By Osi Obomighie
“Good afternoon Mr C.
I know you are mummy’s friend
I want you to stop taking her to the hospital
Because mummy keeps telling me you take her there
Please can you take her somewhere else?
Like the amusement park or the games store
I like playing there so mummy should too
She comes home weak and tired every time you take her to the hospital
She doesn’t cook
She doesn’t help me with home work
She doesn’t drive me to school again
My big scary nanny does instead
She also told me your name
But I can’t spell it so I used Mr C.
Hope you don’t mind
I don’t even get to play with mum again
She screams and cries at night
She no longer has a smile on her face
I heard you are bad
Mummy’s friend Mrs Shade said on Wednesday
Please be kind to my mummy
My teacher always tell us to be kind and good to everyone
You have taken mummy to the hospital again
Please be good to her or leave her alone
I want her the way she was before
The whole auditorium was silent when Mrs Tolani, founder/director of ‘Cancer with Love Foundation’, read the letter her son wrote while battling cancer. We were all frozen in time. Transported to a realm never thought existed.
No one said a word. No pen moved. Not even the shutter of the paparazzi was heard. We were transfixed with awe, of how a boy of 8 years could write such a letter explicitly.
She read every line with a tear; mascara and foundation washing off her face like an oil painting. Her hands quivered uncontrollably.
Judging by the way she was held by her son’s nanny, she couldn’t support her own weight but she was determined to stand while reading.
The disease had eaten deep, taken every part of her. All her hair was gone, her skin pale and her lips crumpled. This setback didn’t deter her from speaking. It didn’t take away her voice and also her will to survive at all cost.
“…..I had given up hope. Nothing was working because it kept spreading. I didn’t want David to see me weak and helpless. Suicide, I thought, was all I had to overcome this disease. A shortcut to my journey’s end; but I was wrong, thanks to the love and wisdom of an eight year old. Now I stand here, though supported but not weighed down, surpassing the number of years calculated by the doctors with a long margin, possible by the will to survive and the love of a son……’’
At this point Mrs Tolani brought the audience back to reality. She lifted our spirit so high that we were in cloud 9. Her clenched fist rose so high like she was ready to lead a revolution; a revolution against cancer surrender. A deserving ovation for a speech well delivered she received from the audience. What a way to end the 10th Anniversary/ Conference of ‘Cancer with Love Foundation’.