This is quite touching: Read what the brilliant Lawyer-to-be Amaka Igwe's first child, Ruby, wrote on the first year memoriam of her mother (April 28)...it is a beautiful epistle.
It’s been one year today since you moved house, moved home, exchanged Earth for eternity. No forwarding address that I can visit and come back from. No quit notice. No forewarning. No explanation. You vanished.
I first thought that like in Scandal, or Hawaii Five-O, you weren't really gone. I dreamt about your comeback, I borrowed all the scenarios from every action movie. It was going to be epic!
I imagined the explanations, the super-secrecy types, the massive conspiracy that you had to thwart, how sorry-not-sorry you would be because you had to do what you had to do. I prepped how long I would be angry for. (Five minutes, tops).
But you didn't show up. So far, no comeback.
So. I wonder how you and Mrs. Onwe and Uncle Efere and Buge Rewane and Uncle 'Tapuluto Otulopo' Oforbuike and Grandpa and everyone in heaven are gisting by now, if it is still as heavy as your first day.
Tell me Mummy, have you seen Adam and Eve? Or is there, like, a wait list? Please don’t tell Eve I said I would punch her once I get there because she caused childbirth pains et al.
Or maybe you should, so by the time I get there her beef would have diminished.
I wonder how many A-Fests you've held, and whether your film villages are threatening God's cattle on a thousand hills. Have you screened the movie Aunty Ireti was talking about yet? Do you have a million series being produced at once?
Are there football leagues? Like, a Heaven Premiership? Is Jesus always Man of the Match? I wonder if you've played so much football like the good old days that you dribble with your legs in your sleep. I wonder if you sleep.
Does Angel Michael now wear Ankara? I wonder if the angels have now started speaking Wawa, and if the smell of the ogiri you and Mrs. Onwe must be putting in soups has chased the people who own mansions next to you.
Are you going to have an anniversary party? One year in heaven? Or if a thousand years are like a day, have you spent… forget it. The math is beyond me. Are you going to have a party though? Since heaven is a permanent turn up?
You know, Mummy, if not for God your death would have taken me with it. If not for God I would foolishly think to follow you. I know that you ran your race and you're through. And I am forever proud.
After my denial, my kwata was that you left me here. You, my bestie, my bosom buddy. You left and left me reeling. I could not understand why. At first I thought you didn’t know. You couldn’t have known. Abi? Who knows these things?
But what was the context of the conversation we had the night before that night that lasted nearly two hours? Why did you stress more than usual how much you loved me and were proud of me?
Why did you sound like you were saying goodbye? How can I rationalize that you didn’t know? So, then I figured you knew. Maybe God whispered it to you and told you not to tell anyone.
But if you knew, what was the point of all our plans? All our tactile, possible plans? For you to do the law degree that eluded you back in your day, so we would graduate at the same time next year?
To practice law for half of the year in our ‘law shop’ and make movies and content all around the world for the other half? Plans for all the business ideas we’d think up and write down for later, with very little effort?
Plans for my wedding, and all the visions and thoughts you had, with the fresh flowers and the non-fussy dress and the non-generic vows? Plans to one day kidnap all your grandchildren over Christmas and vanish to Turkey?
For you to die at 85, nko? What happened to that plan? What happened to three score and ten, at least? What’s this, reverse African time? If you knew, why did we even make any plans?
If you knew, why was the very last thing you said to me ‘I’ll call you back?’ Or is there network in heaven? I didn't get the memo. Are you that private number that I never manage to pick up in time? Ah no, I couldn't think that you knew either.
You see, I’ve cycled through enough stages of grief to win the Tour de France.
Yet. Yet. Yet.
God is. And that is enough for me, enough to settle all of these questions in my head. He is faithful. He is present. He is sure. It is still well. These plans now foregone will find their way into the context of my life one way or another.
Either in a book or a series or a play or a movie or in my future reality. Or maybe just as memories, documented here and now. I trust Him; and I miss you. Words can’t even truly encapsulate the depth.
It's been one year and I miss you as hard as if it was last night. I don’t think I will ever stop. But that’s fine. I don't want to ever stop missing you. To stop would be to negate all those incredible memories we've got together.
Memories plentiful, strong and vivid enough to make me laugh for hours on end. Memories to inspire me, and move me. I remain so proud of you and astounded by you. I look at how much of a legacy you have left behind.
A legacy of talent, a legacy of dedication, discipline, self-determination, integrity, strength, loyalty and humility. And a legacy of people. Thank you. I celebrate you. I'm so glad I had you as my mother, and as my friend, my very best friend.
You showed me practically, love with great intensity, and day on day I learn about God’s even more infinitely intense love for me. The love I have to give becomes ever more refined as a result.
How am I? Awesome. Busy, very busy. Living, learning, and growing. There is a lot to do. I don’t have a blueprint of how my life is going to go. I thought I did. I just have the assurance that it’s going to be the definition of epic.
It is hard to not have you here to see me see this, and experience that. But I cannot be crippled by my grief, or consumed by it. My race still requires me to run. I need to finish strong. I definitely will not grieve like someone who has no hope.
We grieve with hope.
At your tribute on the 9th of June last year I said 'know that I am coming'. Coming to God, more and more on earth and in full in heaven, coming to you, when I get there, and coming to the world.
That is still true. It is still well. And I am still coming.
You keep doing you in heaven. I’ll see you when I see you.
I love you. I love you. I love you.
- Ruby Igwe.
The six-term lawyer & Barrister-to-be. Etc.