Every day, the Okafors’ gather together at the small space in their parlour. This is a daily routine in their home. They never fail to observe this ritual every morning. As soon as Mama Chidi wakes up in the morning, all thanks to the wake-up alert from the Alarm Clock, which interrupts her deep sleep, she rushes to the bathroom to ease her heavy bladder. She does this every morning before proceeding to wake up her four children.
The last person to get up is usually her husband, Papa Chidi, who likes to stretch himself for some extra minutes before jumping out of bed. Papa Chidi, is always very reluctant to leave his cozy bed, but he needed to go to work and earn an income for the sake of his family. One thing he never fails to do as he takes a step out of the door, is to check the clock. He enjoys the extra 15 minutes after the initial sound of the alarm at 5.15 A.M. He must be in the parlour at 5.30. A. M.
The family of Mr. Okafor was a close knit family and the atmosphere in their three bedroom flat where they have lived in the last 5 years is always peaceful and fun-filled. When everyone has gathered together around the table in the middle of the parlour, Ngozi their first daughter begins to sing a familiar tune and they all raise their voices in chorus. They start this session with praise and worship songs. During the week days, two or three worship songs leads them into sessions of prayers as they each take turns to pray for their family and commit the day’s affairs into the hands of God. And Papa Chidi rounds off the session with a thanksgiving prayer.
The interesting part of the early Morning Prayer period is that it affords them family time. A brief moment to gather together. A time to look intensely into a sibling’s eyes, or a mother casting occasional glances at her children trying to search for any tale signs of anything. It’s always a time to hold hands and bond as they share the grace together before going off to tackle their morning household chores.
“Now, everybody, go do your house chores. Hey, Ugochi, don’t forget to brush your little brother’s teeth. Chidi, peel that yam by the corner of the stove while I pick the vegetables”. The family is already used to the familiar daily instructions from Mrs. Ifeoma Okafor.
“Ngozi, Ngozi, where is this girl? “Ngozi, she yells”. A rattled Ngozi appears at her mother’s side. “Bia, don’t forget to iron your school uniforms because I can see they are all rumpled and creased. I wonder why your uniforms are always puckered in wrinkly clumps after every wash. Anyway, make sure you iron it fast. Ngwa, you all get to your duties so you don’t arrive late to school”. With that last instruction, she proceeds to the kitchen to prepare vegetable sauce for her family. Today, Yam, tomatoe and vegetable sauce will be served for breakfast. A dish they all enjoy.
Day in, Day out, Monday through Friday, they repeat the same routine, the same ritual except during the weekends when they wake up a little bit late to enjoy more sleep. After all, no one is hurrying off to school or work and the alarm clock also observes some rest in the weekends. No wake-up calls, no loud buzzing, no beeping and no snooze sounds from the clock on Saturdays and Sundays. No. There is no jumping out of bed or stretching and growling as they make their ways to the lovely parlour.
What a way of life? Such a daily routine. Such an interesting daily ritual. Such a religious lifestyle. Such existing realities. A soothing tale of a remarkable lifestyle imbibed by the beautiful family of Mr. Paul Okafor.
In response to the Daily Prompt – Lifestyle.
Peace and Love!
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