
Kovie – FutureNewYorker!

P.S. I’m sorry for the really long post. Just couldn’t bring myself to edit anything.


If I Had A Wish-List

Hey y’all!!
This really isn’t a post. Tomorrow is my birthday… Well, from where I’m standing (actually, lying) right now, it’s gonna be a simple ol’ day. I’m not complaining really. I’m not expecting anything but I just wanted to mess around a bit.
I’m not expecting a gift for the big day, not from anyone (this ought to be sad), but if I was, here’s what my wish-list would look like…
1. Acoustic guitar – been meaning to get one since like forever. It’d be magical if one showed up at my house tomorrow. I feel a bit sorry for my neighbors who would be forced to listen to the horrible sounds coming from my room though (I shall call it, Beautiful Noise)
2. Laptop – since I lost my laptop a few months ago, I’ve felt incomplete. Due to negligence on my part, mum isn’t willing to get me another one. If I got a really good one for the birthday, I could use the money I’ve been saving for something else (you see how you shall be helping the economy? Or not)
3. Camera – Specifically, the Canon EOS 550d. Nuff said.
4. Books – This should be on a wish-list of it’s own, cause the books I want are just too numerous. You know what would be rad though, an autographed copy of some really old, hardback, out of stock novel. Kinda like a vintage novel.. Lol. Is there anything like that? Oh well… You get the point.
5. Chocolate cake – I mean it’s Chocolate cake. No explanations necessary. It is CHOCOLATE. And CAKE. CHOCOLATE CAKE. Sigh.. I need to stop saying that. *whispers* Chocolate cake. (Huge grin)
6. Lingerie – I mean, a girl can never have too many. But only if we are close like that.
7. Everything else – Honestly, everything I can think of as a want/need would make the perfect wish-list. I want everything. Cards, sweets, paid vacations, handwritten notes, clothes, gift cards, accessories, gadgets, stuffed animals, hugs, kisses, a boyfriend, car, credit alerts… The list is endless. I mean since we are going crazy, we might as well throw in a private jet in there somewhere -_- .
Ignore me, I’m just being silly. Don’t get me wrong, I love gifts, thoughtful gifts. It’d be nice to have all of these things mentioned above and if I was wealthy, I’d be able to afford them on my own but what I’d really like is to spend some alone time tomorrow. Somewhere peaceful and quiet with a bottle of wine, chocolates and a pen and notepad. Then, maybe a quiet evening with a few friends. Anyway, that’s not going to happen. Like I said, it’s gonna be a very normal day. I promise not to get depressed though (I’m getting old ( -̩̩̩͡˛ -̩̩̩͡) ).
Soooooo… I am looking forward to the calls, text messages, emails, BBMs, mentions on twitter, DPs of me and all the usual stuff. I’d be a great day. It has to be. 😀

Ode to Bwari…

Hello there!
A few nights ago, my friends and I were discussing memories from our time at The Nigerian Law School, Bwari (2010-2011). I’m really sad I didn’t keep a journal of my time there but I’m gonna try and recap a few of the lessons I learned there in this post.

FRIENDSHIP: I never really was one of those girls who have kept the same set of friends since childhood. I’m unsure of the reason, I wish I was, but I’m not.
I got to Bwari with my set of friends from Uni and it was great to keep that circle (although my bestie got posted to Lagos).
Bwari taught me to love my friends even more. The laughs. Staying up late at night to watch movies together. Simple meals. Study buddies. Adventures. Singing along to Taylor Swift and Alicia Keys. Pinging away during lectures. Struggling to stay awake in class. Having gossip (I mean gist) partners. Coming back from a rendezvous and having people to share it with. Crying upon their shoulders during the bad times.
I could do an entire post on the memories I share with these girls (and guys). Love ’em to bits.

SIMPLE LIFE: If you’ve ever seen an episode of that TV show with Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie, you have an idea what I’m talking about. Real simple life yo! No running water (except on rare occasions), no constant power (we are Nigerians though, we should be used to this), mosquitoes (these ones are immune to insecticide), crappy food (no matter where you eat), INDOMIE (finally a silver lining). I don’t remember a lot of the things I didn’t like back then (they must not have been that bad) but I know I complained a lot and couldn’t wait to get out.

