Monthly Archives: May 2012

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Olympic champion expects to bounce back from poor performance … says only London matters

Despite a less than convincing performance in Ostrava a few days ago, when he clocked the slowest 100m time in his professional career, world’s fastest man Usain Bolt says he is unaffected with London Olympic Games just a few months away.

The double Olympic Champion has struggled to explain the 10.04 clocking which, despite being good enough to claim first place at the Golden Spikes meet, looked a long way off an average day, let alone his best. After spending an eternity in the starting blocks, Bolt struggled to overtake the field, but got the better of Kim Collins (St Kitts and Nevis) 10.19 and Darvis Patton (US) 10.22.

my rivals

“I don’t know what my rivals will think about it,” Bolt told UK online publication (

However, the athlete has made it clear that he will not be bothered by only one race and that the focus remained defending his titles at the London Games.

“It’s all about the Olympics. Losing one race, losing two races doesn’t matter, it’s about getting to the Olympics and doing your best.”

However, the last time the athlete failed to break the ten second barrier was on a cold wet night in Toronto, in a race that there were three false starts and he admits that he continues to be puzzled by the performance. Bolt began the season in impressive form with a 9.82 clocking at the Jamaica International Invitational and looked to be well on his way back to top form.

“My legs kind of felt dead. I don’t know the reason. Hopefully I can figure out what went wrong and I can fix it for the next run. I never felt the power out of my legs. It was going through the motions, really.

“Normally when I run I can tell what went wrong. Normally I can. I didn’t feel as explosive running from the blocks. My first 40 was really, really bad,” he said.

“It was just a bad day, I have to get past it and look forward to the next one.

“Losing one race, losing two races doesn’t matter, it’s about getting to the Olympics …”.


A Return to God

I am an only child. By nature, I am very objective, independent, and non-emotional. Although raised by a remarkable Christian mother, I started rejecting Christianity when I was a teenager. By the time I left home for college, I had totally wandered away from any form of relationship with God.

I spent over 20 years focusing on personal achievement and secular success. I majored in finance at Georgetown, studied comparative business at Oxford, received my law degree from Berkeley, worked in stereotypical glass-towered law firms, started my own technology law practice, and served in management for a high-growth telecommunications company. To me, life was about self and success. I didn’t have time for spiritual or emotional things. I operated on a stable and selfish plane — and I liked it that way.

When my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1995, I automatically dropped into my natural state. I provided energy, positivism, and intellectual counsel. I focused on the inevitable victory of recovery, rather than the daily drudgery of treatment. As my mother probably expected, I removed myself from the emotional, and concentrated on my role as the strong-willed only child with the unyielding positive attitude.

On October 5, 1999, everything began to change. My mother had just endured another round of chemotherapy, and she was scheduled to get her test results. She called and asked if I would attend the visit with her oncologist. (My mother had learned to always bring two sets of ears when test results and future treatment options were discussed.) Since her husband, Bob, was unable to attend, I agreed to take a morning off work to help my mom “collect information.”

As I sat and listened, the bottom of my stomach dropped to the floor. In an instant, my detached positivism started to shake at the seams. I listened as we were told about elevated cancer markers and a diminishing list of treatment alternatives. I was trying to get my emotional bearings, as the oncologist and my mother were talking about the tradeoff between ongoing treatment and quality of life.

Then it finally hit. . .

The reality of the disease, the reality of the prognosis, the reality of fewer and fewer treatment options, the reality that this was my precious mother enduring this real pain, the reality of life, and the reality of death. All of a sudden, I felt very awkward and alone. I was shocked by the truth of my mother’s disease and emotional about her uncertain future. It was then and there that I realized I needed to do more than mask feelings with supposed intellect and positivism.

After the doctor left, my mother looked into my eyes and saw right down to my heart. She reached out and grabbed my hand. She prayed — I cried. (Actually, other than casual prayers before holiday meals, this was the first time I had prayed in over 20 years. It was also the first time I had cried in nearly as long.)


