There is always a danger of posting one of your children’s picture when you have four kids. I am sure that they will all understand as my life takes another turn on my life road. At some stage I will write about all of them separately as no two kids are the same.
It is now the plan that I will spend the rest of my life with this beautiful child, Choochie. Well, that is what I call her anyway. I renamed all my kids with their own special names that only a father can give.
In 2017, after a very tough divorce, my second wife sold and packed up all our belongings and decided to move to Morocco. her mom was there and her family needed her to go there and care for her mom on behalf of the family. Unfortunately this meant that because she had custody of our daughter, Choochie, she would be moving as well. This broke my heart because at the time, all my kids had left me in this country to live out my years alone, childless and lonely.
Allow me to explain how I was alone although I had 4 kids…..
My first wife, Carol, left me in Ghana because our kids were schooling in South Africa and she wanted to be with them. Apart from that, our son was not taking to school discipline very well and needed a parent nearby. I could not find work in South Africa so had to stay in Ghana and support my family as they lived in South Africa. So, Carol to my two oldest kids to South Africa where I would visit twice a year. Since then, my two kids have moved on to the UK and USA. I don’t see them at all.
My second wife, Lucy, after the divorce moved to Morocco, but at this time Vivi, our oldest daughter in my second marriage, had already moved onto study in Russia. So, I was effectively left here alone as Choochie moved to Morocco. I will elaborate on all of this in future blogs. Vivi is also back with me but is a special gift. I don’t want to reference her now, she is worth her own blog.
So, 2017 came along and I experienced the worst Christmas, Father’s Day, Birthday and holidays that I had ever experienced. My kids and I are close but do not contact each other unless we have to. They would only contact me on these special days. They used to be special when I got spoilt by my girls with breakfast in bed, hugs and kisses and sometimes gifts. Suddenly there was nobody. I lost my smile, my laugh, my sense of humor and developed a new grumpy attitude hiding my hurt behind my quick defensive wit and sarcastic comments.
Living with the idea of dying alone and never seeing all my kids as often as I wanted to, started eating me from inside out. I used to watch TV but if a movie or a scene came on that had a child hug her father or achieve something on a sports field, I would burst out crying. I used to build up to strengthen myself to make a call to them by drinking large amounts of beer and slurring my courage at them. Most video chats ended with me crying, my sadness being sheltered by my drunken wit. Somehow I used to want to portray to them that I was fine, managing, alone but not alone. I never wanted them to feel sorry for me and feel that they needed to contact me more often. It was a dark period of my life. One day you wake up and you are a Dad, husband, provider, comforter, and role-model. The next day, it is all gone.
In January 2018, on the 12th, my life took another turn. My boss died in a hospital after a bike accident with me watching the life leave him. Not the start to a year I thought it would be. More about this period in future blogs.
Come February, I was expecting the worst to happen after January. But, it never did. I received messages from Morocco from Lucy saying that she was coming back to Ghana and that I would need to take Choochie from her to live with me. It all happened so quickly and so secretively that my head spun. The next thing I knew I was waiting at the airport in Accra for my little baby girl to come home. And she did.
I now have her living with me. We have big plans for the future. We have so many memories to develop. We have so much to live for. I still cry when I watch kids on TV, but now it is from the lonely memories that shake me to remind me what it was like.
Choochie was born, 14th July 1996, named Thalia Alexi Efua Bouwer, but I call her Choochie, my Choochie.