Jumoke had planned to be at Bimpe’s wedding. She had gotten all her accessories for the occasion. The bead she bought was orange in colour and so was her bag, bracelet and shoes. Her “gele” was lying neatly in the wardrobe at the top right hand corner and the peach gown made from the “aso-ebi” material was hung. She had looked forward to and planned to attend the wedding as her cousin, Bimpe was a very lively and friendly young lady whom she didn’t wish to disappoint.
The wedding was to hold on the 12th of November, 2015. She had ensured that all was in place before the day arrived. Jumoke had packed her bags since she’d be going a day before.
Friday came without much ado. Jumoke woke with so much joy in her heart. She had even sent Bimpe a text message on the time she’d be travelling down to Abuja as the flight was to take off by 10.15 a.m. Everything was in place and her brother was to see her off to the airport.
The ride was indeed a smooth one but as soon as they launched out from the cab and stepped on the airport’s tarmac, Jumoke sensed the jolt in her chest. It was a familiar one. Right then and there, she knew her travel was impossible. She told her brother, “let’s get on our way back”. Ade was stunned. ” This wedding was so much on your mind that the whole house couldn’t rest while you were shopping for your accessories. Why do you have to change your mind now? You know aunty Bimpe will be cross”. Not until he turned back and starred into his sister’s face. Yes, he was also familiar with the pale look of her face whenever it came up. “Not again”, he muttered.
They indeed had to move home. No other option will do. Sometimes, it had caused the whole house to remain on their toes just to ensure that she got better. At other times, it simply needed the intervention of a medical practitioner.
Jumoke couldn’t bear this. All she could think was, “why now?” . The tears flowed freely. How she wished to see sickle cell anaemia in person and give it irrecoverable blows, ensuring it never distorted her plans anymore.
Ade took her by the hand, and walked her with so much patience. In a couple of minutes, they were sitting in a metro taxi and he was comforting her with the words, “weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning”.
Just how in the world could she lean on the promises of God’s word when she felt totally abandoned by him. How could she possibly imagine to be thankful when excruciating pains were going through her bones and muscles. It was hard to see God in the eye of the storm. This storm was too fierce. It had even come at the wrong time. She should be in the airplane headed for Abuja.
” Why in the world should this happen now?”, Jumoke thought.
The pains came on harder, her chest hurt badly and she could barely see as her vision was blurred by her tears. She knew the Doctor would say it’s a vaso-occlusive crisis. She hated that as soon as she got home, she’d have to be hydrated and given some sort of opioid to douse her pain. The struggle with getting the right vein for the catheter, the painful and sometimes peppery sensation of those injections.
She gasped for breath as her thoughts gave way to deeper fatigue.
She was tired; Tired of this disease she didn’t bring upon herself; Tired of living a life dictated by pains.
Jumoke rested her head against the window of the taxi and the tears flowed even freely. Just then, she found solace in a promise she had come across months back. She had been so happy when she found it. “Whenever I mention your name, I think of you with love”.” In The Eye Of The Storm”.
She knew God loved and cared about her through it all. Then and there she truly derived strength and deep comfort, regardless of the pains tugging at her, in the eye of the storm.