A man could be forced to become generous because of some circumstances but it is not so with my father. A virtue you will easily notice in him after a little time with him is his sincere generosity which lives in him like his very own heart! It is the kind of generosity that extends to known and unknown people around us, everyone who seems to deserve it and everyone who requested it at any time.
Several years ago, two ladies came to the town that we lived I to look for someone who lived in the house opposite ours. There were no cell phones in the country at that time and only the very rich had land phones which were not always working. They didn’t know their real host was not going to be around so they sat in front of our house where my mum kept a provision store until it was time for her to lock up the store. Before then my dad had struck a conversation with them and they were already feeling at home. To cut the long story short my father invited them into our house and they were to sleep in my room.
I have a large room with two big beds and here was I with a little body that barely occupied a quarter of the bed so every visitor had a chance to sleep in my room. At some point I was wondering if my dad didn’t get scared that they would do something to his son considering the fact that he barely knew them! Beyond housing people, I know very well about several times when he would by food and send to some people who are not in any way related to him. I know of some times when he didn’t even have a lot of money on him but he still had other people in his budget.
Shortly before he died there was a scenario at the hospital that my mum later narrated to the family. There was a man who slept beside him in the hospital shortly after he stopped using the oxygen. I guess the man would have become a good company for him because they were two sick people looking forward to their families every morning apart from the fact that they expected to get well and leave the hospital beds. One day my father noticed the man was hungry and there was no cash on him. Not even the person who sat by him all the time had enough cash to buy him a meal for the afternoon so my dad called my mum in and asked her to drop a thousand naira. My mum obviously wondered what he was going to do with the money on the hospital bed but she didn’t question him. After my mum left the room, my dad gave the one thousand naira to this gentle man beside him and that was when the man could ask someone to get him something to eat for the day.
I have no doubt that this man was very grateful but he was also very shocked because my father died about a day or two after that incident right beside him on the hospital bed. I have several stories to tell you about a father who never hesitated to be generous but the stories wouldn’t make much sense if you don’t get the lessons his son is trying to pass across after watching him closely for over twenty years.