WHEN they first got married, Melinda Jernigan did not know that her husband’s past life had involved an attraction to other men. She did not know that he was still struggling with the desires, in fact, it was not until after their third of nine children that he decided to reveal this part of his life to her.
“Having secrets is never right when you are married to somebody, because you need to be open and honest,” Jernigan said. “After our third child, he decided he needed to tell me. It was too much of a burden for him. And he just kept wondering ‘what if she finds out, what if she finds out, I will be rejected’.”
But Jernigan did not reject her husband, she immediately forgave him.
“When he shared with me I was like, ‘Oh! Is that all?’,” she said. “Because to me it was no different from any other sin I have had in my past. I had my own stuff. I had been promiscuous and I had relationships with other men — I didn’t come into the marriage pure,” she said. “So God had freed me from my own stuff and I think the same cross used to forgive my sins was the same used to forgive his. And so I forgave him completely. Because for one, he wasn’t still practising. There was no struggle, we had three kids, so everything was working in our relationship.”
Jernigan said as a result of his confession, they became even more intimate and she felt gratitude towards him for his honesty and a willingness to stand by him because she knew he genuinely loved her.
She had met her prospective husband while they were both students at university and at the time he had shown no indication that he was interested in men. They started dating, but Jernigan recalled that he would constantly break up with her.
“We were both in university and I didn’t know about his struggles,” she said. “I just knew he was creative and cute and I loved him. So we were dating off and on, and off and on, and I just thought he was a jerk,” she laughed. “He kept breaking up with me. But I didn’t know his struggle. It was not obvious. We were both in the music department and I was aware of the tendency of gay people to be in the music department. But he did not come off that way to me. So no (red) flags ever went up.”
When they left university they parted company as she went off to get her master’s in another state. A year later they again started communicating and developed a more solid relationship.
They got married shortly afterwards and started having children and had what Jernigan described as a “good marriage”. The only problem, she said, was that they were not as intimate as she thought they should have been.
But not being told from the onset that the man she was in love with was accustomed to the affections of men did not make her angry, and Jernigan felt she would have still married him and had his children.
“I don’t think it would have made a difference if I had known before that he was gay, because it was in his past,” she said. “Because there is honesty, there is nothing unspoken, nothing hidden (between us). There is not an assumption that there is something in your past that will come back and bite you. So we are united.”
All their children — four boys and five girls ranging from ages 17 to 27 — are aware of their father’s past.
Today, her husband Dennis says the greatest expression of love is not the sexual act, but the ultimate expression of love is the laying down of one’s life for the other. It’s something he says they have both done.
“I was scared to death to tell her,” Dennis admitted. “But there was a certain Bible verse that God used to get me through the fear, Psalm 107, Oh give thanks to the Lord for He is good, for His mercy endures forever. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom He has redeemed from the hands of the enemy. So the Holy Spirit reminds me that [it doesn’t matter] what you have been redeemed from, as long as you have been redeemed,” he said. “So when I told her it was this utter relief. I could just relax.”
Today, the couple fights the battle as a team.
“If it’s my battle, it’s her battle; if it’s her battle, it’s my battle,” he said simply. “I just feel I can overcome anything because of her.”
Melinda Jernigan said women in similar situations can be assured that there is hope and healing, no matter what.
“And forgiveness is a bigger power,” she said. “It gives you power to work together.”
She said the knowledge of her husband’s past gives them more power to fight.
“He is more of a man because he was open and honest,” she said. “Because he is honest… that gives me more admiration and respect.”





Dear Taiwo,
I implore you and your numerous readers who are mothers to, please, help me. I don’t know what to do and I have never seen a woman as devilish as my daughter – in—law.

Her effrontery scares me and I don’t know how to save my son from her claws. Even if I could, where will he go or how will he start his life again? He has been reduced to a lesser human being and I wonder if his dignity is still intact.

When they started their relationship, I complained about this lady but my son would not listen. In fact, at a level I was branded a witch even by my own son and he actually stopped me from coming to his house.

They both attended the same higher institution and she became pregnant for my son during her second year in school. I can say that that year was the toughest we had, because when her parents found out she was pregnant, they made life miserable for us all.

