Tag Archives: Life

Every Mile Mattered

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I read a story of a woman whose story almost broke the internet after she gave birth 40 years post marriage. If she lived in my part of the world, the chastisement, judgement, and name calling would have been enough to make her feel worthless. It took four decades for her to finally own a son she can call hers. I shudder to think about the countless times she cried herself to sleep and the many days on which she felt incomplete among her peers. All those days her faith wavered, yet, she held on somehow have been rewarded.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Recently, my cousin graduated college after six years. If you’re guessing it’s no news because medicine students spend even more years in school, then i’m sorry to burst your bubble. She needed only four years to get hold of that degree certificate she proudly has now. I hadn’t experienced someone get so fulfilled in life until i saw her clad in her graduation gown that day, I felt so proud of her. When she recounted her predicament, you could testify that it hadn’t been easy. Today, she has new song.

Photo Credit: KCube Photography

Photo Credit: KCube Photography

My very good friend tells me how he got bounced from the US embassy when he applied for a visa to study abroad. On his way back home he ate Jollof at Linda D’or Restaurant, he swore the food was bad. But that same food, he ate it again, this time after he had gotten the visa and guess what? He really enjoyed it, it was delicious. What was the magic?

I envisioned to finish my first degree at 22, start my career and be on my way to becoming one of the finest communicators, get married and start my own life…
At 25, I have none of that happening. But, I look back and see what I’ve been through. They look like detours but not exactly. I’ve not attained it all but I’m glad that I have the experiences I have gathered along the way.
It tells me that, although I’m not where I want to be yet, I’m definitely not where I wouldn’t have loved to be. I’ve been through good and bad days, I’ve met amazing and bad people. I know you have too. Take a moment and reminisce, see how all those experiences have shaped your perspective and built your character…

There’s hope to be found when life takes you on a detour. Every tear, pain, every feeling of rejection, every sorrow you gathered on your way, they don’t define who you are or what you will be. It’s history. You can choose to stay and wallow in your past if you want to. But here’s your motivation, you aren’t what you used to be and your past is not prophecy of your future. Get rid of the “shoulda, coulda, woulda’s” and position yourself to embrace what the future holds for you. If you’re already continuing in His lead…for the win. Don’t beat yourself because really, Every mile mattered .

The Writer, Jackie Hanson

The Writer, Jackie Hanson


Light and Love,
Signed: Jackie Hanson
The Khayil Woman

Ps: The title of this article is inspired by US Singer, Nicole Nordeman’s single, “Every Mile Mattered”. You should listen to it, you’ll be inspired even more.

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NO SHADES OF GRAY PT 3

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    PART 3
    CHAPTER 10
    Fast forward today, i lay in the hospital bed with my mom and Oscar’s sitting beside me. My mom had called Oscar’s mom to tell her what she had seen and what had gotten me unconscious. They only knew the tip of the iceberg. They couldn’t wait to hear the story so I gave it to them.

    Before I met Oscar, I was in an “ungodly” relationship with Greg. Greg was a sweet guy but wasn’t saved. He wasn’t even a church-goer, at least. He was what we call “bad boy”. We used to have sex, go to the club and do all of the things that are considered “worldly”. My mom didn’t like my relationship with Greg neither did she like him. I loved Greg but I loved God. I will go to church on Sunday morning but spend the rest of the day with him doing what I shouldn’t be doing as an unmarried Christian lady. I wanted Greg as much as I wanted God in my life. But really, I couldn’t have my cake and eat it. I had to choose one. I remember he told me once bluntly that, it’s either I stayed with him or I left and focused on my God. He was sweet and charming and I couldn’t imagine leaving him. But I had to decide. I had reached a point in my life where I needed to take my relationship with God a notch higher, that was one of my new year resolutions. I knew I didn’t have to be a lukewarm Christian but I couldn’t help it so I stayed with him.

    CHAPTER 11
    When Oscar came into the picture, I realized that he was everything Greg wasn’t. He looked like a saint. He was God fearing but wore denim jeans and desert boots. He was different from the other church guys who still wore 15yards of trousers and had no chill. But Oscar!!!

    I didn’t think twice anytime I had to hang out with Oscar. Greg noticed I had changed but I couldn’t face him and tell him I was seeing someone I had wanted all this while. He loved me but not the kind of love that Jesus admonished the church to. His love was the “let’s make love if you truly love me” kind of love.
    He noticed my change of behavior and even caught me with Oscar one day. That was when he finally gave up and we broke up. I wasn’t hurt or broken hearted but I heard through some of our friends that Greg was having a hard time dealing with the break up, I cared less.
    As for my mom she was happy I had finally left the devil and met the saint, Oscar.

