Ever wondered how it feels when a sledgehammer is rammed into the solar plexus? Wonder no more. Let me tell you from my experience of March 1, 2019.
“Mummy, please call me back. I don’t have enough credit,” the voice of Atenye croaked at some minutes past 5. I did call back and in tears, he delivered the said blow. Straight to the solar plexus. And I swooned.
“Mummy, Ukandi don die o! Daddy has left me alone in the world ooo!” It took me all of a teary two days to come to the conclusion that Unimke Nawa, though no more of this planet, cannot die.
How can someone who is so alive in the memory die? How can someone who epitomizes goodness die? No, he is not dead and can never die.
Yes, we won’t see him in the physical again, but we can tune into our minds and find him laughing at those who think he is dead. Can a man die when he is so much alive in the genes of the children he left behind?
Can he die when he dwells and looms so large in the memory of those that loved him?
To come to terms with Unimke’s transition, I turned in to God fully, the same One I had made intercessions to on his behalf severally, over so many years.
His peace has strengthened me.
The love story of Unimke and I is best understood by just the two of us. From Day 1, many didn’t give us a chance. But we trod on.
Along the line, situations conspired against us too, but his rare brand of patience prevailed. He taught me patience. He taught me to overlook what those who didn’t understand us said about us.
“Wetin concern dem,” he would ask me. He also taught me one or two things about journalism and infotech. Nawa never gave up on what he believed in. He persevered until he achieved the desired results and then he would laugh triumphantly.
My daughters were all”Babes” to him, and he would always smell Indomie and eggs in any of their greetings that go beyond the ordinary. Call him Mr. Generous and you won’t be wrong.
No, he wasn’t perfect and never strove for perfection, knowing it was unattainable. But, no matter the scale you placed him on, Unimke would tilt easily and comfortably towards goodness.
Life may not have given him all he deserved, but contentment was his hallmark. Hard work was a way of life. He obviously didn’t know what it was like to seek rest when there was work to be done.
To him, there was enough time for rest in the grave, so one must work.
Did someone just say Unimke died? No, he is not dead. He lives. He lives in my heart, my memory, my frame of reference. And, truth be told, he is simply unforgettable.
UN, as I fondly called you, recall that in my last text to you, I said I would continue to pray for you. You know me for that, over the years. Should I stop? No way! Not when you are on a journey. If I do not pray, how would I tell God to keep you?
How would I remind Him that your family, especially your children, need to be cared for? So I will keep praying.
Sleep, my beloved, for you have earned your rest, even though you went too early. There is still work to be done, but who are we to ask God why He needed your service at this time.
But truly, you are not dead. You simply can’t die. You’ve only transited to a place of peace and rest.
Florence Oluohu is the Editor Daily of Nigerian Chronicle.
NB: Opinions expressed in this article are solely attributable to the author and do not in anyway represent the opinion of CrossRiverWatch or any other organization the author works for/with.
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