In the last five days or so, there has been one reference to my aunt or the other. And each time I’ve smiled. Not because I don’t miss her (and I miss her terribly), but because… I don’t know.
I think of all the times she said things like, “it will get better, this thing you don’t seem to have now, no be this life? You go get am tire.” If only she knew how true her words were!
I stumbled on one of the songs that helped me get through her passing this morning, and I played back the 22nd of July 2013 real quick… how from a phone call about 5am my life literally became a blur for months on end. How I refused to go to church for a while after she passed, and then getting super angry the day I finally went because the pastor started preaching about how God could heal everything, including cancer. I remember I was like, “yeah, and you had to preach this after it killed my aunt abi?” And of course that meant I didn’t go for a bit after that.
I remember when we checked to see if my nephew would remember her (he was like a year old when she passed), and of course he didn’t (I wonder what we were thinking). I felt a little upset he didn’t remember the person who was literally his nanny when we all went to work, who was there from the first day of the pregnancy, encouraging my sister, spoiling her (because of her own struggles with pregnancy pregnant women could do no wrong in her eyes, lol), how she spoiled my nephew with gifts, and how he loved playing with her, and then falling asleep on her big body. I think that was all the children around then, who didn’t want to sleep on Big Mummy’s body?
I miss her o, kai.
I remember attending Winners’ Chapel Durunmi, and us queuing for puff puff every Sunday after service. It was like an unspoken ritual. Even if we were all angry with each other, we would still buy and so would start talking to each other from eating the puff puff in the car.
Aunty was a unifier; like she couldn’t stand for malice, quarrels and all of those kind of things. I remember quarrelling with an ex once and he called her to report me (the gall of that man). She invited him to the house and we were sat in her office. She was trying to ‘settle the fight’ but I guess we were arguing too much. Know what she did? She got up, left the office, and locked us both inside. Said she wouldn’t open the door till we had sorted out whatever was making us argue like we were strangers. Lol!! I nearly popped an artery from anger! But she didn’t open the door! We eventually settled down, had a conversation, and then she opened the door.
I love her. I really do. Years ago someone stole my parents’ numbers from my phone and sent them lies about me. My parents (resident outside Nigeria at the time) rang her and she stood up for me. Not only did she do that, she went to the person I had wronged according to the lies, had a conversation with her (that one had only sweet things to say about me), and got the woman to call my folks to tell them not to be bothered about whatever message they had received because it was a lie. I didn’t know she’d done this till my folks called to say, “this is what your aunty Pat did”.
God bless her, I have stories for days! Interestingly, she ended up telling me which of my friends had done the texting, and about a year or so later, we were right. She’d been cautioning me about a friend who she said had envy in her eyes and would rubbish me if she could; one who would come spend nights with me but would say things like, “na wa, how can only you have this or that?” I never took it seriously, till an incident involving a job a few years later. I’m sure I heard the Yoruba proverb, “the insect that kills the vegetable lives on it” at least a million times when she was alive.
The memory of the righteous is blessed. You’re blessed aunty. I love you and miss you everyday.