By: Olajide Toriola
It was just like a dream when it happened a year ago, on Friday 18th March, 2016. I was in school receiving my last lecture of the day when my brother who resides in Nasarawa State called me twice insisting that I call daddy because he has something very important to tell me.
I decided to excuse myself from the lecture room in order to hear what my daddy has to say but all my effort to get through to him was aborted so I returned to the lecture room.
After a long busy day I went to the school football pitch to play with some friends before going to my place of residence (my aunt’s place due to its proximity to my campus). At few minutes past 7PM while in the bus after several unsuccessful attempts to reach my dad I decided to reach my brother to obtain the information but he was unreachable too. I became apprehensive with wandering thoughts of what could be wrong, have I wronged my parents? Is there an emergency? I searched my mind but could find nothing within reach.
Eventually, to a great relieve my brother picked up my call and told me that my mother is very sick at home and daddy described the situation as critical so my attention is needed at home. Ignorant of the fact that they only cook-up the story to persuade me home that night, I dialed my mother’s number immediately I got to my aunt’s place, it rang but no one picked. After a while I dialed my daddy just to know how she’s doing, surprisingly, one of my daddy’s siblings picked his phone and insisted that I must come home that night because my mother’s state is very critical and she want to see me.
Instantaneously, I packed some clothing in case I will spend some days before I returning to school and hurriedly left my aunt’s place. While on road my best friend who has been informed of my mother’s situation called me and told me to meet him at the bus/stop for company home. When I got to my parents’ house at Ewupe-Ota, Ogun State around 11:35pm, I was surprised to see my entire father’s siblings who live in Lagos and Ogun State present in our compound expecting my arrival. That moment I knew something was wrong.
I quickly rushed inside to the sitting-room to know what was going on, then one of my uncles intercepted me to muttering words I can’t make meanings out of before he finally said “Olajide try to be a man, it has happened and nothing we could do to stop God’s wish”. Suddenly, my father said “Don’t let them deceive you. Your mother has left us. She’s dead”. Immediately, it was as if I was empty, I became weak and was losing consciousness but those around swiftly gripped me then I started crying and shouting.
Meanwhile, my mother has given up the ghost since 12:05pm but those that could inform me including my best friend has been cautioned not to break the news until I get to my parent place. So it all dawned on me the reason behind the unexpected calls I received all day from strange sources concerned about my welfare in school and asking if I was writing exams presently but never reasoned it out, intermittent calls from my elder brother in Nasarawa state while I was on campus because he had been informed immediately it happen while he only insisted that I call daddy, saying; “Call daddy, he want to tell you something very important”.
According to my daddy who was travelling with my mummy on that fateful day to our home town in Osun State for my big aunt’s (Grandma’s younger sister) funeral ceremony before the incident at the Ibadan Motor Park in Pen-Cinema, Agege, Lagos. He said, “I told my wife to wait for me at the motor park in order to withdraw cash from the ATM. On my return, I met her sitting uncomfortably so I rushed to her, grabbed her but she just looked at my face, called my name twice and gave up the ghost in my own hands”.
“At first I thought she only collapsed, then people around and I rushed her to a nearby Private Hospital but was referred to the General Hospital Ifako-Ijaye. Getting to General Hospital Ifako-Ijaye after some checks on her they gave me a note and referred me immediately to Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH). Arriving, I presented the note I was given at Ifako-Ijaye to the doctor in charge who in turn directed that her body be taken to the mortuary but I refuted and told them to leave my wife’s body for me to take home, which I did”.
“After lots of prayer, shout, cry, and bible reading by me, church Pastor, church elders and my younger brothers who I called immediately the incident happened, my wife still lay lifeless before my very eyes.
“Her elder sister and the younger one in London kept claiming the she is not and charged me never to resign to fate but all efforts to bring her back from the ghost land were to no avail”. My Daddy explained to me with flood of tears on his face.
From that day I understood that death of a loved one is an intense emotional and often life-changing event. I also realized that my mother’s death is from God and that it was her time to bid the world farewell though it was hard for me to accept such fate.
To be candid, there are really no words to describe my intimacy with my mummy. I know this because the slow, agonizing decline of her health through the disease forces even the most optimistic and hopeful to think about and plan for this day. And as such, you start thinking about what you might say during a time like this but after unsuccessful several attempts to put pen to paper, I realized that words could fail me.
All I could feel are emotions, indescribable emotions. Feelings that make my heart burst and my whole being melt. Because my mother was my inside, She was My gut, My confidence, My bravery and strength, My sensitivity, My compassion, My loyalty and even My laughter.
I will never forget her in the biography of my success because she challenged and encouraged me with her all to further my education and learn the vocation that I have loved from childhood; Photography.
Sincerely, Elizabeth Oluwafunmilayo Asabi (my mother) was a true mother, a virtuous wife to my daddy; she was a perfect example to all women as she was absolutely responsible and contributes to the success of her husband and children.
My mom was a genius; hilarious, friendly and a disciplinarian. She was a teacher and she never stopped acting like one till her death. In fact, neighbours, friends, family and her church members know her as alias ‘No Nonsense’ who hates lies and cheating, I can also call her a good counselor due to her listening ability to individual issues and the intelligent advice she gave to us her children and others around her.
She act like a military woman because her ‘Yes’ never change to a ‘No’ and her ‘No’ stands. I have never seen a woman as strong as my mother always willing to go the extra-mile without compromising her faith to make sure that her children get the best out of life.
I miss you Mom. I will trust myself Mom, and I will be fine. I love you till eternity and beyond.
I know you deserve more than this write-up to me. Maybe, someday I will write your biography.
Good night Mother of all Mothers.