She was 85!!! Damn!
Today’s the wake keeping for my late Grand Mother, Mrs. Ojuba Esther Jeddie. I only found out her name when I saw the obituary posted on the gate of the house. All my life I had known her as Iye Ogijo (old mother / woman). We never call any older members of the family by their names (and we definitely didn’t call the ‘dad’, ‘mom’ etc ) so we sort of created names for them. I don’t even know who came up with that idea but it works just fine.
Anyways I was just thinking about how little I know about her (or my parents for that matter). You know how some things are never necessary till you realize you don’t know them. A good example would be to try and remember how you learnt what you’re parents’ real names were (if you still think their names are dad and mom you’re in trouble dude). *The music just started playing … sad tunes* I didn’t see her much when I was younger (my parents aren’t really big on the going to villa every year stuff). I have memories of her coming over to visit when I was younger but as I couldn’t speak my language then it’s all fuzzy in my head. I only really started getting to know (learn about) her in the last few years.
I know she was beautiful when she was younger; strong and beautiful. She was some kinda model / dancer / singer / MBG of her villa sha. The glamorous life. I know nothing about her sense of humor, but I have a feeling she was a “bad guy”. She was definitely an idol worshipper for most of her life (she only became Christian about 5years ago) so her jazz must’ve been the good stuff (s/o all the Igala native doctors). She was definitely strong at whatever faith she practiced judging by her Christian days. I know her 4 surviving children weren’t the only ones she gave birth to. I remember mumsy telling me about having a lot more siblings when she was younger (I guess both popsy & mumsy had their fair share of sibling loss). She must have been a real strong parent to lose her children and stay supportive. Plus I think her husband died real early too.
I remember the last time I saw her. She was about to go back to village or I was about to return to AUN (the details are mixed up in my head). She called me over to where she was sitting and then she prayed for me. She blessed me. I can’t remember the blessings but I hope they stuck. I had this gut feeling that it was the last time we were going to see each other. I guess she must have felt it too. I remember thinking about her on the 12th of December (the day she died). I was walking back to dorm CC from the cafeteria in the evening. I was thinking about going home to see her. I don’t even know how I knew she was in Kaduna. She had been ill for a while. I was saying to myself that it would be great to see her one more time (I kinda knew it wasn’t going to happen ). It would be like cheating death for me. I didn’t see her one more time.
Turns out she was awake and had just finished with the doctor. It was the day after her great grandson had celebrated his 1st birthday. A milestone by anyone’s count. I guess God wanted her to mark that before she passed. Mumsy put her to bed and went to see the doctor off. By the time she returned, Iye Ogijo was dead. The End.
For me, today we are not mourning my grandmother. Today is a celebration of life. 85 years and 4 generations of life. She died at the age I have subconsciously set for myself as my expiration age (except if I’m still fresh and sexy at 86). Mrs. Esther Ojuba Jeddie. The only one of my grand-parents I actually saw and knew. May your gentle soul and the souls of all the faithfully departed through the mercy of God rest in (prefect and everlasting) peace. And at the risk of sounding like one of them obituary columnists I say, Adieu Iye Ogijo. You are in a wayyyyyyy better place (I hope).
PS: MBG means Most Beautiful Girl (for those that don’t happen to run into fashion pageants randomly on TV.