“I’ll never forget the magic of our Saturday nights. Special moments carved in my mind by you the sculptor of my love. Let’s dance the night away. Who needs music, when your heart already sings to me.” ~ Fidelis O Mkparu (2016), author of ‘Love’s Affliction’
I woke up this morning feeling happy. Maybe more excited than my usual Saturday morning. Exhilaration. Yes, I am pumped. Sunny, breezy, enchanting, and hypnotizing sort of morning. The type of morning I shared with my parents decades ago. The early years of my life. The 1960’s. Daily morning tea. Brewed in a special teapot and meticulously poured by Virginia, my mother. Her beautiful teapot. Only special hands handled such ornament. Rare hand created China. Of course, it’s an ornament. She displayed it on a cabinet when not in use. We admired it, but never touched it. Mother would have died if we broke it.
Every Saturday morning after tea, we drove to our country home outside the bustling commercial city of Onitsha. My mother would make sumptuous feast. Smell of curried rice with exotic herbs sent out invitations to our neighbors. Uncles, aunts, cousins, and friends. The power of wind delivery system. Instead of tea, she served lagers, stout, and ale beers. No wine for lunch. For the few alcoholics amongst our guests, my father brought out his priced Schnapps. The green square bottle. Only the owner poured the content into small liquor glasses. Most of the time, after the last drop of the fiery brew went down their throats, I heard sighs. Sighs of relief, or sadness? Well, only the alcoholic knew what he felt. Was it because Dennis, my father, would only allow a shot of his schnapps at a time? However, there was one consolation. Although my father did not drink, he served the finest liquor to his guests.
The children settled for exotic fruits plucked directly from trees that littered our estate. Passion fruits, Guava, Papaya, Mango, and some I never knew their names. It was noticeable that my father was an amateur horticulturist. Life was simple and memorable.
One day in early part of 1967, after the military coup in Nigeria, we lost everything we owned. Bank accounts, stocks, and bonds were gone by fiat. We also lost our house in the city. We started over from nothing. My father traded his cream-colored tailored suits for farm clothes. We persevered. We even prospered by local standards. I learnt the value of hard work from that experience. “Only dead people give up,” my father would say. You are right Dad. When you are down, please never stay down. Lift yourself up and keep on trying your best.
On this day, August 15, 2015, the feast of Assumption of the Virgin Mary, I doff my cap to you Mom and Dad. I hope you are enjoying the benefits of your hard work on earth in God’s kingdom.
Fidelis O Mkparu
Some pre-publication reviews of my book, Love’s Affliction, suggest that it is about the life of the author. I chuckle when I read emails pleading with me to “come clean” and tell the truth about the special love affair I supposedly had in undergraduate school that prompted me to write the book. I am aware that once I release Love’s Affliction on March 17, 2015, it would belong to every citizen of the world who has interest in owning, or reading it. Reviews to follow, positive or negative, excite me, even before they are articulated. Will the new reviews suggest that Love’s Affliction is an autobiography?
Love’s Affliction is about a special relationship between two college students trying to understand the meaning of love and commitment. How will Wendy Crane, the protagonist’s lover, resolve her conflicts? Love’s Affliction depicts vividly a clash between romantic love and family commitment.
Although Love’s Affliction is a love story, more importantly, it is about perseverance. An account of Joseph Fafa’s desire to succeed against all odds. It details his aspiration to be exemplary and the obstacles he encounters.
Love’s Affliction deals with limitations of romantic love. Comfortingly, it tackles the limitations with compassion. Embrace Love’s Affliction and be rewarded with fulfillment.
A tale of Love and Acceptance. A fiction.
Fidelis O Mkparu
March 15, 2015