Every 31st December of every year is always a special day of reflection and making resolutions on our lives. The night is tagged a crossover night to the next year. People reflect on their lives in the passing year and make resolutions for the coming year. My reflection this time was quite different. It was anchored on three moments that stand out in my life. People always have worst moment of their lives, but mine were moments; I have three worst moments of my life. I could not get my mind off these moments. Every January 12, 15 and February 22 is memorable to me.
12th, 2001 was the date my Dad. started his death process. People don't just die like that in one day. I believe that as birth has process, so does death. I was just a 17-year-old boy studying for JAMB examination. I prepared his water for him to have his bath and he went into the bathroom. After a while, he didn't come out. I sensed it was unusual for him to have still been in there because he never spent much time having his bath. He believed, like I do, it was only women that spent time in the bathroom because of the many "ceremonies" they perform in there. I decided on him to see if all was well. To my chagrin I saw my Dad. lying helplessly on the floor. His looks were strange and frightening. Before that moment, I had always thought I was a strong guy with a strong mind. But I just realised that I was chicken-livered; I was so freaked out. Some neighbours came and helped to bring him into the house. He was laid on the bed; he was breeding wheezily. I was stupefied. I rushed off to my Mum's school which was just a phone call away to let her know of the situation. Chuka appeared from no where; he was God sent. He got the priest because he thought Dad. was giving up the ghost. I didn't believe he was dying until the priest brought out a holy communion and put into his mouth. As an alter boy I understood what that meant. After a while, the communion came out of his mouth because the way he was breathing he couldn't consume the communion. I then said since he didn't eat the communion that meant he was going to die; and he did not. He was rushed tbest friendâs hospital. Dr. Chuba convinced us with his actions that a friend in need is a friend indeed. He tried his best to save him.
15th, 2001 was his death day. I was with him all through the thick and thin moments. But it was unfortunate I wasn't there when he gave up. I never believed my Dad. could die at that time. He had suffered many things and survived. I believed he would scale through because he was a strong man. But it happened; he died. That night I was just sitting alone at a corner thinking of how foolish and un-witty I had been while I was with him in the hospital. It never dawned on me that though my Dad. couldn't talk he could write; I could have given him a paper and a pen to at least put down some things. I realised now that there were many things he could have let known to us if he had the means, that might serve as a clue to what is happening today in the family. He must have had many things he would have wanted us to know about his "evil-coated" brothers. I was just a “dumb-ass.”
February 22, 2001 was his B-day; burial day. He was laid to rest. He came into mother earth as a dust; that he returned. It was painful that he left like that. It is painful that I cannot see or talk to him now that I need him most. I MISS HIM; WE MISS HIM!!!