The stories in this blog are first draft stories with minimal editing, sort of like a practice blog.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

The preacher's wife

    I'd always hated hats or head coverings of any kind and longed to attend a "come as you are church" where I could worship God with my bare head. I could stand headscarves but hats? No!

    Alas, my great grandfathers were among the first CMS (Anglican) converts in the old lower Niger mission. the cathedral church of the diocese of Mbaise is in my village, in my ancestral land to be factual. In other words, leaving the fold was unthinkable.

     One Sunday when I was eight, my parents decided I should attend the adult's service- my parents' thought process is still a mystery to me. On my way to drop my offering, I noticed a pew full of women in the most monstrous hats my eight year old eyes had ever seen, even  my fevered nightmares couldn't have produced such hats. Gripped with fear, I whispered "who are they?" ,My mum whose hearing any bat would envy, replied "priests' wives". I knew there and then I would never marry an Anglican priest. As I grew older, I noticed that wives of pastors also wore huge hats, of course I decided I would never marry a pastor.

    During my university days I actively hunted Catholic brothers, at least they couldn't wake up one morning and tell me God called them, at worst they could become Knights and ladies didn't have to wear hats. Besides Lady Adaku XYZ had a nice ring to it. I avoided pentecostal brothers, Anglican parishioners and bad boys, when they give their life to Christ, they go to the extreme, besides God has a bias for calling them.

   At last I was "found" by Bryan, he was a staunch Catholic from a long line of Catholics, I had no fears of ever wearing a hat and we settled into happily ever after, albeit with juggling school fees of three rambunctious boys and an angelic (in her father's eyes) daughter. My dad turned seventy on my thirty ninth birthday and his fortieth wedding anniversary was only a few months away, we decided to combine the celebrations and have a grand thanksgiving service.

   That Sunday dawned with blue skies and white clouds, it should have been come with tornadoes and earthquakes but like all deadly things it had a patina of pleasantness. We danced and praised to the altar where the Archbishop Uncle G. (my dad's secondary school classmate) was waiting with our vicar and other priests, we knelt and were prayed for.

   As we rose to leave, Uncle G asked Bryan to wait at the altar. I was nonplussed in the pew where I was wedged between my mother and younger brother. "What crime had Bryan committed?" "Was he going to sing a birthday song for us, his voice was worse than a cranky engine, children in the audience will be scarred for life" so many thoughts broke Usain Bolt's record in my brain.

    Uncle G's voice broke through my reverie "I saw him wearing priest's robes and stole" Bryan smiles and tells the congregation "this morning I heard God call me clearly to serve him in the Anglican church, I haven't even told my wife yet, I wanted to be sure it wasn't an auditory hallucination".
   I hear explosions of laughter around me, I don't have to be told that my mother and brothers were rolling in mirth. They knew my aversion for priests and my machinations to be married to a Catholic. I remember mummy's prophecies over the years that I'd marry a priest, become "Mama Yard" and the head of the women's and girl's guilds (the stuff  nightmares are made of) and how I gloated when I introduced Bryan to her.

    It's another Sunday, today my husband is being consecrated as the Primate of the Church of Nigeria. Preparations are in top gear, my children and grandchildren zip about in flurries of motion, I can see the parents, Bryan and mine being guided into the cars that will take them to church.

  Brian is on his knees talking to his father and friend asking for wisdom to carry the great office, I have no doubt he'd do well, after all he has me. I look for my favorite pashmina, a multicolored soft silk scarf. You see in my sixteen years as "Mama Yard" I've never worn a hat.


  1. I too have an aversion to hats so this resonates with me!
    You have a wicked sense of humour, Adaezenwa, nice one!

    (Just a little tip if you don't mind...paragraphs help structure...a different font colour perhaps?...Just my two cents. Thanks)

  2. Thanks for the comment and the tip! I'm so glad you stopped by


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