Of bad mothers and husbands: Part 3

The early memories I have of dad and his mother when I was a child, entail dad travelling upcountry to visit her, and every time he came back home, he and mom would always fight. At the time his mother was constantly inciting him to leave her and remarry, and since he was so desirous of her love and acceptance, he would try to cause havoc, maybe hoping it would culminate in a divorce. I usually blame her for the miserable childhood my sisters and I had; for being the evil force behind my family’s tribulations.

Nonetheless, I don’t blame her entirely because I always remind myself, dad had the chance to make a different choice, but somehow he still chose to follow his mother’s misguiding advice. She may have been the proverbial tiny red devil seated on his shoulder telling him how to make our lives a living hell, but truth is, he made that ultimate decision to follow suit.

Three weeks ago, his mother called him, saying she was unwell. When she asked when they would visit, dad told her to talk to mom about it. When mom took dad’s phone, dad’s mother was asking why mom never calls. So mom told her she calls, but she never picks up. Obviously she denied it, but thankfully mom had recent call logs of outgoing calls to dad’s mother that were never picked up. She had no choice but to apologise. Mom told her she doesn’t hold grudges, and as such, she forgave her a very long time ago.

About two days later, they went to visit his ailing mother after finding out from her husband that she’d been admitted in hospital. They were in the company of dad’s only sister. He had refused to go, but mom insisted it was the right thing to do. So he’d agreed, albeit hesitantly.

When they got there they found one of my uncle’s ‘wives’. From what I gathered, dad’s mother was on full-blown diva mode, specifying the fancy hospital she wanted to be taken to, regardless of the fact that she’s always disliked dad because he’s not as moneyed as his brothers (now deceased). I couldn’t help but wonder how in her skewed thinking, she imagined dad would raise funds for such a facility, given that she’s always assumed he’s a hopeless pauper his entire adult life.

The irony of it all was that she’s always considered him and her sister indigents, yet now, that her golden sons are deceased, she was demanding the fancy life they were treating her to, from her impecunious children. In utter contempt, she told them unfeelingly, that since her rich son was no more, she considered this particular wife (one she previously despised when her said son was alive), her ‘son’. Whatever was left of dad’s fragile heart shattered into a million pieces.

“Why would she say that when I’m still alive?” He asked mom when they came back a day later, looking awfully wounded. “My mother just loves money!” The thing with dad is, when he’s happy you feel the happiness radiate from him; when he’s angry, the violent outbursts could scare the life out of someone; and when he’s hurt, he looks entirely broken, that one forgets all the hard times he’s put them through. That night he looked broken.

I would have cried for him that night, were it not for the memories flashing through my mind of the beastly animal he turns into when he feels he’s the one wielding power. Mom and my big sister just pepped him up, telling him not to mind his mother’s awful treatment. Much as I pitied him, I knew it wouldn’t be long before he was the one dishing out the cauldrons of bile.

Sadly, I was right. Last week but one he kept calling mom, making demands (not requesting) of things he wanted her to do in preparation for their trip to see his mother. It’s worth noting that in his typical tyrant fashion, he did not seek her consent. He just assumed they would go, because he’d said so. Mom on this other side was wondering why he’d be so thoughtless, insisting they visit his frosty mother, on her birthday.

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