Monthly Archives: November 2013

Hippocrates’ Great Grandson

dbfrontI accepted the invitation to visit the Bravers with mixed feelings. On one hand, I could not imagine that a person who I perceived to hate me so much could invite me for a meal. I thought he was looking for an opportunity to humiliate me. He had done that in the front of patients, nurses, his secretary and medical staff. Now, he needed to ridicule me before his family. My other mind was telling me to give him a chance. Maybe he had a different side to his character. A normal aspect outside of work. Other doctors and nurses had been talking about the Bravers’ party for days, all the people that I mentioned it to indicated they would attend.

The Bravers’ residence was an isolated bungalow in the remote part of the county. The bungalow was spectacularly rebuilt from two large farm houses that had been knocked into one. Situated conspicuously on an elevation in a four-acre land it enjoyed a magnificent view of the Dales.

Many guests had arrived by the time the taxi was able find the way to the house that seemed at first to be in the middle of nowhere. I didn’t feel at ease to go in. I stood on the front corridor hoping that someone would pop outside to have a smoke or something or a late arrival could arrive and we could go in together. There was a lot of talking and giggling going on as well as bottles and glasses making noise as they served the drinks.

Both women giggled. Just then, the whole place went dead silent. Dr Braver stood in front of the guests, now holding a large bottle of Vodka in one hand.

“Can I have everybody’s attention?” He sipped from the bottle. “Thank you for coming to this great place. Capital of the whole world. I know you have been drinking and chatting. Do feel free to wander around the Bravers’ Castle. There is a lot to see. In a moment, I shall take you to see my neighbours! Then we shall all return for our meal. Tonight, we will be having Chinese take away. You know, Jezzie can’t cook. But she’s made a good effort to get us excellent meal from the Chinese restaurant in town.

“Neighbours? I didn’t realise you have neighbours,” I asked Jezzie, as the house looked to me to be the only one in the four-acre land.

Jezzie laughed. “Don’t mind my husband,” she replied, “He is trying to be funny. I think he should learn from you how to make people laugh. His neighbours are his animals downstairs in the cellar. He probably spends more time with them than with me. And you can’t get him out of there when it gets to his head.”

“Oh I see,” I said, wondering if that was where he was the night I was trying to phone him concerning his patient who had complications after his bowel surgery.

“Before you meet my neighbours, I guess you would like to have a tour of the Castle.” He took a large sip from his bottle of Vodka. “You see, people often wonder why we have such a huge estate. Well, when the wife misbehaves there are many rooms to hide away. Then, of course, the big garden and large conservatory are there for me to chase Jezzie around. We all trooped behind him holding our drinks as he proudly showed us round his castle. Right at the end of the main corridor was a statute that I didn’t recognise until I saw the elegant inscription, Hippocrates, the father of medicine.

“This is my great grand father,” he announced. “I can see the puzzle on your faces. Not in the literal sense. I mean, my professional father.”

And everybody laughed. Of course, I laughed too. But not for the same reason that the other people laughed. If he was the great grand son of Hippocrates, he sure missed out on the genes of this very respectable medical ancestor. The very founder of medical ethics. Primum non nocere!

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Men Are Wimps!

divinehopeMrs. Pearson had finished her shower and had got into her pyjamas when Angela got back home.

“Have you heard from Mark?” Her mother was direct. Angela had been hoping that it would be a brief check on her mother and a quick good night kiss. Her heart quickened as her brain struggled to find the right answer. In the end, she decided to be truthful. That was how she had brought her up. To tell the truth without mincing words.

“I phoned him just before coming here.”

“And?”

“Didn’t talk much. Only told him that I’m having my operation in the morning.”

“And what did he think?”

“Don’t know.” Angela scratched her head and stared into the blank. “It doesn’t matter anyway.”

“I’m sure he’s scared.” Her mother tried to make her understand.

“But he’s not acting like a man. Not a brave one anyway.” She brushed her hair backwards with her hand. “You see, Mama, when I got married to Mark I thought I got married to a real man. One with a heart big enough to harbour all my troubles and heavy shoulders to carry my burden. But sadly, all I’ve got now is a wimpish lamb.”

“Your husband loves you…”

“How can you say that after what he’s done?”

Her mother smiled and shook her head. “I know he loves you and I can assure you that he’s probably somewhere out there among his mates drinking his life out.”

“If he loved me he wouldn’t do that. You don’t hurt the person that you love,” she retorted.

“Sometimes your treasured possession has a stain but you still treasure it anyway. That’s exactly what love is. It is unconditional.”

“That’s my point. If he loved me it should be unconditional. That’s the point I am making. He doesn’t love the children either.”

“Don’t say things like that. Of course he loves you all. Think of the times that you have shared together. If you count the number of breeze and storms in your relationship as a family, it would surprise you how much love you have for one another.”

“Mama, I can’t believe that you’re supporting Mark’s reckless behaviour.”

“I am not supporting the way he has acted. Of course not.” She put her arm over her daughter’s shoulder. “But darling you are not living in the real world. Everything cannot be perfect. And don’t expect people to reason or behave in your own way. Sometimes someone that we love can disappoint us. Call them stupid, insensitive, lazy, or whatever. You see, people are different, but love is the same.”

Angela’s heart started to melt as she listened to her mother. She could now see the point her mother was making and she didn’t want to argue anymore. She lay down beside her mother and listened to her like a baby listening to her mother read a bedside storybook. She knew that her mother was always objective in her appraisal of things and she was always practical. Angela always counted herself lucky for having a mother like her.

“I don’t want you to be too disturbed. You see, it may look to you like he doesn’t care. I am sure he does. And he loves you. But he is a man. That’s the problem.”

“I don’t understand that, Ma’am.” Angela’s eyes opened like an oyster.

Her mother cleared her throat. “You see, men are not as tough as they look. You go to the labour room and look at the faces of those husbands when their wives are having babies. If God was to change his mind and make men have babies, the midwives would have no jobs.” Both women laughed hysterically. “That, my dear, is what men are. Wimps.” She mopped the tears from the corner of Angela’s eyes.

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Ode to my Father

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High Chief Simeon Omoyoju Ikuenogbon

The Agbidi of Apoiland

Into the Gbaijo clan you were born.
Son of the great Agbidi,
Son of Ijaye,
Son of Ikuenogbon.

Into that tiny island you were born,
On the bank of River Oluwa,
A tributary of the Niger,
Little village with great people.

You were called to serve your people,
And that you did very well.
Love, peace and harmony you preached.
Honesty and unity you gave to your people.

You taught me to honour my seniors and respect my juniors.
I did and it has worked.

You taught me to put my best ability into everything that I do.
I did and it has worked.

You taught me to believe in myself and never feel inferior to anyone.
I did and it has worked.

You taught me to make peace wherever I go.
I did and it has worked.

You taught me to love my family.
I did and it has worked.

You taught me to put God first in everything that I do.
I did and it has worked.

You taught me to uphold the principles of integrity, culture and industry.
I did and it has worked.

You taught me to give generously and share God’s blessings with people.
I obeyed and it has worked.

You taught me to endure every situation and not to give up.
I did and it has worked.

Baba Agbidi, I give you my Oshunshun
Omo Agbidi
Omo Ijaye
Omo Ikuenogbon
Omo Gbabijo lokele
E ma yanmo Gbabijo je
Eni yanmo Gbabijo je on fe wahala
Alagbara okunrin
Ogbon inu
Onisuru ti nfunyon kiniun

My beloved father

 Rest in God’s own perfect peace