Hannah was the exact opposite of me. She hated arguments. You could besmear her reputation and she would be deaf to defend herself. However, she did it, she seemed to have a mysterious agreement with time and chance that often vindicated her. She was one of the most private people I’ve ever met. What would you do to annoy her? I was so much in awe about her that I sometimes found myself lost in her admiration. Hannah was an enigma.
She too was opportune to have had me; she met a man who rarely takes people for granted. I stood up for her on any day and didn't flinch fighting people who dared to disrespect her.
"Waterz,” she would say, "let it go. It's nothing".
I still remember at the Ridge Hospital in Accra when she was in labour to give birth to our son, Mankudivi, and a midwife attempted to act with crude disdain towards her. I certainly didn't allow her the luxury to try her silliness on my wife. I was so infuriated that all overtures for tolerance made at me failed.
"How dare you disrespect my wife?!” I quizzed her.
There were other men who condoned their (the nurses) rudeness but I squared it out with this particular one when she attempted it on Hannah. As expected, the victim was the one begging me to let go. But the midwife was so condescending that I didn't heed even to my wife’s dad's intervention. It had to take the doctors to calm me down. My wife genuinely didn't see the need for my outburst. She always said, "Waterz, learn to control your temper.” The only times I saw her mood swinging were during pregnancy and I perfectly understood her in those moments.
Hannah personified a virtuous wife. She attended to me as though I were her dad, as I equally prioritised her as my wife. Ours was a mutual love but looking back I wish I had loved her even more than I showed her. I was baffled about her love for me because she didn't seem to care if I did love her back in equal measure. If she didn't want to do something I wanted done, she wouldn't directly oppose it. She had this skillful way of pretending to get it done but wouldn't do it. This would get me complaining and she would only smile, sometimes she would simply leave my presence. What would you do to such a person? She wouldn't just mind you. In fact, talking was a problem for Hannah. I recall when Mankudivi was born and started talking, she always accused him of talking too much. Sometimes she would say, "You’re just like your father.” Hannah hated noise. Lol...
She made our home homely for my family and friends. Hannah was a germophobe and could not stand disorder, so she made our home the comfort that it ought to be for anyone who passed through. And I can't cease to relish how good a cook she was as she was herself a devout lover of good food. Her soup, in particular, was always uniquely flavourful.
I am on diet so my food has always been different, yet Hannah never nagged preparing different meals. How dearly I miss her for such comfort she brought into my life. After putting in her all for me to fill my tummy, I would still accuse her of enjoying life because her bowl of soup was usually meat and fish full, something I can't take much of, anyway. She managed the house so well that we barely ran out of foodstuffs, and I'm left in utter wonder how she got all of that from the provision I made to her. There was always enough meat in the fridge in addition to other supplies that kept us going. Such a miracle she was.
I am a phone freak, and this was, by far, the only thing that got her to complain. "Waterz, put your phone down small,” she would say. Always being online was the only thing she honestly disliked about me. But she got over it along the way and stopped complaining. She knew I was weird, yet she accepted me just like that.
Her greatest weakness was that she was too trustful and loved too much and that was also my major problem with her too, especially with people close to her. She rarely made friends, though. If you did not approach Hannah, I'm not sure she would approach you unless it was necessary. All through our six-year union, I knew only two of her friends– one was a neighbour and the other, her school mate who sometimes visited...
She was human and so she loved the good things of life but never showed much interest in getting them. One of the most important things to Hannah was me. She was so proud of me. But then again, she rarely said it to me, rather, she acted it amply! So, on one occasion, she took me by surprise when she said she was lucky to have me. I asked why, and she said, "You don't womanise, you don't drink or smoke and you're straightforward.” I'm not sure any woman would give me as much freedom as Hannah did. She was full of love for me but never possessive. I could do anything, and I knew mummy would forgive me because at some point I saw my wife as such.
