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In Memoriam.

 

 

Of the many, many tragedies that taint my well-lived life, the one I probably regret with the most frequency is the fact that I don’t have a lot of pictures of my mother. I only have about two or three; not as much as five.

Imagine.

I don’t know; maybe it has to do with me not being much of a picture person. I’m the guy who disappears from groups when it’s time to take a picture. I don’t know; something about pictures just puts me off.

Maybe it’s the knowledge that I have to smile when I don’t feel like it (nothing personal; I usually don’t feel like it). Maybe it’s the idea that…oh, I don’t know. I just don’t like it. Whatever my reasons/excuses, they are why I don’t have a lot of pictures of her. As much as I loved to look at her; as beautiful as she was/is, it just didn’t occur to me to take more pictures of her. Despite being way into the smartphone age by the time of her untimely demise, I only have one picture of her taken with my phone. All the others are hardcopies.

It might not sound like a big deal, reading it like that, but think of the person you love most in the world. Think about the things you adore about them – like how they listen when you talk, how they hold your hand, how they call you for no reason, how their eyes light up when they see you, how they call your name – everything that makes them special to you; everything you know only comes in their package.

Now think about dealing with never seeing them again – literally.

Not that you don’t want to; unfortunately, the choice is moved out of your hands. They leave when you least expect it. They go without saying goodbye.

And what’s worse?

Not only do you have to deal with never understanding why what happened happened the way it did, you have nothing but your memories to remember them by. Not a keepsake, not a love note –

Not a picture.

And memory, even one as awesome as mine, is a frail thing. I remember thinking of my mother in terms of how she smelled, the smells I connect to my more pleasant memories of home, of growing up – coconut oil, Joy Soap and Imperial Lather. There was also one perfume – the name however eludes me now. I miss those smells – especially since coconut oil smells like plantain these days, Joy and Imperial Lather have forgotten where they came from, and home is an unfamiliar place.

 

27

 

If I could go back, apart from taking hundreds of photographs of this great woman, I would also make sure to record her voice. Common, one of the greatest rappers ever and one of my personal favorites, had his father frequently contribute to his albums till the man died in 2014. Imagine how comforting for him it would be; being able to touch a memory of his father whenever he felt a need to. I wish I could listen to my mother’s voice once again – but I still hear it in my head; as clear as a bell.

She’s just as warm as ever.

The physicality of my mother is preserved by a headstone, a few pictures and a letter that contains everything I need to know to live a fulfilled life. The most important things however; her spirit, her warmth, her gracefulness, her kindness – these are the things I will always have with me, the things that defined her essence.

And nothing can take those away from me.

PS: Remember those tragedies I spoke about?

They are the ink and blood that make the tapestry of an otherwise bland life colorful and interesting. They are the things that make me who I am, because no matter how tragic my circumstances have been, I always find a why to smile.

And that’s enough. I hope you get/got the message.

Oh, and one more thing:

Happy Birthday to Me.

 

 

 

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15 responses

  1. Bola

    I am in awe Seun. Can’t even find the words…..But I know your mum would be so proud of you.

    July 24, 2017 at 12:15 pm

  2. It is well.

    Happy birthday.

    May God keep comforting you, Seun.

    Henry.

    July 24, 2017 at 12:28 pm

    • Thank you so much, Henry! I sure appreciate you!

      July 24, 2017 at 12:32 pm

  3. I wish I’d met her. But I’m glad I met you. Because one way or the other, I’ve connected to her through you.
    Now I see why you have so many pictures of me. Hehe.
    I’ve got quite a number of you too. And thank you for indulging me every single time I whip out my phone and swipe open the camera.
    You’re a gem!
    Happy birthday!!

    July 24, 2017 at 3:50 pm

    • Thank you. All over again.

      And again and again.

      July 24, 2017 at 5:43 pm

  4. Good stuff…lessons learnt
    Happy Birthday

    July 24, 2017 at 5:14 pm

  5. Ufuoma

    Happy birthday Seun! May your days be happy and fulfilled…

    July 24, 2017 at 8:47 pm

  6. Happy birthday Seun.
    That thing about you not taking many pictures is the same with me. Not really my thing and I’ve been accused of ‘spoiling picture’ many times. I have also lost the memories of some people my life used to revolve around. I am however correcting that right now. With a woman by my side (a picture loving one) and the arrival of a fruit of the union, I’ve been capturing scenes and keeping them where I think they won’t get lost.
    And when life comes at me with daggers drawn and I’m fighting one thing or the other, a look at these ‘memories’ keeps me fighting harder, giving me the belief that I gotta win ‘for them’.
    Your years are blessed Seun. Shalom!

    July 26, 2017 at 7:10 am

    • Hey bro!

      Long time no see! Congratulations!

      And thank you.

      July 26, 2017 at 7:20 am

  7. Now, let me get to taking pictures and recording voices….
    Happy Birthday (belatedly- better late than never)
    Our loved ones never really die – they live with us, in our hearts, their essence running in our veins…

    August 2, 2017 at 12:23 pm

    • Thank you bro! Is not lie – they live forever in our hearts.

      Thank you for coming by again. Missed you!

      August 2, 2017 at 12:28 pm

      • I missed you too bro

        August 7, 2017 at 3:12 pm

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