I dreaded making that call but it had to be done. With trembling fingers I dialled her number praying I could hold the tears at bay and not prod her pain any further. "Gladys", she said on picking the call. "You see how daddy leave me go", she continued. "but I bless the name of the lord. I'll speak with you later" and she hung up the phone. That was Mama Angela and her husband of over thirty years had just passed on to be with the lord.
|Late Deacon Okasor (probably saying Hallelujah..lol)|
Despite her obvious pain and anguish, the voice at the end of the voice was strong and steady. How could she still find strength to bless the lord in all this? I wondered! Her voice was that of a woman who knows that even death is a temporary separation given their relationship with Christ.Mama Angela is my mother's younger sister but everybody calls her mummy. She looks like my mum, talks like my mum and is as soft spoken as Paulina. Infact the older she gets the more "paulinaish" she's become(now I'm crying and typing.its been 13 years but Paulina's passing is still as fresh as the day I heard she's gone to be with the lord but back to my story).
In all my years I've never heard mama Angela shout or scream at anybody-she no just get the liver! Its so easy to wrap her around your fingers and I did that a lot especially when I was in the hospital after the accident in which I lost three fingers on my right hand. In order to get out of simple things including taking my bath, I'd moan and moan and she'll get the nurses off my back. She didn't want the nurses hurting her lil girl anymore than necessary. She felt it was her duty to protect me now that my mum was no more.
|Paulina Otono(my mum)|
My relationship with mama Angela became closer during those trying weeks in the hospital. We were now in a closer proximity compared to my pre- accident days. I was grateful for her presence though I knew it was difficult for her. Mama Angela is a clean freak and the hospital environment was not her comfort zone. I noticed the way she wrinkled her nose when other patients were sick or the horror on her face when someone died. She kept on pleading the blood of Jesus..lol. Thank God the blood never runs dry as my aunty used up a good amount those days..lol.
we were in the hospital for weeks on end but she never complained. I knew she missed her husband but she never said it once-I saw it in her eyes especially after the daily calls from him. Mama Angela would smile that gentle trademark smile of hers and sigh. With my eagle eyes I never missed those sighs until she opened up( no thanks to my persistent pestering) that she'd never been separated from her husband for so long until my accident. That evening,the heartfelt confession of this lovely lady melted my otherwise heart of stone in that dreary hospital ward many miles from home. I was touched that she could sacrifice the comfort of her family to stay with me in the hospital but it was her husband's wish.
Now daddy has gone to be with the lord. They'd been blissfully married for over thirty years and now daddy is gone. He'd suffered an unfortunate accident at work and now is no more. Their marriage was not without its own challenges but they fought through together to model a God fearing home to their children.
|Mr Okasor(late) and Mrs Okasor|
Mama Angela and her husband are barely separated for weeks on end except when daddy is away at work but now they are separated by death. HOW WILL MUMMY COPE? That questioned lingered in the heart of everyone given her relationship with husband. But mummy is coping well because she has JESUS. Mama angela is not cursing or blaming God though her husband's death was sudden and painful. She knows who has power over death.
The lesson from mama Angela shows that the true mark of a Christian is revealed in trying times. Do you break down or lean on God? Proverbs 24:10 "If you are weak in times of trouble then you are weak indeed" Despite my Aunty's soft façade these trying times have shown that her strength is more than skin deep. Like Job the last thing you'd expect her to do is bless the name of the lord but that has been her mantra. Its okay to brandish the bible about like a weapon but how much of the word is hidden in the heart of the carrier to be used in moments like this?
There is no denying that the passing on of a loved one hurts but there is help for the broken heart. Psalm 147:3 "He heals the broken heart and binds up their wounds".
Nothing prepares for the loss of a loved one and it always hurt especially when its sudden and you never get to say goodbye.Your loss might not be a loved one but a loss anyway, I pray you will embrace God's healing today in Jesus Name.
Dear mummy, I know you hurt more than words can describe but you have handed over your pain to the one whose word is salve to your wounds. Thanks for being the pillar for all of us while in turn making Christ your strength. You are a perfect example of the strength of a godly woman even in these moments. May the God of all comfort be your comfort in Jesus name.