The next day, against her husband’s wishe Mrs Ogar drove him to Declan’s house. His wife was in the kitchen when she heard them drive in and she came out to greet them.
Stacey: “good afternoon, dad. Good afternoon, mum” she said kneeling down.
Declan: “what a surprise, dad. I didn’t know that you would be visiting us today” he said.
Mr Ogar: “I am here against my wish. No wonder the holy Bible says that when you are young you go wherever you want with your legs but when you are old, you are led by arm to a place you would rather not go”
Declan: “I don’t understand you, sir” he said, wondering what his father was musing about.
Mr Ogar: “your mother here wants to travel for her August meeting and she had to bring me here so that…”
Mrs Ogar: “erm, I think I have to take my leave now. I am travelling tomorrow and I have lots of things to do back home. I have brought your father to you Declan, I want you and your wife to take care of him while I am away after all he is your father” she said and turned to leave.
Declan: “but ma…”
Mrs Ogar: “what is it? Can’t you and your wife take care of your sick father? What is wrong with that? Haven’t I been single handedly taking care of him all these while?”
Declan: “of course I can take care of my father and indeed I consider it a privilege to be able to take care of my own father at his old age because I know that someday my own child will take care of me when I am old. But you know that I am very busy and only return home at night. Dad is confined to a chair and needs someone to help him do everything. I just think that it will not be right to have my wife see my father’s nakedness which is inevitable if she has to be the one to bath and clean him up”
Mrs Ogar: “I don’t know what you are talking about. All I know is that I have brought your father and I am travelling. Oh, so you mean your wife cannot bath and clean up your father but she can accept a car from him as a gift right? Why didn’t you ask her to reject the car when your father gave it to her? Mtcheww, bunch of pretenders” she said and left the house.
Stacey: “it’s okay sweetheart” turning to her father in law she said.
“Don’t worry dad, all will be fine okay? I promise to make your stay with us worth the while” she said and the old man smiled and blessed her in his heart.
Weeks after his wife travelled, Mr Ogar’s health began to deteriorate and Declan and his wife did their best to make sure that he was comfortable.
Because of Declan’s busy schedule at work, his wife had to resign her post as a school teacher so that she could take care of her father in law who was bedridden.
Declan on discovering that his father’s condition was getting worse got in touch with his step mother so that she could return and help in taking care of her husband but she refused and said there was no way she could return back home until she had attended the August meeting of that year.
Declan had no choice than to travel outside the country with his father and this ate deep into his pockets and coupled with the fact that there was recession in the country, things were no longer rosy for them.
The medical trip to India was futile and they returned home and there his father was admitted again in the hospital.
Declan and his wife took turns to stay with his father in the hospital and all appeal by him to get his younger ones to come and help take care of their father proved abortive.
That day, after Stacey had taken the food her father in law asked her to cook for him to his hospital, the old man called her and his son to his side.
Mr Ogar: “my son, I want to specially thank you and your wife for staying with me all this period that I have been having health challenges. May God bless you abundantly” he said, trying hard to breathe.
Declan: “father, why are thanking me for doing what I am supposed to do for you? You are my father and it is my duty as a son to take care of you”
“I know my son but not many young people of this your generation knows that. For instance, I have other sons, where are there? Why are they not here to take care of me as their father?” he asked rhetorically.
There was no response from Declan and so he continued.
Mr Ogar: “that is what I am saying. It is not everybody that knows that it is their duty to take care of their ailing father. My God will bless you and bless your wife too. My daughter, I bless God the day we went to marry you for my son. In you I have found the daughter that I didn’t have and so it shall be well with you” he said.
Stacey: “thank you very much dad, it is an honour to be your daughter in law”
Mr Ogar: “my children, I feel myself joining my ancestors soon and so I advise that you live with peace with your step mother and siblings after I am no more. Right now, I have almost nothing in my account and that is because I have used up my money treating myself and funding my wife’s elaborate lifestyle. She made me make her a signatory to my account and only God knows how much she has been withdrawing to spend on frivolities. As if that is enough, she has been making a ridicule of my condition ever since I got sick and so I declare today that all that I have left is yours. My house, cars, companies and other investments are yours alone to do with as you please. Use it to take care of your wife and children, they deserve it”
Declan: “but father, what about my siblings and step mother? You should also leave something for them:
Mr Ogar: “all that I have, I worked for them with my strength and sweat and I give them to you and you alone, it is final” he said and asked his son to feed him. After he ate to his satisfaction, he fell asleep and died in his sleep.
Mama Frank was having a discussion in her room with her son about his childlessness which was causing her sleepless nights.
Mama Frank: “are you sure that this your wife’s prolonged childlessness is not your fault?” she asked her son.
Frank: “I have told you several times that I have nothing to do with it. I do my best as a man and I don’t know why she has not been able to conceive even though the hospitals have certified us medically fit to have children” he explained.
Mama Frank: “in that case we need to seek spiritual help. You see, in our culture, there must be a reason why a man cannot impregnate children. But I know that my son cannot be guilty of any of those things. I trust you especially now that you have assured me that you are a man” she said.
Frank: “ah, I am man enough o. In fact, I even impregnated one girl back then in secondary school and I gave her money for abortion. I didn’t tell you because I was afraid of what you would do to me” he said.
Mama Frank: “what! You did what? You impregnated a girl and gave her money to do abortion and you are here saying your wife may be the reason why you are still childless? Don’t you know that in our culture, any man who gives a woman money to abort his own baby or any man who rapes a woman will never live to see his own child? Anyway, the man we are going to see is very powerful.”
Frank: “what!” he screamed and sat up abruptly as if he had been sitting on a pin all the while.
To be continued.