LOVE: *sigh* Now this one… Before Bwari, I had never dated anyone in the same class or even same school as me. I kinda thrived on somewhat long distance relationships. In Bwari though, I fell in love. Hard. I loved the simplicity of this one. Evening walks. Texting. Phone calls. Sharing meals. Stealing looks in class. Kisses under the stars (lol.. Now I’m just being dramatic). Holding hands. Jokes and laughs. Weekend getaways. Dreamy eyed. Banter. Just talking… About everything and nothing.
Yup, I became one of those people in relationships that seem to annoy those who aren’t.

BETRAYAL: Then you catch someone in a lie and you are brought down to earth. The fall is hard! Thank God for friends willing to catch you.

FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT: This one was a tough lesson. I didn’t want to learn. Kept failing the test. But you can’t skip a class in life. Had to force myself to learn it. Life long lesson, still helping me now. I can plan a budget for Africa and some parts of Europe… Lol.

DETERMINATION: Having to study an entire year’s work in less than a month, yeah I’m lazy like that. I love to read. I would gladly read everything except school work. I knew the work load was HUGE but I kept postponing until the revision month just before exams. Anyway, I was determined not to fail. I remember studying so hard in such a short while, sometimes it’d feel as though my head was about to explode. Then I’d read so much through the night and won’t be able to remember anything during the day. I saw people giving up half way though and I was tempted to defer because I wasn’t ready… Thank God I didn’t. Long story short, I made it out with really good grades. (Hopefully, I’ve also learned not to procrastinate)

FUN: Or at least our own version of fun. The things I didn’t do in University, I learned to do in Bwari (nothing illegal). You get so bored from living in a jungle, you just find ways to relieve the tension. The evening and weekend activities were always something to look forward to. Now when I think about it, I ask myself how I ever enjoyed doing stuff like that. But I did, and in that time and space, it was fun.

Okay, I learned so many other things but this post is becoming longer than I anticipated. Lol (gosh, I can be lazy at times sha).

So, this is a toast to everyone who went through NLS Bwari, we made it out and hopefully we are stronger for it.


Yet Will I…

“Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior.” (Habakkuk 3:17-18)

You know how sometimes you’re going through a tough situation and reading God’s word or being thankful is the last thing on your mind? You’re thinking, why can’t He just bring me out of this situation? Or like a friend said to me some days ago, “I’m not even asking for the full delivery, a confirmation email would be nice. I just need a sign”. I feel you bro. As I said to him, God’s Word is the confirmation email. It’s all the sign you need. Anyway, that’s a post for another day.
Now let’s assume that your faith in God’s ability to answer is unwavering and that you have your confirmation email (I just love this, lol) and you trust that the delivery is confirmed and sure but it’s taking a while, the Bible also says in Proverbs 13:12, Hope deferred makes the heart sick…what do you do then? Well, like the first scripture says, GET YOUR PRAISE ON!
Last week, I was expecting something and was becoming really anxious. Finally, it seemed like I had gotten it! I mean I got the call confirming the good news and I was beyond excited. Somehow, out of the blue it was taken away. Just like that it was gone! To have something you’ve always wanted and then watch it being taken away. I fell into a depressed state and didn’t talk to anyone the entire day, didn’t eat or smile. My mum was out of town and she called to rejoice with me about what had been good news, when I told her what happened. Of course she could tell from the way I sounded that I had lost my joy and I was depressed. A few minutes later, she sent me this message: “The answer to depression is praise. Praise God and think of his goodness. Thank God for what he has done and what he ll do and satan in the person of depression will flee.” At the time, I really didn’t feel like praising or thinking of good things, but after a while I started to focus on the good things in my life and around me. Well, I still haven’t gotten what I was expecting, but I’ve got my praise and I intend to hold on to that whether or not I get what I desire.
It’s not always easy but whenever I feel the gloom, I read up on my confirmation email again. 😀

Psalm 71:14  As for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more.
Isaiah 40:28-29 Do you not know?
Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Lamentation 3:22-23 Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
Romans 8:24-25 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.
Hebrews 6:11 We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, so that what you hope for may be fully realized.
1Corinthians 2:9 Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love him.

