By Sunmola Olowookere
Today’s edition of the “Stories that touch the heart” titled “Regrets at sunset” is a narrative of the repercussions of a reckless youth and the attendant effects and the craving of an old man to have restored to him what he dropped off way back when he was still agile.
In this edition, a man who got married at a very young age soon got tired of the union after four kids and the responsibility attached to training them and building a young marriage alongside his career soon weighed him down.
He was not alone in the struggle. The responsibility of pregnancy and nursing four kids which they had in quick succession also took its toll on the wife’s body, career, productivity and personality.
It separated them though they lived under the same roof as the man believed that caring for children was the sole responsibility of a mother while the father only needs to supply the money for upkeep.
Eventually, it also dampened the love and ardour between him and his wife. Seeking each other’s arms for solace eventually became a rarity as the years rolled by.
The woman was always too tired and whinny. She was becoming unattractive to him with her straggling hair, stained clothes and nagging attitude. After all, motherhood had taken its toll.
At a stage, he looked outside his encampment and saw a whole different world. His career was in good order by then so he felt no harm in having an affair.
Looking outside his matrimonial home and deciding that the grass on the other side was greener, he left his family and began to build another family.
Now, so much water has run under the bridge. In twilight of his years, he became lonely and needed companionship, but his family has grown apart from him.
His major need now is how to win them back…. Can times gone past be recaptured?
W illiams sat on an armchair under a cashew tree in front of his house. The atmosphere was breezy just how he likes it. He has a small blanket thrown across his knee to ward off insects that might bite him and also provide some warmth in case it got chilly later.
There was no visitor today, he thought to himself. None of his old cronies in the neighborhood came visiting.
He had a small transistor radio by his side.
Though the house was empty and silent but for the soft music playing from the radio, it still reechoed with the playful bantering of happy children in his mind.
How the time flies! Presently all his children had flown the nest. It was just like yesterday when they were schoolboys and schoolgirls that needed help with their home works.
He smiled to himself as he recalled his children’s naughty antics which had irked him then when they were still young and underfoot.
Whenever their antics got too much, he would take the cane and discipline them. Now he was happy to see how strong and grounded they were.
They were all grown and tendering to their families. Though a maid was employed to see to his needs but she leaves every evening and comes back in the morning, still he missed his family.
He wished that his wife was also there but she had health challenges and the children were very adamant that she needs expert and constant care hence she spent almost half of the year with the son living abroad.
When she was back, she would make the visits to the other children’s home too to check on their well being before coming home, only for the same routine to start the following year.
He sighed heavily, he was alone with only his memory and thoughts for company. What he had tried to avoid was now around to haunt him; loneliness in old age.
At this point, Pa Williams was seventy years old and he looks very fit for his age. However, he had aged in his heart and was tired of it all. Now he desires peace and quiet. He craves the mature companionship of his wife.
He wished his children would love him as they love their mother and show him the same attentive devotion they show to their mother. He had come to realize now that it was a tall order which might never be realizable. They had grown apart from him when he was not there and their mother had filled the gap by becoming both their father and mother in his absence.
He wished at times that they will come visiting. He missed them so much. At times when he sees their children on social media looking like them in their younger years, his heart would constrict with longing and regrets.
How the years had flown, it was as if they were growing up again. The only difference was that he felt a special tenderness for this young sprouts than he did for their parents when they were growing.
So many wishes… He sighed heavily again as he wondered how things degenerated to that point and he could no longer get back the children he lost.
Was I that terrible and uncaring towards my family? but I still provided for their needs, he thought in an attempt at self justification.
Alone in his thoughts, the memories of the past years rolled by in his heart. It was just like yesterday when he married Adebimpe.
Leave a Reply