Archive for Y.S-H

époque.

Posted in Mandarin Musings with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 22, 2013 by O.S-Hughes

Lagos living Today, some 50 odd years ago, a great man was shot dead.  Another great man & prolific writer died. As a Kennedy and an almost C.S Lewis  aficionado, I join the rest of the world as we remember two greats JFK and C.S Lewis.

Since I last wrote, it seems the thought of death hasn’t been far from my conscious mind and it’s almost as though the moment my heart begins to heal and focus on other themes, another person exits the scene and yet again death is brought back to the fore.

It is a universal truth that death will come. It is the “how” and the “when” that most people are unsure of.

If you got the chance to view my mental pin board, you would see in my mind, clippings from various magazines, ideas I’m still to birth, places I’d love to visit and people I’ve been inspired by and would love to meet. Near the top left corner of the board you would see pictures of two inspiring people: Chinua Achebe and Margaret Thatcher [ Random fact: Iron Lady, resigned her post as Prime Minister on this day , 23 years ago.] . These people excelled in their chosen fields, the stories of their countries cannot be told without the parts they played. Their deaths did not come as a total shock only because these greats were already in their vintage years. However, no matter how old a person gets, it’s always sad to see a loved one go. I was even more sad, because I never got a chance to meet these greats.

There are those deaths that  creep up on you, the ones we least expect. June came and I received word of Aunt Bea. Where do I begin Aunt Bea’s story, do I start with her sense of style,  or how she could expertly  turn any frown into an instant smile, there was never a dull moment with her. Few people have a heart of gold forever putting others before them. Aunt Bea was one of such people, she lead a life of service. She was passionate about Jesus and sang beautifully.    Aunt Bea was a hard worker and one day collapsed whilst at work. When she was revived she got ten days off work to ensure she was back at optimum before she resumed. Just before she was to resume work, she went to church dressed as elegantly as usual  but this time with extra umph. She looked so radiant and each step she took you could tell that this was someone busting at her seams with gratitude to God for His mercy. He had sustained her and given her a new lease of life. As she took the stage with her family, smiling from ear to ear, she  said she had fifteen songs to accompany her testimony but because of time she’ll cut it short. As she began to sing there was a loud bang, it took a few seconds  for all to realized the sound was from the microphone falling from Aunt Bea’s hand as she fell into a comatose state. Her last acts on earth would be to begin a testimony of God’s goodness to her.  As I sat at the wake keep ceremony and watched on a screen the last minutes of her life replayed for all to see, I began to wonder about my life and what would happen, if  I died that very moment. What will my maker say to me? Would He be pleased? would I have achieved the purpose for which I was created? I sat there and listened to the accolades that poured out, Aunt Bea was the same at church and at work, bubbly and full of life. She had a regular 8-5 whose closing time almost always exceeded 5 and sometimes ran into late hours of the night. Yet she found time to lead the choir and the women’s fellowship. One question popped up in my heart , What excuse would you give God for not devoting more time to doing His will?  I thought of a few, but none of them held water. I came away feeling ashamed. Aunt Bea’s sun had set and this was a timely reminder for me that  one day my sun will set too.  The words of John 9; 4b  ring so trueee “Night is coming, when no man can work.”

In mid July while I was still taking in Aunt Bea’s passing and chiding  myself for not giving enough of my talent, myself and my time to others. I heard Aunt Yebode had gone too. I was in complete shock, there are no words to describe the feeling, she was beautiful inside and out. One afternoon, I bumped into Bola Krafts’s post talking about THE First Bola Krafts Cares Project. How she knitted the most adorable items for babies in intensive care,you can tell from the pictures that all items were done with love. [from what I could see she also has an 8 to 5]   for details of the first Bola Krafts Cares project click here    http://bolakrafts.blogspot.com/2013/04/bola-krafts-cares-is-here.html   and here http://bolakrafts.blogspot.com/2013/05/bola-krafts-cares-project-drop-off.html. Classic example of using her talent to bring smiles to the faces of others.

