My sister’s name is Shade. She is married to my wonderful brother-in-law, Andrew, and together they have 3 lovely Children.
She is a couple of years older than me; yet she continues to claim that she is only about 30 year old. Yeah right! That would make me, what? I will spare her and not reveal her true age. She looks great for her age and a mom of three, too.
Growing up together we were never close. She and I were like night and day. She was the straight A student and I was not. She was the perfect daughter who would always abide by our parents’ rules and regulations. I did not.
She never rebelled. I did. I almost never heard her curse while we were growing up. I did curse her out a lot and she gave me some of the best beatings of my life!!! Ouch! She didn’t talk much back then. She used one-liners, like “Stop it or I will whoop you.” Of course I didn’t listen. So she bashed me over the head. I just thought she was jealous and miserable. True, there was a lot to be jealous of. I was a spoiled little brat, I had a big mouth on me, I was rude and disrespectful, and I was doing badly at school. Yeah, I can see why she was so envious. NOT.
I am not trying to make myself look bad, believe me. I am just telling it like it was. We never really hung out and she would avoid me in public especially since mom used to dress us in the same clothes. Yikes! Back then I loved it but she hated it. She would go to great lengths to keep her distance from me so people wouldn’t know we were together.
If we happened to run into one another in public, I would try to get her attention and she will simply ignore me. A few times my friends doubted that she was my sister because she totally ignored me. Yes, that was my sister dearest.
When I was 17 years old I left Lagos, Nigeria headed for London to join my other siblings. Within a week of my arrival we were back to our old ways. She gave me one of my most memorable beatings again. Oh you gotta love my Sis. Now let me make it clear that she is not a wicked person. I know how to stir her up and really get under her skin. It was a gift that I had back then. She never picked on me or was hurtful to me. She would simply give me a warning to stop doing whatever I was doing. My specialty was mouthing off as usual. What a real gift I had! She was more reserved and could not match my talent at cursing. So she will simply beat me up. Oh boy was she good at it too.
Now you get the gist. We were never best buddies. But we cared about one another. I just see it as siblings behaving badly. However, she taught me some great financial lessons upon my arrival in London that still help me today. She explained to me what credit cards were and the best way to use them. She taught me the importance of having good credit versus bad credit. She taught me how to live within my means and not try to keep up with the Joneses, since most of them are miserable and swimming in debt.
Her financial advice and guidance helped me then and have kept me out of debt until now. Having someone who taught me well before I ever got my first credit card was and still is a blessing to me. Sister dearest, is there no limit to your talent?
She always has my back. She is dependable and far too sensible for her age. She is a straight shooter and always tells me the truth whether I like it or not. I like that about her and I know it’s coming from a place of love and her desire to see me do better in every way. Sometimes she is too honest, she takes one look at me after a few months of giving birth to my daughter and called me FAT! Yep that is my Sis. I love her, too for telling it straight. We just laughed it off. She can dish it out and she can take it too. Bravo Sis.
While everyone was celebrating the beginning of the new millennium, I was badly depressed and nursing a broken heart, broken spirit and loosing my mind. My marriage was ending and divorce was looming. My head was spinning 24/7. I didn’t know if I was coming or going. My Sister made arrangements for me to leave London and come to Maryland with her in-laws for couple of months to clear my head.
After the divorce, I threw myself into work building a property empire. It became my god. I was back on my feet, finding something I was successful at
Buky was back with a vengeance and it felt good. Life was great again and I was doing it on my own terms. Destiny’s Child released “Independent Woman” and “I’m A Survivor” and those were my personal anthems. I bought the CD and replayed it all day and all week-long. I was single, strong, successful and loaded. What else could a girl need?
Before I knew it four years had gone by in a flash. “Hmm,” I thought. “I am still single. I realized that my drive for success was just an attempt to fill the void in my life. But I couldn’t admit that to myself: After all, I am strong, successful and loaded.
So here comes Sis again. She sent me a letter. It was a real tear-jerker. She asked me to forgive her for not being there for me. For not being the sister she ought to have been. For not sharing things that she knew could have helped me in my life. Oh, I cried an ocean. There was really nothing to forgive. She didn’t realize it,but she had been a fabulous role model and mentor to me.
She followed up with a phone call, speaking to me in the most concerned and caring voice that transformed my life. It wasn’t what she said. It was how she said it.
She asked, “What are you doing with your life?”
I answered, “I’m busy with work and business.”
“What are you really, really doing?” she insisted.
“I don’t understand? What are you after?” I questioned.
“Buky, I know you,” she continued. “I know your heart’ desires. All this work, career and money are good. But that is not really you. The Buky I know wants to be married and have a family of her own. What happened?” she asked.
Tears started rolling down my eyes. But I was still trying to appear strong, to not let her know how broken I felt.
We talked at great length. She encouraged me to take a break from being “Ms. Independent, Single, and Strong.
“Come and hang out with me in the US,” she said. “Let’s chill and let’s seek God for the next step for you.”
For the second time in my life she suggested taking time out, and I did. I was all the better for it. “…But in abundance of counselors there is victory.” (Proverbs 11:14)
That break was life changing and transforming for me. Shade and Andrew prayed with me and for me. Honestly I never thought I needed that much prayer. At first it didn’t make any sense but later it all made perfect sense to me. Gradually I came to myself and God transformed my heart. I did a lot of crying, praying, and forgiving. I forgave myself and everyone else. I dealt with a lot of my issues.
I didn’t even know I had issues before then. I still have a bit of a mouth on me. But now I use it for sharing the Good new and encouraging people. Once in a while I revert back to my old ways and run my mouth like cholera, but it’s all good!! LOL!
My time with them was full of emotions. I felt remorseful, repentant, happy, and sad. Sometimes I resisted the change I was going through. Some days I thought it was pointless. I was definitely in denial. Remember I was “Ms. Independent, Single and Strong” (MISS) after all. A part of me loved MISS and wasn’t going to give her up easily.
I discovered the effectiveness of the power of prayer. She taught me that I should stop venting my feelings like a fool and go to God in prayer. She taught me that while on my knees, I could conquer all things. While on my knees I can pray my dreams and desires through and truly see them in reality. She taught me to just keep my big mouth shut. I didn’t always have to reply or try to prove anything to anyone. Silence is truly golden. I discovered that there cannot be true submission in marriage until you have truly submitted your life first to the King of kings and Lord of lords.
I met my husband, Adey, on that trip and we now have two children who are testimonies themselves.
My sister is truly the best. I want to thank her for keeping it real always. She doesn’t even realize how much she has done. She is priceless!
Do we still have still have our differences? Yeah! But she doesn’t beat me up any more. That was decades ago. She won’t try it now because she knows I can take her on, LOL!
Sister dearest, you are one in a billion and I love you dearly.