I married John when I was 25. He was the love of my life. Our wedding was on September 11th. He was John. I was 25 and our wedding was on the 11. That gave us John 25:11:
Jesus said to her: “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die.”
It didn’t make sense to people but to us, it made a lot of sense. The most important numbers in our lives give us a beautiful bible verse and it meant a lot to us.
We stayed for two years and had a boy, James. He was our blessing and all the grace we sought for in our marriage.
When James was one, we decided to take him to visit my husband’s parents. It was Christmas, so in a way, we were celebrating Xmas and also bringing James to his dad’s hometown for the first time.
We got to Asankragua at 11:am and picked a taxi home. At a point, our taxi had to branch and make a U-turn to join the main road. Immediately the driver negotiated the curve and was about to hit the main road, a speeding vehicle out of nowhere ran into the side of the taxi.
The loud noise of the collision was enough to kill the faint-hearted. I didn’t see anything again. I passed out. The only thing I recall was the shout “Jesus!” just before the car crashed into ours. But I don’t remember who shouted.
I regained consciousness at the hospital. My left arm was in a bandage and had stitches just below my right jaw. I couldn’t speak clearly. My husband’s parents were called in when I got conscious. The mother wasn’t looking good. Her eyes were swollen and looking like she’d cried a river.
I asked where my husband and kid were. My husband’s father told me there were in a good shape and were in another ward. Something didn’t look right. A lot of things actually.
Immediately I asked the whereabouts of my husband and kid, my husband’s mother started crying. The husband was trying to shush her but she couldn’t help it.
I knew something was wrong. I knew they were trying to hide something from me…
My husband and kid couldn’t make it. That was the truth they were hiding from me.
Everything became blurry. Somehow, I wished I was the one dead so John and James survived. I cried but nothing could bring them back to life. I asked God, “but you told us if we believe, we’ll live even if we die? So why are they dead with all their beliefs in their hearts?
No answer came. Obviously
Soon it was a year. Another year passed by and I still had traces of pain written all over my life. Time heals but it doesn’t erase the scars I guess.
At 31, I got married again—Martin. Martin was kind to me from day one. He was very sympathetic to my story and even offered to take me to the graveside of my boy and husband.
When he proposed marriage, I was skeptical at first but he was real. He was very authentic about his feelings towards me and I appreciated that.
We had a small traditional wedding and started a life together. Seven months later, I was pregnant. The joy was boundless, even greater than the joy I felt when I conceived James.
I was nine or 10 months pregnant when Martin had to travel to Prestea for his usual contract works. He told me: “It’s not anything big. By two or three days we would be done.”
I hope you don’t have to travel again when you return. From the look of things, if we don’t take care, you’ll be away when I deliver.”
He smiled: “By all means, I would be home when it happens, you don’t have to worry.”
When he got to Prestea, he called me. We spoke all night until there was no word to say.
He said: “Say hi to the baby for me.” I ran my hand over my stomach and said: “Dad says hi.” We said our goodnights and hang up.
I saw his missed call when I woke up the next morning. I tried calling back but he didn’t pick. Some hours later, I called again, he didn’t pick. “That’s so unlike him,” I said to myself.
It was already noon and he still hadn’t called back. Schedules might have been tight, I thought. I called him again anyway. He didn’t pick anyway.
I heard my phone ringing. It was some minutes after 4:pm. It was him. Martin. I picked up and immediately started ranting: “I’ve been calling you all day. Has work been so tight that you couldn’t even pick up to say hi to me? Anyway, I’ve been thinking about you all day.
“I’m sorry, this is not Martin. I presume you’re the wife?” The voice on the other side asked.
I got embarrassed. I laughed and said: “Ow sorry about my etiquette, I thought it was Martin. Yeah, this is the wife. Has he misplaced his phone?”
There was silence. “Hello, are you there?” I asked. Still, silence. “Hello, talk to me. I’m the wife. Why are you calling with Martin’s phone?”
For some seconds, the voice said nothing. Later, he gave a huge sigh and said; “I’m sorry to be the one to break this news to you. Martin got electrocuted from one of our 11KV lines. He couldn’t survive it.”
“Hello, hello..you mean, you…you mean what? Martin did what?” I was losing my breath. But I wasn’t sure if I heard him right. I kept asking…
“Hello, could you come again? I didn’t get it the first time. What did you say? What happened to Martin?” I was already broken and in tears. I felt my heart was breaking inside my chest, I wasn’t sure what I heard but something rung true.
Calmly he said again: “Yeah I can understand your shock. We are equally broken and don’t know how we are going to go on from here….he died. He got burnt from the electrocution.”
I dropped the phone, sat on the floor and rested my head on the bed next to me. I was in denial. “No no, not again. Martin didn’t die. No..someone should call me and say something different. They should tell me it was a lie.”
I screamed my lungs out…Nooooooo!!
That was when neighbors started rushing in and asking why. But all I said was “No no no this can’t happen. Martin didn’t die”
They started screaming and those who can cry started crying too.
I called Martin’s line again: “Sorry, the number you’re trying to call…” They put his phone off.
My parents heard the news and came for me. Somehow, Martin’s parents also heard the news. They called and I confirmed I’ve heard the news.
Two men. Both buried. Two marriages that ended in heartbreak. What could I have done to save the lives of these two important men in my life? I had a little say in the events that took their lives.
John went with our one-year-old son. Martin left me with an unborn baby…a son I named Martin. Somehow, he’s a piece of the father so I gave him his father’s name.
I won’t talk about the disgusting names people called me after the event. No, I won’t talk about the maltreatment I received from Martin’s family. To them, I killed their son with my witchcraft.
To the society and the little world around me, I am a witch who only prefers to eat husbands. Men are scared to get closer to me, not that I care. I’m over love and I don’t have any desire to marry again but the stigma I go through sometimes gets to me.
I’m a strong-willed woman. This too shall pass I know but for how long, I don’t know.
I’ve loved two men to death but all I get in return is abuse and stigma from same people who ought to give me love, but you see: “Those who believe in him shall live even if they die.”
Physically, I’m dead but I’m alive through Christ who strengthens me.
-Dede Acheampong, Dunkwa-Ghana.
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