An Ode To My Peeps...

So as I was mulling over what to blog about, I was typing a note to my friend on facebook and this idea just came to me. It's not that I don't have things to blog about, on the contrary, everyday, sometimes several times during the day I think to myself "I'm soooo blogging about this". But then I'm too busy during the day and then at night I just want to jump in my bed! But first things first...yea, I was typing a note to my friend Christopher - an unruly of course - and for some reason the name Christy came to mind and I remembered my grandma used to call my dad's driver back then Christy. She didn't speak too much english but she got along well with Bro.Chris or Bon Chris as we used to call him(lol) and I guess calling him Christy was her term of endearment....anyhoo, so I got to thinking hmmm.....I miss my grandparents, I don't have any alive anymore.....maybe I should blog about them, like an ode to my grandparents. So here we are!

Grandparents are special! kinda magical even. They usually play such a key role in our childhoods and many of us remember them so fondly as adults. Many have stories of hidden stashes of sweets or biscuits their grandparent used to clandestinely give to them when parents weren't watching, or just generally remember jolly old "father and mother christmas-y" kinda figures. Like I said I don't have any living grandparents anymore (and 1 less parent, aren't u sad for me?) but I remember most of them very well. They say we live on through the eyes of our children so I guess through honoring them here, they live on.

My dad's father we called Granddad. He died in 1984 when I was just a wee lil lass. He's the one I have the least memories of but he arguably has the most impact on my life now out of all four. Granddad to me was a larger than life figure. Apparently when he was young he trekked from his hometown, Isara in Ogun State to Lagos state ON FOOT to come and do some real Lagos hustlin'...u know, that kin ting now. Anyhoo, I'm foggy on all the details but he ends up being a big distributor and invests in stock market and real estate and all of that. So he's successful sha.

Granddad also had 4 wives and 14 kids, just 3 of them are girls so you can imagine a house full of rambuctious kids and apparently Granddad acted accordingly in order to deal with all these gende (men) in the house. Gist was he was quite clever and hmmm..........prudent with his money. You had to have a DAMN good reason to get money outta him, ESPECIALLY if he hasn't explicitly approved of whatever it is you're doing in your life, in all aspects of your life. LOL. So if he tells you not to marry someone and you do and he finds out, kai! no more money. for NATHING. lol. He was also apparently stubborn (now u know where I gots it from). But he was known for being a family man, as in when he was alive, he held everyone together and everyone behaved. My sis has memories of him telling her to come and she'd jump on his lap and he would call her his mother (my sis is Yetunde meaning mother comes back) etc. All my older cousins also have fun memories of hanging out with Granddad. He also apparently was fond of my mom and was very happy my Dad married her (my Dad was a rascal o! lol).

My Granddad is the one i think I feel his spirit around me the most. I always feel he's watching over me and proud of me somehow...i don't know, i've always felt that since I was little. Especially when I need courage to do something, to move to nigeria, to run my company full time, I always always feel "well, my granddad did it, so it's in me and i'm gonna make it".

Mama Bishop
Mama Bishop is my Dad's mom and my Dad was kinda her favorite child. She was the first wife of Granddad and had SEVEN of his 14 kids!!!! so she was the queen bee in that household! She's was also somewhat of a Queen B--- oops.....okay okay, but she kinda was o! lol. So maybe that's where I got THAT side from LOL. Mama as she was fondly called got married to Granddad when she was just 15! so for me when I think of that I excuse a lot of the things she did and said because me i'm a woman too, and if my husband married 3 other wives apart from me and we were all living in the same household and I was 15 when I married the mofo, and essentially illiterate, then I might have done some of that ish too! Lots of stories are bound about Mama which for the sake of not tainting my own good name, i'll leave out from this to say she was B-A-D sha and most of it i think were just rumours Mama wasn't very fond of my own mama and those stories are also abound....

Apparently I look like Mama Bishop and she luuuuurved ME. lol. She used to call me Ibeji Mi (My Twin). The birthday party her kids threw for her, was it in 1992?!??? was and is still one of the significant events of my childhood. We shut down Bishop street and everyone boogied and partied and bulls...... lol. I just remember that the whole family had been preparing for this parry for a long, long time and all the grandkids wore the same outfit, and at the parry, the band was playing all kinds of grooves, played shina peters grooves and u know now...............................DANCING COMPETITION!!!! lol. That was a fun day! I also remember that Mama used to always kill a cow or goat or whatever during christmas and Ileya (Eid el Fitri i think) and her place was THE place to be! My last memory of Mama was the day before the entire family moved to Canada and we spent almost the entire day in Bishop (bishop street is the street she lived on in surulere). In the afternoon, Mama insisted on going into her room to get a picture of herself and gave it to my sister. She was crying and wiping her eye and was like "Am I ever going to see you kids again? Will I ever see you kids again in my life?". Even though I was little and didn't really get the emotion, I remember just being sad then. She never did see us again.

