Aunty Pat – my definition of extraordinary

Posted: July 29, 2013 in In memory of my aunty Pat

In Abuja sometime in 2009, I was braiding my hair in the house; we had a girl who used to come to the house (don’t remember the last time I braided my hair in a salon/market), and she was telling me about a friend of hers who was coming from Kogi state to Abuja to hustle, and their bus was robbed. The young girl lost everything. I asked if this lady had friends or family in Abuja and she said no, that she was kind of sleeping rough, you know, tough time and all.

About an hour later aunty came to see how my hair was coming, and somehow I gisted her about the unfortunate circumstances of this young girl. Aunty asked, “what kind of work is she looking for”? Wasn’t anything fancy, cos the 20-year-old didn’t go past junior secondary school. Aunty asked to see her, and employed her that same day to look after her grandma living with us. I didn’t believe it.

This is just one instance of the kind of person aunty was. I know of another one she spoke to in church who was shacking up with a much older man; she rented a room for this lady, employed her in one of her companies, and when the urchin almost ran her out of business, got her a job somewhere else. That one left the house she rented for her, went back to the man, and didn’t take all our calls for months. Then, stuff went wrong, she showed up at our house again, and aunty, after frowning and scolding, still took her in.

From the ones who stole, to the ones who got pregnant, aunty took in every one. She was always up for giving to people less fortunate than her. From her hospital bed in May she was organizing a freezer for a widow who needed it to start a cold water business, she was clothing people’s children, and settling debts other people had incurred.

Larger than life woman, my aunty Pat. Her ultimate dream was to own an orphanage, and even though she’d employ people, she wanted to have a hand in raising those children. The times I was in Abuja for her children’s birthdays, she’d ask me to take them to orphanages to give gifts to the children, just to remind them that there were others who didn’t have what they did, and increase their empathy for such ones.

Christmas times always revealed aunty as Santa Claus in the flesh. I know how many trips I made to malls just because, “ah, we didn’t buy anything for so and so, and I promised”, or “the last time I saw so and so their child didn’t look nice. How old do you think they are, let’s buy them something”. It was effortless, the way aunty gave people things.

She didn’t just give material things, she gave love, gifts of prayer, a listening ear, and arms wide enough to cry in, or just feel at home.

Aunty Pat is extraordinary. She is simply incredible, and that part of her will never die.

Shame on you death, best be bowing your head in shame.

  1. E' says:

    I imagine that aunty Pat was an angel that walked this earth.
    Just reading about this I feel something.
    Thank God she blessed the earth with her presence and hopefully inspired ppl like you to carry on where she stopped.
    I pray God’s comfort through the Holy spirit for you Chico


    • She was more than an angel, she probably was Team Leader for all the angels around… I can’t fill her shoes, she was many people in one! But, we ask for grace everyday, and He who gives, isn’t stingy.

      Thank you E!


  2. bola says:

    may her soul rest in peace and her works continue to speak for her


  3. […] must have been palpable, I don’t think I cried as much as I did on Wednesday like I did when I heard she’d passed. I miss her so much. So so […]


  4. […] situation, felt like it would get better. But when I woke up on the 21st of July to news that my aunty Pat had passed, the term ‘numb’ came alive. Ooh it came so alive it nearly consumed […]


  5. I came to re-read this. Phenomenal woman!


    • I re-read it myself, automatically transported me to the place I was when I first wrote it. Thankfully there’s less sadness and a deeper appreciation for the life she lived.


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