But I secretly feared Hannah. I doubt it if she ever got to notice it before taking that step ahead in this journey. She was too quiet and that made me fear her. It was so perplexing how she would still treat me with kindness and care after I had just finished "abusing" her for something she did that I didn't like. On her deathbed, and this is my greatest joy, she acknowledged my goodness towards her and asked me to take good care of our son.
When we lost our second son few minutes after his birth due to negligence at the hospital, it devastated my wife for months. I was her anchor, being by her and encouraging her to get over it. It was the most trying moment of our marriage and one of us had to be strong. I'm happy I was able to help her pull through the pain, the loss and the anguish. I had named the boy Pumaya even before he was born. Hannah wanted three children, but her dream was never to come true... Nature had other plans for her and now I live each day seeking a magic wand to unwind the events of that fateful day.
She was averagely religious, yet I saw the need to persuade her from doing too much church, especially unnecessary all-night services. She wasn't quite happy with some of my decisions regarding her religious activities, but she often listened to me as a good wife would do. I always told her she could pray in the house too, after all, God is everywhere. Despite my stance, it was a joy driving her and our son to church when I bought my first car. I wasn't against her religion; I just didn't like the idea of doing too much of it.
I was marveled at the sacrifices she made for the sake of our love, juggling so well being a student, a wife and a mother. For this reason, she remains ever green in my heart. Granted that I equally made some trade-offs in our interest, I was more concerned about giving her the best of everything. Several times I told her I would accomplish greatness as a writer and buy her all the nice things she ever wished for in life. As usual of her, she would smile and say, "Amen.”
Hannah was never a financial drain on me. She knew it whenever I was broken, and she won't make demands of me in those hard times. Although she looked forward to and rendered fervent prayers for my breakthrough, she never made me feel it was a must for me to become rich in life.
Not even for once did I ever hear her brag about all these graceful qualities she exuded. She behaved as though she had none, and she rarely judged or talked about people. She was such a contented soul and acted subtly with wisdom beyond her age.
For entertainment, she loved telenovelas and gospel music and so she would always watch her favourite programmes on TV before going to bed. Luckily, we never had issues about changing channels because I sincerely do not watch TV. Sometimes if I did then she was the one who would convince me to see a particular movie or programme...
She is dearly missed for her discipline. To put it bluntly, Hannah defined discipline. She was up very early each dawn to attend to house chores and tidy up everywhere before day fully breaks; she was a neat woman to the core, I must emphasise. Our home was a sweet place to be because everywhere always had a breath of fresh air.
When it was time for Mankudivi to start school, she suggested a low-cost school in the area. This got me shocked, and I asked why? She explained that we didn't have enough money and so there was the need to manage with the little available. Her wisdom and understanding never cease to amaze me. Though I agreed with her, I opted for a much better school and assured her of doing my best to foot the bills. She didn't just want to stress me; she made me believe in true love.
I had great plans for her and so I still grieve over her early departure, especially when I hadn't fulfilled half of the promises, I had made to her. She was a classmate to one of my young uncles (Yakubu) at the Bethany Methodist School at Dzorwulu and she would sometimes tell me stories about their school days. This uncle of mine was distraught when news of her passing reached him. Anyone who knew Hannah admitted that she was a good lady, a purely good soul that deserved long life to bring joy to the lives of the people around her.
Should I live long enough, I will do so much in her name. I don't know what I did right to have deserved her. She taught me patience and tolerance and forbearance. Today, I seldom rush into doing things because Hannah never rushed to do things. Her meticulous approach to life reflects even in her handwriting. Occasionally, I do flip through her notebooks just to admire the sheer grace with which she wrote, as if she typed out the words on a computer.
Rest in peace, my dear. You have a place in my heart. I've truly felt your absence and I still do shed tears unknowingly for the many times I miss you. I honestly never had enough of you when your candle was blown off so early. I'm now only left with memories, memories of you with me and Mankudivi. I'm doing my best for Manku as you requested before leaving us empty. Rest well, sweetheart.
By Waterz Yidana
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