Tomorrow is Testimony’s 9th birthday! Like all kids, she is obnoxious with excitement! Bouncing about the house, ready to eat cake, ready to open presents, elated to be leaving behind year 8, and eager to face year 9. On the other hand there is me. My inner being sits in stark contrast to that of Testimony. Today I fill an overwhelming sense of sadness, a dreadful feeling in the pit of my stomach. Shamefully, I try to suppress these feelings and bounce, bake, buy gifts, and dream right along with my daughter. Fantasizing together about all the greatness nine years old will bring!
So, why am I so sad? What is wrong with me? I am sure many can guess. Kids grow up too fast! Each stage of life is so unique, so fun, you just innately never want to see it end! A child’s birthday almost becomes like a funeral, a dreaded good bye to those cute fun memories that particular year gave you: when they looked this way, talked that way, and learned this or that. I experience similar feelings with my nieces and nephews, but with your own its stronger, and when you have missed seven birthdays prior the pain becomes uniquely deeper.
I don’t share these feelings to bring a dark cloud over celebrating Testimony. Rather, to lament. First, my emotions and affixation on trying to memorialize and bottle up my time with Testimony. Secondly, my feeling sorry for myself- Selfishly I wish I had got to experience Testimony’s birth, been at her first birthday, watched her learn to walk, listened to her first word, and on and on. Of course I know that is not fair of me to say, but I do! I love this kid so much, I want to experience it all!
So, tomorrow I will sit. Everyone around me singing the happy birthday song! I will suppress my sadness and fix my eyes on the truth. How one BIRTHDAY changed everything- Christ Jesus’. This truth reminds me: Katie, why do you want to savor cake, ice cream, and baby steps!? Just wait, remain steadfast because one day…one day you will watch Testimony celebrate amongst the ANGELS forever!
Therefore, I say thank you GOD for giving me this perfect gift, 9 year old Testimony! I promise from this day forward to enjoy every earthly blessing she experiences with OBNOXIOUS excitement!
A few months back our friend TiTi, one of the CARE Africa child mentors, interviewed Testimony about her short, but intricate life she has experienced thus far. I thought today I would share some of her answers because I personally feel everyone is happier with a little Testimony in their life!
What is your name and age?
“Wait, wait, is it all of my names? Olubumni , Riddle, Testimony, Pelumi, Praise, Peace, I am eight years old Primary 4.”
When is your birthday?
Where do you live?
Who do you live with?
“Riddles. Riddle Nicholas and Riddle Katie.”
When did you start to live with them?
Tell me where did you live before Nick and Katie’s?
You lived with your parents right?
Tell me about it.
Come on I really want to know who T-money was before Egbe.
“I attended Divine Grace School”
Tell me about your Mom or your Dad.
“My dad usually gave me money and wouldn’t allow anyone to beat me.”
What did your Dad do in Lagos?
“He was a prophet.”
What about your Mom?
“She was a teacher at our school.”
What were the names of your friends in Lagos?
“Mya and Rasheedat, they had a shop in front of our house.”
What did you like about living in Lagos?
What did you NOT like?
“The toys my parents thought I was going to be a boy, so they bought me boy toys.”
Who is your best friend T-Money?
Katie, is your best friend?
“Yes, she is!”
So, what do you NOT like about living with Nick and Katie?
You sure? What of when you are made to do stuff you don’t want to do?
“I don’t care.”
Wow, that’s good! So if you are worried about anything you will go to Katie?
What about Nick, you haven’t mentioned him?
(giggles) He is funny and he plays with me a lot.
What about Iyanu your brother?
“Hummph, we fight most of the time.”
What about Blessing your sister?
“She supports me, and doesn’t yell at me to get out of her room like Iyanu does.”
So, what about all the different types of people you have met living on this Hospital Compound? What do you think about all of them?
“All the misionaries are really nice. I really love the Beebe Family and Dr. Jen.”
So, which place do you love best?
I mean which place have you loved living the most?
“ I love living here, and I loved living with my parents!!!!”
Is that all you want to say T-Money?