One of my favorite stories mummy tells is of her 21st birthday party. She and a group of her closest friends rented out “the best restaurant in Zaria”, they had champagne, gave speeches and danced all night long. As my mum tells this story you can tell its one of her favorite memories not just because she was living her best life but because somewhere in that picture stood the man that she would marry and have four (amazing) children with. Twenty years ago today, a handsome young man said I do to his blushing bride and together they embarked on a journey that would change their lives.
I myself, haven’t gotten to the root of how they met but from what I can pool together my dad was in the market in Kano buying foodstuff and was getting exploited by the malam who knew the igboman didn’t understand his language. Mummy, noticing this swooped in and negotiated with the malam in Hausa, saving young Mr. Uche from being cheated. The young man was obviously enraptured after this and knew he had found his wife. I can tell several stories like how young Josie would have Uche drop her off and pick her up a few streets away from her house so her parents wouldn’t see her with a young man but I still need a roof over my head (oops). Looking back on my life I can say that I have never seen my parents argue with each other. What I do observe almost every day though, is their numerous displays of absolute adoration for each other. From my mum organizing a surprise party for my dad’s 45th birthday even though he doesn’t like parties, to him carefully selecting a present for every birthday, anniversary and holiday and watching the joy in her eyes as she opens them and brings her huge bouquet home. Their dynamic is exciting, warm and comforting and is the biggest part of what makes our house a home. It has been tested by time and experience and has become the type of marriage many people pray for. Watching the two of them live their lives together has truly been an honor.
To my parents, your union has shown me what a marriage centered in Christ looks like. When I watch the way you respect each other, care for each other and help each other grow, it makes me optimistic about having that same type of relationship. Thank you for epitomizing a perfect marriage. From the passion you both have for traveling the world together, to the way you curl up on the couch and watch movies together, I see how deep and genuine your affection for each other is and it is a joy to watch. Marriage is not easy but you both carry it so gracefully and I am happy that you crossed paths years ago. Not just because my existence is based on that fact but because it has turned you two into the best versions of yourselves.
Happy 20th-anniversary mummy and daddy! I pray the good Lord continues to increase your love for each other and blesses you with many more decades together.