Ife’s Loss

Herieth_Paul_Women20194_R“He was only twenty-nine!”  Ife couldn’t believe it.  Her ex-husband, Damba was dead.  “What happened?” she asked  her brother, Irumba.  It was a Sunday afternoon and she was at home.  Miremba was out with her friends.  Irumba had stopped by to give her the news.

“He was killed in  road accident.  It was caused by over-speeding which resulted in failure to brake.  He died instantly.  His sister said she was trying to reach you but couldn’t.  The funeral is next week Friday.”

Ife sighed.  “I always warned him about driving too fast.  He never listened.  That was his problem.  I warned him about so many things but he never listened.  And now, he’s dead.  Poor Miremba.  She’s going to take this really hard.  She loved her Dad.”

“What about you?  Did you love him?”

“I thought I did but now I don’t think so.  I cared about him but I didn’t love him.  Soon after we got married I realized that I had made a mistake but I wanted to give our marriage a chance because of Miremba.  I learned that staying in a marriage for the sake of a child isn’t the best thing for that child.  He and I quarreled a lot and it was beginning to affect Miremba and that’s why I decided that a divorce was the best thing.”

“Couldn’t you have tried to work things out?  What about marriage counseling?”

“We couldn’t afford that.”

“You could have come to me and I would have helped you.”

“No.  Damba wouldn’t have wanted your help.  And he wouldn’t have wanted to go for counseling.  I know that divorce isn’t a good thing but in my case, it was the only option.”

“How are you doing, otherwise?”

“I’m getting by.”

“Why don’t you move out of this place and neighborhood and find somewhere better and safer for Miremba and you?”

“It’s not that bad.  It’s close to Miremba’s school and I don’t have to travel far to get to work.”

“Are you still working at that hotel?”

“Yes.”

“Ife, you’re a smart woman.  Why are you wasting your time cleaning a big, fancy hotel?”

“I got pregnant and got married soon after I finished high-school.  I didn’t go to university.  I became a housewife and a mother.  And now I’m a widow.”

“It’s not too late for you to do something with your life.”

Ife shrugged.  “I’m so used to working at the hotel.   I don’t want to make any changes right now.”  She knew the real reason for not wanting to leave her job at the hotel was because of Mr. Kobayashi.  In her mind she called him, Toshiro but whenever she addressed him, she called him, Mr. Kobayashi.  In spite of everything, she had fallen hopelessly in love with him.

“Did you call the company I told you about a couple of weeks ago?”

“What company?”

“Paper Craft Africa.  They are the company whose products are sold in local married African manhotels and gift shops.  Many of the people they employ are young, single mothers like yourself.  It’s right here in Kampala, Ife.  Why don’t you check them out during your lunch break?”

“I can’t.  I only have a half-hour lunch break.”

“Then go after work.  Don’t you work until 4:30?  The company is open until 5, I believe.  Call them and find out.”

“All right, I will call,” Ife promised.  “How are Nasiche and the girls?”

“They are doing well.  They were sorry to hear about Damba.  Nasiche said that if you need her for anything, call.  If you like Miremba could stay with us for a while.”

“I’ll ask Miremba.  I’m really sorry that Damba’s dead.  He was a good father to Miremba and a good husband to me in the beginning.  I think things changed between us when he realized that I didn’t love him.  I guess I was hoping that one of these days, he would find a woman who would love him the way he wanted me to love him.  I guess that isn’t likely to happen now.”

Irumba hugged her.  “Don’t beat yourself up about it.  Sometimes people end up marrying the wrong person through no fault of their own.  Besides, something beautiful came from your marriage.”

Ife smiled.  “Yes, Miremba.  She was a gift straight from God.”

Irumba drew back to look down at her.  “Speaking of God, you haven’t been to church in a while.  Miremba comes by herself.  What’s going on?”

“I’m too tired.”

“Ife, you should never be too tired to come to church on the Sabbath.”

“I still pray and read my Bible even though I don’t attend church.”

“I’m happy that you’re doing those things and but it’s very important for God’s people to attend church regularly.  It’s the time when we come together worship, are encouraged and learn from God’s Word for our spiritual growth.  The apostle Paul advises us not neglect our weekly gathering, as some people do, but to encourage one another, especially now that the day of the Lord’s return is drawing near.”

“I know that going to church is important.  Mama and Papa always told us that God expected us to be in His house every Saturday.”

“You know that if they were alive now, they would be telling you the very same thing.  Why don’t you come with Miremba this Saturday?  Afterwards, both of you will come home with us and have a delicious lunch which Nasiche will prepare on Friday before sunset, for us to enjoy and then we spend the rest of the afternoon together.”

Ife hesitated.  She wanted to go to church.  She missed going to church but how could she show her face there knowing what she was doing behind closed doors?  It would be uncomfortable sitting there among the church members, knowing what she was doing behind their backs.  The thought petrified her.

Irumba squeezed her shoulder.  “Think about it,” he said quietly.

She nodded.  “I will,” she promised.  “Thanks for coming over.”

“On Friday, the family and I will take Miremba and you to the church for the funeral service.”

“All right.  We’ll see you then.  Please give my love to Nasiche and the girls.”

“I will.  Give Miremba a hug for me and let her know how sorry we are to hear about her Dad.”

They hugged again and then he left.  After he was gone, Ife sat down on the sofa and cried.

Next Up, Toshiro Consoles Ife

Sources:  XinhuanetBible Gateway; Bible Study ToolsTechnoServe

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