When the clock rang by 5pm, I knew she was almost home. She is never late to work in the morning so she shouldn’t be late to be home every evening. Coming from work most times, she would branch the market to get vegetables to prepare dinner and certainly the goodies which I always praise her for. The backyard is her entry and exit, her arrival is quite alerting, the sound of the brooms and continuous greetings of the passersby and her call “e ku ile o” would make you aware that is if you are inside. Sometimes, I sit at the backyard pavement waiting. Sighting her from afar, I would walk up to her, collect her bags welcoming her home.
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Every evening is a memorable one. She has a small garden of vegetables which she visits after her arrival. She wet the Efirin and Ewuro consistently especially in the dry seasons. Efirin is Iya Tola’s favourite, it goes well with Egusi soup and I enjoy it very well. The women from the cassava processing farm know her well for her kindness and cheerfulness, they would beg for Efirin or Ewuro which she always gives. She would sit at this backyard’s pavement to rest, to enjoy the cool breeze, to narrate what she went through at work, to tell us of her past, of her present, of what she expects in the future. She always have a tale to tell every evening, a moral to teach, discipline to incline, corrections to make, errands to send, questions to ask, answers to give, wishes to wish, hopes to hope, prayers to pray, songs to sing and Jesus to preach.
But this evening is different as I sit in this backyard. Like she went to work in the morning but many evenings has come and gone and she has not returned. Many evenings of many moons will come and go and I shall not I shall not see her returning from work again, not again.
The sudden departure of my golden sunshine struck me hard, so hard to believe, so hard to see her lying in state, so hard to know that she won’t be here anymore to teach me, feed me, lead me and pray for me. But a satisfaction that comes with her glorious exit is that she is in Abraham’s bosom.
Iya Tola was a Christian, a daughter who knew her Father, her Saviour and her Comforter and served the lord with great delight. She was an unrepentant giver who gives her best for the church, ministries, families, friends, neighbours, passersby etc. I remember when I told her God told me to start Parousia Magazine and requested for fund, she did not only give me the fund I needed but also she prayed and blessed me.
I agree with the Nigerian author Abegunde Sunday Olaoluwa who said “Death is an evidence of life. Only those who lived DIED to LIVE in Heaven. Death is the gate to eternal LIFE. DEATH is a part of LIFE. However, don’t go for DEATH. DEATH comes only for those who LIVED completely even when their loved ones don’t think so!”. Iya Tola you were a Christian and a great mother who lived an exemplary life. Your Death is a proverb, a proverb of LIFE, on Earth and of eternal to everyman appointed to die and after judgement. The memories we shared together will forever linger in my heart.
If there is anything I long for, it is to spend another evening with Iya Tola. So as I sit in this backyard of life awaiting an unexpected sunshine, looking eagerly, nothing had change, it been like this for awhile and will be for so long but when shall I see the sun again?
Tola Ijalusi is a writer and a poet. He has had his poems published on various online literary Journals and Magazines such as PIN Quarterly Journal, Kalahari Review, Kreative Diadem, Tuck Magazine, The Poet Community etc. He is the Founder and Editor of Parousia Magazine, Africa’s First Online Christian Arts and Literary Magazine.