Doesn’t that make you wanna let out praise?! 😀
So, get your praise on.


I am human and I make mistakes. I am human and fail sometimes, I fall. I am human and I am weak. When He offers His strength, my human nature would assume that I am strong enough. Only a little, I can handle it. I was wrong. As always, He was right.
I am human, it is not an excuse. I am human, it is not me trying to avoid responsibility for my actions. No, it is fact. I am human and I am weak.

I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate.
Romans 7:15
I put my flesh under submission today, tomorrow, it wants to rule. No wonder Paul says I die EVERYDAY.
Create in me a clean heart O LORD, renew a right spirit within me.
I am human and I fail… Don’t be disappointed in me for too long. Perfect Your strength in my weakness, for I admit that I am weak.
I am human.. It is not me making an excuse, no! This is me crying for help. I AM HUMAN, help me know.

Still I Rise – Maya Angelou

Hello there! Been a minute!
I’ve been silent on here for a bit mainly because I’ve been trying to fight my writers’ block and write a short story. Anyway, I was making progress and had several drafts saved on my phone when the unthinkable happened, my memory card crashed! I’ve done everything to try to retrieve data but there’s been no luck yet. I’ve handed it over to the experts to see if they can get anything off it, so fingers crossed.
In the meantime, here’s another poem from Maya Angelou that I absolutely love. (I think this should be her most popular poem). Enjoy…
Still I Rise
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

– Maya Angelou

P.S. I’ve been learning a lot lately about God’s love and God’s plans. Will share soon.
Plenty love, hugs and kisses,

Work in progress

Hello there!
These days I think God is opening my eyes up to truths I thought I knew but never really understood. Deeper truths that I probably had “head-knowledge” on but my spirit is finally beginning to accept. I’ve been going through verses from the scriptures I’m familiar with and getting new or deeper insights from them
The other day I was reading through some familiar verses and came across this one… “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns”. Philippians 1:6 (NLT)
“being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (NIV)
Suddenly it hit me. He has started the good work and will continue to perfect it UNTIL THE COMING OF JESUS. Now I’m not a theologian or a Bible student but I understand simple English. The perfection is a process. It’s not going to be perfect in one day. Just cause I’m a Christian doesn’t mean everything that concerns me is going to be perfect anytime soon. I’m a work in progress. As it is with construction projects, the development is in phases. One step at the time. If you skip a phase, it most likely will affect the end product. What you’ll have would no longer be perfect simply because you’re cut corners and jeopardized the perfection process.
I’ve done my fair share of messing up. It took a process for me to get to the battered position where He found me. The reversal isn’t going to be instantaneous, not because He can’t (nothing’s impossible with Him) but He most likely won’t. There are lessons I need to learn on this journey. The destination is not nearly as important as the journey. Therein lies our need for faith. Trusting Him to be faithful every step of the way. Knowing that for every time I make a mistake, there’s a lesson to be learned. Believing that He’ll never leave. Studying the Word, knowing that He’s working in me.
The LORD will fulfill [his purpose] for me; your love, O LORD, endures forever–do not abandon the works of your hands. Psalm 138:8
He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 1:8
In EVERY aspect of my life, I know God is working. I’ll play my role in developing myself and I won’t be too hard on me cause it’s a process. It’s in phases and I’m grateful for each lesson learned, for each obstacle and challenge conquered. I know He’s working, the changes may not be so apparent but they are there.
It’s a process! It’s a process! It’s a progress! Keep reminding yourself. Never forget it.
When the Devil tries to convince you that you’re no good and shows you just how imperfect you are, remind him you’re a work in progress and GOD IS WORKING to complete what He has started.