    CHAPTER 12
    Oscar had left his city to start a new life in my city where we met. His past was nothing good to write home about. Not knowing, he was a womanizer who had had almost 4 divorces. He used his charm on rich independent women and lured them to fall in love with him and eventually married them. He later poisons them or arrange with robbers to invade their house and operate. They kill the women and frame it as though they were indeed attacked. Oscar now becomes the rightful custodian of their money and properties then he relocates to another city for another candidate. I was going to be his 5th.

    However, the only son of his last late wife wasn’t having it. Prince, a junkie had escaped from the rehab center he was in when he heard what had happened to his mom and her money. He started tracking Oscar and threatened him to give him back what he had “stolen ” from his mom or he will kill him. Oscar as clever as he was will play on the guy’s intelligence, give him some money for drugs and hope that, that will be the end but this guy will show up again.
    In their last conversation, Prince threatened to ruin his wedding by killing his bride if he didn’t sign the power of attorney over his mother’s inheritance.

    Oscar still refused to budge and sign within the time frame he had been given. He thought I will be the one to be shot after all, he couldn’t be bothered.
    That fateful day, our wedding day, the tables turned and Prince executed what he had said he would. No, he didn’t shoot me for Oscar to escape? He shot Oscar and he himself was ran over by a tipper truck driver on the highway, we heard.

    CHAPTER 13
    Oscar’s mom buried her face in her palms and wept like a child.
    My mom apologized to me for contributing somehow to everything that had happened to me. She felt guilty. She was the one that influenced me even more to leave Greg and go after Saint Oscar.
    We left the hospital and I later found out that, in the season which Greg’s heart was broken by me, he found his way to church and surrendered his will to God, asked for forgiveness and set out on a whole new journey crazily for the things of God and totally in love with his new found love, Jesus. I heard he had even met a lady and they were preparing to get married.
    Until then, I didn’t know how much I loved Greg and how much I regretted for leaving him.
    I consoled myself. Perhaps we weren’t meant for each other or this is how it was meant to be.
    I went back to church, started the new converts class all over again, prayed more often and read the Bible like I should.
    I surrendered and gave my life back to God as a blank canvass and asked Him to paint it the way he wanted to.

    The END!

    DISCLAIMER:⚠️ The image of the person used in this story is not associated with the events in the story.It is only a fiction!

    ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: Thank you to Jemmy Monney for allowing me to use her photo. ☺️
    Written by Jackie Hanson
    www.thekhayilwoman.com

    The writer, Jackie Hanson

    The writer, Jackie Hanson

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NO SHADES OF GRAY PT 2

Photo Credit: Carlos and Catherine Howze

Photo Credit: Carlis and Catherine Howze

CHAPTER 5
Anyone who knows me, Clara Afua Woode, knows me to be very inquisitive. I’m not gullible. I really love to pry and find answers to anything that bothers my mind. Besides, I have learned to trust my instincts. Trust me when I say, I pay a great deal of attention to my instincts.
It even grew worse after Oscar’s demise. My desire to find out who killed my husband was fierce and it made me pay attention to the slightest detail.

CHAPTER 6
In Oscar’s “Recently Deleted ” album were screenshots of messages between himself and an unknown number, the number had no name.
You had to see what I was seeing. I didn’t even know if to scream or keep mute. My hands shook as I read on and my feet trembled. Beads of sweat had already started forming on my forehead and chin. Chills run through my spine and my legs couldn’t bear the pressure. The images I was seeing and the texts I was reading were horrible! That was what got me crashing on the floor and finally landing in the hospital bed, I guess.
I had fallen into a coma and being unconscious for 2days.
Oscar wasn’t all that he said he was. He was trickster with a Ph.D in pretending.
I regretted ever meeting him.

CHAPTER 7
I met Oscar as a greeter at my church. He was a new convert and had just finished his New Convert class. In my church, after going through the disciple class, new converts are encouraged to join any movement of their choice to help them get active in church and while at it, work out their own salvation with fear and trembling. That day, I had to be literally dragged out of bed to go to church cus I was so tired from the other night’s party with the girls. On my arrival at church, I was greeted by this tall, dark, fit and cute guy. My decision to come to church wasn’t a bad one after all. Whew!
He was so sweet. He smiled and said, “welcome to today’s service” then reached out for my hand and helped me climb the stairs. He looked absolutely stunning in his jeans and well pressed white shirt with his sleeves folded just the way I love to see my man. His smile was infectious and it stayed with me throughout the service. I wanted to see him again!

