I remember that morning like it was yesterday. I’d been in that service the day before where the pastor talked about losing his wife of 41 years to cancer, and I felt so sorry for him, I’m sure I was tearing up. To be honest, I was thinking about a relationship I was in at the time, and while not expecting either of us to pass on to cancer, was wondering what we’d say of each other in 30, 40, 50 years.
I remember I refused to think about the purpose God had even in his wife’s passing – I didn’t even want to hear of it. I remember my mind drifting to the letter I’d written my Aunty Pat, seeing as I’d been unable to speak to her in about a week. I’d written it in both pidgin and in plain English, and pretty much done a roundup of gist on everyone we knew… Aunty loved tatafo, the good kind.
I got home, had lunch, day went on pretty normally, but then I couldn’t sleep. Anyone who knows me knows I have the worst sleeping patterns every side of the universe but the night leading into the 22nd was different. I couldn’t sleep, and I couldn’t figure out why. Didn’t quite have pending work, I wasn’t upset, or hungry; I just couldn’t sleep. I tried, but I was bored with the movies I tried to watch.
About 5am I got a text. “The doctor said she’s gone”. Didn’t register, and I didn’t have the number stored, so I rang. And then I screamed. And then…
Apparently she’d passed on @ 6.55pm, exactly one year today.
I remember collapsing in Olamide’s arms when he got off the train at our stop, remember him? The one you’d call ‘ajebo’ because you couldn’t get over a grown man having a water bottle!
I remember begging God to bring you back, I remember promising to be a better person, anything. I remember asking my dad one month after at your funeral if you could still wake up. I promise I wouldn’t have been scared, I would have hugged you!
I miss your hugs aunty, you always had one for me. You always had one for everyone.
I could talk with you about A-N-Y-T-H-I-N-G, anything on the face of this earth. you were the perfect mix – heaven bound yet earthly aware; super ‘churchy’ but in touch with the earth and the inhabitants thereof.
Aunty also had a laugh (with her tooth missing on the side), she always had a word of encouragement, a prayer, and she never delayed to put resources in things she believed in. So if you met her (and this could be random people), she’d talk, pray with you, then deploy money towards solving whatever the issue was.
And she was so discerning! She could tell just by looking at my friends which of them would screw me, and 11 times out of 10, she was right. I remember Skyping with ‘a potential’ one night and she was watching tv close by. She said, “I have no faith in that person, his voice doesn’t sound right”. That relationship never took off, lol.
I miss you aunty, this past year has been incredible. Everyone has grown! The kids, the adults, true natures have risen to the surface, there have been births, progress in different areas, and some places have been just a bit dodgy. Everyone misses you though, that’s one constant in all of this. The number of times I’ve heard ‘why did she die’, ‘if to say Pat no die’ (and other variants), I’d be a millionaire if I was stacking coins each time.
I’ve missed you everyday since you passed – God I miss you. I feel alone sometimes aunty, wish I could borrow you from the angels just to play catch up a few hours each month. I will never understand why you left aged 41, I’m done trying to understand it.
I miss you. I love you, forever.