It’s often said that anyone who’s had a life-altering situation or experience never forgets that moment when his or her life changed forever. I guess this is true now for me too. I remember exactly calling Dr Abdulahi about seven times within ten minutes and following up with four text messages within the same period in the wee hours of that fateful day, May 30 this year. How time flies? It will be two weeks by tomorrow.
I had stayed awake all night and was constantly on the phone with my sister Azuka and also the lady we had come to know and call ‘Aunty TLC’. Intermittently I called my other sister Dorothy ( another sister, Florence having left for her US base just a day earlier and was yet to land) and wondered if she and my dad (God please keep him) could hurry over to the National Hospital in Abuja as my darling mom had just been wheeled into the ICU as she fought to stay with us. When I spoke with the Consultant, Dr Wakama at about 1.45am I sensed from his voice that the fight may not be going our way but that didn’t deter me. I kept the faith, prayed the Memorare as many times as I could and being in the month of May, a Marian month (this would make sense to Catholics) I left it in the hands of God. I had returned from Abuja just two days earlier and had hugged my mom before leaving for the airport and had told her I would be back to see her. I kept vigil and worked the phones with Dr Abdulahi, Azuka and aunty TLC. It was not a good place to be in, trust me. I paced my room, sat up on the bed, went to the washroom, knelt down and begged God to let my mom stay with us some more.
The unquestionable God had other plans and felt she had run a good race and fought a good fight and that it was time for her earthly sojourn to come to a close.
So in spite of our collective best efforts and those of friends and people of good disposition, by about 6.30am on May 30 this year, I became motherless. My life had changed forever. My mommy dearest had gone to be with God. For her biological children and her many ‘other children’, a light had gone out, the fire had been extinguished. For our dad, her husband of forty-nine years and ten months, he had lost a lifelong companion, an unusual confidante and a sister rolled in one. There can never be another. Our mother Theresa, our saint had gone marching…