In most homes, Easter signifies the rolling away of the stone of the tomb where Jesus was buried. Meaning Jesus has conquered all. In some homes, Easter didn’t only roll away the stone of the tomb of Jesus, it uncovered some hidden truths that was killing some members of the family. I knew things weren’t the way they should be in my marriage but when these things were revealed, it spun my world off its axis.
I felt as the head of my family I needed to put everything and everyone in order. When my wife did something wrong, I would point out her fault and expect her to work on it. She would apologize and pretend to be changing then she would go and repeat that same action again. Setting me off and giving her the much hated, “lecture”. I noticed that after a while, things changed. When I told her about her wrongdoings, she would keep quiet and afterwards walk away after saying, “thank you”.
It made me happy, thinking that finally all the advice and words of caution I had been giving to her was working. Then she dropped a bombshell. We had a family movie night with the kids and in one scene, the man was lashing out at his wife for something trivial she had done. The kids said something and she replied casually, looking in my direction. “Well, mostly that is what you do to us” I was left in a shocked state. I didn’t enjoy the movie again until it was over.
When we were going to bed, I asked her about the comment and she said, “Cast your mind back to all the times you have called for family meetings or asked to speak with me.” She entered the bathroom to get ready for bed, leaving me still rooted to the spot. When she was getting into the bed, I was still on that same spot. She looked at me, chuckled and got into bed.
So, she meant that all along I was the problem in this marriage, I was the reason why the kids didn’t like being around us? So she was perfect huh? I did cast my mind back to all the times I had called for family meetings, all the times I had disciplined her and the kids. I didn’t see anything I had done wrong. I had done everything in love. I only wanted them to discover and be the best versions of themselves.
So that Easter Sunday, I was going about the preparations for the usual family special dinner when I found out deep secrets that could have ruined our marriage. I had been asking her for things. “Afia, where is the carving knife?, I can’t seem to find it.” “Afia, have you seen my flowery cotton shirt, the one I wore for the barbecue the other night?” “Afia, please where did you keep the liqueur that was gifted us last year?” And so it went on the whole afternoon, me asking her about items in the house and she directing me to find them.
I was in our bedroom, changing when I noticed that the drawer with her underwear wasn’t well closed. It irritated me a bit and so I went to push in the stuff hanging out and close it. I tried but it wouldn’t. “Hummph, Afia!!” I muttered under my breath. “Why couldn’t this woman learn some cleaning and organizational skills?” That was when I realized that something was preventing the drawer from being closed properly. I took the whole drawer out and found this shiny edged thing poking out.
It was a medium sized women’s personalized diary. I didn’t know my wife kept a diary. When did she start? “I am sure this is where she has been keeping all those notes she has been stealing from me. I opened it and indeed, there were fresh money notes sprinkled throughout the diary. I saw that she had made an entry, so I read it.
“Today, Micky did something so hurtful. He called for a family meeting and spoke harshly to all of us. He told the kids that we were wasting money on them, that their grades were very poor. Children in the Lower Primary whose home life you carefully plan out and had had the least grade of two C’s were disappointments???
I looked on helplessly as Junior cried. He asked him to shut up. Mimi held on to my hand and I could feel her trembling. He looked at me and said my children were a disgrace. Typical African man. Today they were my children….”
I was stunned. I opened to other pages and read.
“I cried myself to bed tonight. He claims I don’t accept my faults. That’s okay. But to say it to the hearing of your friends that the soup was a whole lot spicy and salty was bad. And to make matters worse, he said my food is always salty so I should work on it?? Hmmmmm…”
“I know I have faults, he spoke harshly to me today and said that I made him so angry. That I was set out to ruin his life. Why couldn’t I try to be a better wife?…..”
I read more of her entries and all it did was bring me to tears. She came to find me in the bedroom my face all teary and excused me. I didn’t know how to come out and face my family after all I had discovered. I sat in silence until afternoon turned into darkness. When she came with food for me that evening, I hugged her like never before, she knew the reason because the diary was by me. She only patted my back and said, “it’s okay”
Hmmm, what a big blow. How do I face and live with my family after finding out I had messed things up?. This revelation was too much. I am trying to make amends but they are so wary around me. I hope by the next Easter, things will be uncovered but certainly a good and positive kind.