Dear Sabitiu Cecilia Oderinlo,
It seems like a few days ago that you left but indeed, it’s been more than a few years, it’s ten wonderful years already since you left this world of sin to the realm that is unseen to us all, a chapter that we hopefully will see or never get to see if Jesus returns before the inevitable unseen arrives. It’s beautiful that you left at the ripest of age, an age when death was celebrated with funfare even with tears in our eyes, it is sad for me that you left me here all alone, with no one to pamper me like a toddler, no one to run their hand through my hair and make feel like nothing else matters, I rejoice in the beauty of your life, sad you are gone, hoping that I will hold you in my arms again dear Sabitiu.
I know you might find it hard to believe but it’s true, for the first time in a long time, I woke up very very early this morning after sleeping so late and said a prayer, not for myself, but for my friends and foes and the world around me. I could hear your voice aloud in my ears, your sweet sonorous voice reaching out to the God of Heaven as you intercede for all and sundry, giving no damn whether even God can hear you or not because you believed in words and in God Himself more than God could imagine. Your ardent believe in God is not your fault though, who else will you believe in if not the God of heaven that gave you Oluwarantimi (God Remembered Me) and Olatundun at a very old age, making me the bonafide Super Grandson of A Barren Woman. Even when you’ve given up, God showed up so you cared less about whether He was going to show again… you held unto him all through, and here we are, in hundreds and more, the children and grandchildren of the once barren Sabitiu, my “Iya Agba”. I hope you are resting and not working hard up there like you always do, I trust you sha, I know you can’t grow weak even in Heaven.
I’ve got good news for you Cecilia, the feat that God did with you, yes! Ending your barreness… He’s visited us again and Auntie Dupe Pupa, yes Dupe Olaiya your granddaughter has finally given birth to a child… don’t scream and dance and roll like you usually do, I know she’s in her 50s, but I also know you were older and you still had Tundun after Ranti… We are already in our Oliver Twist mode dear, we are asking Baba God for a son for her like you had it. I forgot you are up there with Baba God, you saw it all already, just tell big G that I have collected Boluwatife from her, she still needs her own child… Yes I did, I took her as my own, she came on the same day I was born, and she’s my name sake so she’s mine. Atlast I found someone that will make me miss you less, just like Ayokunumi, just the thought of her brings me limitless joy.
Iya Agba mio! (in Uncle Paul’s voice), I hope you are there with your son Paul, he left before you but we kept it a secret because you loved him too much and we didn’t want you to die of a heartbreak like he did, we loved you too much too but we are glad you finally found him again… you guys have been together for 10 years now, I feel jealous he’s got you because I miss you, but I’m glad… I can say I miss you.
I miss making those fine cornrow with your felefele hair, knowing it will get loose in two or three days and I will have to plait it again, your thought me almost everything, including how to make a woman beautiful by making her hair, I miss every minute of you and I am glad you are mine forever, not even Iya Toyin that I love so dearly can take your place. I love you Iya Agba mi!
I couldn’t cry when you died, everybody did but I just couldn’t find tears, I laughed when I saw your son cry, I chose not to believe it but tonight, I write this with tears in my eyes… not just because you’re gone, I remember everything you were and I just can’t seem to find anyone else to fill the void you left. I will say nothing about who you were, both the dead and living that knew you celebrate you today again and again.
I will pretend I believe that phrase “God loves you more”, even God knows that I love you more.
Keep Resting My Dear Grandma.
Yours in love,
Abidemi Babaolowo Oderinlo
Oko Iya Agba