Despite the fact that they are very comfortable, her father insisted that since my son had impregnated her, she had become our responsibility. They knew that we were only comfortable, but not rich, but to the glory of God, we were able to see her through school and even to youth service.

The fact that we had to train the two of them while in the university was an additional weight on our finances, coupled with the fact that we also had to be responsible for the new born baby. This led to the fact that my other children had to learn different trades and could not further their education. They all did not get beyond secondary education.

Tobi, my son, realised this and the sacrifice his siblings gave him and was ready to help them, but his wife would not allow him.

After his youth service, he secured a very good job, and after working for about two years he felt it was time to marry Yemisi properly. Before then, I had seen some signs that she would not make a good wife, I raised this issue with my husband and son, but they said there was nothing that could be done about it.They said if she were my daughter, how would I feel, if the father of her baby refused to marry her.

I consented and started praying for my son, as there was nothing else I could do. She, however, began to show her true colour when I was asked to come over and help take care of the child she had immediately after their wedding ceremony.

Can you believe that Yemisi would leave me in the house and go to work without food? She would lock the kitchen and store and instruct her housemaid not to give me food. Several times, I have had to eat the food meant for her housemaid, as the little girl out of pity would give me her food.

Aside this, she would also instruct her not to allow me to carry the baby. I really do not know why she hated me that much. I raised this issue with Tobi, but he pleaded with me to be patient for his sake. He then resolved to bringing home food for me after he must have dropped Yemisi in the office.

This was how I stayed till I went back to my house. During the course of my stay with them, I fell ill and I needed to go to the hospital, she refused to allow my son take me to his office’s hospital. Her refusal led to a big fight between them and if Tobi had not stood his ground, I wouldn’t have received treatment at the hospital.

Her argument was that the facility they had at the hospital was meant for Tobi and his nuclear family alone. This was not a hospital they had to pay cash and it was my son’s company that would pay the bills.

After I had left, any of my children who went to see their brother was sent back. At a point, Tobi told his siblings to see him at the office and if any one of them had to spend a night, he would lodge them in the hotel.

When Tobi’s immediate sibling wanted to get married, Yemisi caused a lot of problems because she said that Tobi footed all the bills which were a lie any way. Few weeks after Lere’s wedding, Tobi lost his job. Nobody thought anything of this. It took him time before he could get another job.

Fortunately, he got a job outside Lagos and this gave his siblings a degree of freedom to see him. At this point, Tobi started construction of his own house, he did not tell us until the building was almost completed and the day he told us, he pleaded that we should not let Yemisi know that he told us.

She was to know that we knew about the house when we (my husband and I) had to visit them after they had moved into the house. She instructed her children not to greet us or even take any of the things we gave to them. The most painful thing however, was that we met her own mother and two other siblings there. We learnt her mother was sick and she had been around for a while.

Tobi, lost his job the very week we visited them. Even at this no one thought of anything until it became a trend that any time Yemisi learnt that Tobi did anything for his siblings, or his parents he would lose his job or something would happen to him.

At the count of the fifth job, I raised the alarm and my husband and I sought spiritual assistance. It was then we learnt that Yemisi was responsible for the fate of her husband. As at then, Tobi had almost become a recluse, living on her handout. He would do the household chores and school runs while Yemisi went to work. He couldn’t do anything without asking her for money.

The saddest thing, however, was that they had to sell Tobi’s building to settle a bank debt that her father incurred before he died to avoid the bank’s taking over her father’s house in their home town. Yet my son saw nothing wrong in this.

It got to a stage that I had to confront Yemisi about her evil deeds, Taiwo, I was shocked that she did not even try to deny it. She was bold enough to tell me that my son would remain that way until he learnt to obey her. His offence, however, was the fact that he insisted on taking care of his family after she had warned him to stop.

She now has three female children for Tobi, she had a son who died at birth and typically, I was accused of killing the baby. I never even knew she was pregnant at that time. Her mother was aware of all these because she is living with them.

Please, help me. How I can save my son.

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