February 28, 2017.
That was the date Bumble-Bee was expected to make his grand entrance into this pretty world of ours, and we looked forward to it with hopeful anticipation.
January 27, 2017.
It was a Friday. The last Friday of the month of January, and as usual, I went about my daily routine. I don’t quite remember what my normal day would have gone like those days, but it would have very much involved Drama Queen (DQ) and all her drama. So that day, I must have joined in the act and played my part like a faithful member of the cast. Living on the third floor of our apartment building meant that I had my fair share of prepartum workout. So I avoided those stairs as much as I could, even when DQ insists on going down to play; Play in your room, my dear, this big bump you see isn’t a balloon filled with helium. But there was going to be a Vigil at Church that night so I prepared myself for it, especially because Fountain Theatre, my darling drama team, was going to make an appearance as had become the norm in those end-of-the-month services. For whatever reason, I had taken upon myself the duties of script-writer/director/stage director/music director. I didn’t mind. I’ll never ever mind. It’s what I love to do the most, apart from singing, and dancing, and . . . oh forget it, the list is fairly long.
The night came and we made our way to church. It was a lovely service as far as I can remember. I even gave a testimony about how God in all His awesomeness decided to use simple me in the way He does. I recalled how in the beginning of the previous year, I felt so strongly that my hands would leave a mark on the sands of time, and by the end of that year, “my book was still a manuscript”, said the tempter, trying to discourage me that I had achieved nothing after all. Then the Lifter-up of my head reminded me of all the drama ministrations in church that had blessed people, and how He had used me to write them. Suddenly I felt that my hands did leave a mark: in the lives of those who were blessed by the things I had written. That was my testimony, and I was very grateful. I still am. By the way, the drama ministration of that night was on another level, that’s the best way I can describe it. And I was proud.
January 28, 2017.
At the end of the service which had gone on into the early hours of the morning, we drove home with our hearts full of love for Our Maker who had first brought us into a new year and had kept us through the first month, as we looked forward to the changes the coming month would bring into our lives. DQ was tired, so we put her straight to bed and jumped into ours. Our family was expanding, and we knew our 2-bed flat on the 3rd floor would not work anymore, so we spent most nights on ASPC looking at houses we could only afford if Bill Gates was my godfather.
Still we looked. We had a whole month and some to plan our exit strategy so we kinda took our time, hoping we’ll see something that would scream at us as we searched. Besides, it was our way of spending quality alone time together. But as we scrolled through our options, I felt a pang in my belly. The kind you would associate with a dash to the toilet, and that’s exactly what I did. I came back to bed to continue my retail therapy only to feel the pain some minutes later. I knew I hadn’t eaten anything that could cause an upset, so why on earth would the toilet be calling me this much? But I went again, and came back to bed. Oh boy. The pain began to resurface by the minute. I looked at Boo of life and hoped it wasn’t what I was thinking. But after some more, I froze!
I recognised the pain.
Nah. It’s not supposed to be that painful.
This must be the real deal.
. . . whaaaaat?
It’s the 28th of January, not February. Didn’t this baby get the memo?
What’s going on here?
It’s funny how every day is just another day on the calendar when anything can happen. Just about anything. Many times we make plans and project everything down to the teeth. We set dates to meet up. We book flight way ahead of time. We tell others to save the date. And we plan towards those dates that we believe will come and meet us with our expectations. There are other times when we push things forward. Some call it rescheduling, others, procrastination. We save for a later date what we might have done today, after all, something else more important must have bumped it off our list and made it lose its priority. That’s life. A good life, I suppose. Isn’t there a saying about planning to fail if you fail to plan?
But what happens when things don’t go according to plan?
What happens when the beast from the east shatters your travel plans and you are left stranded at the airport, or bus stop, or train station? What do you do then? And what happens to those who are at the other end of your journey, waiting for you? What do they do?
What happens when your lover finds another just before you used your opportunity to say ‘I do’? What happens to the the date you asked us all to save? What happens to the dress and the flowers and the cake? What happens to you heart that’s left shattered on the floor? What happens to you?
What happens when you wake up in the morning to the news of an unexpected downturn in your industry? What happens when the list is sent and your name made it there? What happens to all your plans and the budget that could only be sustained with the inflow of that source of income? What happens next?
I wouldn’t be the first to tell you that things don’t always go as planned; you probably have your own tale to tell. Sometimes the disruption of our plans come with a great feeling of disappointment, other times, they actually leave us with bundles of joy, and most times they’re a blessing in disguise, only that our eyes don’t always see that far enough. And as much as it seems like the varying uncertainties in life are reasons enough to sit back and let things happen as they may, we can’t stop ourselves from being ourselves: people who make plans and hope for the best. But in all our planning, there’s just one thing that’s certain :
You may say to yourself, “I have all the time in the world”, but do you, really?
So when your plans have twisted around themselves like a ball of rubber band, and all that’s left in your hand is your NOW, ask yourself: “Will I go on living? Will I never stop loving? Will I keep on giving? Will I continue to hope?
“Or will my life stand still while the rest of the world keeps on spinning?”
Don’t wait too long.
Life is a gift in itself. And the things that you don’t have, and the things that you never got to do, and the journeys you couldn’t take should never stop you from living your best life NOW.
Bumble Bee turned 1 on the 28th of January, 2018. But I couldn’t ignore the nudge I felt when February 28 came around, thinking to myself what it must have been like if he had waited till his due date . . . oh stop it! What’s the use? I’m never going to know. He’s here NOW, and February 28 is just another day on the calendar in my home. And yeah, my home that’s not on the 3rd floor.
March 1, 2018 NOW.
. . . you decide!