A neighbor of mine once gave my mother spoilt eba and Okro soup to eat. This was when we had nothing and were both struggling.
My mother had gone to her to ask if she had anything to eat. The woman told my mother that all she had was eba and soup. She asked if my mother wanted it.
“But you go fit chop my food?”
My mother assured her she can. Of cause, she wasn’t expecting spoilt food.
When she brought the eba to the house in a plate and opened it, my father felt like throwing up.
He was very upset.
“How can she do this to us?” He fumed angrily.
“Is it because we are poor? Or is it because we don’t have anything to eat?” How can she be so cruel to give us food that she cannot eat?”
My mother tried to calm him down and asked him not to shout so she doesn’t hear.
Still angry, he stood up and carried his shoe along. It was his only church shoe. That day he sold it to a shoemaker at our junction for peanuts.
He brought the money and handed it to my mother.
“Cook us something better to eat. Do not beg people anymore. If we don’t have, it is better we starve than to beg and be mocked at.” He cautioned.
That evening while she cooked, my mother asked him to bring down the soup, while she ran to buy us candles. Just as she left, a knock sounded on my door. My father opened it and discovered it was our neighbor. The same woman that had brought us the spoilt soup.
She carried a pot in her hands and asked my father if she could warm her soup with our charcoal.
My dad agreed.
While she was warming her soup, we kept perceiving this strange smell from her pot. And so when she had come to carry her soup, my father said to her.
“This soup still good?”
The woman chuckled.
“E good. Na the last one be this. I give your wife small this afternoon, and na this one I wan chop.”
“But the soup don spoil na.”
She looked at the pot.
“Food the only spoil when you get option. For me wey no get option, e still good. And I go chop am like that.”
My mother who was already back and inside started weeping as she overheard the woman.
That evening my father collected the pot from the woman and invited her into our house to eat with us. She was very happy. Before she left, he told my mother to share our pot of soup in two. We gave her half of the soup, while we kept half.
Some of us take the good deeds of others for wickedness. We complain because what they gave to us was not what we expected them to give. But have we stopped to ask if what they gave us was their last?
We should look deeper, and be appreciative instead of complaining.
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