The first time it happened, I was 10 I think, no I was 9 going on 10, we were in class and the next thing we knew, they called her to the principal's office that she was needed at home. Word on the street was that her father was travelling abroad and wanted to see her before he left....(and so they drove from Enugu to Iwo just for that.) Anyways, she was gone for a month, people speculated, but she came back eventually, but she was never the same.
Those that knew, shared what had happened, and we were all ok with that, we respected her privacy and didn't do anything funny. Some nights she would start screaming, some days we would all be playing and then people would run up and down the quadrangle, and Aunty Ngozi would appear with Sister, and she would grab on to their legs and wail, and with pity in our eyes we would watch them as they would drag her to the matron's room. Those were days that were bad, on good days when we realized that we were reminiscing about home too much we would stop.
The next time I remember it happening, it was the holidays, I think it was easter break, my cousin and I were usually the first ones to leave school, but then we were about the last ones, we knew our parents remembered it was going home day, my aunt eventually showed up just when we dragged our grumpie selves to the dinning room. We were too excited we left our plates in the cooking area, jumped on her and asked her what the heck took her so long. When she told us, we were sober for a few minutes, all I could picture was a little girl leaning on a young boy with bulgy eyes and of course the baby was being carried by the older man, just the way I had seen them at the wedding a few years back....
Each time I hear/see/meet people who have lost their mothers in one way or another, I get chills, before I thought the older you get the easier it is to accept these tragedies but that is not true, when I was younger my mum was a tyrant, Osama Bin Mummy, mean, didn't listen to a thing, would just slap you around at the slightest excuse, and then I remember all those other lovely times when my mum would carry me when I fell, seat by me when I was sick, be in the car to pick me up from school. The smell of her perfume on school grounds on sad sappy days when the world just seems gloom and no teachers were willing to teach. The little things.
As I'm growing older though I'm coming to realize that the longer people stay in our lives the more we miss them when they are gone, and in these trying times, I can't help but think about my aunt, the way she laughed a lot, the way she talked, her cute face, the make up that always seemed to be the same color as her outfits and always suited her. The way she called us baby, and always wanted to be Nigerian, her lovely christmas trees and the way she said Children, there's a lot of things I'll miss about her, and to think that just before the incidence happened she flashed through my mind and I thought of calling her up, I should have. May her soul rest in peace, she will trully be missed, and I saw someone that looked like her today, she was pretty, confident, always laughing, so full of life and she robbed off on people, she was the best. :)
Cherish those around you, you never know when they'll leave and never come back and you'll just sit there watching their coffins go 6 feet underground, soon to be food to worms and you'll never get to talk to them again, all these lovely conversations that you wish you had with them will linger in your head and you'll just wonder, why now? Why God? What am I supposed to do?
May we all have no regrets