I’m not a good friend of war, but my father witness many of them. He was just a man that wanted peace but he wasn’t afraid to be part of the war, the war we fought against ourselves, the war that claimed so many lives, the war that hurt and divide our love for each other, the war that is still hurting us till today.
My father always believed that we love fighting among ourselves but when it comes to defending our people against foreign foes our warriors are always handicap.
Like in the case of Bakasi, so much was lost, our neighbor lost everything and literally becomes a beggar just for the sake of peace.
“No price is too much to pay for peace, but when you remember that there is no place like home, you will know that people like our neighbor Bassey will never forget what happened in that Land called Bakasi.”
His voice was calm, he lean towards me and put his hands on my shoulder “this story is not about war, but something more, a language I want you to learn, the language of July” his face went blank…
When things started falling apart here, he had warned me. He told me about the economy, he defined recession, he even introduced measures that would guide us through the dangerous period.
“Things wasn’t meant to be like this” His words force the rain to shower, my silence whisper a song to the wind, our World was turning around us in a speed too great for us to control.
“What is going on? ” My mouth struggle to speak.
” Nature is so good to us, you see my son, the rain, the wind has their own part to play, nobody is left out, we must do our best ”
In that moment, I remembered my grandfather and the love that revolve in our community when he was still with us.
I remembered the moonlight story series, the tales, the stories and the lessons.
I remembered the voices you would hear from every home during moonlight ” Story! Story!!” it was always a wonderful period where families would gathered and the eldest will share great and ancient stories then at the end questions and lesson will be shared.
“We’ve gone a long way” he reminded me “but all hope is not lost” Abel Udoekene was my father, if you can recognize the name very well, you will notice that I am also Abel Udoekene, How can I be the Father and also be the son? You may wonder. It not hard to know the answer, but I just realized I need to tell you the story someday (very soon).
“In this country, if you need anything, you need to use force, that’s why you see militancy, radicals, protest, strike and also sort of things, but I don’t want you to follow that part”
He paused for a moment.
“I know you will want to be President, you will want to help, you will want to end poverty, you will want to end hunger and unemployment, I know all this because you are my son, but before you do, make sure you learn the Language of July ”
Not many men could age as beautifully as my father, he was calm, generous, loving and very strict.
When he first mentioned the Language of July, I thought he was referring to our Birth month, because I was born in the month of July, so was my Junior brother, Mfon, so was my grand father and my great grand father.
“We are the family of July, we are the family of Thanksgiving” At first I didn’t understand what he meant, I was confused by his choice of words, but when I look back I remember the language of gratitude, the secret of who we were, the reason we should always be thankful, I broke down in tears and watched as the sun smile down on us.
He was right. We need to be grateful. Don’t forget the Language of July.