By Moyinoluwa Okunloye
The most precious gift that I have got is family. They are the treasure that I would not have selected by myself but the ones that truly suits me. They are not all shiny. Some of them cause more pain than the joy they are meant to give. They can be the most annoying set of people in the world. But in all their judgmental glory and ever sniffing selves, they soothe me.
I am strong willed. I am an introvert and reclusive by nature. This means that I only trust a few people to shout me down when I am making the worst choices for my life. It also means that sometimes I think something as small as a phone call is invading my privacy and space. So, I barely call people and I barely respond to most calls. And my families are not left behind in this.
But they have never cared for my space. They have never understood my obsessive need to be alone. I am constantly crucified for always missing and for not returning their calls. Because being strong willed runs in my family, they leave messages on my phone, they call until I am forced to pick and some who pretend to leave me be get information about my well – being from the ones that I talk to regularly.
This lockdown has been special. My Mum is so happy. I call her regularly now and we talk until I can no longer deal with her badgering and constant reminder about how old I am. I got to see my niece and god – daughter the other day through a video call and that was pure bliss. I am catching up with my younger ones everywhere. Everyone is so out of reach but so close through our conversations. I and my uncle picked up our conversation from where we stopped last year like we never left. I am basking in joy.
I love my family so much – no matter how dysfunctional we may appear. Every disagreement we have ever had and still have is purely out of love. I love that we may not understand one another but we all try to be there for each other regardless of our differences.
I know that I am going to get tired and might eventually fight with my mum if she keeps talking my ears off about marriage, but I will love every minute that I get to yell, “Mo ti gbo, Mummy. O daabo! (I have heard you, Mummy. Bye!)” I may not understand everyone’s conspiracy about me and my marital life but Oh! I am going to milk their love for me. And enjoy their company. And revel these moments. Because when everything goes back to normal, I am not sure if we will be able to keep this up.
They are the home that I can always go back to, no matter how good or bad it gets. I do not take them for granted and I am grateful for a time like this that we get to give joy to ourselves by holding on together. Thank you, God for my family. They are my gift.