Phenomenal Woman – Maya Angelou

I love poetry!! Like, that’s probably the understatement of the century. I just can’t get enough! Sad thing is I’m crap at writing poems *sob sob*. Anyway, Maya Angelou is one of my favorite people in the world and I just love her poems. Over the last few days, I’ve been reading this poem and a few others repeatedly. It’s so beautiful, the first time I read it I had tears in my eyes..(Okay, that may not really count for much since I’m a sappy sap and literally everything makes me cry – doesn’t make the poem any less beautiful though). I thought I’d share this with you while I wait for my writing mojo to come back. Enjoy.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can’t see.
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
‘Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Break-Even (2)

For the first part of this story, check here

The wait is the hardest part. I was apprehensive about everything and anything. Was the surgery going to be painful? Would the scars be horrid? Would I be awake? What if I slept off and didn’t wake up? Would the surgeon be nice? Did I really have to do this? After all, the initial tests all said the lumps weren’t malignant. Why couldn’t I just pray the lumps away? I would stay up late at night thinking about these things. I’m quite sure my friends got tired of trying to put me at ease. My emotions were all over the place. Nobody seemed to be able to give satisfactory answers.
I finally met a surgeon who could answer most of my questions and put me at ease. Yes I would be awake but there would be no pain, there would be minimal scars, for my age it would be better to take the lumps out so as not to give room for future malignancy, and on and on he kept churning out answers as I thought up every question imaginable. I had met the perfect doctor! Kind of like meeting the man of your dreams. Plus he was cute and very married, yeah I checked. My mind was finally at rest.
Then out of nowhere, there was trouble in paradise. My mum decided I couldn’t use that surgeon or the hospital for that matter. She gave her reasons and everyone who heard them was satisfied except me. I just couldn’t understand her. My peace of mind was once again lost. The new hospital picked up a really annoying habit of fixing and canceling the date for the surgery. Their reason being that they were trying to book the best surgeon they had with the neatest stitches. I didn’t care, I just wanted the surgery over and done with.
Fast forward to D-day. I’m prepped and ready for surgery (as ready as I can possibly be). As I enter the theatre, my heart sinks a little. All the episodes of Grey’s Anatomy could not have prepared me for this. From where I lay on the slab, there’s a lot of activity going on. There are two surgeons in the room, quite a number of nurses and an anesthesiologist. They seem to know what they are doing so I calm down but only a little. The surgery should be over in thirty minutes they say. So I think to myself, “piece of cake”.
The first lump is removed and one of the surgeons even playfully asks if I’d like to see. Then the battle begins. I start to feel pain. I thought they said they’d be no pain? This time, I can actually feel the cut. I’m in so much pain, I begin to cry. Both surgeons are playing a game of “Good Cop, Bad Cop” with me. Good cop wants the dosage of whatever it is they are filling me with through the drip attached to my wrist to be increased, bad cop doesn’t think so. More injections to numb the area are given. The drugs seem to work for a few minutes and it’s back to the pain. I’m crying so much, one of the nurses starts crying too. They send her out of the room with some very strong tongue lashing I can’t help but laugh. It’s one really emotional roller coaster the three hours I’m in there. Yeah, a thirty minutes surgery turns to almost three hours. I can’t even begin to imagine what my mum is going through outside the room where she waits.
The main surgeon is tidying up his stitches after the fifth lump has been removed, thinking the surgery is over when he’s reminded of the sixth one. He cuts and makes a funny sound. Like he’s worried. This lump is different he says in a hushed tone so I don’t hear him but I do. He explains to the second surgeon that he didn’t like the look and the position of the lump. Apparently, it had become attached to some tissues and taking it out will be somewhat difficult. They deliberate on whether or not to put me under. Finally, it’s decided they would take it out with me still awake and would do it quickly so the pain wouldn’t be so bad. If I thought what I was feeling before was pain, this last one changed that thinking.
By the time the surgery is over, I’m numb. It’s over I keep thinking to myself. I just want to sleep. Post surgery recovery is a bit tough but mum is there with me the whole time. The lumps are sent off for further tests. I’m discharged in a few days. The day the stitches came off, I cried as I looked at the scars. Not pretty.
After a few weeks, the test results are out. I couldn’t wait to show it to the doctor first. I tore open the envelop and looked through. Didn’t understand a word except on the last line where the following words were boldly written: NO TRACE OF MALIGNANCY. Up until that moment, I didn’t realize just how nervous I’d been. The relief just washed over me, it was overwhelming. Even the doctor is so excited when I take the result to him, he gets up to give me a hug. He had been worried too.
Today, I stand proudly in front of a mirror looking at my scars. It’s been a little over six months since the surgery, my scars have healed and I’ve grown. They still aren’t pretty but I no longer wince when I look at them; Battle scars. I fought and I won. I overcame my deepest fear. I’m at peace, the war is over.

