“Make the most of your regrets; never smother your sorrow, but tend and cherish it till it comes to have a separate and integral interest. To regret deeply is to live afresh.” Henry David Thoreau
I lay down on the picnic mat staring at the stars with my friends, it was a beautiful sight. Fireworks exploded in the sky and the sound of knockouts echoed everywhere, it was finally 12:00 am. We had entered into a new decade and I was officially in my late 20’s, it was time to explain to my Nigerian family why I wasn’t ready to bring a husband back home. I mean, that was if I went back home and why would I? It was only the new year, my birthday and the day before my mother’s burial. I know she was my mother but she never liked me and we never got along so why did I have to go for her burial?
Sometimes I wonder why we never got along, I know she tried but we were just too different and I was angry all the time. I never wanted to listen or go to church, I was always looking like a black devil and she definitely never wanted to hear my opinion. Nevertheless, as much as I tried to avoid it, the pain in my chest increased as the day grew closer. My mother was actually dead and I never got the chance to know her in her entirety.
My friends released me from my miserable thoughts as they brought the tiny cake to my face, I couldn’t help but imagine what my mother would’ve made for me on my day despite the fact that she knew I would insult her right after eating it.
I blew the candles and the lights went off. “Make a wish!!!” they screamed again.
“Nah, I don’t do that. Just cut the cake so we can eat it.”
“Common Estelle. If you had a new year’s wish, what would it be? Just close your eyes and think about it.”
The issue wasn’t making a wish, it was the fact that I knew exactly what my new year’s wish was and I was too ashamed to make it. As I closed my eyes, I prayed to God to give me the strength to overcome what my wish would lead to. I didn’t have a healthy relationship with him but he was still the God who answered prayers.
I opened my eyes as I came down from the plane and walked right to my dad’s car which led me straight to the burial venue. Tears escaped my eyes as my siblings smiled at me, I knelt by the coffin and burst into tears.
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