When prayers no longer work
With Sunmola Olowookere
Could there ever be a bad mother? Mothers are important fixtures in children’s lives. Afterall, they carried the fetus in their wombs for nine months or more before going through grueling labour in order to bring them to this world.
However, there are bad mothers as it is evident in the case of a woman in our neighbourhood. The health of her children seems not to matter to her
She neglected the health of her son and when the boy became ravaged by illness and his life slowly ebbed from him, she had begun to pray and petition God to return life back inside her son.
She is of Igbo descent and she sells fufu. Her husband is a pastor and they hold prayer conferences in their home. The husband is a fiery prayer warrior and they often hold crusades in the front of their house.
They have six children in their marraige. However, the sad part of it is that the children lacked good parental care. oftentimes, they look emaciated. They roam the streets like stray cats whenever their mother goes hawking, Their father was busy with the work of his ministry as he was invited to several church programmes.
When one of their children became sick and feverish, the mother took him to the neighbourhood drug store and the owner prescribed series of Antibiotics for him. The drugs were worth three thousand naira.
The mother took him home and began to administer those drugs to him. After one week, there was still no improvement and she took him back to the drug store. And the owner rather than tell the woman to take her son to the hospital, chose to administer stronger antibiotics and malaria drugs on the child.
The mother bought those drugs again, almost two thousand naira worth By then, the poor boy was looking emaciated but she, in her wisdom, advised against giving him any blood tonic so that the antibiotics could work better.
Rather than get better, the boy wasted away and any strong wind could easily blow him away as he walked on shaky legs.
Discerning mothers in the neighbourhood called her aside and told her he was suffering from jaundice and not malaria fever.
Some even advised her to collect dry pawpaw leaves to cook, as concoction for the boy with the claim that it would flush out the jaundice from his body.
She was disbelieving as she wondered out aloud “jaundice? How can it be jaundice?”
One of them insisted “its jaundice and its better you take care of him on time. Can’t you see that he is pale? Can’t you see his yellow eyes?”
The sick boy cried piteously as he bled from his bruised lips. Even as he whimpered, he still bit his lips with his teeth. He was wavering as he stood holding on to his mother’s wrapper.
She tapped his lips while rebuking him sharply. “Stop biting your lips”. The women looked at her sharply as she smacked the already sick child.
Another one attacked her ” why are you beating him? You are going about your business as you please, while you leave him by himself. Why will he not wound himself?” They looked angrily at her.
She had to tactically excuse herself if only for them to get off her case.
However, whether she did as she was told, no one could say as the boy gave up the ghost four days later.
It was a terrible day as the boy’s situation worsened overnight and he died. The parents began to pray and speak in tongue for hours, pleading with God to wake him from dead as he did with Lazarus. Yet, there was no change.
After almost five hours of religious exercise, residents had begun to console them to accept their fate and let the poor boy rest.
The time for prayers had passed. God cannot be mocked, the other women in the neighbourhood reasoned. Most of them had no sympathy for her. “She killed her son with her hands”, they accused.
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