CHAPTER 8
After service, I headed towards the car park and reached for my car. Immediately I was ready to move, I looked through my rare view mirror and behold…there was the greeter! Ouh! God’s sense of humor amazes me, I thought to myself and smiled.
Before I could say Jack he was standing beside me. I had to pretend I wasn’t crushing on him but my nerves betrayed me. This ensued between us:
Oscar: Hi, I’m Oscar and you are?
Me: I’m Clara.
Oscar: Kindly pardon but seeing you earlier, I felt you needed some good amount of sleep. It showed all over your face though you tried concealing it with make up. (Smiles)
Me: Oh you don’t say! I was tired and didn’t even want to come but my mom wasn’t having it. How long have you been here in this church ? I don’t think I’ve seen you before.
Oscar: oh really? It’s been almost 6months.
Me: Wow! I don’t think I’ve noticed you.
Ok Oscar, clearly you know I need some sleep so I guess I’ll see you around.
Oscar: Oh yeah there’s a time for everything indeed. Maybe this is the time God destined for us to meet each other. I was just on my way out too. I look forward to seeing you again. Do have a nice week.
Me: Thank you !

CHAPTER 9
On Tuesday at the bank where I work as Customer Service personnel, there was Oscar sitting right in front of me seeking clarification on some issues with his account. Trust me, it was only a coincidence. I found out he had a fat account yet he appeared so humble and simple to me.
We exchanged pleasantries, he told me how happy he was to see me again. I gave him answers and the update he needed with what was going on with his money and bingo! The problem was solved.
It was around 10 in the morning so he offered to pick me for lunch later and I agreed. I would have been the biggest fool to turn him down, i told myself.

Days and weeks passed and we kept seeing each other. There was something quietly amazing about this guy I couldn’t place my finger on. His baritone voice resounded in my heart and ears and it was a joy to hear him speak or even say my name, “Clara”. He was careful and gentle. The kind of guy who will open the car door for me and draw the chair for me to sit at lunch or dinner. He will compliment me and make me feel good about myself. In one of our conversations, I got to know that we shared the same perceptions on sex before marriage. He told me he had repented and accepted the Lord as his personal savior and that meant he will obey His precepts including waiting until marriage before sex. Ooh hallelujah! This is my portion, I said a silent thank you prayer.
I must admit that everything was moving so fast but I couldn’t be bothered. One fateful day while we were out for dinner, he pulled out a ring proposed to me. Did I say yes? I bet you guessed right!
Joy, like a river filled my soul.
Little did I know that was the beginning of my woes.

End of Part 2. Watch out for how this story unfolds in the final part.

DISCLAIMER ⚠️ The people in the image used are not in any way associated to this story. This is only a fiction!

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: Thank you to Mr&Mrs Carlis Howze for permitting me to use this photo. 🎀

Written by Jackie Hanson
www.thekhayilwoman.com

The writer, Jackie Hanson

The writer, Jackie Hanson

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NO SHADES OF GRAY

Photo Credit: ShutterStock

Photo Credit: ShutterStock

NO SHADES OF GRAY
PART 1

CHAPTER 1
My dream to be a happy wife was short lived a few minutes after I had said”I do” to the man of my dreams. I could see the fire in Oscar’s eyes as he watched me take steady strides down the aisle as his bride.
I bet too many thoughts rushed through his mind. His facial expressions read something like, “Finally, I’ve paid the bride price. She’s going to be officially mine, Mrs Owusu Afriyie. Cheers to the end of lonely and cold nights. Waiting wasn’t easy but worth it after all.” I watched on as he beamed with glee. He couldn’t wait to carry me in his arms for the honeymoon at a coded location, it was going to be a surprise.

CHAPTER 2
Fairly, everyone was merry and excited to see us, two love birds on the dance floor dancing during the couple’s first dance. Ouh….Oscar had some crazy dance moves.
What seemed all exciting and beautiful came to a grinding halt when gunshots were heard firing all over the banquet area where the wedding reception was going on. People had to run for their dear lives by all means possible. They trampled over each other, there was a serious stampede.
Myself and my husband tried to escape the scene to find refuge somewhere. Just as we turned to head in the direction, there stood a fierce, masked gunman who fired four bullets into my Oscar’s chest….pow pow pow pow!!! Clearly they came for him. No one got shot but my Oscar. He died on the spot!

There was my husband laying helpless in my arms with blood gushing out from his chest and ribs. My Prince Charming, my tall glass of hot chocolate and husband of my dreams was gone in a split of a second. I couldn’t accept the reality. I cried my lungs out.
They should have shot me too so we die together, I cursed. In the spur of that moment, I only wanted to die. My insides churned. Only God knew what pain I was in. But why??? I had too many questions I never found answers to. What has my eyes beheld? How was I going to live the rest of my life seeing my best friend and lover die so painfully in my own arms?

