Continued from Part 10
Closed eyes, heart not beating, but a living love (Avis Corea)
The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death (J.K. Rowling)
But she wasnít around, and thatís the thing when your parents die, you feel like instead of going in to every fight with backup, you are going into every fight alone (Mitch Albom)
y worst fear has become a reality; the dread moment is here with me; my premonition of a day like this didnít miss; my beloved mother has gone to her God!
On Sunday, December 8, 2013; I received a call from home at about 0600 hrs (in the morning), and then I knew immediately that problem was lurking, because, such early calls seldomly come. My junior brother then told me that Mamaís ill-health has taken a turn for the worst, and that she longs to speak with me. When I started speaking with her, she was barely audible as her speech has started impairing. Then I knew that the worst is about to come. She managed to ask me about her grandchildren and then bade me goodbye. Despite the fact that her health has deteriorated, I never thought that that will be my last conversation with her. Later, I discerned that it was that last call with me she was waiting for, before meeting her God. She passed away on Monday 9, 2013 at the age of 77.
My mother wasnít too old; she suffered stroke, and one of the things that led to that was the carelessness of the Nigeria Police. About four years ago; my mother went to her village somewhere in Isiala-Ngwa South LGA of Abia State for a traditional wedding ceremony in her fatherís compound. As people were eating, drinking and dancing, policemen who claimed to be members of a task force against kidnapping, entered unannounced and started shooting incessantly and indiscriminately, claiming that one of their suspects ran into the compound. People started running for their dear life; those who were young and agile pushed those who were old and frail down. My mother wasnít fast enough and was unlucky as so many bullets pierced her body and must have damaged some of her veins and arteries.
I have written a little about my mother previously, but, I will write more after her funeral (whenever it will be). But, letís re-visit the past excerpts on her: In the first paragraph of my article of Sunday, July 8, 2012, I wrote:
ďThis column has been silent for quite sometime now, prompting many to ask if all is well with me. The reason has been that my old mother in Nigeria was struck down by stroke; so I have been pre-occupied with how to give her a well deserved treatment. My phone keeps ringing as all directives and wherewithal come from me. Based on the situation at hand, I tried to keep up the passion, but, just, as Gustave Flaubert (1821 -1880) noted "A superhuman will is needed in order to write, and I am only a man". The toll, of my mother's sickness, on me has been enormous: as the first son; since my father died more than 40 years ago, when I was under 10, everything about my life can be summed up in the words of Kim Elizabeth (1954), "I feel my existence is of a little heaven and a lot of hell". The old woman is being taken care of, although "doctors cure, but, only God heals". Just as Hedy Lamarr (1913 -2000) noted "I am not ashamed to say that no man I ever met was my father's equal, and I never loved any other man as much". But I lost him! My mother is one of my most prized possessions I have left. Just the same as Abraham Lincoln (1809 -1865) noted, "All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother". I can also say the same as George Washington (1732-1799) that "My mother was the most beautiful woman I ever saw. All I am I owe to my mother. I attribute all my success in life to the moral, intellectual and physical education I received from her". It pains me a lot that she would live a life of dependency, on others, from now on till God calls herĒ.
My Mothers Day article (Friday, May 10, 2013) was dedicated to my loving mother, and this was an excerpt:
ďFinally, I dedicate this article to my lovely mother, Ezinne Lolo Charity Ocheze Ubochi, who was struck down by stroke about a year ago. She's very sick (bed ridden) now. Last January, I was with her; even in her state and as she lives now a life that is dependent on others, she is still the most beautiful woman I know and my most prized possession. I did still see the same old love in her eyes. Florida Scott-Maxwell (1883 - 1979) was right that "No matter how old a mother is, she watches her middle-aged children for signs of improvement." Just like Abraham Lincoln, "I remember my mother's prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life". The ribbons of my mother's love are woven around my heart. Although, I doubt whether she would be around by this time next year, but, I want her to know that no matter what happens, I will always appreciate and love her as long as I live. My love for her will never die. Even if God calls her to His glorious side today, she will ever live in my memory. Mama, I love and will continue loving you till the end of time. Mama, thanks for all you did for me and my siblings. Mama, just in the words of Sarah Malin, "Your arms were always open when I needed a hug. Your heart understood when I needed a friend. Your gentle eyes were stern when I needed a lesson. Your strength and love has guided me and gave me wings to fly". Mama:
I wish I could tell you, how much you mean to me....
But there are no words to say
how much I admire you...
how much I appreciate you...
how much I thank you
for everything you've doneĒ.
Just as Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811 -1896), in little Foxes, wrote that "The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and deeds left undone", It pains me that I didnít have the time to be at my motherís bedside, before she gave up the ghost; I didnít have the opportunity to tell her all I wanted her to take along with her; and I didnít have the chance to show her all the love I have for her.
Just as Philippians 1:21 says ďto live is Christ, and to die is gainĒ; as a Christian, I believe that my motherís death, no matter how painful itís, is a gain, because, just as Tim Chaffey pointed out, death is actually a type of graduation in which we leave this sin-cursed existence and enter into a glorious eternity with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Just as 1 Thessalonians 4:13 notes, I do not mourn like those who have no hope, because I know I will see all my deceased relations again.
To paraphrase Mother Teresa: "Life is an opportunity, my mother benefited from it.
"Life is beauty, my mother admired it. Life is a dream, my mother realized it. Life is a challenge, my mother met it. Life is a duty, my mother completed it. Life is a game, my mother played it. Life is a promise, my mother fulfilled it. Life is sorrow, my mother overcame it. Life is a song, my mother sang it. Life is a struggle, my mother accepted it. Life is a tragedy, my mother confronted it. Life is an adventure, my mother dared it. Life is luck, my mother made it. Life is too precious, my mother did not destroy it. Life is life, my mother fought for it".
"For All the Saints Who from Their Labors Rest"
by William W. How, 1823-1897
1. For all the saints who from their labors rest,
Who Thee by faith before the world confess,
Thy name, O Jesus, be forever blest,
8. The golden evening brightens in the west;
Soon, soon, to faithful warriors cometh rest.
Sweet is the calm of Paradise the blest.
Although my motherís death left a heartache no one can heal, but, her love leaves a memory no one can steal.
REST IN PEACE MAMA, TILL WE MEET TO PART NO MORE!
THE THANX IS ALL YOURS!!!
(Burial arrangements and elaborate article on my mother to be out later)