Dapo was dead.

Five months of marriage had ended just like that, and now she was a widow. How old was she?

“Ha.” Damola screamed before resuming her bawling as she collapsed onto the size-four mattress in her late husband’s former room. They had come to his mother’s house about eight days ago when he suddenly fell ill and they realized that special prayers were needed. He had later passed.

She blew her nose into her left hand without thinking. Tear-stricken eyes darted around the room quickly before she noticed a toilet roll on the trolley.

She stood up to get it…

GBA GBA GBA. She jumped.

“Damola, open the door,” a familiar voice shouted from outside.

She groaned. Why couldn’t these women just leave her alone to mourn in peace? It had been five days since she lost her husband, and yet visitors were following her around like hawks to ensure she wouldn’t “hurt” herself.

She picked up the roll and tore off a considerable amount with her right hand before cleaning the other.


“You people should let us open this door, so this girl doesn’t hurt herself,” another person outside the door spoke.

Without a second thought, Damola took angry and determined strides to the door, unlocked it, and pulled it open. Iya Oyebola, the head of the Good Women Association in her mother-in-law’s church, and two other women were staring at her pitiably.

“Ma ma se arare lese.” (Don’t hurt yourself, please.)

Damola shook her head as she struggled to keep herself together. “Please, can you just leave me alone? I need space,” she directed at Iya Oyebola.

“Damola, we can’t leave you alone. Who knows what you will do to yourself?” the woman defended.

Damola bit her lower lip as she held back her proposed words. She tried to convince them, “Mummy, please, I won’t hurt myself. I just need to reminisce on the memories I shared with Dapo, and this room will allow me to do just that.” She looked around the room as she finished talking. Everything her husband had shared in his teenage years and while they courted was here. He had left the house just three months before they got married, thanks to his redeployment to Ilorin.

She turned back to see the other two women looking at their leader, who seemed to be considering Damola’s words.

Iya Oyebola pouted. “Have you eaten?”

Damola groaned, “No.”

“Ha… This is 1 p.m. You need to eat na…”

She frowned, “Mummy, please, I will be fine. Just let me be for now.”

“How will I let you be? Your mother-in-law just finished taking pap and moimoi after we forced her, and you won’t eat? My daughter, you need to be the one to encourage her.”

Damola let herself loose. “Mummy…” she shouted. “Just leave me alone…”

Iya Oyebola looked shocked. “Are you shouting at me?”

“I’m not, Ma. Please, just let me have some breathing space.” She moved back into the room, leaving the door open.

The irritated woman clapped her hands. “Henn. See these children oo. If not for the situation, would we be begging you?”

“Abi ooo,” the other women nodded in agreement.

“What’s going on here?” Dapo’s mum spoke in the background.

“Thank God…” Damola whispered under her breath from where she now sat on the bed.

The women parted ways for Ronke as one of them spoke, “Your daughter-in-law has not eaten since morning.”

She shrugged in response. “Well, she will eat when she’s ready. Thank you very much. Please, just join those in the sitting room for now.”

Iya Oyebola gasped, “Are you not going to rebuke her?”

Ronke Fatunmbi grimaced, “Rebuke who? Someone who is mourning her husband?”

She rubbed her forehead tiredly. “Please, you people should leave my daughter and me alone for now.”

One of the other women had a smirk on her face. “Okay ooo. Do you even know if she has a role to play in your son’s death?”

“You will not talk to my daughter like that,” she responded sharply.

“Your daughter?” They looked around. “Your daughter is in the UK na.”

She softened tiredly. “You are right, but this is also my daughter. Please don’t disturb her.”

Damola looked at her mother-in-law, who seemed tired of the situation. “My dear, please try and take something, sogbo. Please call Mr. Sam also to bring a chicken for us so they can use it to prepare lunch for everyone in the house.”

“Alright, Ma,” Damola responded as the older woman turned to go.

“Mummy,” Damola called.

Ronke stopped. “Yes, my dear?”

Damola stood up to go to her.

“Stay.” She walked into the room amidst the other women watching while shutting the door behind her.

“Tor,” Iya Oyebola said as they walked away.

“How are you doing, Ma?” Damola asked as Ronke sat on the bed, causing it to creak a bit.

“I’m good,” she smiled thinly. “I’m good,” she repeated, this time a little more firmly, as if trying to convince herself rather than Damola.

