My summer vacation this year was eventful and quite exciting. It was weeks of absolute bliss with friends and family members. I spent quality time in great company. I mean never to be forgotten moments with some amazing people. These are people I could call true friends. People I could call family. People who would open the doors of their homes any time I knocked. They are friends who would offer me food without minding if I brought them tubers of yams or basins of Garri. These are friends who turned sisters and who eventually became family. You know that saying – family does not have to be by blood alone.
It all started by that conference call. Three of us discussed long into the night. We talked on strategies to adapt to make the birthday a big surprise. It was Rosemary’s birthday in July and we planned the event without her having the faintest inkling. Indeed, there is joy in a shared humanity.
What a surprise birthday dinner for Rosemary? Ha, Cordelia, I can’t believe we both travelled all the way from the United Kingdom and Denmark to give Rosy a huge surprise on her special day.
Still, the trip was worth the journey. I must admit the dinner was a small elegant gathering of beautiful people. The food was good. The restaurant was tucked in a serene environment in the heart of Dallas. The guy who waited for our table was simply courteous and amiable. He even offered to be the photographer of the evening. He did a fantastic job with the charming pictures that sent us grinning wildly as we took turns to view the clips in the camera. No wonder he got a generous tip for a job excellently done.
The initial plan for a surprise birthday, which was conceived by delectable Evelyn, was well hashed. Rosemary was clueless of the clandestine plans even on that very morning when she called Evelyn. I recalled that Cordelia and I laughed so hard at the background without betraying the secret. You should see the huge shock on Rosy’s face when she saw us appear in the restaurant. It was like someone who just saw some ghosts and she was pleasantly overjoyed, yet, awed on how the plan was well concealed.
Friends came together to celebrate their friend. We spent that cozy evening together, radiating love. Why did we undertake that long-haul trip? We did it for friendship. We did it for bonding in friendship. We did it for the love of friendship. We did it because sometimes physical contact is needed to strengthen the bonds of friendships, even with platonic relationships. Sometimes, having reunions rekindle the spark in friendships. True that we engage in long telephone conversations quite well because we all live in different climes, but nothing compares to the real hugs, the physical embrace, and the real togetherness amidst banters.
For the days and nights I spent savouring the summer days in the States, I had peace of mind. I was in the midst of friends who made me laugh so hard until I shed tears of joy.
So, today, I wanted to take out time to extend my admiration to all of them. To let them know that I can’t trade them for anything in this world. To tell them how appreciative I am for their kind souls.
Thank you, Dearest friends for the wonderful moments we all shared. Thank you for sharing laughter with me. Thank you for sharing those hilarious jokes with me. Thank you for sharing meals at the same table with me. Those moments we couldn’t stop laughing as we went down memory lane. Every joke, every conversation, every hour we spent together under the blue sky was memorable. Every click of the camera on our faces was saluted with laughter that echoed far into the midnight. I enjoyed the music that wafted through the black speakers, the strong hugs, the evening drive just to cruise around the city of Dallas, the ice-cream we all enjoyed at the ice cream house and the delicious steak at the Brazilian steakhouse.
Wow! How can I even forget the thrilling banters from the vivacious Cordelia who profusely declared an insatiable desire for the Mexican grill? Ha, our entertainment maestro grinding and stirring us with exciting stories as we ate our chipotle Mexican Mama put on that hectic Friday evening. Chipotle became an addiction that tickled my taste bud. I tell you, this foodie is a mouthful of healthy sunshine and its pocket-friendly too.
How can I forget the days spent in Houston with the charming Judith? Hey babes, I admire the strength you exude and the positive attitude and outlook you have for life. I feel so grateful to know you. It all started by that post I made on Facebook and your DM that came with the question:
“When will you arrive in Houston? I can pick you up from the airport if you want?”
When we finally met, you rushed out of your car and gave me one of the tightest hugs ever. You stepped back, looked me over again, and held me. I felt the love. I felt the warmth and I felt a surge of delightful emotions fill my hungry stomach. I’m in safe hands, I told myself.
Thus began the adventure of loads of yarns and chitchats that morphed into long hours of the interesting evening walks. The aesthetic pleasure we derived by taking photos of ourselves and the enchanting trees from Nature. Need I mention your palatial home? Did I tell you it was heavenly and that I could live there forever in utmost happiness? It was so heart-warming to laugh, to eat together and enjoy a bit of this year’s summer with your family. Thank you for the delicious Moi-Moi and that sumptuous Ofe Nsala you cooked as you awaited my arrival. Chei. I can’t believe you understood that I have an undying love for that traditional soup that induces the happiness glands when it is prepared deliciously with those tasty spices that give some tingly exciting sensation. Indeed, you took the cooking practical under your Mother’s tutelage so well. My whole being says “Tusind Tak” in Danish and “Dalu Sor” in my mother tongue.
Ray and Evelyn, what should I say again about you guys? You are two remarkable people with gigantic hearts. As I arrived at your impressive home in Dallas, both of you swung into action. Of a fact, you were so welcoming and gave everything you could to make my stay as comfortable as possible. You have displayed a great amount of love and compassion. And I have enjoyed your bubbling company and learned so much from the generous warmth you exude. I feel incredibly lucky to have met such an amazing couple who have become family to me. May God replenish you in profound ways that will make you jump in pure ecstasy.
I wanted to take this beautiful day to reflect on the times we spent engaging with one another. And to remind you all that you are special and that I love you from the core of my being. I may not say or write this kind often, but let this day be saved in history that I professed my utmost admiration for our friendship. You all have been a part of my life and I cherish every moment we gather together to talk, to laugh, to dance, to cry, to console, to advice, to celebrate and to just sit and admire our togetherness.
Together we stand. Together we are happier. And divided we fall into melancholy and bitterness. So, let’s continue to uphold the sceptre of love in our friendship.
God bless you all, my dear friends who have turned into my family.
Peace and Love!
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