P.S. I’ve never really taken out time to say thank you to family and friends who were with me through this journey. I’m very certain I couldn’t have done this without them. I can’t possibly mention everyone but you know yourselves and from the very bottom of my heart, I’m glad y’all are a part of my life.
*Special thanks to Franque for helping me make the decision to finally face my fear.
If there is one thing I learned through all this, it is that God is faithful.
P.P.S. This is a layman’s account of a surgical procedure and my apologies to any medical practitioner reading for any errors or inability to properly present the facts medically.
I also apologize for any grammatical blunders. I tried very hard not to edit too much so as not to take away from the essence of the post.

Break-Even (1)

I grew up faster than most of the girls in my class. Not only did I seem wiser and smarter than most of my peers, I was also bigger and, physically, maturing faster.

While girls were playing doll-house and tea parties, I was either playing soccer with my brother at the back of the house, or had my head buried in an Enid Blyton book. When my brother left for secondary school in another state however, things changed. By the time he came home for holidays I could no longer enjoy the sport with him as it had become impossible to take off my shirt due to the mounds growing on my chest. I had grown. And in no time those little mounds became well developed double Ds.

I first felt it four years ago. Not from deliberately searching, but an accidental graze brought my fingers in contact with a “seedy substance” on my right breast. Panic!  After a few days of deliberating, I made mum “feel” it too and it was off to the Doctor’s for me.

I never expect good news from Doctors but when after a couple of scans and more “feels”, the Doctor declared that there was nothing to worry about – yet, I could have kissed him. I however conveniently forgot the part where he said to come back in six months; for as far as I could see and feel, nothing had changed.

With time, routinely examining my breasts became the norm – more out of fear than anything else. On one such checks, I noticed it had appeared on my left breast. This time, I chose to ignore. I told myself that, if I did not bother it, it would not bother me. When however with each occasional touch it seemed to have grown from the last time, I decided I would have it looked at – eventually.

Days turned into weeks, and weeks into months and I was yet to go. But a few weeks ago, I read an article that talked about free breast screening holding in Abuja and decided since I was going to be in town at the time, I might as well have them looked at. It wasn’t one of the easier decisions I have made in my life. For days I swung between not going for it and just walking through the venue. I was not sure I was prepared for a confirmation of…what? Even I didn’t know for sure.

The breast examination confirmed that I indeed had lumps on both breasts and needed further tests to determine what they were. As I lay on the bed for the scan, I could not get the word “cancer” out of my head. The gel on my breasts as the radiologist “worked” on me felt cooler than I expected, almost cold, like preparation for surgery. Images of bald women suffering from the effects of chemotherapy were stamped on my mind. Scan over, I had to wait for a Doctor to look through the result and then of course write his verdict – my sentence. The images just would not leave my head. They seemed to flash faster, the only thing faster was my heartbeat. After what seemed like an eternity, the result was handed to me.

I had a total of six lumps, four on the right breast and two on the left. And all the grammar and Latin written simply meant that I needed surgery.

As I looked at the result, one medical term after another making absolutely no sense to me my heart sank lower and lower. So I had toyed with thoughts of breast surgery in the past, but it was just in my head and for reduction, not this!

I befriended Google and, perusing line after line, the summary of it is that the lumps are benign but it is safer to have them removed.

Now I wait, in fear of going under the knife, for the day of the surgery that would bring to an end the menace that has held me in bondage to fear for years. Fear of the unknown. For had I refused to have the lumps checked, I would still be in captivity to the ‘big C’. My heart missing a beat every time the word is mentioned. Afraid to feel my breasts for fear that another intruder would have crept in.

This simple procedure that has bought me, if nothing else, my peace of mind.

P.S. This post is one I wrote last year for the breast cancer awareness month. It is a true story, my story. The second part will come up soon, hopefully tomorrow.