August and September went by like a blur. There’s a certain aliment that often plagues me and during this period the episodes of this aliment occurred more frequently than ever, I had to be hospitalized for a few hours on two different occasions to get me back on track.  One September morning a few sick leaves later, I was on the way to work, when news of Oyewunmi filtered in. I was not close to her, but I always saw her at family functions and we would greet cordially and play catch up. Hearing that a familiar face had just died from an aliment that plagues you can send you spiraling out of control. I was lost in thought too many times , thoughts like, “that could have been me” popped up without invitation, they were always lurking…

Some of you may remember my previous post September https://coraldrapings.wordpress.com/2012/10/10/september/. This September was a little intense than others. I missed him more than ever.

October came and brought with it a sense of peace and hope, I had been given another chance. I remember two Octobers ago I was petrified at the thought of adding another year, because to me my life was not where I thought it should be and things were not  going according to my plan. Lets just say that this year I had on a quilt of peace, no anxiety as to what stage I am at or whats not happening yet.

This peace came from the understanding that ALL things [ every single thing that happens to me] will work together for my good.- Romans 8;28. When doubt tries to rear its head, my heart whispers the words of  Jeremiah 29:11    “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, they are  thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” I’m learning to Let Go! it’s quite hard, especially because there were certain  things I had already envisioned and  had no doubt in my mind they would fall through the way I had planned and hoped.

November always brings with it newness. I think of November as my new year, I particularly reflect and identify the areas in my life that need a positive change. I set a few goals at the beginning of the month and I’m hoping I stay consistent till the end.

Aunt Bea and Bola Krafts have jointly inspired me to find my talent and give more.  I also realize giving is not limited to money or gifts., these are easy to give and sometimes require no extra thought or effort. A person can give of their time and of their essence , take a few more minutes to decide what gift will greatly benefit your intended recipient . Another Season of Love is almost upon us, Lets remember to give more as we also put extra thought to the reason for this season.

My prayer is that when I stand before my Maker I would have used up all the talent deposited in me.

Speak soon.

Mille Bisous!

O.S-H

Photograpy by Lumi Morgan

T R A D I T I O N !

Posted in Cinnamon Coated with tags , , , , , , on January 7, 2013 by O.S-Hughes

LuMi® being  LUMI™_ Lagos

Keresimesi odun de O!!!

I feel like I must apologize for taking a hiatus without a word, I was here all along but the Publish button and I got into a big row. She threaten to expose my deepest secrets.

Do forgive  my seeming  absence..

Thank You to all who have been here through out the year 2012, especially you. Here’s a Toast to a most Splendid 2013!!!! May it be a Beautiful Surprise for you & yours.

Beneath is something I wrote on the 28th of December 2012 but posted privately. Enjoy!

Christmas was the most amazing time of the year for me and I remembered that today while chatting to my “special”  dear friend Tks . We talked about how he instituted a new Christmas Tradition for he and his family, one that  he’d love to sustain in the years to come. Our chat sent me down memory lane… the Christmas traditions of my lovely Grandma Arinola, where all her children and grandchildren would travel to her home in the country to spend Boxing Day.  It usually played out like the American Thanksgiving lunch but with a twist. Each grandchild from youngest to the oldest had to perform a special song or put on a rendition for Maami. I am number three from the rear of twenty-seven grandbabies!  It was a fairly large audience, depending on attendance; we would often number as many as forty. Weeks before I and all my cousins would fritter back and forth, rehearsing, practicing, perfecting.  Weeks of practice however did little to assuage the anxiety. I remember the frenzy and the nerves, even though it was mostly just family, you knew at the back of your mind you didn’t want to give a performance that would leave a bad taste. Then of course there was Mobolaji, crowd favorite and bloody show off with his guitar and silky smooth voice that always wowed!