“You know, Mummy, I have only known Dapo for about three years altogether, and I feel so distressed. You’ve known him all his life. How are you coping, Mummy?”

Ronke looked at Damola as she spoke. “You lost the love of your life and your husband. You lost the man you had planned forever with.”

Damola resumed crying. “But you lost a son,” she whispered.

Damola continued, “The one you carried for nine months, the baby you breastfed and trained, the child you…” Damola’s tears flowed freely as she saw her mother-in-law’s eyes now drenched in tears.

“The point is, how come you seem to handle this a little better than me? I mean, I have just come into his life; you have been there all his life.” She just couldn’t understand.

Ronke smiled painfully. “God.”

“It’s the Holy Spirit,” she whispered as if passing on a dear secret.

“You see, Damola,” she shifted on the bed towards her daughter-in-law so they were closer, “times like this are what let us know if we truly love the Lord.”

“When Dapo’s dad died, hmm, I almost lost it,” she shook her head.

“Our family was doing well, the children were doing well in the higher institution, and suddenly he goes on this business trip, and there’s an accident.”

“What broke my heart more was watching my son walk away from the faith, thinking God had deserted us.” Damola nodded. Dapo had told her about that time.

“He didn’t even want to hear me talk about God again. I wept and mourned my husband while still praying for my son’s heart to turn back to God.”

“It was tough,” she shook her head. “But then,” she wiped her eyes with her hands, “the Lord helped me through that time.”

“The Holy Spirit was ever-present with me.”

“He didn’t tell me not to weep, but he comforted me and helped me heal.”

“My son also mourned his father, but in a different way. He shut off from friends and family, and it was terrible. It was around that time you two met, and somehow love helped him get better, but he still needed Christ. Deep down, the hurt was still there. Well, you know the story from there.”

Damola nodded.

“My dear, it is in times like this that all those words and things one thinks he or she knows about God are tested.”

“It is in situations like this that we know those who love the Lord.”

Damola looked at her softly. “You know, your son and I were never really religious. Actually, I couldn’t really relate to the joy you had when he eventually said that prayer days before he passed, but I knew it meant a lot to you. We spoke quite a lot after that night, and he made me promise to consider believing.”

“He had said it would be his great joy if we see each other in heaven.”

Ronke nodded.

“You really shouldn’t delay making the decision because God is waiting patiently for you to accept his offer of redemption.”

She put her right hand across Damola’s neck. “You are a special lady. You know that, right?”

Damola blushed.

“We have not been so close, but I have never had any reason to regret having you come into my son’s life. You are nothing like the typical ladies of this generation. You have a kind and gentle demeanor.”

“In fact, I have no issue with you at all. I admire your dedication to making things work. You know, you remind me so much of Ruth.”

Damola looked at her questioningly.

Ronke opted to explain, “Ruth was the daughter-in-law of Naomi, and she was a very dutiful daughter-in-law. She was kind to Naomi and her husband, and they had a wonderful relationship even after her husband’s death.”

“Damola, you know I have been studying their story for some weeks now, and for some reason, I sense God has great things to do with us.”

“I sense that people will be awed at what our relationship will eventually become.”

The lady smiled.

Ronke looked around her son’s room for a split second.

“That reminds me, have you informed your uncle?”

“Uncle Saramadeen?” Ronke nodded.

“I have. I dropped a WhatsApp message.”

“He didn’t reply. He was so against me marrying Dapo for no reason. I can almost imagine him saying, ‘I told you so.'”

Ronke shrugged. “My dear, we’ll understand it all by and by.”

Damola sighed. “I really hope he can just understand how I feel right now because he is literally the only family I have since my parents passed.”

“You have me also as family,” Ronke smiled.

“I know,” Damola smiled back.

“And you are also welcome to stay here for now, pending when you want to resume work and go back to Ilorin.”


The older woman nodded.

“Thank you very much, Ma. I would really love to not go back for now. In fact, I think I may want to change base.”

“But for now, I plan to take about two months to myself, just to heal and re-strategize. My assistant is a trusted person and she handles the business like it’s hers.”

“Dam, I understand you. But, I want you to know that Dapo would never want you to put a stop to your life and pursuits. Please don’t close yourself off to opportunities to fly.”

Damola looked at her mother-in-law adorably. “Mummy, why are you different?”

Ronke looked puzzled. “Different? How do you mean?”

“A mother telling her late son’s wife to fly and not sulk for long. In fact, my friends were warning me about you telling me to close my store.”

