Sunday, July 25, 2021

Life Lately: Thanksgiving

2006, 2012

The most afraid I have been in my life is the two incidents when there was a real chance I could lose either of my parents. And that one time I was halfway through a daredevil roller coaster ride and promising Jesus I would never try it again if the ride ended without drama.

It’s my dad’s thanksgiving service in Ibadan today. While I can’t be there, it’s all I have thought about through the weekend. So I figured I’d do some thanksgiving of my own in today’s entry.

Troubles can really creep up on you. One moment you’re going about your life and worrying about mundane things; the next your priority is something you didn’t see coming. In November 2018 and May 2021, the things that threatened to change my life as I knew it hadn’t made lists of “top stressors” I drew up only days before.

I’m very grateful to still have both my parents around. While praying at some point in June, I reflected on the fact that I wasn’t entitled to them. Many people who are younger, or holier, or more deserving by every measure have lost parents and loved ones. I reflected on the fact that most of my reasons for wanting my dad’s healing were self-centered – things I wanted him to see, experiences I wanted him to have, the fact I wasn’t ready to lose him (I’ll never be ready). So because I thought it could score points, I included his ministry and mentioned the lives he could still touch, the people he hadn’t reached yet. But then I figured God knew what I was thinking anyway, so I threw my self-centered reasons back in the mix.

I’m grateful for modern medicine, for his primary care doctors and nurses, doctors and nurses in the family and church, and my doctor friends. I am grateful for everyone who helped us understand what was going on and helped us make better decisions about his care.

Ènìyàn bo ni lára ju aso lo. Family, friends, and the church rallied around my parents to support them through a most trying time. People gave freely of their money and time: visiting daily, calling regularly, keeping vigils and prayer chains, and sleeping at the hospital for weeks so he would never be alone. They were a source of strength to us all. And my friends are such incredible people. I'm still resisting the temptation to mention names, but my crew supported us in many important ways. Thank you all.

One day in June after my dad regained consciousness and it was just us two in his room, he asked what I thought of him as a father. As I began to respond, I realized there was nothing new in what I was about to say. I had taken many chances in the past to tell him (& my mum) how much I loved them and how grateful I was for how they raised me. I realized then that even when I had first arrived and he was slipping in and out of consciousness, I had never wished for more time to tell him things I should have said. There had been nothing left unsaid. I had just wanted more time to show him new things. And that had given me some comfort.

Is there a takeaway from this thanksgiving post? Yes. I think it is to leave nothing unsaid. Every time I read the eulogies at a funeral I find myself hoping people had also said those nice things to their loved ones before they passed away.


What I’m currently reading: Business Adventures by John Brooks. Bill Gates called this the best business book he had ever read and I can see why. In twelve business stories, John Brooks investigates epochal events such as the 1962 stock market crash and Ford’s failed launch of the Edsel car. The stories are old as the book was first published in 1969, but the lessons will remain relevant as long as there are humans running businesses.

What I’m currently listening to: I loved this five-episode podcast from The Guardian about the Pegasus project. I’ve always been slightly wary of phones and the amount of information they collect on us, but I didn’t realize some very smart people were already weaponizing all that information gathering! Even iPhones, supposedly very secure devices, are not immune. I don’t think there is much we can do as individuals short of returning to old feature phones, so governments really need to rise to the task and implement restrictions on this type of tech-enabled snooping.


Cheers to the new week!



  1. Thankful that your dad is better Koye! and thank you for the reminder to leave nothing unsaid

  2. Thank God for his life and the grace he has given your family to be there for him throughout those moments

  3. I thought you would have put video clip of the Thanksgiving ☺️. We bless God!