About 19 years ago, my late father celebrated his 80th birthday in some style.He asked for all my cousins to bring their children and grand children to his house; he managed to spend the day with them telling them stories about his childhood and singing for them the songs that his mother and aunties sang for him as a toddler growing up in Accra and Cape Coast, He regaled them with the tales of his life in primary school at Cape Coast, Middle School in Accra, secondary school in Nigeria, University in Freetown, defending his Masters in Durham and his further studies in America. In the afternoon he threw a party for them and when their parents came to collect them he gave each one of them a present. i was told that he had up to around 50 children to deal with on that day, that was not much of problem for him because he had been a school teacher all his life and could engage children of all ages in meaningful conversation.
I am not yet 80 years as yet, i thank the Lord that i am now considered a senior citizen and should be getting my free bus pass soon and that i would no longer have to pay prescription charges again. So I thank the Lord for keeping me alive, for keeping me safe and healthy, the small comforts that i have been able to enjoy these several years, but also for allowing me to be part of several communities of interest and for the opportunity to engage in discourse with a wide variety of people on diverse subjects of interest.
i will continue to profess my faith in the Lord for the mercies that he has shown to me. i am writing this in prose but let me leave you all with the ode that my father wrote on his 80th birthday after all his guests has left.
i hope that you all enjoy it.
AN ODE ON MY 80TH BIRTHDAY
14TH FEBRUARY 1911-14TH FEBRUARY 1991
Today, God has blessed to be
My happy day of birth,
And what do I render him
For all these wonderful years of eighty?
For his redeeming grace,
For his care and protection of me,
For the blessings he has showered on me,
For giving me knowledge of his might and power,
For a father and mother who nurtured me,
For relatives and friends, good and honest, who cherish me,
For a loving consort selfless in her devotion,
For children born in the fear of God,
For a standing in the world that gladdens the heart,
For a smile that keeps shining on my face
Through prosperity and adversity,
And for making me know that thou
Art God Almighty worthy to be worshipped and praised,
And for thy son Jesus Christ to show me
An example of living life,
For all these manifest benefits and others,
I render profound thanks to thee O God,
And give praise to thy most Holy Name,
On this my eightieth birthday anniversary
14th Feb 1911 – 2nd April 1995