She looked shocked. “Me? I don’t get it. Why would I do that?”

“Because your son, whom I married, died.”

“No ooooo. Damola, you have your life to live, and the truth is, you are still young. You are just 29 and you have no child yet for Dapo. It may not be easy to accept, but sooner or later you will have to love again and get married to another man.”

Damola was shocked. “You are saying that so freely Ma.”

Ronke hugged her briefly. “Damola, if you were my daughter, would I let widowhood turn into a prison for you?”

“Wow. You are different, Mummy,” Damola smiled broadly.

“You know, I decided when my children started getting married that I would love their spouses like my own children,” Ronke started.

“I prayed for that grace, and because you were distant in another state, we couldn’t share much, but I have always loved you. I just didn’t have a chance to display it too much,” she explained.

Damola couldn’t help but get emotional. “Mummy, thank you for being the mother I have missed for so long. Thank you for opening your arms to love me and accept me as yours.”

Ronke laughed. “Thank God ooo. I went through hell with my mother-in-law, and I don’t plan to reciprocate that to another girl. No. Love and kindness live here.”

A tear fell from Damola’s eyes. “My friends will not believe this if I share it with them. If only all mothers-in-law were like you.” She chuckled.

“No, Damola. If only all mothers-in-law were like Christ.”


“Yes, how would Jesus handle his daughter-in-law if it were him?”

“You know, even women who call themselves believers misbehave because they think their daughters-in-law will turn their sons’ attention from them. Some monitor and want to coordinate things.”

“In some families, in this situation, you might be asked to marry someone else in the family or stay unmarried. I know someone it happened to.”

“However, this is a Christian home, with Christ as our foundation, though for some time my son walked away from the faith. This family has moved away from tradition and culture, especially regarding heathen practices, and we will not treat you like that. I believe that when you fully come to know the Lord, we will explore more together.”

Damola had been listening and couldn’t take it any longer. “Mummy, this alone has ministered to me. I want to give my life to Christ.”

“Wow. Really?”

“Yes, Ma.”

“Thank you, Jesus,” Ronke laughed heartily. “Now your story does sound so much like Ruth’s.”

“Hmm,” Damola chipped in. Ronke knew she had to explain.

“Ruth was a Moabite. The Moabites worshipped idols. But her relationship with her godly mother-in-law influenced her and stirred up her desire to know about Israel’s God.”

“Ruth was kind to Naomi, even more so than you have been to me, and Naomi loved Ruth too. The Bible said Ruth was worth more than seven sons to Naomi. Can you think of that?”


“Yes. So imagine how close they must have been. I sincerely wish mothers would take time to study the relationship between Naomi and Ruth and young wives would adopt Ruth’s attitude. It would go a long way to fix many strained relationships between both sides.”

“Hmm. I would love to give studying Ruth a try,” Damola responded.

“Please do. It’s a worthy book to study,” her mother-in-law encouraged.

“Alright, Ma.”

“Yes, but first things first, you need Jesus in your life because it is by His Spirit you will understand and adapt the lessons in Ruth to your life.”

“I want Jesus, Mummy,” she groaned.

“Thank you, Lord.”

She led her to pray, and as she waited for Damola to make her personal confessions, Ronke closed her eyes in gratitude to God.

Oh, how she had prayed for the conversion of her daughter-in-law. It was now happening after her son’s death. She shook her head at how God sometimes allows things to unfold.

She had been so burdened and concerned when her son was getting married as an unbeliever. She had never ceased praying that God would bring both of them into the fold. Well, her son had later given his life to Christ, but on his deathbed. Her daughter-in-law was also now coming into the kingdom. She still had reasons to be thankful.

With God’s help, she would mentor this one like Naomi did to Ruth and trust God for a godly man for her too. Damola was her daughter now, and she would not fail God.

As Damola finished her prayers, she opened her eyes, looking more at peace than she had in days.

“Mummy, thank you,” she said, her voice soft yet resolute.

Ronke embraced her warmly. “Welcome to the family of God, my dear. This is just the beginning of a beautiful journey.”

Damola nodded, feeling a sense of comfort and hope she hadn’t felt in a long time. “I feel different already, lighter.”

“That’s the peace of God,” Ronke said, smiling. “It’s a peace that surpasses all understanding.”

Over the next few weeks, Damola settled into a new routine. She spent her mornings reading the Bible and praying with Ronke. They often studied the book of Ruth together, drawing parallels between Ruth’s journey and Damola’s current path.