 

Another Tradition I fondly remembered was the Tri Family Christmas recital. You see I played the piano as a child and took lessons at Isha’s house. Throughout the year, our teacher Mr Kosoko, taught the children from the houses of  Seni- Hughes, Maceo & Odutola select pieces from the legendary greats, Chopin, Handel, and Strauss. To show our family how much we had learnt and grown. Mr Kosoko instituted the Christmas Recital and here we got together to present piano renditions of our most loved Christmas carols. It was a time to bond over good food sing along to joyous carols and listen to classical piano pieces.

 { probably the most random fact… but Chopin died on the date a Gem would be born! Long after his passing.}

At our home, we have a little Christmas ritual but it’s the one on New Year’s Day that excited me most. As the clocks approached 12, and the new year neared we would share a succinct prayer lead by Y.S.H. after which a bottle of bubbly would be popped devour of fuss and fanfare followed by a simple toast, to life, health and family.  It is this ritual that was handed down to Y.S.H by his own father. If you guessed that I was excited most about the bubbly, then you guessed right!

 [ Veuve Clicquot ~ Courtesy  BN & JA  CoralDrapingswordpress]

As the New Year is almost upon us, I sit here wondering what traditions I will share with my darlings

” Arinola, Adunola ,Anjola & their Father ………, “

Would it  be a mixed pot of my present family traditions (of course with our own personal stamp on it) or would we create something new for ourselves?

In all of this I know I want to show and teach them to be content with a little or a lot, how to abase and abound, how to feast as well as fast! 

Till we chat again

Bisous!

O.S-H

Photography  ~ Lumi Morgan  &  Jide Alakija 

September!

Posted in Mandarin Musings with tags , , , , , , on October 10, 2012 by O.S-Hughes

Every September since the late 90’s has been bitter-sweet.

This year, I chose to dwell on the positives and not question my reality, believing that ALL things work together for my good (Rom 8:28). This statement is all-inclusive – it’s not restricted to just the good things. It is often hard to accept that tragedies that bring grief can eventually work out for our good.

I agree with Miss Adebayo of  ” Half of A Yellow Sun”:

“Grief is the celebration of love, those who feel real grief were lucky to have loved.”

I’m still learning daily to accept that the only man I’ve truly loved without reservation will not be coming back. My tears flow, my pain is deeper than you see, and the flowers I left on his headdress have long withered.

The soothing, almost haunting sound of Emeli Sande’s rendition of “Abide with Me”  reminds me of the chilly autumn weekend in Minnesota before he left. I woke up with the rhythm of this hymn playing in my subconscious. I sang the tune for Mobolaji and asked what occasion the hymn was usually sung at, refusing to accept the thoughts already forming in my head. He chastised me and spoke as every superhero brother would, “Its nothing to scare yourself and IGP over. All will be right with our world again. Fret not!”

The passage of time has made me somewhat of an expert in masking my pain. The idea that time heals all things is alien to me because it still hurts just like it did bright and early on Tuesday a few  years ago, I haven’t recovered and I hope that I never will because  recovery for me sounds more like forgetting – I have no desire to forget. I want to hear his voice talking in my head. I want something he said or did to l pop up in my spirit and cause me to giggle inside of myself as if we were sitting and chatting.

On one sunny day years ago, I had the desire to go on a trip so I spoke to Oyins, my ange gardien at the time (see Out of Sorts!!!!!!!!!!!!), and she said the trip was unnecessary.        I was furious. So, I called Y.S-H and demanded to be allowed to go on the trip because I had been the model “daughter”. To buttress my point, I cited examples of what other kids we knew were doing. I pointed out that I wasn’t like them and we both knew I could go on this trip and nobody will know about it. He waited for me to quite down, then he said,
“You cannot use the fact that we’ve said No to you as a Basis/Excuse to Change Who You’ve Been (Are).

You cannot  let other people’s action  to whatever  situation you face determine your response or reaction.”

