The Illusion of Memories Excerpts from Sega Awosanya's "Lessons from my Mother" - @segalink

Sometimes we come to a point in the historical development of our way of life where we remember too much and nothing is new to us anymor...

Sometimes we come to a point in the historical development of our way of life where we remember too much and nothing is new to us anymore. It is a paradox often termed by great philosophers as going through the motions. It is the same as writing on the blackboard and cleaning it off just to write on it again. It is an echo (memory) simultaneously telling us we exist simply to trap us in that cyclical motion. This is what we sometimes call life while we fail to enjoy it.

As a kid in my elementary school I pretty much kept to my self a lot but absorb knowledge and took note of hurts like a sponge. Elders are often bewildered at the amount of information I can recollect at a point in my life that I was deemed too naive to know or comprehend. But unlike every other child, I process information instead of storing them as raw. I learnt from them and filed the inferences rather than the raw data.

I knew quite well about the mystery of my mother's sudden change in status from a societal woman in the Lagos of the late 70s/early80s (as a home engineer, teacher and cosmetics dealer with PZ) to a trader, church leader and home engineer while shedding off the weight and pressures from her friends who partied like rockstars and invested only in properties, while their children languish in illiteracy. Her dwindling jewelries, expensive head ties and party attires soon became our certificates and self discovery in various fields of endeavor.

It wasn't easy for me I must say, living with a mother who talks to you like her peers at 4. In her most vulnerable moments she told of her sacrifices and the fact that she felt incapacitated knowing that she may not be able to do all that she dreamt for me her last born. There may be nothing more left for me to sell she told, looking into my innocent eyes. As far as she was concerned she was musing to herself...what does a child know? My siblings were off to school scattered across western Nigeria, and I spent most of 1980 with my mum (in retirement) at our new base having moved from Shagbemi Street, in Isale Eko LGA of Lagos Island where I was born.

The sight of other kids going to school in brightly colored uniforms never cease to challenge me as those uncertain musings of my mum kept reaffirming the possibility of being home-schooled. I could read very well as taught by my mum and I could draw quite well too, as taught by my "ghostmoding" superstar executive civil service dad. So I comforted myself with the thought that I could do on my own what others at my age had to go to school for, with my head stuck in the railing bars of the balcony of our "face me I slap you" 2-Storey building on Olatunji street in Ojota.

It took some convincing before my mother eventually allowed me start nursery school in 1981. I was fully ready for the society without any ambivalence towards culture and social hypnosis. I was bred not to allow externalities corrode my being as raised, although shielded from the axiomatic beliefs that suffering builds character as well as other ultimate penitentials of philosophy. In other words, I stood tall even in my pint sized frame of an adorable, too good to be true features, as seen in modern day life sized toys.

The entire community knew my mum by some stroke of providence. It's either she taught the teachers once or her accomplishments while teaching in Ereko Methodist School preceded her. This created some caution around me by some teachers and I was quickly tagged "Omo mummy teacher" loosely translated as the respectable retired teacher's son. Bullies were warned to steer clear of my path as I was tutored through a hitch free year without incidence. My promotions were rapid as I breezed through two classes in a single year. "The boy is more than ready" they said "there's no point wasting his time". I don't know if these words were uttered to remove the dark cloud of my mum's impending nemesis on the teachers who felt judged by her already or for the actual fact that school was beginning to bore me, having learnt all they have to offer years before.

Many years have gone by and this boy never seem to disappoint, his position as the first in his class never seem to shake she thought. Could it be that everyone in his school was daft or he actually was that good? My mother hardly knew how to manage helpless situation as she almost always find unprecedented alternatives. But I can’t forget how she burst into tears when I finally got my admission into Yaba College of Technology after waiting for Medicine for four years on her request. She was already strained and wondered how she would be able to fund this. For the first time, I assured her I will be fine, the four years of waiting prepared me for the real world, “I can fend for myself and even start a family” I said to her…she smiled in the midst of her tears. “Those who made you Head Boy in your grade school and Senior Prefect in your High School must have seen something in you that I was too afraid to admit” she said. “I hope one day you will understand why I did all I had to do to prepare you for the world.” I will never forget these words. Regardless of what the picture may seem to anyone, my mum wasn’t shattered; to me, she was a mosaic of the battles she has won.

Tragedies will always be found in the things we love and if we are not willing to see the beauty in losing something that means the world to us, then imagine how terrible it will be to live for them. We must always welcome the end of all things, for sometimes, knowing nothing lasts forever, is the only way we can learn to fall in love with all the moments and all the people that are meant to take our breathe away.

The Illusion of Memories Excerpts from Sega Awosanya's "Lessons from my Mother"


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