Ronke was a patient and loving mentor, guiding Damola not only spiritually but also emotionally. They shared stories, laughter, and tears, forging a bond that grew stronger each day.

One afternoon, as they sat in the garden, Ronke turned to Damola. “You know, I’ve been thinking. There’s a women’s retreat coming up next month at our church. I think it would be good for you to attend. It will give you a chance to meet other women, share your story, and continue your healing process.”

Damola considered it for a moment, then nodded. “I think that would be good for me. Thank you, Mummy.”

Ronke squeezed her hand. “I’m proud of you, Damola. You’re showing such strength and grace.”

As the weeks turned into months, Damola began to feel a renewed sense of purpose. She gradually resumed her business activities though remotely, ensuring she balanced her work with her spiritual growth. Ronke’s encouragement and support were invaluable, and Damola felt blessed to have such a nurturing figure in her life.

One day, after a particularly moving church service, Damola approached Ronke. “Mummy, I’ve been thinking a lot about what you said. I want to use my experience to help other women who are going through similar trials. I believe God has a purpose for my pain.”

Ronke smiled, tears of pride in her eyes. “That’s wonderful, Damola. Your story can be a beacon of hope for others. God truly does work all things together for good.”

With Ronke’s guidance, Damola began volunteering at the church, sharing her testimony and offering support to other young women. She discovered a deep sense of fulfillment in helping others and felt her own healing process accelerate as a result.

As time passed, Damola’s faith grew stronger, and so did her bond with Ronke. They became not just mother-in-law and daughter-in-law, but true friends and spiritual companions. Together, they faced the future with hope and determination, trusting in God’s plan for their lives.

Continue reading

Dear Readers,

The story of Ronke and Damola, paralleled with Ruth and Naomi, offers timeless lessons on love, support, and mutual respect. Their journey underscores the beauty of nurturing relationships between mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law, showing how these bonds can thrive even in the face of challenges and grief.

As we reflect on the parallels with Ruth and Naomi’s story from the Bible, it becomes clear that God desires deep, meaningful relationships between family members. Ruth’s steadfast loyalty to Naomi, her willingness to embrace Naomi’s faith and culture, and her commitment to caring for her mother-in-law are inspiring examples for us today.

In Ruth 1:14, we see how Ruth clung to Naomi despite the opportunity to return to her own people. Her decision was driven by a deep bond and a desire to share in Naomi’s faith and community. This demonstrates the power of a mother-in-law’s influence when rooted in love and kindness.

Ruth 1:16 further illustrates Ruth’s devotion: “But Ruth said, ‘Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God.'”

This verse highlights Ruth’s commitment not only to Naomi but also to Naomi’s faith and values. It challenges us to consider how we can nurture similar bonds of loyalty and respect in our own relationships with our in-laws.

Ruth’s kindness and virtue were evident to everyone around her, as seen in Ruth 3:10-11: “And he said, ‘May you be blessed by the Lord, my daughter. You have made this last kindness greater than the first in that you have not gone after young men, whether poor or rich. And now, my daughter, do not fear. I will do for you all that you ask, for all my fellow townsmen know that you are a worthy woman.'”

This passage emphasizes the importance of virtuous character and kindness in fostering healthy relationships between mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law. It challenges us to cultivate virtues that honor God and bless those around us.

In Ruth 4:15, the neighbors praised Ruth, saying, “He shall be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age, for your daughter-in-law who loves you, who is more to you than seven sons, has given birth to him.”

This verse celebrates Ruth’s deep love and care for Naomi, illustrating the profound impact of a daughter-in-law’s love and loyalty on her mother-in-law’s life. It encourages us to cherish and honor the relationships we have with our family members, including our in-laws.

In conclusion, let us learn from the examples of Ruth and Naomi, and from the beautiful journey of Ronke and Damola. Let us embrace love, kindness, and mutual respect in our relationships with our mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law. May God bless our homes with peace and harmony as we strive to build bonds that honor Him.

I encourage you to study the book of Ruth for yourself, allowing the Holy Spirit to be your teacher. You will be inspired by Ruth’s story and challenged to apply its timeless principles to your own relationships. May we all strive to emulate Ruth’s loyalty and virtue, creating homes filled with love and God’s presence.

May the Lord bless you abundantly as you seek to honor Him in your family relationships.

Warm regards,

Peculiar-Inspiro ✍️

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