Grandma was my Mom's mother. I have to say she's the one I have the least....connection to. I just remember her being a gentle spirit, a gentle soul. But we didn't really see her that much cuz my Mom's parents lived in Ibadan though they were very much a part of our lives. Maybe much of this is because my own Mom and Grandma were never too too tight so it's possible it translated on to us. Grandma was apparently a disciplinarian and strict too! She was extremely protective of her daughters I think cuz my Mom always complained that she was never allowed to do the things her twin brother did. There are certain sayings and Yoruba proverbs that my Mom says a lot and has passed on to us that I know where from Grandma. She was just that kind of woman, very upstanding, very traditional. One thing that is interesting is that she got married late (mid to late twenties i think which is old for her generation) and to a man who was 10 years her senior! I think she was the original independent woman jo! She and her husband ran many businesses but mostly, she kept a clothes store in Dugbe and my Mom has fond memories of the Dugbe Market days. I never saw the store sha, that era ended before me!

I think I've left the absolute best for last!!! Grandpa is my mother's father. I LOVE Grandpa. I always say this: the best man I've ever known is my grandpa. He was just phenomenal, kind hearted, gentle, wise, funny, intelligent, intellectual, open minded, generous, caring, God-fearing, faithful, everything good in the world sha, my grandpa was. My Mom LOOOOOOOOOOOOOVED her father so much and they were very close, he in turn absolutely adored her. There's a family pic of my mom's when they were all little and while everyone was standing upright, my mom was leaning on her father's leg, looking so contented. My Mom called her father unfailingly every Sunday....we always knew whenever we heard "Papa Mi....Papa Mi.." that it was that time again lol. They loved each other and my Mom lost her father just 4months after losing her husband so you can imagine how tough.

Grandpa was born 1910, can u imagine! He was the first son of a royal family of Odogbolu (Moloda) and was next in line but rejected the crown because of his religious beliefs. While i'm not particularly sure exactly what Grandpa trained as, I think it had something to do with Agriculture cuz he worked at the Agric Ministry for a looong time, he also owned a bakery for a loooong time, lol. He was also the first person to have a car in the town they lived in at the time so you know.....he was happening now, lol. Grandpa converted to Christianity and joined the Cherubim & Seraphim (C&S, Kerubu ati Serafu, K&S) Church and by the time of his death he was the Supreme Head of C&S Churches in Nigeria and Worldwide....meaning he was like Pastor Adeboye, but for C&S....kinda.

I was always close to sha and again, maybe because of my Mom's relationship with him I always thought he was the most fabulous thing after sliced bread. Grandpa remembered EVERY SINGLE THING you ever tell him, and he'll ask you about it later, so if you said "Oh I joined the choir grandpa" whenever you talk to him he'll ask you about it which always made you feel connected to the guy cuz he always remembered. Also he was very patridge-y/cosby-ish so he was always happy with like cousins singing group, and grandkids association, etc. To say he was the patriach of the Osinowo family would be a gross understatement! He was like the don everyone respected and deferred to and everything. The pillar of strength for all those around him. A fountain of wisdom, love, and advice. He and his wife were married for 50 odd years and my sis said at grandma's funeral, he just sat there looking forlorn and lost and the next morning when she went to wake him up, he was curled up on HIS side of the bed while the other side (Grandma's side) was still neat and fresh. He was sad he had lost his partner of so many years.

Grandpa knew everything o! and could read and read and read. He kept diaries since he was like young, wrote his family history, translated the C&S english hymnal to yoruba at like 80! The last time I saw him, he was like 90 and still had a mountain of books on his bed that he was currently reading. When we moved to Canada, I decided I was going to write him letters periodically and tell him how everyone was doing which I continued even till 2003/04. Grandpa cherished those letters and in 2004 when I saw he practically asked me about all those things I was writing!!! He was even asking my siblings questions about them and they were shocked, not knowing I had gisted him jo! lol. He was asking me about Quebec and whether I learnt French there since he always wanted to go there.....this is from a 90 year old man o! lol. I loved him so. Because of him I can never think all men are bad, or all people are bad or any of those kinds of thinkings we get from time to time, cuz I always remember my Grandpa was a good guy. A genuinely good human being. Because of him I will always feel connected to Odogbolu because it meant so much to him that we all remember where we came from.

Whew! There you have it - My Peeps! the ones whom I stand on their shoulders. Maybe one day my own grandkid would write something like this about me in the space blog or something that they'd have!