Letter to my wife, Ahinae on her 60th birthday
My dearest Ahinae,
It is such a shame that I have not written to you for several years now, I did enjoy those days when a letter was the only means we had for corresponding with each other, but I suppose that the daily contact has provided a more meaningful way for our bonding. This letter is really meant to recognise the love that I have for you and to celebrate in my own personal way, a relationship that has developed over the years and made me a more accomplished human being and to thank you for helping to round my rough edges.
I still remember the very first time I saw you 40 years ago and the day we got married 30 years ago and I can say with all honesty that I would not have found a more suitable partner in my life; I certainly did not have any doubts when I proposed to you on my knees that are now wobbly with age, but then it was because the first time I saw you, I knew that I had found the one to share my life with.
I have seen you grow and mature into the lovely woman that you have always been and have been impressed that age has not dulled your vivacious instinct for a decent life. But then I know that I have been lucky and blessed. With your forthright manner, you even charmed my dear late father because you would not indulge him in his platitudes to you, he always wondered how I a recalcitrant soul and unconventional soul could cope with your strictness. My late mother was in awe of you all through the period of our courtship, I mean if my mother Araba did not have an unkind word ever to say about you, I knew that you were the one. My grandmother, Ma Lucy just adored you and with the many chats she had with you sitting by her coal pot as she cooked she even knew before I did that you were the only one for me.
So, the years have rolled by and I have managed to stay true to my word that I would always cherish you. You have always done the right thing and I have learnt to accept the way you have done things in a way that only you could pull off. I have been fascinated for instance whenever we are going out, you ask for the dress code and then decide to put on what you want to, despite the code, and then one day because of your constant headaches, you decided to cut your hair and then you buy a lot of makeup that you do not put on and yet your beauty shines through all the time.
You have stood by me and continue to do so in my period of trials, we have praised together in our times of need and God has answered our prayers, you have been selfless in your devotion towards me and my son Olumide and we continue to love you for it. I have seen and heard you being a rock to your family and friends, as you provide them with counsel and wise words in their moments of anguish and my respect for you has grown. I have also been impressed by the way that you have adopted my family and my friends to become your own and how at every stage on our relationship you have advocated for me and covered up my lapses proving to be the dutiful wife and doing so without any expectation of reward or even acknowledgement. I know that you are proud of me though as usual, you ensure that I am firmly rooted to the ground always, curbing my flights of fancy and pretensions of grandeur when I have felt the need to show off.
I suspect that I may have had some influence on you because you have adapted to my ways, reluctantly but even in so doing you have never accepted that you have become ‘softer’ despite the hard shell that you portray to most people who do not know you.
Well, I was going to write one of my very long pieces but I know that you will come back to me and say that my sentences are too long and I need to learn how to write and not write as I speak, but I suppose that you will not be correcting this piece before publication so let me end here.
I thank God who has been our solace for you and I love you, I love you and I love you again!
I hope that you enjoy today and pray that your 60+ Oyster card increases your capacity for more independent travel.
From your loving husband
17th February 2017