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2014 Gone; 2015 here

2014 Gone; 2015 here

The year 2014 is gone with all its good, bad and ugly issues.  Happy New Year!!! This year is our year!  All the arrears we have in respect of unaccomplished plans of 2014 will be accomplished. Our hopes are high. It shall be well with us.  2015, here we come!


After church service on Sunday, a friend walked up to me with an issue on his mind.  He sounded very low and depressed.  Before he stated his case, he said, “Antie Ablah, if Pearl enters this New Year with this kind of attitude, I’m afraid our marriage won’t go far.  I am damn shocked!” 

“Opoku, why? Don’t be so bitter. By the way, where is she?” I asked, referring to his wife.  I wanted to make sure she was out of the way so he could tell me all that was on his mind and in his heart.  The wounded heart needed healing desperately. 

Signaling in the direction of his wife, he said, “Over there, holding a meeting with the Women’s Fellowship leader”.  Then he made a face and said, “Madam Holy”.  I found a few words to calm him down.  That made him to start talking.

“Antie Ablah, I felt like a fool when Pastor and his wife thanked me profusely after service today, for all the nice things we brought them.  I didn’t have a clue Pearl had sent them anything.  She didn’t tell me about it either.  

Pastor’s wife thanked me for the shirts, two large towels, kitchen napkins and singlets.  She said it was as if we knew what they had been praying for.  She said what blew her mind was the amount in the envelope that came with our hamper – two hundred Ghana cedis.  I felt like a fool, smiling and accepting the glory.  I didn’t know anything about the hamper".  

My initial expression? Surprise! Which man wouldn’t be happy to have his wife organize such a gesture on their behalf?  “Ohoo, Opoku, is this why you are all gloomy as if you have just received some bad news? This is glorifying?  Showing kindness to a cleric and his wife is one of the best things anyone could do”.

 Looking straight into my face, he shook his head and said, “Antie, you don’t understand.  This is the same person who said she didn’t even have money to support me during this festive season to buy things to send to our parents.  I had to borrow money from one of my close friends in the office to assuage the disgrace which would have befallen me if I hadn’t bought the ceremonial rice, oil, goat and the usual things we send to our parents at the end of each year”.

“But were you not paid last month and this month, my brother? At least I know the December salaries are paid early to enhance good spending. Why don't you have any money on you? You seem to want absolute support from your wife”.  I said. 

“Antie Ablah, I had to pay for my professional exams early this month in pound sterling.  I therefore had to convert the available cedis for the purpose.  This is the last stage of the exam and I had to pay by all means. Antie, you know how I need to complete this course badly. Pearl threatened she wasn’t going to support me if I didn’t brace myself up for the Christmas challenge ahead.  

“She swore that she didn’t have money to buy anything for our parents.  So I am very surprised she has been able to do such a thing.  She didn’t have money to support me, but she had money to support Pastor and his wife?”  

I still didn’t fully comprehend his complaint. I was expecting him to be cheerful; a cheerful giver, even though he wasn’t party to the goodness, as it were.

“It isn’t the gesture Pearl has showed that is worrying me, Antie.  It is her wickedness towards me.  This whole year, I couldn’t even buy any underwear for myself.  My singlets are either worn out or faded.  I remember asking her around August, to buy me just six briefs and singlets to replace my old ones.  She refused, saying she herself needed to replace her underwear but had no money to spare for that. 

“You should be in our home to see our towels.  They are all thread bare and discoloured.  The napkins she serves me with are an eye-sore.  She prefers to serve our guests with nicer napkins … as if I don’t matter.  Such things hurt me sometimes. And to top it all with an amount of Ghc200?  Pearl is wicked!”

“Hm, Opoku.  You sound as if you don’t make any money to be able to support yourself in any way”, I said, because that was the conclusion I drew, listening to him.  Bowing his head and heaving a sigh he said, “A large chunk of my salary goes into servicing of debt.  We bought our car with a loan from the bank.  I pay for the mortgage on our house too.  I fend for my sick father in our hometown.  

“Sometimes, I embark on voluntary fasting because even money to buy lunch at work becomes a problem.  Pearl has never had money.  She is always complaining about money. Meanwhile, the only thing she pays for is electricity and water.  And she makes as much money as I do. 

“I am only shocked and bitter because I was expecting her to solve her issues in her home first, than to go solving that of others.  I feel so bad about the fact that I am complaining about gifts to Pastor and his wife.  But she is not showing that kind of love to her own husband, which is me.  These are the sort of discussions the Women’s Fellowship should be discussing.  The women have to show charity at home first before …” 

Just as he was ending his sentence his wife appeared from the entrance of the church, looking very bubbly and excited on her kente kaba and slit, smiling widely as she neared us.  Having heard all that, I couldn’t fully smile back. I seriously don’t know how to pretend on certain issues. I confronted her on what i'd heard, and asked her to apologize to her husband. 

Initially she was defensive and explained the need to show kindness to the Minister of the Gospel, as those gestures brought blessings.  But I advised her against being a Pharisee – portraying herself to the public as being very holy, and yet, being a different person at home. She has since apologized and promised to turn over a new leaf in 2015. 

I have promised to be appraising her performance in the union from time to time.  Oh wives! Can we show some kindness to our own husbands!


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