This is the legacy of Y.S-H and throughout the month of September, this principle guided my actions.
 I’m finding that the ones we really love may leave us but their legacies are forever etched within us.
All I ask is that He Abides with me always!
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Photograpy by Lumi Morgan

Tu Me Manques Beaucoup!

Posted in Mandarin Musings with tags , on May 11, 2012 by O.S-Hughes

Every day I miss my father and on Wednesday 25th April 2012  I missed him more than ever. My team Real Madrid played Bayern Munich…   if   you  know me well, then you’ll know that the two men responsible for making football pique my interest are  My father Y. Babasanya Seni-Hughes [Y. S-H] a dedicated sports man and I dear say one of  the best there ever will be. He was also very passionate.  His  day was never complete without  several mugs of  tea especially green tea.. The other man is Jose Mourinho the best coach in the world.

 

My friend W and I decided to watch the Real Madrid match together. We were famished so while we waited for the match to start we chowed down rice with a dash of beans and pepper sauce from Chicken Republic. Afterwards It got a bit chilly outside W offered me a cup of  Starbucks Tazo® Green Ginger tea. Its  a dazzling blend of green teas with sweet spicy ginger and a touch of pear essence… I was reluctant at first but I can safely say I’m well on my way to becoming an addict. .

That night my heart broke all over again. W could see I became a little distant but I couldn’t explain the mood I was in..  It was a mixture of brokenness and expectation that my dear Jose will make history and win the champions league with a 3rd team.  

 

I sat there not being completely there lost in my reverie, I could picture my dad & I watching this epic match together and analysing it. Suggesting things Jose could have done to ensure that they won begging the players not to put to much pressure on themselves but to have fun with it and relax.  I sat there wondering why it taken me this long to get into the nitty gritty and not channel my energy to just one aspect of football but to enjoy it in its entirety..

 

I remember my early days after my initiation  into  the world of football, my dad called me to his beside at Royal Marsden Hospital, to show me the Newspaper Headline annoncing Jose’s departure from Chelsea, it was a sad day, but he consoled me saying José Mourinho‘s  leaving Chelsea wouldn’t deter his greatness.

The truth is this we never know how blessed we are until we get a chance to view the situation with hindsight. I can proudly say YSH and I had the best of relationships there’s nothing we didn’t talk about. Oh!  for an opportunity to talk to you again,

I’ll tell you IGP isn’t doing badly but she misses the love of her life and her other best friend besides you terribly.

I’ll tell you about my new job, My new boss, the aspirations of my heart, my renewed love for good food learning to make the meals I love.. ,

my new found deeper understanding of God’s Word i.e  “The Birthing Isaac Series” , [ if you are my friend and I haven’t given this series to you, please ask me for it]

We’ll gist about the men who have been/ or are in my life presently.

I’ll ask for your advice on everything….

By the way ASH  & BSH are doing fine and they miss you too

Sigh so so much to tell you…

Beneath is a poem my friend Aduke wrote

The rain is heavy and the wind is wild

Rose petals lay across what is left of you

We are wearing your favourite colour green

Everyone is crying

I am counting numbers in my head hoping to wake up from this DREAM

The man that held me as life was given to me

The man that never saw a flaw in me

Constantly cheering me on

My biggest Fan

The man that called me his One & only

The man that comforted me like no other could

That is not the man that lays in the grave

I am counting numbers in my head hoping to wake you from this DREAM

They want me to say something about you

They want me to say Good-bye

The crowd is waiting for me to speak

I cannot find the words,

As my heart breaks all over again

Everyone keeps hugging me and asking me to be strong

No grave deep enough, No coffin strong enough, No reality real enough, No pain extreme enough to make me accept that the one I once held and loved is too far for me to reach.

There is so much left to do papa

Will you not wake up and walk me down the aisle

Will you not dance with me?

Will you not be there when I fall?

Papa will you not wake up and let us play.

