The next day after I knew my dad had passed on, was a very unforgetful day. The funny thing is nothing memorable actuall happened, but the events of the previous night made the day memorable. I remember waking up with a headache because I had slept late the previous night. You see, my body is just weird on its own. I am really not a night person by design, I do by best everything (besides singing) between 5-9 am. For me sleeping any time beyond 12 am means the next day will not be funny.
I had slept around 2 am, most of my friends were sleeping when I sent texts and bbm pings to inform them of the sudden demise of my father. When I woke that morning my iPad and phone were flooded with messages, pings and missed calls. It is a wonder how sometimes the time you are most remembered is when bad things happen to you.
Later that day I would speak to Mrs. Igunma and Mrs. Asimi the mothers of two of my friends. Needless to say I felt very awkward as I spoke with them. Also that day, my mothers mental state had reduced from “down right crazy” to “sleep deprived and almost crazy”. It was a welcomed improvements. Two of my aunts made the trip from Maryland and Ikorodu to our temporary accommodation in Lekki. It was sad we had to have a reunion under such circumstances. The next day, a Sunday, my mother made the trip to the village, as well as my aunts and my uncle went to pursue his job in Abia state. This was the begining of a parent-free hols.
For some reason I was very cautious of who I informed about my fathers demise. It was days later that Esosa, Dotun and Princess would find out. Over the course of christmas I would lose count of how many people I had and hadn’t told. I remember in particular being very sceptic all about telling T. babs, because her father had just passed and though people give me credit for being heartless, my heartlessness didn’t reach that level. When T. babs eventually found out, I received a 13 page hand written, screen grabbed letter in my mail box. She was reverently pissed.
Ify, Chidinma, Kunle, Aunty Grace, Dolapo and my sister tried to make my birthday was wonderful as possible. We got suya and ice cream and around 9pm I watched Chelsea play ball. Despite the fun of the day I couldn’t just help but think of how much my dad had anticipated my 19th birthday but never saw it. I also hated myself for the few seconds in the day when I mind left me to think of the money he promised to send me. I don’t need to say that when my mind came back I gave it the hair drier treatment.
On Christmas Day, Chidinma bought this amazing ice cream cake. It was…AMAZING. The kind of thing you want to eat but are scared of eating so that it’s existence outside your stomach may be prolonged.
Because I was worried about my mother and to fulfill all righteousness my sister and I would call everyday despite the bad network reception that some Igbo villages are notoriously known for.
When I was informed about the date of the burial, I was almost depressed because I really didn’t want to go. I remember telling Aunty Grace that I didn’t want to go for the burial, she looked like she wanted to take me to see a shrink. When I told Tolu, she wanted to slap me through the phone ( Typical Asimi). Obviously I couldn’t surmon the courage to tell my mother, for fear of what she might feel.
The 31st of December was perhaps the day I taught about my fathers passing the most since the day after he died. It was an awkward feeling starting a year in church with your father and ending it knowing that in a few days you will be pouring sand over his coffin. The closest I got to a church that day was TBN and Tosins Bbm descriptions of her church’s drama or something like that. Honestly the christmas period was really easy to get through because everyone that was around (my cousins and online friends) didn’t create room for I as we kept talking aboutp christmas, football my blog and relationships we were not even in and for that I am greatful.
Eventually all the facade my friends and I had set up cleared with the arrival of Aunty Chizaram. Aunty Chizaram, my mothers younger sister was to be our “temporal mother” throughout the duration of the burial. Her arrival meant the next day we would be heading to the wake-keep in Imo state. After the journey which was marked by flight delays and the usual untasted roads of eastern villages, we got to the village.
All emotional hell was about to break loose. Right at the gate of the house reality dawned as I saw the poster of the burial. It is sad to say but the first time I came across my fathers real age was as I gazed at that poster. The Canopies were beign set up and the smell of food filled he air. But I wasn’t there for food. As I entered the house I greeted and was greeted by sympathizers, and family members I didn’t even know existed as well as those I hadn’t seen in years. My sister and I proceeded to the room. Within a few minutes the sound of feet struggling to move could be heard. They were my mothers. She had slimed down. Her face infiltrated with pimples. Her hair a disaster and noticeably breeding a new generation of grey hair.
After all the initial formalities of greeting and counseling and npbeing strong for my mother, I was told that I needed to select the suit my father would be buried in. The thing is, in 19 years I only ever get to pick an entire outfit for my father once, and it was what he would be buried with,