CHAPTER 3
My brother and some relatives came and managed to carry him away from me to the hospital cus I won’t let go, it was a struggle. I couldn’t let him go just like that? What about the dreams we shared and the plans to make our home a haven to our kids? No Oscar!! Noo! This couldn’t be goodbye!
That night was supposed to be when we would first make love to each other. It was supposed to be our honeymoon somewhere serene and peaceful. But there I was with stains of blood and memories of the worst day ever. I was restless, broken and greatly saddened. A green leaf had fallen!

Oscar’s mom had already grown fond of me even before we started plans to get married. Such a great mother in-law she was going to be. She was with me every step of the way comforting and praying with me like my real mom did. She promised me we will get to the bottom of the matter and my husband’s killer would be brought to book. For some reasons, every time she said that, my heart leaped with joy. I sought vengeance so badly.

CHAPTER 4
The funeral rites were quickly over. Friends and sympathizers had left to continue with their own lives. Where was I going to start from? Hmm…your guess is as good as mine.
3months since 19th June had already come by and I had still not gotten over the shock. I didn’t want to accept that I needed therapy. My mom suggested she moved in so she could keep an eye on me, it was a great idea. All too soon I was the baby Clara she had carried in her arms some 29years ago catering for my every need.
One Sunday afternoon after church, I had managed to swallow some morsels of fufu with peanut butter soup and was feeling just ok. I decided to switch my late husband’s phone on. It was one of the things I used to do anytime I missed him.
I had already replied a bunch of the messages and chosen to ignore some. For once, I scrolled through his contact list and watched his pictures from one album to the other.
From the early stages when we used to go on lunch dates, the movies, Praise and Worship Concerts and our favorite Uncle Ebo Whyte’s play shows at the National Theatre. Those were priceless moments.
Then I opened the “Recently Deleted ” album also to see the not-so-cute selfies and pictures that never make the cut to Facebook and Instagram, I smiled.
Little did I know that, not everyone ‘s “Recently Deleted” album were necessarily a carrier of ugly selfies. All the answers I needed to know as to who killed my husband of 2hours were right before me.
End of Part 1!
Watch out to see how this story unfolds in the next part.

Written by Jackie Hanson
www.thekhayilwoman.com
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A Little Here and There, A Lot More In Store!

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To me, one’s ability to write is a beautiful and priceless gift. Why? Because not everyone can translate their feelings into words.
One of the amazing compliments that warms my heart is to see, “Thank you Jackie. You have a way of saying it exactly how it is, just how I feel…” I love to hear these…

These few months of blogging and telling people’s stories and coming back to read criticisms and compliments from you are beautiful moments. In fact, I look forward to hearing from you every time I put something up.
As I read your reactions to my articles, I get to know what stories make your insides churn, the issues that bring chills through your spine, the ones that make you want to have a self check and above all, the ones that challenge you to be a better Christian.

Aha! About being a better Christian, just so you know, I’m not a saint. I share my experiences with you in writing and suggest to you how you can overcome some temptations and work at being like Christ.
It doesn’t mean I have it all together? No! It means I have my flaws too and I stumble in my walk with God. I don’t get it right always. But I believe that walking with God means a lifetime of grace, goodness and mercy. If then, let me continue walking…

Back to “writing”, I know I have been away for sometime. The reality is, I don’t always get inspired to write so you can also get inspired. Sometimes, I feel lazy and won’t complete what I begin. Forgive 🙈
There are times too, I feel you need a break just so I don’t become a bore to you. Right? And there are days when I’m caught up in life’s highs and lows trying to make something better for myself.

I’m not trying to make excuses for being that kind of writer…remember I told you it’s a blessing to know that I can be a blessing to you through my posts. Left for me alone, I wish I will leave you everyday wanting to read more from me.
I bet that time will soon come!

What about you? Need I mention, I hope you are being the best version of you and living the life that God planned for you when He formed you? Trust me, it’s the best thing that could ever happen to you. It’s peaceful.
One big lesson I’ve learned this past year is to live and enjoy my ‘now moment’. Instead of fretting and being anxious about things that are never going to be mine, it’s best to focus on what I have now and make the best of it. It’s golden!

Know this, as you walk with God, everyday may not bring bliss and glee. But you can trust that at the end of the journey, you will sing the victor’s song. Cheers to walking with God and growing. Happy new year!

I shall return!

Light and Love,
Jackie.🎀
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