Drink green tea, eat our much-loved salad & do all our other favourite things.

Papa don’t just lay there in silence

Papa please wake up and let us play catch up.

No you haven’t left, I tell myself daily.

I will speak of you like you are just on vacation,

A place I have no visa to travel too

I am counting numbers in my head hoping to wake up from this DREAM

Written by Aduke & edited by Olatanwa

October 20, 2010

A c t i n g

Posted in Cinnamon Coated with tags , , , , , , on February 11, 2012 by O.S-Hughes

 

Its well over a week since I’ve spoken with you. A few things have happened aside the silent storm raging in my heart ( don’t ask yet as The Storm is Still Raging, funny how lots of unrelated things can happen side by side ). I arrived my destination in the late hours of the evening, welcomed with Olurotimi’s weak response to my greeting.   I didn’t know it was this bad. You see, my Olurotimi is as bubbly  as champagne, she is never this quiet as she is the life of the party whose warmth & radiance draws everyone in its path like magnet . By morning she became even worse still, prompting us to take action. Fast forward to hours later, a dozen visitors have come and gone and  the infusion has been set and is passing its content in a drip-drop-drip-drop manner to its recipient Ms Olurotimi,  the only  other sound piercing the silence  is the  fuzzy Yoruba dialogue  coming from the nurses station, as they mused about this one patient that has brought the whole world to their seemingly nondescript hospital.. Hospitals aren’t alien to me, I know how most of them function  from Africa to Europe even America but that’s story for another day… I prepared  my mind to sleep over but the nurses wouldn’t have any of that saying ” please  be  advised visiting hours officially ends at 10 pm”

Cue in a new day, my knowledge of other hospitals has clouded my better judgement. Did I think I was back at Mayo Clinic? where most of the nurses are so friendly and warm handing out hot blankets even offering coffee  as if one was also a patient there .

I got called out by a cousin of mine for not packing adequately & anticipating Olurotimi’s needs, as far I knew these things were provided by the hospital. As much as I was mildly irritated, I grew a pair & swallowed my corrections like a pill and ran with it. Enter Acting-Mummy-Hughes, seeing to it that darling Olurotimi was properly taken care of, learning the art of coaxing an unwilling patient to eat. Even rising early to leave the house  before the environmental sanitation started just so she got her food in time… Keeping the communication lines open  so all stakeholders are abreast of Olurotimi’s progress. You should hear me. I almost sound as good as them doctors schooling our family members on the multiple infections Olurotimi had ( tonsillitis, chest infection & H.pylori in the stomach) . I assume  its good practice for when my kids show up . The thing about this is how you learn to put another person’s needs before yours learning to show genuine concern…  Now I look forward to meeting my triplets   Arinola, Adunola & Anjola and not putting the cart before the horse , as this is the Month of Love.I  look forward to meeting their father, or maybe we’ve met…Je ne sais pas… Coincidentally its also the same month I was conceived [Don’t gimme that look, Its a good nine months between February & October full stop!]

After a week and some at the hospital, a minor medical procedure ,  20 injections, 10 infusions, a million tablets, 4dozen bottles of ribena, 12 snails, freshly squeezed watermelon & pineapple juice, a mixture of croissants,chocolate strawberry & cheese cakes,varied selection of biscuits and not forgetting Olurotimi’s favorite  “Haribos” . A healthy dose of cajoling and coaxing her to eat some of her dreaded meals Ogi & Oats…

Olurotimi is back home threatening our collective sanity with her desire to quit her day job to study Drama at JULIARD !

Oh & guess what I finally  got a copy of a Bereolaesque .  Sadly I can’t give u a review yet as I have been so busy with my role as acting-mother I haven’t read past the first few pages.

Here’s to a Healthy Weekend…

Mille Bisous

Olatanwa Seni-Hughes

[  Excited dance people!  Sehindemi is finally putting pen to paper…watch out for a Valentine’s post from him ]

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