I promised myself that I would not think sad thoughts today. I woke up this morning and said to myself,
“Self, no more sad thoughts. You have to be strong and stay focused. You have to steel yourself and direct your strength and thoughts to more important things.”
And yet as I got ready to go to work, I couldn’t help but feel that emptiness once again. I couldn’t help the urge to go upstairs and walk into your room to say “good bye, see you later”.
I still imagine that you’ve traveled and would come back very soon. I hold on tight to that thought and what I actually use to convince myself, or backup the thought is that your room is still exactly the way it was the day you left, waiting silently for you. Your books are still there, waiting to be read by you. Your clothes are still in your wardrobe, arranged neatly, waiting to be worn. Your make-up still there, your shoes…those incredibly high heels you used to love wearing…they are still there…all there…waiting.
I’ve always wondered, imagined, even written stories about losing a dear one. I’ve always tried to put myself in the shoes of the person who lost someone to imagine how sad the person would be. What I felt, when you passed on, didn’t cut close to what I imagined. But you know what? That is not even the hard part. The hard part is living through each day with the little things that remind me of you staring at me in the face, the memories…constant pangs of nostalgia. How many times have I asked myself if I would have done it better had I known you’d be gone so soon? Maybe I would’ve laughed more often with you, fought less with you, complained less around you, tried to make you laugh a bit more often, been more selfless for you…
Little things remind me of you all the time. I was listening to the 9 pm NTA news yesterday and just as the signature tune was coming to an end; I stamped both feet on the ground in time with the last beat of the tune almost expecting you to do the same with me, just like we always did. But I only realized after doing that, that we would never do stamp our feet together like that ever again.
I look at Chisom every day and I ask God “But why…? Is it fair for this little girl to grow up without her mother? To go through her teenage years, peer pressure, first menstrual period, first date, first boyfriend and all…without her best friend? To have her babies without her mother around? I know you have all the answers but at least you should have allowed her to stay just a little longer”
I miss you every day. I miss your laugh, your expressions, our girl talk, our little jokes and gists. I get sad when I think of the plans we made for the future. It makes me sad to think you won’t be there for my wedding not to talk of being my make-up artist as you promised. It makes me sad to think that you were there for me all through those years of emotional turmoil and indecision and yet won’t be there for the years of “enjoyment” and fulfillment. I miss your words of advice and encouragement and the way you always had answers for everything.
I know that if you’d been given the chance to make a choice, you’d not have gone so soon. You’d have stayed long enough to see those dreams of yours come true…and oh the dreams you had! You wanted to own and manage your own spa and to be a famous make-up artist more than anything in the world. Even though it seemed as if no one was willing to support you to achieve that dream, you were still willing to be patient enough and to fight for it on your own. Who was it that used to say,
“Patience is a virtue little sis. Learn to be patient and you’ll live to see all that you’ve ever dreamt of come true?”
I want you to know that I am still as patient as ever, waiting for those dreams to come true. I tell Chisom the same thing every day as well. She misses you but she’s fine. She told me that if she ever sees you again, that she would not run, rather she will run to you and hug you tightly, never to let you go forever and ever…she still loves to hug you know. Ebuka is alright, he still screams “Mommie!!” when I show him your picture and ask him, “Who is this?” And you know what? He speaks better now even though he sounds funny when he tries to make some statements. He still follows Chisom around like a shadow and still mimics her down to her eating movements. Chekwubechukwu is really big now and he eats like ‘you-know-who’…lol. Mommie still cries sometimes you know…I don’t think she’ll ever stop. Daddie does not cry and he always claims to be alright but the sad look in his eyes gives him away all the time. He misses you like hell and I know you would tell him not to worry, that everything would be alright, if you were here. Chukwudi is no longer crying, but he still misses you. Obinna tries to be cheerful. He has never been one of so much talk but he doesn’t need to say anything, I can just tell from the set of his shoulders and his little offhand sighs that he misses you too.
I will try as much as I can to be there for them. Yes! That is exactly what I will do for it is the only way I could ever give back to you what you gave to me. I will try to be there for Chisom and Ebuka. Even though I’m not a very strong person physically, I will be there emotionally and intellectually for them and I will try my best, to make sure they are brought up just the way you’d have wanted them to grow. It won’t be easy but I will give it my best shot. I am not perfect and I know I have a lot of shortcomings but I am willing to change.
In memory of my dear Big Sister…
You will be forever loved and cherished by us all…