Sometimes you meet people, they look happy but at the core of their soul and heart something in their past hurts really badly. Things they wish had been, some things they wish never should have happened; all the Ifs hurt. I found myself caught on the corner of a street in a neighborhood I would only visit for field assignments.
It was on one of such call to duty that I met this woman who obviously managed to get by in her meager business. Here was this very energetic, funny and happy woman I was interviewing about her family. She burst into tears right in the middle of our interview chat…my recorder was still on…I simply stopped and wrapped my arms around her saying every words of comfort that came to my heart at that moment. It took a while before she calmed down.
What was this middle aged woman weeping about?
While growing up as a child her parents got separated. It wasn’t the typical court divorce, her mum just her dad for whatever reasons her little mind could not grasp. She had to live with her dad but wasn’t really happy because he married another woman and it was an uncomfortable environment for her. Sometime later her mum showed up and a fight broke out between her dad and mum over who should have custody of her. She wanted badly to stay with her mother and she cried until her dad angrily sent her to her mum. He refused to sponsor her education since she chose to stay with her mum who could not afford sending her to school. She could only get a primary education…these was the point where she busted into tears…
What I saw in her eyes beyond her words & tears:
She shook her head and stared at me her interviewer.
Her eyes said I could have been educated like you
My life would have been better today if only my parents tried to put me first.
Her body shook with pains as she cried out loud saying, “I really wanted to go to school”
It felt awkward but I felt her pain. I wish I could turn back the hand of the clock to right the wrong of not allowing her to go to school. I could only give her hope that the future could be bright. In my words, “your past doesn’t have to determine your future; you can still make it; you would still succeed; getting an education is still possible; God can still beautify your life”.
Finally she stopped crying and wiped her tears as I held her close. I do not take this encounter for granted. It was a privilege to share the pain of this woman who saw me as someone that represented what she could have had. I was educated; she wasn’t….NOT SO FAIR!
Every Girl, Every child deserve to go to school and be educated properly.
Adebisi Adetunji ©