Today would be Adrian’s 60th birthday. He died 22 years ago. Being an alcoholic and a womaniser is rarely a good recipe to living for a long time.
All the same, I really thank God for Adrian because I learnt the following lessons from him:
- I learnt what love meant. Love is when a mother doesn’t buy anything for herself for over 10 years. She only buys new clothes when the ones she is wearing get torn and new shoes when her old ones cannot be repaired one more time. Love is when a mother gives up all forms of luxury, despite having a great career in a respectable profession, so that her children can get to enjoy life and have the things she didn’t have when she was growing up.
- Being a Christian. Being a Christian means that you forgive your husband 490 times EVERY SINGLE DAY. Especially on the days when you come home to find household things are missing – table clothes, outfits, kitchen equipment, etc – that your husband sold so that he can fuel his addiction to alcohol. Being a Christian also means praying for this same husband every single night and making sure that your children respect their father.
- Importance of family. Family is there to run after a barmaid who is carrying away the family tv so that she can sell it and pay for the bill that a family member didn’t pay for the night before. Family will not judge when you have to hide coins and notes in the folds of a sofa set so that one person doesn’t drink up all the savings. Family will also come together when there is no househelp and the babies nappies need to be washed. Family can stand together and win against anything the world throws at them!
- Sisters are the best gift from God. You don’t choose them but you grow to love them more and more once you know them, especially when you have to tough it out during the hard times. They are not always the best during their teenage years but they become better with age. You can share your life’s dreams, miseries, hopes and thoughts with a sister and she will always be there for you. Even if she laughs at you when you wear sport shoes, long socks and shorts. 🙂
- Your words are powerful. What you say makes who you are. So I have to be careful about what I say. My words make my future. Adrian was known to say that he would like to die when he was still young, with his good looks still intact. God granted him his wish but took away the looking good part in the end. It wasn’t a pretty sight.
- We impact other people by our actions. This life we live has a ripple effect to everyone who knows us now and will know us later. There are people I interact with now who are being affected by how I perceived Adrian’s profession, community and lifestyle. It doesn’t end when you die.